With four kids at home all day, every day, I have to use every brain cell to come up with ideas to keep them entertained. When the sun is shining it’s easy—we can head to the park, bounce on the trampoline, pack up a picnic, or go to the beach. The kids can run around and make as much noise as they like, and I can sit and watch. Now that autumn is just around the corner, the weather here is starting to get a little bit cooler and a little bit wetter. We find ourselves spending more time indoors, which means I need to pull out my mum super powers and find new ways to entertain them.
Being trapped indoors watching the rain fall down makes my children restless. While there is nothing wrong with a movie on a rainy day, I don’t like to go to the TV first to entertain them. If you’re feeling stressed out at trying to entertain your children, here are my top three store cupboard crafts that are always guaranteed to keep my kids entertained. They’ve all been given the seal of approval by all my girls—from the twelve year old down to the six year old!
Good old playdough—it’s been my saviour on many a rainy day. While it’s not expensive to buy, it’s so easy to make your own (and fun too). You can easily whip up a batch when you wake up to rain. Suitable for any age from toddlers upward—I’ve even been known to join in the fun!
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup salt
- 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
- 1 cup boiling water
- food colouring
Mix the dry ingredients together, add the food colouring, stir in the water, and mix until it becomes a dough. Leave to cool for a minute or two until you can handle it and then knead vigorously for a couple of minutes.
It’s easy to split this into two or three bowls and make up smaller amounts of different colours. You could mix in some glitter, some flower petals or herbs, or even seeds to change the texture! Try adding some spices or essential oils to make it a sensory experience. Give your child a rolling pin, some cookie cutters, mini shells, and googly eyes, and let their imagination run away!
Store Cupboard Collage
If your kids are anything like mine, they love glueing and sticking! Collage making is great fun—and you can raid your cupboards for lots of interesting items to use.
- pasta shapes
- pearl barley
- poppy seeds
- junk mail
- old wrapping paper
- wool remnants
- scrap paper
Pop an assortment of items on the table. I like to use a muffin tin, filling each section with something different. Give them some paper and glue and let them make a mess! You could even use a colouring picture for them to collage, or write their name in bubble letters for them to decorate.
Toilet Roll Characters
If your household is anything like mine, you get through a crazy amount of toilet roll, which means you end up with a mountain of empty toilet roll tubes. We always hang on to ours as they’re a great craft supply to have. One of my girls’ favourite things to use them for is this—making people, animals, or storybook characters out of them! They’re fun and quick to make and a great way of using up some of those toilet rolls tubes! We recently made these tube doll versions of some of the characters from the book Where the Wild Things Are. Here’s a quick how to:
To make your doll, take a tube and pinch down the top on each side—this creates the “ears.” Then decorate with paints, fabric, paper—anything you like! Add in detail with marker pen once any paint is dry. Once you’ve made your tube dolls, they are great for imaginative play. Why not encourage your child to put on a play or act out the story the characters are from?
More Indoor Activities for Kids: