Keeping the kids entertained indoors on a budget!

Most families have the same problem at some time or other: The bad weather weekend dilemma!

The kids are at home for the weekend or school holidays, you’ve decided to go nowhere in particular as you need to save cash or you’re saving for that bigger family holiday at the end of the year….

“I’m bored, there’s nothing to do” is the usual cry from the younger kids, whilst the older ones won’t emerge from their bedrooms or from behind their screen of choice!

So, what can you do in times like these? The best answers is to try and pretend that modern technology doesn’t exist for a few hours! It’s all too easy to fall back on TV, DVDs, DSs, MP3 players and the ubiquitous internet but the problem is that these are either sedentary or solitary pursuits. If you have to “keep connected” you may all be able to play a Wii game on the TV together but why not rather ask he questions “What would a family in the equivalent position 50 or more years ago have done in the same situation?”

This is a great starting point and – as long as your kids aren’t too cynical – can be part of the fun. Kids generally like pointing out the flaws in what you’re doing – like using an automatic washing machine, or putting stuff in the freezer. Let your mind get creative. It can become like one of those reality TV shows where a family has to live as if it were a time gone by.

Board games are a great solution. How many times did you play board games like Monopoly when you were a child? And how many times have you sat down with your own children to play a board game? For most of us, the former number vastly exceeds the latter, understandably, given the myriad different activities today’s world offers. But there’s nothing quite like the whole family sitting round a physical board game free of all other distractions.

For younger children, simply setting up a table with bits of coloured paper and card, glue, glitter, and stickers and using old packaging like cereal and egg boxes, bottles, toilet roll tubes, Pringles tubes and containers can really encourage imaginative and creative play. Give the kids the overall “brief” to create something you know will fire their imaginations, invite their friends round and say there’s a prize if they’re good enough, then just watch them go.

Some other ideas include:

  • Pack a picnic and put out a blanket on the lounge floor. Invite all the toys of the house to join in!
  • Do you remember building “forts” out of cushions, blankets, chairs and duvets… the possibilities are endless. Just try to ignore the disruption for a few hours and focus on the fun being created!
  • Unpack all your puzzles from the cupboard and see which ones your child is now able to complete.
  • Tip out all the Lego bricks and find the manuals and start rebuilding each one – and then play with all of them once complete!
  • Dig out the wooden blocks, construct a marble or domino run of epic proportions!

What’s your favourite way to spend a day indoors with your kids – no technology allowed? Share it in the comments below!

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

  1. A white-board and a load of different coloured markers. Literally days of pleasure and creative fun for kids and adults alike, and it’s cheap entertainment. Take photos of the results before wiping clean, and keep a gallery of them all.

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