Rainy and cold weekends are the biggest enemies of children, but you can always offer them some creative activity to overcome boredom. Many craft projects require preparation and shopping beforehand, but what to do if they are hungry for some entertainment RIGHT NOW? Here are some of the things we usually do when bicycle riding is not an option.
photo via design*sponge
THE MAGIC CRAFT BOX
I have a box in which I collect all kinds of papers like colorful wrapping, newspapers, catalogs, scrap papers and small cardboard boxes. Every time I find something nice, I put it in the box. When we open it, it is always full of surprises and it is a great way to recycle paper. Some time ago we made an underwater scene from scrap paper, but what else can you do from it?
- Make paper food
We have a couple of round shaped cardboard sheets (from pizza packaging) that are great to turn into a pizza or a cake. The children can paint the cardboard bases, draw and cut out various pizza toppings like mozzarella, tomato, salami, pepperoni, etc. (or strawberry, lemon or icing if you want to make a cake) from colored paper and glue them on the base. PRONTO! (Alternatively they can cut out the picture of vegetables from a grocery store catalog.)
- Play theatre
We made this yesterday and the kids loved it. We chose one of their favorite stories and created the characters (in our case a rabbit, a sheep, a donkey and the deer) and the main objects (in our case a carrot, a cabbage, a sweet potato and a turnip :-)) from paper. I let them draw and paint them so they ended up looking a bit weird, but in this way they could be part of the preparation! Then we sticked them to a straw and the play could begin. I read the story out loud and they played it with the little paper characters. We had great fun!
(My advice: if your kids are small, choose a simple story with only a few characters)
- Organize a fun photoshoot for toys
My kids are getting more and more interested in photography and they love to take photos of their toys. Why not turn it into a real photoshoot? They could create and decorate a nice background using paper scaps and/or newspaper pages and they can create the setting they want with their favorite toys. Use different backgrounds for different types of toys! In our case it would be Star Wars, Hot Wheeels, Transformers, but I am pretty sure that we should make one for plush animals, too! (On the next level you tell a whole story with the pictures and turn them into a cartoon...)
- Create a collage
This is a really simple activity, but my kids love cutting! Give them a catalog or a newspaper and let them put together their own collage. Our favorite theme is a Christmas tree decorated with ormanents cut out from last year's IKEA Christmas catalog with a sea of toys underneath (cut out from a toy catalog)! It works any time of the year, believe me!
- Organize a treasure hunt
This requires more time, effort and imagination from the parents, but the children simply love it! Draw a simple map of your house in manner of a treasure map (indicate the doors, windows and furniture). In a box put together some items they would love (I usually use sweets, drinks, fruits or some small gifts if I have something) and hide it. Indicate different spots on the map from 1 to 10 with 10 being the place of the treasure box. Let them follow the spots and give them a simple assignment at every spot. They can go to the next one only if they successfully complete the challenge! I usually ask them to perform some physical activity, answer some questions, find different objects in the house, etc. Be careful, this activity is addictive! They will want to play it over again and again!!
These ideas might seem obvius to you, but I hope that at least I could inspire you to come up with many more simple and easy ideas for long and rainy weekends! If you have ideas like that feel free to leave a comment!