Thankfully, we have power and there is no flooding in this area. I know many who were not so lucky. To everyone who lost power, suffered water damage, or was forced to relocate thanks to Hurricane Sandy, we hope your family is safe and warm and that your lives are restored to normalcy as soon as possible.
Now, what to do with those kiddos?!? Of course there are books, board games, and puzzles. But those will only last so long. I poured over Pinterest today, took out the craft supplies, and hoped for the best. By the way, these don't require electricity...so keep them handy for the next power outage, too.
RELEASING THEIR INNER PICASSO
- Read some books, then try acting them out or ask the kids to think of craft projects that could go with the books. For inspiration, check out these ideas to go along with Laura Numeroff's "If You Give A..." series
- Play Doh + cookie cutters = always a favorite!
- Coloring books + crayons
- Random art supplies: stickers, feathers, pom poms, glue sticks, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, etc.
- Make a Paper Chain to count down to a birthday, the next holiday, or another special occasion
- Special Watercolor Paintings: try drawing a picture with white crayon on white paper, then brush over with watercolors to reveal the image. OR paint with watercolors, then sprinkle table salt on the wet paint, and/or use clear or white craft glue to drizzle additional designs on top. Watch what happens!
- Build with dominoes, LEGOs, and blocks
- Make sock puppets, paper-bag puppets, or paper-plate puppets, then put on a puppet show. Or decorate the house.
GETTING THE SILLIES OUT
When they're stuck indoors, kids still need to move around and get some physical activity. Here are some fun ways to make that happen:
- Go Fish! Place alphabet magnets in a bowl, then grab a pole (toy sword, wrapping paper tube, etc. We used the pole from our marble run set.), string or ribbon, a paper clip, and masking tape. Tie one end of the string to the pole and secure with tape; tie the other end to the paper clip and "fish" for letters.
- Obstacle Courses - arrange furniture, toys, plastic cups, you name it and have kids go under, over, around, or through. Sometimes we also add in a toss element: set up an empty mixing bowl and a basket full of soft toys such as stuffed animals, and require one to land in the bowl before proceeding
- Crepe Paper Laser Beams - you'll need crepe paper/party streamers (or toilet paper) and masking tape or painter's tape; this could be part of an obstacle course, or its own game; kids take turns going under and over without touching the "laser beams."
And sometimes they end up all wrapped up in the lasers...
- Cards n' Motion - take a regular deck of 52 cards and spread them out on the floor. Assign a motion to each suit (e.g., hearts = jumping jacks, diamonds = twist side to side, spades = march around the room, clubs = windmill your arms). Each player takes turns flipping a card and performing the motion for the number on the card. For example, a player who turns over the 8 of hearts does 8 jumping jacks. You could assign special activities for Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces: Jacks pass the activity to the next player, all the girls do the activity for Queens, all the boys do the activity for Kings, and Aces are all-play. Depending on the age of the children, you could create more or fewer rules. (e.g., collect two Aces during the game and you can change a motion such as change march around the room to crawl around the room; collect a pair and do the activity backwards; etc.)
- Wild Things - each player takes turns calling out an animal; everyone else must walk like that animal & make the sound of that animal.
- Play Simon Says
- Fashion Show - use Halloween costumes, dress-up clothes, or even some of your clothes. Let the kids dress up and then strut their stuff down the "runway". Don't forget the camera. (Boys like to dress up as much as girls! Especially when they get to try on dad's shoes, clothes, and baseball caps.)
- Hop Scotch - use masking tape or painter's tape on your floor to make the hop scotch board, and use a balled-up sock to throw. You can recreate any game subbing masking tape for the chalk you would normally use outdoors: bullseye bowling, tic tac toe, etc. For a Halloween twist, check out the Spiderweb Game.
- Toy Hunt - all but one player leaves the room, and this person is It; the player who is It must hide objects around the room (toy cars, Barbie dolls, large blocks, etc.). Be sure to count the objects before hiding so you know how many to find. Once everything is hidden, the person who is It calls everyone back to start the hunt. The person who finds the most objects is the next to be It.
- Play Balloon Volleyball
- Play Catch with a balled-up sock, a silk scarf, small stuffed animal, or a Koosh-type ball