Beat cabin fever with these fun indoor activities to keep your kids busy this winter!

It’s the winter school holidays, the family’s having a staycation, and the kids are at home 24/7!

If you’re wondering how to entertain the kids, look no further! 

We’ve put together the perfect list of fun, indoor activities for all ages, guaranteed to minimise screen time and release all that excess hyperactive energy:

 

YOUNG CHILDREN

TWEENS - TEENS

Play Twister! Great for developing gross motor skills and coordination, is a game of Twister!

Play Twister! This is suitable for all ages and skill levels!

Build a fort. If you want to give them hours of playtime (and give yourself some uninterrupted quiet time), help your child build a fort using a variety of materials, such as cardboard boxes, sheets, or chairs.

Build a reading nook. Let your child build a reading nook from scarves, extra material, pillows, and cushions. Let their creativity flow and watch them inhabit their special space for days to come.

Organise a scavenger hunt. Put together several pictures of items that you would like your child to look for in your home or outside. The pictures can have a theme such as numbers, letters, or colours.

Organise a scavenger hunt. Create a theme for the scavenger hunt, e.g. a historical event or person. Use riddles as clues of what to look for.

Make family game night special. Perfect for getting in some bonding time and developing your child’s social skills, family game night is a hit with both younger and older kids. Get out your family’s favourite board games and start playing!

Make family game night special. Board games, such as 30 Seconds, and card games, like Uno, are bound to bring out competitive spirits and belly-churning laughter.

Bust boredom with arts and crafts. Pinterest abounds with arts and crafts ideas. To calm restless minds, help your little one to make a glitter/ “calm down” jar. After giving the jar a good shake, let your child watch the glitter flakes until it settles at the bottom of the jar. The enchanting mix of colour and movement may help soothe and calm your overwhelmed child.

Bust boredom with arts and crafts. Teens can try making their own “calm-down” jar; by using different gel colours, they can start a collection! (Instructions below.)

Develop those culinary skills. Young kids can learn basic skills like peeling and slicing fruit and vegetables, and measuring wet and dry ingredients.

Hone those culinary skills. If your child already has some basic culinary skills, why not try out a traditional family recipe or choose recipes by country, e.g. make a classic Italian pizza.

Put on a performance. Challenge your kids to put together a short skit; they could act out a scene from a book they’re reading or from their favourite movie. Get friends or grandparents involved and you could keep them busy for hours.

Put on a performance. Teens and tweens can act out a scene from a book, a chapter of history or a poem they’ve memorised. They can take it a step further by creating and performing their own stories, video recording it and making them into short movies.

Tame the wiggles. Your ADHD-diagnosed child needs to get rid of that excess energy, and there’s nothing better than exercise! There are countless videos of varying lengths available on YouTube with exercise routines which is guaranteed to get their heart rates up! Your child can also jump rope, climb the stairs multiple times or play with a tennis ball.

Tame the wiggles. Martial arts training, yoga, calisthenics or strength-building exercises, let your child decide what routine they’d like to follow while they’re spending time at home. They can also jump on a trampoline or use exercise balls or get moving. Impromptu dance parties can be fun for the older and younger one!

Take a virtual tour. If you need them to have a screen break, why don’t you all take a virtual tour of a place each one wants to visit. You can find virtual tours of cities, museums, art galleries, national parks, planetariums, zoos and aquariums. The best thing is that it’s free, all from the comfort of your home!

Take a virtual tour. Your teen may want to go back in time to Ancient Egypt, walk on the Great Wall of China, explore the world’s largest cave, or even visit Buckingham Palace! Let each family member decide which place they want to visit! This is sure to teach your kids negotiation skills - and patience - as they decide who gets to visit a place first!

Assist with household chores Keeping the house clean is a challenge when the kids are home full-time! Set out a list of age-appropriate chores that you’d like them to do. Doing chores together allow you to spend time quality time with your child, and get the chores done! Young children can pack away toys, make their beds, and set the table, for example. You can: • Make a list of household chores that can be completed in 15 minutes (dust the furniture, clean a sink, clean the toilet, etc.) • Speed clean the house – one room or one spot at a time • Set a timer and turn the task into a contest. Your kids will be keener on the challenge if completion is tied to a reward like extra screen time or getting a sweet treat!

Assist with household chores Your pre-teens and teens are primed to help with household chores. Explain to them what’s expected of them, and when the chore has been completed, do some positive reinforcement. For example, they can clean their rooms, wash the car, do laundry and prepare or cook a meal for the family. Once they’ve completed their tasks, thank and praise them for their help.

For more tips on having the best school breaks, read Directing the festive season saga: structure the school holidays to have drama-free days. 

How to make a calm-down glitter jar 

What you need: 

• A jar or plastic bottle 

• A jug of warm water 

• 60ml glitter glue 

• 3 drops of gel food colouring 

• 60g-80g glitter 

Method: 

1. Add warm water to your jar or bottle. Pour the water until it reaches around a third of the way up. 

2. Add the glitter glue. Squeeze in your chosen glitter glue and stir until it has combined with the water. 

3. Add around 3 drops of food colouring and stir. You can add more or less depending on your preferred shade, but remember not to add too much or the mixture will become very dark and it will become hard to see the glitter. 

4. Pour in the glitter. Again, you can use more or less than suggested, or go for a mix of chunky and fine glitter to give more texture to your jar. Stir well until combined with the existing mixture. 

5. Top up your jar with the rest of the warm water. Pour in the water until it is almost full. Leave a little gap at the top of the jar to allow the mixture to move. Then secure the lid. 

Source: Good to Know

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References 

1. ADDitude. (2022). Kids Bouncing Off the Walls? These Boredom Busters Fill Time Gaps with Activity. ADDitude [Online]. Accessed on 13 May 2022. Available from https://www.additudemag.com/bouncing-off-the-walls-activities-adhd-kids/ [ADD] 

2. Dady, J. (2021). Glitter jars: How to make your own calm down jar or bottle. Good to Know [Online] Accessed on 13 May 2022. Available from https://www.goodto.com/family/things-to-do/glitter-jars-how-to-calm-down-jar-10530 [GK] 

3. Fink, K (2022). 31 Amazing Educational Virtual Field Trips. We are Teachers. [Online] Accessed on 13 May 2022. Available from https://www.weareteachers.com/best-virtual-field-trips/ [WT] 

4. Gwen. (n.d.) 19 Activities for Kids with ADHD that Burn Energy and Improve Focus. Meraki Lane. Accessed on 13 May 2022. Available from https://www.merakilane.com/19-activities-for-kids-with-adhd-that-burn-energy-and-improve-focus/ [ML] 

5. Harris, J. (2019). To the Moms of Hyperactive Kids During Winter. Boston Moms [Online]. Accessed on 13 May 2022. Available from https://bostonmoms.com/motherhood/moms-with-hyperactive-adhd-kids-during-winter/ [BM] 

6. Johnson, A. (2020). What are Some At-Home Educational Activities for ADHD Learners?. Study [Online]. Accessed on 13 May 2022. Available from https://study.com/blog/what-are-some-at-home-educational-activities-for-adhd-learners.html [S] 

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