Entertaining your kids can be a chore at the best of times, but now that the dreary winter days have set in we begin to hear the familiar whines of “I’m boooooored!”
Beat the boredom without plonking them in front of the telly with our top 10 tips for entertaining kids!
1. Cardboard Creations
When cardboard meets creativity, there are no limits to what a child can make! Give your kid your old shoe boxes and interior design magazines and watch them put together their very own doll’s house!
Create little people from loo rolls with their very own customised outfits and woolly hair.
If you have bigger boxes close at hand, make an entire castle, complete with turrets, drawbridge and cannons to thwart the enemy!
2. Tea Party
Make lunchtime a real treat with a quintessentially English tea party! Prop up dolls and teddy bears around the table, lay a tablecloth, arrange little nibbles prettily on plates and of course brew a pot of Barry’s tea. If you’d prefer the little ones not get too rowdy on caffeine, opt for a juice drink instead. Be sure to dress up for the occasion as ladies who lunch with pearls, large hats, elbow gloves and silky scarves!
3. Kids Den
No childhood is complete without building a fortress in your very own living room!
Take the cushions off your sofa and add blankets and duvets to create a cosy winter getaway.
Give the kids a torch and watch them build, invade, raid and destroy all evening!
4. Old Skool Games
Rediscover the joys of the humble board game!
Monopoly, snakes and ladders, scrabble and draughts are the iconic kids toys of yesteryear and are quickly being forgotten in favour of computer games.
For a fantastic group activity, splash out on a life sized version of your favourite game
5. Cook up a Storm
Instead of ushering the kids out of the kitchen when you make dinner, get them involved.
Avoid arming your kid with a knife (!) and instead give them easy tasks like stirring a pot or washing lettuce. They’ll feel a great sense of achievement when the dinner’s on the table!
If dinner is to hectic to have little helpers, make some sweet treats together like cookies, rice krispie cakes or marshmallows with chocolate melted on top finished off with a smartie! For a healthier alternative, get your kids to make shapes with dough before popping them in the oven.
6. Rolling in Dough
Make your own play dough using only flour, salt, water and some food colouring.
- Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/3 cup of salt in a bowl
- Pour 1/4 cup of water into a saucepan and add food colouring
- Add the contents of the bowl slowly over medium heat
- Stir until the mixture has a smooth mashed potatoes texture
- Take the contents out of the saucepan and allow it to cool
- Kneed it and voile! Play dough!
TIP: to keep the play dough fresh, store it in a zip lock bag or some cling film when it’s not being played with
7. A Stitch in Time
Pick up a variety of materials cheaply from surplus baskets in draperies and teach your kids to sew. They can make whatever they please, whether they want to make a dress for their doll or add stuffing to simple shapes. Add sequins, glitter and ribbons for even more creative designs.
Alternatively, teach them to knit with special child-sized knitting needles. If that sounds too complicated, a simple cross stitch design will keep them entertained for hours!
8. Paper Trails
Buy colourful sheets of paper and invest in an origami book chock full of fantastic step by step instructions of things to make.
From the classic paper planes and flowers to more intricate designs, their options are endless.
There are many websites dedicated to various designs, like this one which provides both pictorial step-by-stop instructions as well as videos.
9. Family Tree
Research your family tree with you child, sticking the names of various people written on leaf shaped cards on the walls. Add photographs wherever possible for greater visual effect.
Engender an interest in history in your child and encourage them to do their own investigations into the lives of their great grandparents. Who knows, it might make them a little more eager to chat with granny next time she comes to visit!
10. Pen Pals
Set your kid up with a pen friend and help them to write letters. Encourage them to include drawings and news.
Not only will it improve their writing skills, it will also help them to spark up closer friendships.
Even if it’s the girl nextdoor or a boy down the road, they’ll delight in the opportunity to pop envelopes in their letterboxes and eagerly await a response!