With the flu spreading like wildfire this year our family has been looking for fun and creative ways to spend time at home. We are a family who loves to visit the museum, hang out at the mall, even spend an hour at the library looking for new books and playing in the children's space, and while we are still doing these things I gotta tell the truth and say: it freaks me out a little to be in a crowd right now so we are limiting those things.
Here is a little round up of things we’ve been doing at home to have a little extra fun, be creative, and basically just not kill each other with boredom especially in these cold months when outdoor play is limiting at best. If you have any family favorite at home activities I’d love for you to share them with us also… winter is far from over.
- Ballet at home: I’ve shared this one so many times I can’t even count, BUT we go back to it so much! This started with a simple youtube search for “toddler ballet class” and my girls loved it so much we decided to search for a DVD version. We have this ABC Jungle one and also Petite Feet. Over the course of a couple years we’ve also bought leotards and inexpensive ballet slippers so now part of the fun is getting into costume first. Often the play lasts longer than the 20-30 minute DVD because they just keep dancing. In the facebook group Rachal D shared a youtube channel for toddler yoga called Cosmic Kids Yoga which we’ve also done a few times and loved.
- Streamers & Balloons: We have Fall and Winter Birthdays for the girls and every year I’m reminded by how much entertainment some simple streamer paper and balloons can provide. Our girls love coming up with all kinds of random I-totally-don’t-understand-the-objective games when they get their hands on these. We even sometimes just invent a party to decorate for. Streamers, paper chains, posters (coloring pages hung on the wall with blue painters tape), balloons, if you’re really feeling it make yourself some cookies or cake with the kids! It’s so easy to make a day magical.
- Bath with Shaving Cream: Shaving cream in a cake pan is one most parents have heard of, but if you are like me, the eventual mess doesn’t sound super fun. So we grabbed our shaving cream and head to the bathtub. I think the girls have more fun and freedom to go crazy and it is super easy to rinse off when done. Add in bath toys and a few drops of natural food coloring and you’ll see them light up. And if you want to try some other creative shaving cream play here is an epic blog post and resource for ideas.
- Family games: I credit my husband with the start of our family game times. I thought the kids (newly 4 and 2) were too young, but we quickly realized they weren’t AND there is a plethora of games on the market that are great for these ages. Our favorites have been the cooperative games where the whole family works together to win. This style game was totally new to me and for the younger ones it’s such a great way to work on the ideas of game rules, turn taking, and teamwork. Here are some of our favorites in addition to classics like Candy Land:
- Recently my girls have turned into quite the little crayola artists and it's often the first project we go to. We are constantly coloring and crafting and end up with a TON of projects… truly too many to keep. So we started mailing our coloring pages and projects to family and friends who we don’t get to see much. We love to use that time to talk about things we can do to cheer people up, kind ways to show love, and we often pull out Facebook and look at photos of our far away relatives so the girls can make the connection to people we love but don’t get to see often. I’ve found that it’s a good idea to be intentional about using regular size paper and making projects that will fold up easily so we can mail it with just a regular postage stamp.
I would love to hear more creative ideas how you and your family stay busy at home! Leave a comment or join the discussion in the FaceBook Group: Friends of Bumbelou.