With the summer holidays now over and the cooler weather drawing in it can be hard to keep your little ones entertained without spending a fortune taking them out, and besides, you probably did a lot of that during the summer! So we’ve brought together this handy guide to some fun and interesting things you can do from the comfort of your own home, for little, or no, cost.
Hide the rubber duck
Inspired by every child’s favourite pink porcine pal, Peppa Pig, this game simply involves hiding a rubber duck, or whatever other similar-sized toy you have available, somewhere in the house, in plain sight, and then getting your kids to look for it. You can help them with clues or guide them with directions of ‘warmer’, ‘colder’. This won’t while away hours but it can be pretty entertaining, depending on how elaborate or quirky your hiding place is, then afterwards you can all don your wellies and go jumping in muddy puddles!
Most kids love crafting, be that with glue and card or painting or sculpting with modelling clay, and it’s a nice, productive way to spend the afternoon. Most bits and pieces can be picked up fairly cheaply from craft stores, and then of course, in true Blue Peter fashion, you can use whatever junk you have around the house to build your creations – yoghurt pots, spent loo rolls, milk bottles etc. And while you might not be ambitious enough to create your own Tracy Island, you could take inspiration from playgroup or school and make things themed around what your child is learning about – maybe a pyramid crafted from boxes, covered in papier mâchѐ and complete with hieroglyphics? Or a rocket bound for the imaginary moon?
Experiment and learn about science
There are some pretty fun and simple science experiments you can try at home, if you don’t mind making some mess in the kitchen. Perhaps the most well-known one is the kitchen volcano, which uses bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to create carbon dioxide gas and an explosion of ‘lava’. But that’s old hat. Now slime-making is all the rage, and not just making it, but watching people play with it. Some YouTube videos have amassed 700,000 views! It’s easy enough to do with easily-available ingredients including PVA glue, shaving foam, contact lens solution and food colouring and you can find some recipes here.
Boogie on down
Dancing is a great stress-reliever, good exercise, and will help your kids spend a bunch of pent up energy. If you have any glow sticks left over from a summer festival you could use these and some rice to make music shakers complete with fluorescent stickers and bright ribbons, and you could also invest in some day-glo face paint. All that’s left then is to invite their friends round, close the curtains and use a night light as a make-shift disco ball and Hey Presto! You have your very own daytime disco!
The music, of course, is your choice. You could pick kids songs or pop tunes, but why not some 80’s and 90’s dance hits or rave classics? That way, they get to jump around the living room and you get to take a trip down memory lane while offering some important musical education in the process.