A simple glance at the weather report every morning is enough to have us lunging for the air-conditioning remote. With temperatures soaring high this summer, we’re looking for ways to stay indoors and that means finding ways to keep the kids entertained at home as well. From fun arts and crafts to the best games to play with the family, here are some of our favourite at home activities for the kids.
Arts and Crafts
Keep your kiddos creative this summer! Luckily, Dubai’s home to a great number of places to score materials for the tots and we’ve got a few great arts and crafts DIYs you can take a peek at here. Pinterest is also an endless abyss of kids’ activities and crafts like this cute Jackson Pollock painting, so you’ll never be lost for things to do. The Happy Box and KenziBox are also two great homegrown companies that deliver educational arts and crafts activities to your door, complete with all the materials and a massive smile.
Bake Your Heart Out
As Junior MasterChef has shown us, you’re never too young to be a whizz in the kitchen (with a bit of adult supervision, of course). There’s recipes to spare on the internet, but we’re personally huge fans of baking blogger Gina’s delicious creations which she’s whipped up with her sons.
Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s time to get in the tub! A bath’s a great way to cool off after being in the sun all day and get the kids squeaky clean, add bubbles and you have a unique sensory experience as well. For a real spin on bathtime, why not dim the lights and give the tots some glowsticks for a bit of a rave?
The house might be a bit of a mess after this one, but this whimsical past time is always loads of fun. Grab as many blankets as you can and get your children involved in helping create a little hidey hole right in your front lounge – Ikea does fantastic battery powered fairy lights you can safety pin along the ceiling for an extra special touch.
Upcycle plastic water bottles by filling with sand and painting on the outside – then grab a tennis ball et voila you have your very own indoor bowling kit!
Cardboard Stair Slide
Got stairs? Grab some big boxes, flatten them and make a cardboard stair slide – tape to one side of the wall with duct or painters tape, leave the other side untaped so that the kids can fold it back to climb back up and make sure to put a pile of soft blankets and cushions at the bottom to catch your little sliders. Oh and a bike helmet is probably a good idea just in case – safety first and all that.
Shake your tail feathers, mama! Spotify’s got a number of great family friendly playlists perfect for you and the tot to bust a move, some of our favourite songs for the kids include Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Happy by Pharrell. Who doesn’t love a bit of a song and dance in the kitchen?
Design Your Own T-Shirt
Grab a few cheap shirts from one of the markets and some non-toxic fabric paint for your own home version of Project Runway. Let your children go wild making the shirt of their dreams and the more materials the better; sequins and feathers are always a big hit. Don’t forget to run your own runway show at the end of it so everyone gets a chance to show off their creations!
What’s more enchanting than living out a real life fairytale? Break out that flouncy dress and make a tiara out of tin foil, stick a metal colander helmet on your kiddo’s head and those Halloween devil horns on your dog – practically a storybook in the making.
Some people argue that board/card games have had their day, but we’re not convinced. Playing a round or two is a great way to bring the whole family together (or tear everyone apart, if Monopoly’s involved) and will keep your kids on their toes intellectually as well. Not sure which ones to pick? Cluedo, Match the Penguins, Settlers of Catan and Uno are amongst our favourites.
Help Round the House
Now here’s something that’s a little more practical! Get the kids to help out round the house, whether it’s taking charge of the feather duster or colour co-ordinating laundry. It’s a great way to get them involved in basic household tasks and helps them understand just how much work goes into keeping the house spotless.
Hide and Seek
98…99…100! Ready or not, here we come! Hide and Seek’s always a blast especially if you’ve got a house full of nooks and crannies. While it might be a little more difficult for mom and pops to hide, we’re sure you’ll wind up finding the kids in the most bizarre places.
Plant up a mini indoor garden with the kids – perfect for fairies or dinosaurs to roam in – they’ll love the planting part as much as the make-believe games afterwards. So you might get a little soil on the floor but it’s so worth it.
Paper Airplane Tournaments
Grab a big piece of coloured paper and cut some shapes in it to make little goals, all scored differently, and find a place to hang it in the house Sit down with the kiddos and fold a handful of airplanes and see who can score the most points!
Just because it’s blazing outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own picnic inside! Clear a space in the lounge and lay down your favourite blanket, break out the baskets and stock up on the family’s favourite food. It’ll put a fun spin on eating at home rather than just sitting at the dining table.
Photographers in Training
The next time you’re out and about, pick up a couple of disposable cameras for the kiddos and go on little photography expeditions round the house. While we don’t recommend handing them your hefty DSLR, it’s a great way to get them thinking creatively and focusing on the world around them. Plus, they’ll be absolutely chuffed when you bring back the photos from the developers.
Make your own mamas! All you need is…
- 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
- food colouring (optional)
- few drops glycerine (optional- adds more shine!)
- Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
- Add food colouring TO the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (colour optional)
- Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
- Add the glycerine (optional) and if you want it sparkly then add glitter (we love!)
- Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. (If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)
Save a bit of cash on fancy store-bought popsicles and make your own! Crank out the juice and the ice cube trays – all you have to do is fill up the tray with your tot’s fave drink, stick a toothpick into each slot and let them freeze for a few hours. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with it either, whip up your own homemade juices with real fruit chunks or yoghurt for more of a fro-yo experience.
Practice Letter Writing
Get creative with the way the kiddos learn to write letters! Using sugar, salt or shaving foam, fill a tray and get your child to draw out letters in it using their fingers or a stick. It’s a much more sensory way of learning and it always helps to print out each of the letters so the tots have a reference.
Send the kids on a mission to find stuff around the house – anything from objects in certain colours to things beginning with specified letters or made of a particular material – they’ll love the challenge (and you’ll love a few minutes to yourself while they’re off hunting for something soft, sticky, smelly or whatever it is you’ve chosen!).
Yeah, you know that iconic sequence from Mission Impossible where Tom Cruise dodges lasers left and right? Bring that back home with a little bit less danger by covering a hallway in red strings as lasers and watch the kids try and work their way out without touching them.
Everybody, get into your pyjamas! Have a sleepover in the lounge with the whole family complete popcorn, ice cream and cuddles galore – combine it with a film and a blanket fort and you’re golden.
Watch a Film
Yeah, it’s not entirely a novel idea but it always does the job when mama needs a second to herself. Stick on a great Disney or Pixar film, make some popcorn and turn your living room into a private cinema experience for the tots. Sick of seeing Frozen again? Here’s 10 non-Disney films the kids will love.
Write a Letter
There’s nothing grandpa and grandma love more than hearing from their grandkids and writing a letter is a great way to spend an afternoon at home. Break out the fancy stationery, glitter pens and stickers and make it fun.
Got any other indoor fun ideas? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org