As much as the freezing temperatures and all of that wintry white stuff outside your window may hint otherwise, now is not the time to hibernate! If you are the parent of young children, like we are, you may be faced with some extra indoor time on your hands. “Thank goodness for the internet, TV, and video games,” you say?
Hold it right there!
Here are some fun and easy ideas that will leave a lasting impression on your little ones and have them begging for more. (Sorry!)
- Homemade Play Dough – When was the last time you broke out all those cookie cutters and rolling pins we usually use once per year? Homemade play dough is the perfect way for your child to build those small muscles in their hands that help with writing later on. You can color, scent and texture it for even more fun! Squish, squeeze, plop and pound an afternoon away! Who knows, maybe you will even create something yourself! Check out this homemade play dough recipe and try it today!
- Cooking – Now, who doesn’t love a good pig in a blanket or mini-pizza? Children love to get down and dirty in the kitchen, but the too-busy parent in all of us sometimes has a hard time letting go and surrendering ourselves to the process and the mess. Come on, you can do it! Check out these ideas for kid-friendly meals that they can create on their own with just a little help from you.
- Sidewalk Chalk Paint – I have to assume that we will be able to see the concrete once again in the near future, so here is a must-do for that day. If sidewalk chalk is too “last season” and paint in the house has you in a cold sweat, this three ingredient recipe is a win-win! Not only does it dry quickly, it also washes away from the ground (and skin) easily. It even works great on paper for those days we need to stay inside! Want to get really messy? Try out this amazing baking soda and vinegar paint! Get inspired and look online for more outdoor art projects!
Messy play activates all of a child’s senses and promotes self-expression, self-esteem, social skills, investigation skills, pre-math concepts and physical skills. It really does not matter what types of activities you choose to do with a child so, feel free to stray from these suggestions and come up with something fun on your own. A quick internet search of “messy play” will yield a plethora of ideas! It really is not about what you do, but about the sweet little people you are doing it with.
Now hurry up and go make some memories (and be sure to run a bath for after)!