Outdoor activities are great; kids can enjoy the weather, get some physical activity and play with friends. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always like to cooperate with your plans. If you’re stuck with ditching your plans for the great outdoors for indoor activities, don’t worry – every babysitter or nanny has been there. While you may feel like your perfect day is ruined, there’s no need to fret – there are plenty of fun activities to do indoors that will keep kids active and entertained.
1. Host a Talent show
Kids love being the centre of attention and showing you what they’re good at – what better way to let them showcase their talents than with a talent show? You can make a day of it by making decorations and costumes, setting up chairs for the audience, making snacks and refreshments, the list goes on. Then, they can perform their songs, dances, magic tricks and more for you!
2. Bake Cookies
or prepare a meal
If you have the permission of the parents, have the kids help bake cookies. Show them how to measure ingredients, mix up batter and pre-heat the oven (be sure to also tell them about safety in the kitchen!). Have them make different shapes or numbers and letters with the batter for personalized treats!
Don’t have the ingredients for cookies? Have them help make lunch or dinner! Pizza, salad or even sandwiches are all relatively easy meals for kids to start in the kitchen. These dishes can also be personalized with ingredients specific to each child.
3. Put on a Play
Putting on short skits and plays are easy ways to occupy children when the weather isn’t great. Try writing words on pieces of paper, folding them up and putting them in a bowl. Have the kids pull a piece out (no peeking!) and put on a skit about the word you’ve written. Give them 5 minutes to come up with their skit and present it.
If you wanted to go all the way, you could help them organize an entire production for their parents when they return home, complete with full script, costumes, and makeup. Their parents will love it!
4. Play Hide and Seek
An oldie but a goodie! Hide and seek is a great game for kids of all ages. Just remember to set boundaries for where the children can and can’t go, and have a whistle you can blow or a safe word that you can yell so they know when the game is over.
5. Have a Video Game Tournament
I know what you’re thinking – video games and electronics seem like an easy, default solution for rainy weather. But, there are plenty of games that require physical activity while keeping kids entertained.
Here are two of the most popular video games for fun tournaments
Wii Fit – Wii Fit offers hundreds of simulated games and activities. Each game or task awards the participant points based on how well or fast they complete it. Why not do a Wii Olympics with the kids you’re watching? You can also alter the difficulty within the game to make sure older kids don’t have an advantage. Similar games include Xbox Fitness, Shape Up and more
Dance Dance Revolution – this video game is just like the arcade game you may remember from your own childhood! Users have to keep in beat to dance moves and rhythm to get points – it really works up a sweat! There are several similar games as well (that work with various consoles) like Just Dance and Step Up.
6. Build an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses can be a blast for children of all ages. Use the whole house, one floor, or even one room. You can involve more than just physical activity, as well. Try incorporating a word search, math problem or a page in a colouring book. You can make it even more fun by involving the kids in making the course, or having a prize for the winner (this could be as simple as letting the winner choose the next activity, picking a movie to watch as a reward, choosing the menu for lunch, etc.)
7. Do What You Were Planning Outdoors, Indoors!
Try to make whatever you were planning to do outdoors work inside. Obviously, it won’t be exactly the same, but by using your imagination, you can come pretty darn close, and the kids will have just as much fun.
Planned on having a picnic in the park? — Have a picnic in the living room and watch a movie.
Wanted to go to the zoo? — Have the kids set up their own zoo using their toys and stuffed animals.
Planned on going to the beach? — Consider a trip to the public pool.
8. Go to an Indoor Playground
If you still want to get out of the house with the kids you’re babysitting, consider taking them to a nearby indoor playground. There are so many options to choose from including trampoline parks, jungle gyms, ball parks, etc. These are often very inexpensive – sometimes free – and are great for kids to expend their energy and have fun. Check your city’s website for locations and operating hours.
These are just a few of many activities that you can do when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with your plans. If you’re stuck, ask the children (or their parents) what their favourite indoor activities are, check out some blogs, or scour Pinterest for great ideas. Just remember, no one can rain on your parade unless you let them, and the most important thing is that the children are having fun!
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