As social distancing and quarantine continues and the East Coast is dealing with a tropical storm, many of us continue to be stuck inside. And, if you are like me, you are running out of new ideas to keep the kids (and myself) from getting stir crazy. So, I am reposting some indoor activity ideas.

Stimulate the senses: sensory toys utilize the five senses and encourages a child’s curiosity and self-expression. They can also be very calming and are often very useful with very active children (as long as you are careful not to overstimulate). Sensory balls, scented bubbles, water play and musical instruments are all examples of sensory toys. But, here are some ways to create your own sensory toys at home (the process of making them can be an activity in and of itself).

– Fun in a box.
Fill a box, plastic bin or cookie sheet with dried food such as beans, pasta or rice (with a spill mat underneath to catch the mess). Let your child explore using kitchen tools (measuring spoons, cups and funnels) or create a construction site with diggers, bulldozers and dump trucks.

– Create your own fill and spill toy. Grab a bucket, empty box or large cup and place soft, child safe items or toys in the bucket and let your child spill them out and fill them back up (you would be amazed how long that can go on!)

– Guess what? Fill a bag or a box with toys or household objects. Without looking, let your reach in and feel for an object and guess what it is. If your child is not verbal yet, just enjoy the process of feeling for a toy and pulling it out to see what it is. To enhance learning, describe the way the object looks and feels.

Get Crafty: Rainy days are great for getting creative. If you are worried about your artistic talents, remember that for children it is about the process and not the product, so have fun!

– Get ready for the holidays: make your own holiday decorations, cards, wrapping paper, gift bags.

– Create a mosaic: let your child rip up different color paper (or magazines), then glue the pieces onto a separate paper.

– Stuck with boxes until recycling day? Cut out doors and windows and make houses from those boxes. Let your child decorate the house with paints, markers and stickers.

– Children love to cook and bake! Probably won’t work if you lost power. Give your child their own safe tasks (including helping clean up the mess!)

-Make your own play dough. Here are some recipes (some don’t require cooking if you lose power). For added sensory stimulation, add essential oils to make it aromatic.

Oldies but Goodies: These classics can cure boredom:

– Turn your living room into a fort.
– Play hide-and-go-seek. For a new spin on an old game: hide a toy or stuffed animal and go looking for it together.
– Go on a scavenger hunt: create a list of items for your child to find around the house.
– Enjoy old games like “simon says”, “red light/green light” or “mother may I”. Not only are these games great for rainy days, but they teach regulation and listening skills.

Please share your ideas by commenting here. I could use some new ones for our snow day today!!