I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a little inspiration or reminder to plan out some activities so the kids are not glued to the TV. Whether it be a freezing cold day, a rainy day, a too-hot-to-be-outside day or you just don’t feel like going outside, there is a need to come up with some ideas for activities to do that require little money and supplies that can be found around the house so the TV is not always on. Or maybe you already have a TV-free home and just need some new ideas.
Build a House of Cards
Card house building is best done with straight cards. That well loved deck might not be the best for building with because the card may be bent, but you could use them to make an EASY house of cards by cutting 2 slits on each of the long side of the cards that enable the cards to be slid on to each other.
My daughter really wanted to build a house of card but doesn’t possess the patience to build them the traditional way. Making a “easy” deck is good when building a house of cards with those younger kids (or the less patient individual). If you don’t own an extra deck that you are willing to cut up, just keep your eye out for a sale. I have seen them come on sale at Wal-Greens for 2/$1 fairly often. Ours was a promotional item that we received from a company & were sitting collecting dust.
Make Crayon Rubbings
This can be a fun project to do with those short broken crayons the kids refuse to color with, or if you are looking for a fun project to use your recycled crayons. Gather items from around your house that can be relatively flat and have some sort of raised print. Among the things we gathered included a plate, silverware (both have raised prints around the edge), a plaster mold, a feather, dominoes and tracing shapes. Look around your house and see what you can find, or better yet – send your kids on a scavenger hunt around your house and see what they come up with.
Make Toilet Paper Tube Cable Cars
Simple enough that with a little guidance, your children can both make this activity and play with it. We made 2 cable cars to allow for collaborative and parallel play, plus with 2 kids you have to do two of everything. All you need is some toilet paper tubes, a straw, string, tape and toy cars. Tape a piece of straw to the top of the toilet paper roll and run the string through the straw. Then tape the ends to the string where you want it.
To make even more of an activity out of this, you could have your children decorate their cable cars first.
This is just one take on balloon races, but this one works well for young children who might become easily frustrated with other types of balloon races. Similar in construction to the cable cars, you just tape a straw to the top of a balloon, then place the string through the straw.
To play this game just tell the kids to blow and the first one to the end wins. Surprisingly, this does use up some energy because you will be blowing hard & fast to try to win. Just a little caution that this might cause you to get light-headed. This didn’t seem to be a concern for my children, but I noticed it when I played.
Create a Body Trace
If you have multiple children, you can have trace each other and then color in their own bodies. Otherwise you will need to help your child by tracing them or hav them trace you.
To find paper large enough, you can use freezer paper, or the backside of leftover wrapping paper. Or consider taping together some pieces of packing paper or paper grocery bags.