1. Game time on a smartphone or tablet
A go-to option for many parents and caregivers in this digital age is to let a child play away the day on a smartphone or tablet. There are a handful of educational games great for learning, and many recreational games great for building dexterity. This is a perfect option to kill some time with minimal effort required from the parent or caregiver.
2. Make a fort
A treasured childhood memory for many and a frequent feature in film and television is the humble pillow fort. It’s fun to put together, and even more fun to use. Contrary to its name, it can be made of just about anything from sheets, to cardboard boxes. It’s good to supervise your kids while they build it, but this is also an activity that a kid (depending on their age) can do on their own.
3. Cooking/ baking
Have your cake and eat it too by getting the kids involved in the kitchen. Start with a simple recipe like fairy bread, which doesn’t really involve cooking so much as it involves just assembling ingredients. Alternatively, try some brownies or muffins – they involve lots of mixing and stirring which plenty of kids love, and there is a delicious treat to enjoy at the end of all the hard work. Be sure to prep the ingredients beforehand to avoid any potential baking mishaps like mixing up the salt and the sugar.
4. Movie marathon
A movie marathon is a very engaging way to spend countless hours. If you happen to have done some baking with the kids, then you can enjoy your home-made treats while you watch. Working through all the Disney animated films can take days, so it’s a sure-fire way to take up time. You can even take the opportunity to introduce the kids to old favourites from your childhood, making the movie marathon a fun experience for you too.
5. Arts and crafts
A great way to keep your kids busy for hours is to get them working on a little arts and crafts project. It can be as simple as clipping out pictures and words from the newspaper, then sticking them into a notebook. You can also take on something more challenging like a diorama or finger-painting. Whether it results in a work of art or a bit of a mess, everyone still had fun and learnt new things along the way.
6. Write letters
A simple way to keep up a child’s reading and writing ability when they are out of school is by writing letters to friends and family members. It helps with handwriting, vocabulary, and spelling. Receiving a letter can be quite a rare treat these days, so if you set up a pen-pal type relationship with friends and family, it can also be lots of fun for your child when they receive letters in response.
7. Board games
Board games are a tried and tested entertainment option to combat boredom when you’re stuck indoors. There are so many board games out there that it’s easy to find one suitable for any age group. It’s also easy to find board games that range in their time-to-play. A game like Monopoly, for example, can go on for days if you bend the rules a bit. On the other hand, a game of checkers can take 15-20 minutes. Even if you don’t own any board games, you can find digital equivalents with a quick search in the Apps Store or Google Play. Board games often require players to use problem-solving skills and creativity to make decisions, so (like many of the things on this list) they play a dual role as both entertaining and educational.
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