The winter months are a perfect time to engage your kids in some indoor activities and educational fun. Here are four engaging activities that you can easily do at home to keep your kids occupied on rainy days.
1. Turn baking into a lesson
Baking simple cookies or cup cakes is the perfect way to introduce your child to measurement and following instructions. Before beginning, read the recipe to your child and allow them to gather the ingredients. Each time a measurement is given allow your child to carefully measure the required amount of ingredients. Talk about why it is important to be accurate when measuring. Depending on your child’s age, you could double or half the quantities in the recipe and challenge your child to work out what the new amount would be. If you are baking with a young child you could shape your cookies into letters and practice saying the letter names and sounds as you make each one.
2. Film a masterpiece
Choose one of your child’s favourite books to turn into a movie. Read the book with your child and discuss the different characters. Focus on how certain characters would talk, walk, behave, etc. Encourage your child to choose their favourite part of the book to act out. Practice saying some short lines from the book and acting in the way that the character would. Raid your wardrobes to create a simple costume and then film your child acting out a scene from the book with you as a narrator, reading the text. Your child can then watch their very own movie masterpiece over and over again. This is a perfect activity to do with more than one child.
3. Write a book
Creating your own picture book is a great way to teach your child about the features of books while also practicing reading and writing. Help your child to think of ideas for a story. Once you have decided on a story, rule lines along the bottom of plain sheets of paper and encourage your child to write each sentence of the story on a different page. For very young children you can write one word on each page and encourage them to copy or trace the words. After writing the story, allow your child to illustrate each page. They can then create a front cover with a title and their name as the author. If you want to get really creative, you could have the book published and posted to your house using a service such as Blurb.
4. Have a treasure hunt
A treasure hunt around the house and garden is a great way to get kids reading while having fun. Write clues on post-its and place them around the house. Try to use words that your child will be able to read independently, but will require some thought. To get started, hand your child the first clue. It may say something like, “Where does dad keep his socks?” Your child will read the clue and go in search of the second clue. The last clue should lead to hidden ‘treasure’, such as a sweet treat or a new book. This is a great activity to encourage reluctant readers and is also perfect for a group of children to do together.
5. Be a jewellery designer
Recognising and creating patterns is an important pre-algebra skill that you can teach at home by treading beads or pasta onto string. If you use pasta, create different colours by adding a few drops of food colouring to a bowl of dry pasta and mixing. Lay the coloured pasta onto paper towel to dry before you use it. When treading the beads or pasta, encourage your child to create a pattern that repeats. Say the sequence of the pattern out loud together and look for any places where the pattern does not continue. Start with a simple pattern, using only two colours, and gradually add more colours to create something more complex. Your child’s finished jewellery can be worn or hung in the playroom as a creative decoration.
There is no need for you and the kids to get bored this winter. Get a little creative and enjoy some educational, rainy day fun. I hope that you enjoy these tips and I would love to here about your indoor fun experiences.
Do you have any other ideas for great indoor activities?