The next time the rain has you stuck indoors, use this activity guide to keep everyone entertained (why not add it to your bookmarks). We’ve compiled our six favourite educational indoor activities that will take everyone’s mind off the wet weather and on to learning in a fun way.
1. Play Board Games
‘You mean games without a computer?!’ Yup, that’s right. Board games are a great social activity that gets children’s minds working. Why not up the stakes a little and give prizes out to the winner and the runner-up? Some of our favourite educational board games for children include:
- Monopoly Junior – great for older kids and teaches them about money.
- Snakes and Ladders – a classic counting game played with dice.
- Pictionary – a good way to get those creative juices flowing. Helps increase vocabulary too.
- Jenga – kids love the anticipation of removing cubes from the stack. This is a good game for improving fine motor skills and spatial awareness.
- Frustration – another classic that tests children’s adding and subtracting skills.
2. Make Some Music
You don’t need to be musical maestro to have fun making music. In fact, you don’t need any musical talent at all. As long as you can keep a basic rhythm, making music can be a creative and rewarding activity for your children.
Some instruments that are great for making tuneful noises with include:
- A harmonica
- A xylophone
If you’re able to play an instrument yourself, use it as the basis for exploring different rhythms. Have your child (or children) accompany you on their instrument of choice and encourage them to try and keep the beat with you. Try experimenting with different speeds and use harmonics to vary the volume of the music.
If you’re feeling particularly creative, you could even make instruments with the kids. Shakers are easily made with two yoghurt pots and some rice, and pots and pans make great drum sounds. And of course, there’s always the good old comb and scissors, or elastic band and match box.
For some inspiration, check out this video on making your own instruments:
Children love any sort of messy play, especially if it involves food. Baking with children can be great fun and educational too. Let them choose a recipe (cupcakes are always a good choice) and take them shopping to buy the ingredients. As you collect your shopping, have them write down and add up the cost of all the items in your basket.
When you arrive home, have them read the instructions aloud and measure out the correct quantities. When it comes to comes to mixing etc. get them really involved and don’t worry too much about the mess – it’s all part of the fun. Before you put your recipe in the oven, ask them to work out what time the cakes will need to come out, and when they do, get them involved in the decoration.
4. Play Card Games
Card games are great for improving a child’s numeracy and concentration. And because card games are interactive, they’re a great way to spend a rainy day indoors. Some of our favourite card games to play with children include:
Snap – The cards are split between players. Each player takes a turn at placing the card from the top of their pile into the middle. If two cards with the same number end up together on the pile, the first one to shout ‘Snap!’ and place their hand over the cards in the centre wins all the cards in the pile. The winner is the one with all the cards at the end.
Old Maid – All the queens are taken out the deck, except from one. The cards are split equally between players. Taking turns, one person holds their cards in a fan with the pictures facing them. The person beside them chooses one card. The game continues in this way for an agreed period of time. The person who ends up with the ‘old maid’ queen card is the loser.
Predictions – One person has the deck of cards. The others take turns to guess what the next turned over card will be. Those who guess correct, get to keep the card. The winner is the person with the most cards after a set period of time.
5. Make Cardboard Clocks
We’ve already written a post about how to teach children to tell the time. As part of the learning process, a fun activity is to make cardboard clocks. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Paper plates
- Cardboard (for hands)
- Butterfly fasteners
Have your kids cut out clock hands from the cardboard, ensuring that they’re the right length to reach the end of the plate - they can colour the hands in too. Then, have them write numbers one to twelve on the plate as they would appear on a clock face. Fasten the two hands to the centre of the plate using the butterfly fasteners and voila – you have yourself a cardboard clock.
You can then test your child’s knowledge by asking them to set different times. For older children, you can ask them to set a time, then ask them to move the hands backwards or forwards by a certain time period.
6. Practice Letter Writing
When we say ‘letter writing’, we mean letters that can be sent to people in the post. Nowadays, it’s quite unusual to receive a handwritten letter in the post, which is why this activity is extra special. Demonstrate to your children, the correct way of writing a letter, including where to put the sender’s address, the date, and where to write the recipient’s name.
Have the children decide who they’d like to write to (a friend or relative is ideal, especially if they know the address) and have them think about what they’d like to say. If they’re stuck for ideas, they can simply tell the recipient about their day, or perhaps tell them about an event they’re looking forward to in the future.
Once the letter has been written, have them write the recipient’s address on the envelope and stick the stamp in the correct corner. You can even take the letters to the nearest post box (once the rain stops).
Letter writing is a great way for kids to practice their handwriting skills. It’s also a good way of developing written language and vocabulary.
At Edu Prints Plus, we create educational posters for kids that look as great on bedroom walls as they do in the classroom. If you’re looking for vocabulary prints or times tables posters, we have a great selection to choose from in a variety of colours. All of our posters are high quality, and they’re printed on thick 350 gsm art card. They have a fantastic velvet finish and they have added protection, just in case the baking gets a little out of hand.
Here are two of our favourite prints from our collections:
And remember, for every four prints you buy, you’ll get the fifth one free - all with free worldwide shipping.