Summer Activities Children can do Indoors

The excitement of summer can fade quickly as the temperature continues to rise outside. When it is too hot to allow the kids to go play outside, the “cabin fever” develops in no time flat. Then come the dreaded words no parent likes hearing: “I’m bored”. This is when it is time to ready a list of fun things to do indoors. You can write everything down and then put it on the refrigerator so the kids can see it.

It might be even better to start thinking of activities before summer arrives. This way you have ideas ready and waiting for the kids. The plus to coming up with indoor summer activities is that it will help put everyone in the frame of mind that being indoors can be fun too. Sometimes kids can feel like having to stay inside is almost like a punishment and this is not the case during summer time extreme heat.

Reading

Some children think reading is great and some kids just don’t like it. Think of creative ways to make reading fun for them. You could take turns reading out loud to each other from the same book. If your child is not old enough to read yet, then read a story to him/her. Another reading activity is each person picks out a book (age appropriate), reads it and then writes or tells about it. 

Another way to get kids interested in reading is to enroll them in a book reading program. These are popular during the summer months and offer neat incentives for reaching reading goals. Check with your local library and bookstore(s) to see what is available in your area. 

Writing

Kids can write stories, poems, songs or even journal about their favorite pet. The idea is not about perfect spelling and grammar, the idea is to allow them to express their creativity. They can share their writing projects when completed, with the family. 

One fun writing activity is letting them write their own play and then act it out. They can decorate with props like stuffed animals and plants and have a blast performing their masterpiece. 

Crafts

Set up an arts and crafts center for your kids. Keep it stocked with paper, crayons, washable markers and paints, pencils, brushes and other supplies. Most being able to sit and create without having strict guidelines. Leave the craft area set up permanently so they will know it is always ready for them.

You can also have family arts and crafts time where everyone sits down together and works on their own projects. When everyone is finished, you can hang them in the hallway (or other special place) and make a family art gallery. You may have to put up some shelves to display other art and craft projects.

Board games

Old fashioned board games can be lot of fun for kids of all ages. They can play with their friends and/or with their families. Board games make kids think and use their imaginations unlike video games where everything is laid out for them. 

You can break out the board games on a certain night each week or everyday. You can come up with prizes for the winner of each round like homemade cookies or a handcrafted ribbon. The greatest thing about playing board games is the quality time spent together having fun.

Baking

Allowing your kids to help bake simple things like cookies and cupcakes can be fun, messy, but a lot of fun. Kids can stir ingredients as they are added to the mixing bowl, or they add each ingredient. They can also enjoy decorating the finished treat with frosting, sprinkles and other items.

The only thing to watch out for is smaller kids getting too close to the hot oven or baking pan when it first comes out of the oven. Helping mom/dad bake can teach them a little bit about being in the kitchen as well as offer up some messy fun (picture flour on their noses). Plus they even get to wear a cool apron!

Imaginary world

For this play time activity, the kids come up with a scenario like being the captain of a ship or working in a restaurant and then act it out. Kids are really good at coming up with play scenarios if given the chance and a few good items to play with. They can take cardboard boxes and create houses, cars or a spaceship. Give them an old sheet and some close pins and they can create a fort in the playroom or even the living room. They can be anything they want to be in their imaginary world.

Parents can get involved and play too. It doesn’t hurt to take a little time to bring out the kid in yourself once in awhile too. When you do play with your kids, be sure to allow them to come up with the ideas, it wouldn’t be much fun for them if mom/dad came up with all the cool stuff.

Quiet time

This might sound insane at first, but all kids need a little bit of time to settle down quietly. This is not a reference to any type of nap time, just a few minutes for them to sit and think and relax before the next activity. By learning how to do this at home, they can adjust to having to be quiet and calm in public much easier and every parent knows how important that can be.

Quiet time can be a blessing in disguise for the kids because that might be the time when they come up with their best ideas. It is an obvious blessing for parents because it gives them a chance to catch their breath before the kids are off and running again.

You may have noticed that watching TV was not mentioned at all here. There is a good reason you do not want the TV to be a “go to” activity when the kids have to be indoors: it can be mind numbing! There is nothing wrong with watching a favorite program or movie as a family, or even allowing the kids to watch something, once in awhile, on their own. It can become a problem when TV becomes the only form of activity they engage in all day.

Children need to have the ability to let their creativity and imagination flow. By getting kids involved in reading, writing and crafting they can let their imaginations soar to new and exciting heights. Board games are fun and can also be teaching tools. Then there are times when doing absolutely nothing at all is good for kids. Having them sit quietly and just think can lead to them creating all sorts of play ideas of their own.