Ways Children Ward of Indoor Blues

Back at it again! My office is usually in my room because it has a little bit of solitude away from noise and distractions when all three kids are out of school like yesterday. However, I went out on a whim and decided to be apart of the family (since my children fight for my attention) so I brought my work out to the living room.

Peace and quiet to begin with.

My oldest sitting to my left watching what I was doing in complete content.
My two youngest children playing cars on my right side.

AND THEN…..
I BLINKED……

Yeah that’s all it takes before my two youngest children start bickering with my daughter yelling and complaining about her brother being rude fighting over a piece of paper.
So, I shift them to a different seating arrangement because they all want to be close to me like they’re deprived of attention. Not the case I will have you know.
My youngest sits to my right, my middle child sits in between my legs and my oldest son continues to sit to my left.

NOT FOR LONG

All my kids get sent out of the room because they all end up dog piling each other on my couch to the left with my oldest being the instigator.

What happened to children building stick forts outside?

My children have scheduled time on the game systems in our house or watching movies because we don’t have cable. They have totes full of army men, legos and other toys in their room but currently don’t play with them.

I mean every sibling argues and I know I’m not the only one with days like these that try to get work done and all that is happening around you is chaos or constant complaining that they’re bored.

Here’s a few neat ideas for your children to play by themselves and indoor stuff. I got these ideas from Pinterest and a box of 400 Terrific Ideas.

INDOOR STUFF

Use a laundry basket or crate to store the following:
crayons, scissors, tempera paint, newsprint or white paper, colored construction paper, tape, while all-purpose glue, empty containers (yogurt cups, margarine tubs), old sheet to protect area, large shirt or smock, markers, string, brushes. Can find all these at the dollar store.

Stick Puzzle
You need: 8 to 10 wooden ice-cream sticks, tape, markers
Wash and dry sticks. Place the sticks next to each other, and put a strip of tape securely across the sticks. Number the sticks in order. Turn the sticks over, and draw a picture on them with crayons markers. Remove the tape, mix up the sticks, and try to put your drawing back in order again without looking at the numbers on the back. Or challenge a friend or family member to reassemble your puzzle.

Plastic-Foam Models
You need: toothpicks, ruler, scissors, plastic-foam trays
Use a ruler to draw squares, rectangles, and triangles on some plastic-foam trays. Draw circles by tracing around small drinking glasses or jar lids. Cut out the pieces. Stick toothpicks into the foam to build your models. Models can be taken apart, so you can use the pieces again. If you decide to keep one of your models permanently, dip the ends of the toothpicks into white glue before putting them in place.

My Town
You need: poster board, markers, game pieces
Draw a board that looks similar to Monopoly, but name the streets after those in your town (or use your imagination for a western town or something). Instead of buying railroads, players could purchase banks or theaters around town. Along with buying houses and hotels, players who buy the right streets could purchase fast-food restaurants, discount stores, and so on. Create your own cards of chance. One might read: You have just eaten in the ___________. Your bill is $35. The player who receives this card must pay the owner of the restaurant. Borrow tokens, houses, hotels, dice and money from other games (or make your own). Use the items for stores, restaurants and so on. Buttons, coins, or bottle caps might work.

Lego Color Hunt
You have to try this one, it is a kid-favorite and super easy to execute. Select 4 pieces of colored construction paper and then collect 10 Lego pieces that match each one (ie. 10 yellow Lego pieces for a yellow piece of paper). Now hide all of the Lego pieces in one room/area of your house and lay out the colored paper on a table or the floor nearby. Start the clock and have your kid(s) start hunting.

Once they’ve found a Lego, they need to return it to the piece of paper that matches in color. See how long it takes them to find them all (tell them there’s 10 of each color so they can count to see if they’re missing any themselves), and then re-hide so they can try to get a lower time. (editor’s note: for my 2 older kids I hid 5 Duplo Legos and 5 regular Legos of each color and then assigned them a size – that way they each had the opportunity to find the same amount…and big brother couldn’t sweep them all up leaving little sis with nothing!)

Once they’ve had enough of the game, challenge them to have a little quiet time and make a cool rainbow structure out of the legos.

Puzzle Piece Hunt
This is a genius idea courtesy of No Time For Flash Cards. Hide all the pieces of a wooden board puzzle and have your child search for them – returning each piece to the board as they go. This game gets them moving, and their brain working at the same time, and kids love having a goal to complete. They’ll beg you to hide them again!

ABC Hunt
Have your kids go around the house with a basket, collecting items that start with each letter of the alphabet (A for apple, B for Barbie, C for Crayola, etc) – give them a checklist to mark off each one as they go. Time them so they run!

Scavenger Hunt
Use this Scavenger Hunt Printable from Living and Life Designed to send your kids on a fun hunt around the house collecting various items that you’ve listed. Make it fun by including specific things like “your favorite bath toy” or “a pink sock” to more general categories like “something that begins with the letter T”. And yes, set that timer!

Flash Light Scavenger Hunt
If you have a room that can get sufficiently dark by turning off the lights and closing the blinds, send your kids on a Flash Light Scavenger Hunt where they have to find certain hidden items in the dark using a flashlight. Kids go crazy for this one! (via Hands On As We Grow)

Life-size Book Maze
This creative idea from Preschool Powol Packets uses books (but other household items: clothing, brooms, and sports equipment like bats and sticks would all work well) to create a large-scale maze that will challenge your kids to find their way out. Once they have the hang of it, have them crawl, hop, or walk backwards through it! This one is great for preschoolers to work on their spatial awareness and problem solving skills – in addition to getting them up and moving.

I have saved many more ideas on my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/astronglife1593/. Click on Things to do with children.

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