Top 5 Summer Activities to Engage Your Kids at Home

A celebrity once quoted that summer was the best thing there ever was. This is apt statement about the magic of summers. We dream of summer filled with fun and frolic. Summer is also the most exciting time for children as they are off for summer holidays and are just bursting with excess energy. There is a plethora of outdoor activities for children including parks, libraries and swimming etc.

Unfortunately, there are some days in this idyllic time when outdoor play is not possible due to a heat wave or humidity. Spending 24 hours cooped up with 2 hyperactive children, I realised that I didn’t have many indoor play activities planned for them. With Google on my side, I set out to plan some activities for some rainy day in the future. Here are some activities that you can engage your children with when they have to stay indoors and keep them off their iPods,computers and constant whining.

Make your own Play Dough

There is nothing more fun than playing with squishy play dough and creating masterpieces. I remember making animals of all types using playdough.Usually play dough is non-toxic, but nothing beats homemade and you don’t have to worry if your kids ingest the play dough.

Here is a delicious recipe good enough to eat

  • 100 gm. peanut butter
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • Milk Powder for making dough

Directions:

  • Simply mix all the ingredients and knead using milk powder to make dough.
  • One word of caution, it probably will look weird but its delicious trust me.

Here is another simple recipe, but no one’s probably going to eat it

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • Food colouring as required

Directions:

  • Work all the ingredients into a dough and store covered, else the dough will dry out.
  • Playdough brings out the creativity in young minds and is very therapeutic for adults as well.

Join in the fun.  I love to make jewellery in different colours using this dough.  

Arts and Crafts using Colouring Sheets

Colouring helps enhance motor skills like eye and hand coordination and brings the artist out in every child. Keep the children off the electronic gadgets and encourage him to have fun by using free downloadable colouring sheets.
Coloring pages can be used for learning ABC and numbers.  

Children love cartoon characters, now they can color various characters.  You can also colour the sheets and cut them out and paste them on your walls and other surfaces for teaching aids. I helped my daughter cut and paste numbers for easy reference. Children can even learn about seasons and festivals and basic math’s as well.  Opt for a craft scissor which will protect little fingers. Explore all the themes for colouring sheets.

Baking / Cooking with Children

Cooking with children is one of the messiest yet most fun things to do.Children love to help their parents in cooking. This is an excellent role play opportunity for them.  You can use cooking as an opportunity to help them learn vocabulary,colours and even maths. I love baking with my children. They get to learn new words (marshmallow frosting and fondant), colours(violet icing) and maths (1/4th cup and 1/2 cup).Beyond the learning, baking is therapeutic by working with your hands and decorating is even more fun.Make smoothies, ice pops and ice creams with your children to beat the heat.

Finger Painting

Children love colours and love to make a mess and have fun. Combine all three for a delirious session of finger painting. Clear off an area and spread a plastic shower curtain on the floor to keep the floor free of major messes. Let the children use their imagination to the most extent with non-toxic paints and chart papers. They will have a gala type and further enhance their gross motor skills.

Make Music and Sing Along

Use pots, pans, and wooden spoons to make makeshift music instruments and organise a music competition. Children can sing along to favourite rhymes and even current chart busters. Ensure that the neighbours are ok with the sound levels and so are you. Join in the fun for learning and time away from the TV and computers.  You can help your child to make an innovation music instrument that will be an interesting craft class too! If you know how to play a musical instrument, you can strum the guitar while your child sings.

You can indulge in any indoor activity like reading etc. but try to make it more interactive and interesting for children. Try and join in for as much fun as possible. Research indicates that children should interact with their parents and spend time away from electronic gadgets. These free and fabulous activities will keep your children busy and they will love the quality time spent with you.

Guest Post:  “I am Aradhana. I am a passionate writer and love to write on topics like parenting, wellness, health and lifestyle. I believe good health is the key to success and happiness. I am a contributor for natural news, elephant journal, naturally savvy and MomJunction. Through my writings, I want to motivate people to develop healthy habits and adopt natural ways of living to achieve sound health.