York is full of fun and exciting places to go, but sometimes you just need a day at home! Mumbler has put together a big list of fun activities to do with the kids, most requiring very little equipment and usually things you would have at home already. Enjoy!!
Things to do – Indoors
Junk Modelling This requires nothing other than a pile of recycling – boxes, plastic containers etc – and some glue or tape and paint (depending on how much mess you’re willing to create). This is and easy one, let the kids make anything they want from the materials available.
Scavenger / Treasure Hunt Of course, this takes a little longer to set up than hide and seek but you might create enough time for yourself while they are engaged in this activity to actually drink that cup of tea. For ideas of what to put on the list for the scavenger hunt take a look here.
Hide & Seek Always a good, easy game. I find that if you start the kids off hunting for you at the top of the house you have just enough time to make a quick cup of tea for yourself in the kitchen before they ‘find you’. If the kids are a bit bigger, or the hiding places limited then why not try hiding a teddy or toy, and they have to find that instead. Obviously the smaller the toy the longer they will be kept busy, but may need some clues to stay interested!
Science Experiments Bang Goes The Theory Science Activities. The BBC website is full of lots of fun Science activities from this TV programme aimed at kids. Definitely worth a look if you’re struggling to keep the older ones entertained.
Make Your Own Invisible Ink Write secret messages to each other in invisible ink. When the ink dries you can heat it over a light bulb (adult supervision required) to reveal your message.
What you’ll need: Half a lemon, Water, Spoon, Bowl, Cotton bud, White paper, Lamp or another light bulb. What to do:
Squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and add a few drops of water. Mix the water and lemon juice with the spoon. Dip the cotton bud into the mixture and write a message onto the white paper. Wait for the juice to dry so it becomes completely invisible. When you are ready to read your secret message or show it to someone else, heat the paper by holding it close to a light bulb.
Make A Den Something we all did as children and i’m sure have fond memories of. It doesn’t require any extra equipment as such, a card board box maybe, or use a laundry rack, sheets/blankets and a torch and the fun begins. A picnic in the den can add to the excitement!
Create A Time Capsule Whether its a time capsule for your child to open up themselves in so many years time, or whether its one for someone else to find. Either will require lots of thought, pictures, letters and should fill a decent amount of time.
Laser Beams Stick some cotton or string in a zig zag pattern across the hall or landing to create ‘laser beams’ the kids have to climb through without touching to win some treasure on the other side. Yes, of course you have to have a go first to show them how it’s done!
Home Cinema Close the curtains, get the dvds out, popcorn a the ready and enjoy some home cinema, with the advantage of being able to press pause for a cuppa / loo break.
Shadow Puppets You can make anything you want really from animals to shapes to faces. The kids will have hours of fun making and playing with these. The BBC website has a clip teaching children the science behind it all.
Make musical instruments Get noisy and creative! With bottles / containers / boxes / rice / pasta you can quite easily make something, not necessarily in tune but to provide lots of fun!
Messy Tray Fill a tray with something like shaving foam/ rice/ slime/ flour/ jelly/ ice/ sawdust and hide things in it for them to hunt out or just let them play with it, explore, or get messy! (Ideally do this on a laminate/tiled floor or pop a tablecloth down. Have a towel handy and wipes ready for operation clean up!)
Ice Play Put dinosaurs or small toys into balloons, fill with water, freeze and then let them dig them out or watch them melt to discover what’s in them.
Wallpaper Drawing/Painting Get a roll of lining paper, this allow for large scale drawings, drawing round each others bodies or making paint footprints. The possibilities are endless!
Obstacle Course Crawling under bed sheets, pretend tightrope on skipping ropes/string, jump from rock to rock (pieces of paper/cusions), crawl through a tunnel (card board box) and most importantly don’t touch the floor / lava / water!
Card Making There’s always an occasion on the horizon, someones birthday, anniversary, valentines, easter, a christening or wedding, Plenty of opportunity to make cards and no harm in making a few “just incase” to save any last minute panic.
Teddy bears picnic A nice easy one. Everyone needs to eat lunch, so throw in a blanket, some teddy bears, some books and you have yourself a teddy bears picnic!
Colouring pages Just type in print free colouring pages in any search engine and plenty will come up to choose from, including animals, space, Disney characters etc.
Baking / Cake decorating This can be as basic as chocolate crispy buns, or bake off style show stoppers. If baking is not your thing, why not buy a cake (a plain Victoria sponge/or buns can be bought for a couple of pounds at the supermarket) and try decorating instead. This could be melting chocolate and sticking on sweets, or using coloured icing tubes and sprinkles to decorate.
Homemade Slime There seems to be quite a few slime recipes knocking about, but we have found some Mumbler recommendations to get you started:
“We use a full bottle of glue from hobbycraft, some MENS shaving foam and optrex eye wash as it has the right ingredient in it. It’s a few drops of the eye wash and just keep adding the shaving foam until it is at the correct consistency”
“Shaving foam, eye cleanser, glue and glitter”
Home Theatre Plenty of rehearsal time will be required before they put on a show for you! This could involve fancy dress, acting out a storybook or film, singing or showing off their recently learnt dance or ninja warrior skills.
Match box challenge How many things can you fit in one?! Maybe one for the slightly older ones with the small items.
Games session Dig out the board games, old or new and have a family gaming session! This can obviously be altered depending upon the age of the child and the games you have, but can range from snap, orchard games to monopoloy, operation, hangman, noughts & crosses,pie face or the more advanced chess or trivial pursuit.
Things to do – In the Garden
Chalk Drawings You can pick up a box of chunky chalk cheaply now. No cleaning up required, just wait for the rain to wash it away!
Water painting on the fence Apparently this has the potential to keep little people busy for hours! All that’s required is a bucket of water and a paint brush and point them at the fence!!
Paddling pool Ok so it can take a while to fill if you don’t have a hose pipe and does obviously require supervision throughout, but all kids love a paddling pool don’t they?! Try adding some plastic toys, or even plastic cups/bowls/empty bottles so they can do lots of poring.
Bug Hunt Send them hunting! They could draw what they find, photograph it or capture them briefly in an ice cream tub to show you.
Make an obstacle course Much the same as an indoor obstacle course, but you make have access to a little more space. This could incorporate any garden toys/equipment you have out like the paddling pool or slide.
Grow some flowers Sunflowers always seem to be the popular choice, but there’s no reason why the children can’t help with planting any sorts of flowers.
Grow & pick tomatoes or other easy veg A great way to learn about where fruit and vegetables come from and there’s nothing more exciting then when they grow (fingers crossed!) eating them up!!
Play Bubbles Big bubbles, little bubbles, popping bubbles, bubble machines = lots of bubble fun!!
The National Trust website have lots of lovely outdoor ideas too, some suitable for the garden but some more suitable for a park.
Any other ideas?! Let us know!!
We hope this list has been useful and you manage to entertain the little ones for a few hours!
If you have any ideas of easy family activities that can be done at home, do let us know so we can add it to the list!! Contact us HERE