It hasn’t been easy these watching all of the closures going on around the state. Between schools, kids’ activities, sporting events, canceled spring break plans, and other social activities…it’s been hard. Especially hard for those families that have kids stuck at home and even harder having to explain those closures to them. Together we can make playing at home safe and fun, all while keeping ourselves sane, and our kids entertained!
Here are a few fun ideas….
1. Rainbow Spaghetti
This is a great sensory activity for all ages.
1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to directions.
2. Divide cooled spaghetti noodles into Ziploc bags (you can do this per how many kids you have or how many colors you want to use).
3. Add a couple of drops of water and a couple of drops of food coloring.
4. Mix. Allow your kids to squeeze and move the noodles around inside the bag during this time.
5. Place spaghetti noodles into separate bowls.
6. Rinse with cold water. This step is highly important to prevent the die from getting onto your kids’ hands.
7. You can place colored noodles into their own bowls or 9×13 aluminum pan. Set the younger kids in highchairs and let them play. **Any noodles or rice will work. We used macaroni noodles because that’s what we had. Spaghetti noodles can be safer and less easy to place in the mouth for our younger babes. As always, supervision is encouraged.
**HINT** If you make extra noodles, you can make this into a quick and yummy lunch. Add warm noodles to a mixing bowl, add a splash of milk, a spoonful of butter, handful of shredded cheese, sprinkle of garlic salt, a spoonful of cottage cheese, and a protein (sliced turkey or ham, cut up a hot dog, shredded rotisserie chicken, frozen cubed chicken, etc). Ta-da..lunch is served and a fun activity to follow! WIN-WIN.
2. POM-POM baths
Bath-time always helps pass the time or help an evening quickly pass. The normal bath bombs and bath toys can be fun, but can get old quickly!!! Get some cheap pom-poms on Amazon and throw them in the bathtub. Throw in some fun kitchen utensils and measuring cups and let them go to town. Clean up: make it fun and allow your kids to help. Place them all on one towel outside of the bathtub. Cover them up and squish the water out. Uncover and leave on the towel until the next bath playtime.
3. Cloud Dough
Two ingredients and endless fun. This one can get a little messy but it’s so fun and all ages love playing with cloud dough. Ingredients: flour and baby oil. One cup of baby oil to 8 cups of flour. Play around with this. I usually end up using a bit less flour or going up on my baby oil. Mix and then transfer to an airtight container. You can also use the 9×13 aluminum pans found here on Amazon.
4. Find a book that your kid LOVES and base an activity page and/or craft around this particular book. Try to not think too hard into this one. We used a lion book and created a lion activity and craft around it. You can do this with simple supplies you have within your house. For the activity, grab a piece of paper or construction paper and write simple activities based on their age. Some examples are: dot-to-dots, tracing, letter writing, sentence writing, story re-telling, math problems, etc. The options are endless and can be made for any age. Use items from your pantry or closet for the craft. They could make the main character from cotton balls, Popsicle sticks, yarn, etc. The older kids can even turn the book into a play. Make it fun and easy!!!
5. Flour or Sugar for letter tracing/sentence writing. Place 2-3 cups of flour or sugar into a pie plate. Cut out letters from paper or construction paper and place it at the bottom of the pie plate. Then allow for your child to trace the letter. If your child is too young for this, hide objects in the flour or sugar and have them find these objects. If too old, have them practice spelling words or write sentences that are age-appropriate. Have fun with it and allow them to get creative.
6. Dress-up/Fun play. No matter if you have actual dress-up clothes or not, reserve an afternoon for dress-up play. Dig through the closet and get out some old shirts, hats, purses, and shoes. Allow for them to pretend play. You can also give them prompts that they have to act out (similar to the game charades). Make it fun and allow them to use their imaginations!
7. Building Forts. Get the whole family involved in this one. You can make a fort to watch a movie in, use it for quiet time while a younger sibling sleeps, eat dinner in the fort, or even allow for them to have a special sleepover in the fort. Get creative and allow for them to even make it a competition, “Who can build the biggest fort?!”
8. Indoor Scavenger Hunt. This can be the perfect activity to do while you make dinner or during a younger siblings nap. Get the older kids involved in this one. Make it a team effort and involve everyone! Here is a fun printable to use.
9. Snag some NEW activities, books, and other indoor play items: This is a great way to support small businesses and allow for some new activities and play items into your home. No one said spring break had to be boring indoors.
Love of Character
3200 E Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS 67208
or their pop-up location in Bradley Fair
2142 N Rock Rd
Wichita, KS 67206
Love of Character, owner, Mary Billings says that her shop has many indoor activities in stock: puzzles, playdough, dress-up items, activity books, fun writing markers, along with many other fun activities. Mary says that not only can you order online, but that her staff can take orders over the phone. Mary also said that her amazing shop girls will even run your order out to your car!! How awesome is that!?!
Imagine That Toys
2939 N Rock Rd
Wichita, KS 67226
Imagine That Toys, owner, Gwen Ottenberg says that she and her team are ready to help get new and educational toys into your home. Gwen says that they are fully stocked with Lego sets, puzzles, building blocks, games, and other unique play items. Gwen says that Paula or Karen at the shop will gladly assist you and have your items ready for pick up when you arrive.
This is an all-online book company. They are based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma and specialize in interactive books and activities for kids of all ages. Usborne Books & More has a wide selection and can be delivered directly to your door. If you need ideas, check out their Wipe Clean Books, Busy Books, Reusable sticker books, and their famous “flashlight books” aka Shine-a-Light books.