Guest Post! Creative, Expressive Fun: Educational Activities Kids Can Enjoy Indoors


Written By: Jenny Wise

Most parents have been through one of those days where the rain just never lets up and the kids, frustrated and trapped inside for hours, never give up causing trouble. At times like that, it’s difficult to tell who’s more anxious for a couple hours of sunshine and clear skies, the kids or Mom and Dad. It’s a person of true vision and foresight who keeps a few ideas in store for fun and educational indoor activities when they’re out of other options and the kids won’t stop fighting over the gaming controls.

At a time like that, it takes real creativity and inspiration to come up with a Plan B when Monopoly, Pictionary and Boggle just aren’t doing the job. There are always plenty of YouTube exercise videos or play-along music lessons, many of which are specifically designed for children. But sometimes, kids need to have their creative impulse tweaked a little with activities that draw on their ingenuity and inspire them to create something really unique.

Fun with math!

Yes, kids can have fun with math applications, so long as you make them relatable to everyday situations – HomeAdvisor’s lesson plans collection has lots of great examples. For just $4.99, download the app Time, Money & Fractions On-Track. This software program guides kids through fun, interactive audio/visual exercises that teach them things they’d normally roll their eyes at in school. Funny animal noises, lots of color and animation help keep them engaged. For exactly $1, have them give Math Evolve a try, another fun and educational interactive game. If you’re into activities that are free of charge, visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children websites for a wide selection of math games.

Vivid colors – make your own

Kids may love to color and draw, but the same old crayons and colored pens do tend to lose their luster after a while. Ask your children if they’d be interested in a little artwork if they got to make their own colors this time. That’s right, create their very own colors, as bright and vivid as they care to make them. It’s fun and doesn’t take long. With a few ordinary household items, including white vinegar, light corn syrup, cornstarch, baking soda, and gel food coloring, your kids can create the brightest water colors imaginable. With some paper and a few brushes, you’ve got the makings of a genuine home art studio. Not only can you make them as vivid as you like, it’s even cheaper than going out and buying art supplies or stocking up on crayons or pens that will get used once or twice before they’re forgotten. It’s a creative and educational rainy day activity that the kids may want to turn into an everyday happening.

Illuminated stories

This is another easy, fun and inexpensive way to get the kids’ creative juices going and get them to collaborate. All you need are a few empty glass jars (pickle, sauerkraut, beets or anything that comes in a wide glass container will work) and kids willing to write and illustrate a story on a white piece of paper. Insert a small candle into the jar and light it, then glue the paper on the side and watch the stories light up … literally.

Fun with marbles

Have you ever wondered why you’ve been hanging onto all those marbles your kids haven’t played with in years? Not only are they a hazard to household foot traffic, they’re a choking risk for the family pet. But don’t chuck them in the wastecan quite yet. Instead, grab the paint, a few pieces of white paper, and a baking sheet or paint-rolling pan. Lay paper in the pan, douse the marbles in different colors of paint, and turn them loose in the pan, moving it around so each marble leaves a nice long trail behind it. You’ll end up with a piece of avantgarde artwork that defies classification – maybe a cross between Warhol and Pollock – and is suitable for framing!

Time for science

If they need a break from all that artistic self-expression, why not dip into the world of science with the “Magic Milk” experiment, which produces globs of color? You’ll need food coloring, liquid dish soap, cotton swabs, whole milk and a couple of small bowls. Pour a little milk in a shallow dish, add a few drops of food coloring to the milk, apply a cotton swab to the mixture and listen to the oohs and aahs as the colors explode.

It’s amazing how much fun can be had with a couple clicks of the mouse or a few simple household items you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to. The best part about do-it-yourself indoor fun (other than keeping frustrated kids occupied) is that your children can exhibit their work proudly on the fridge or on their bedroom walls.

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Read more about Jenny and visit her blog!



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