Since I am relatively new to this stay-at-home mom business, I am finding the cold afternoons difficult to manage. I never thought the hours between 3:30 p.m. when school gets out and 7 p.m. when dad gets home (and operation bedtime commences) could be so long! Although there seems to be a lot of activities that generally fill this time – snack, homework (in that order!), dinner prep, eating and tubbies – it still feels like the most difficult part of the day. I often find myself getting frustrated at the kiddos and overreacting to their cries of boredom.
I decided to do some research and form a plan of attack…a project plan of sorts. All these work skills that I have are still useful! Lately Pintrest has been my go-to for crafting and cooking, so I started there. I found some great ideas and some inspiration. I thought you might be able to use some of these projects for your kiddos…perfect for ages 2 to 6.
Painting in a Bag
Since you know me, you know that I do not enjoy a mess. Seems many activities require so much clean up that it isn’t worth it for me. But this is mess free fun! I poured two colors of paint into a zip lock bag. I asked the kids to tell me what happens when those two colors are mixed. The first baggie was red and yellow. They manipulated the bag, mixing the paint, and shouted – ORANGE! We also did blue/red (purple) and yellow/blue (green). I gave them plastic spoons and they could ‘write’ on the colors as well. Find the instructions here.
We had a big snow storm, it was like 80 below and school was canceled (AGAIN!). What’s a mommy to do? Bring the snow inside! I scooped up big bowls of snow and sat the kids down at the kitchen table for some snow building fun. We played with their plastic animal figures in the snow and made tiny snowmen until the kids hands turned blue. We moved the snow to the sink and added warm water to give our animals bath. They were at this for over 2 hours!!!! No snow? Try shaving cream…a bit messier, but equal fun for the kids. My inspiration.
Cheerios on Spaghetti
I stuck a ball of play dough on the kitchen table and then put dry spaghetti noodles in the ball. I gave each kid a bowl of cheerios and had them stack the cheerios on the noodles. We also added in shorter noodles and did some timed races. Here is another example.
Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls
My kids are a big fans of art projects. Anything and everything. We do a lot of painting, so I decided to give these a Valentine’s theme. We spread paper all over our table and I have them plates with toilet paper rolls. I banded them to make heart stamps in honor of the holiday. You can also try sponges, toy cars, or even fruits/veggies cut in half. They had fun painting with something new. Here is the original posting.
Given all our recent snow days, these have come in handy. The kids thought the activities were fun and I was relieved to have some things planned…it really helped! Now, I just need to find more time to plan activities for us!
PS: I added a page to our blog with these ideas and more. This way we can share ideas! What are some of your favorite indoor activities?