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EXTENSION NOTES: Fun Indoor Activities for Your Children

When you are confined at home, it can be hard to find activities to do with your children. This can be especially true with younger children. It is easy to allow your children to spend more time on the computer or in front of the television. However, these activities can reduce the amount of quality time you spend together as a family. Too much screen time can also be connected to childhood obesity. When you spend time together in fun activities, you create memories that last a lifetime.

Here are a few tips for activities that families can do that are free or very low cost:

 • Build a tent together in your home. There is nothing that you need to purchase. Your family can simply use items that are already there. Any room of your home can be used. Tents can transform even the smallest spaces in your home into a whole new world. They can open a door to many hours of creative play together. Have your child pick out materials to really spark their creativity. You can also find great ideas online.

 • Bake or cook with your children. Cooking tasks such as stirring batter and cracking eggs are great ways for kids to have fun while learning new skills. Tasks such as measuring liquids and figuring proportions when changing recipes can help teach critical math skills. Make a homemade pizza, bake some cookies, or make a homemade salsa together and use it with a family taco bar. Cooking with your children can be so much fun. It can also be free or very low cost. You can find recipes online together for free. You can even find recipes that call for ingredients that you already have in your home. It also teaches your children important life skills they will need in their future. Getting messy is good for your child’s mental health as well. If you are not a cook, try making s’mores together.

 • Try some indoor water play. Bath time does not have to be just for cleaning our bodies. Many children love to be in the water, but they live in places where outdoor water play is only possible during certain times of the year. When swimming pools are closed, splashing in a warm tub can provide just as much fun. Fill a tub with warm water and throw in bubble bath and toys, and let the fun begin! Even a large water basin or sink can work. Play with the bubbles and toys. Use fun things like color tablets for the bath or tub crayons or paints. You and your child can use all kinds of home items to create your own world in the water. You can then make up stories together from the world you have created. The bath tub is a great place for creative imaginations and relaxed time playing as parent and child. You can also create your own bath bombs or bath slimes together.

 • Get up and get moving together. Your family can play Hide and Seek or Hello Neighbor together. You can plan out a family scavenger hunt or obstacle course. You can play together with a family pet. You can do yoga, stretching, or meditation together without having to buy a single thing. Take a walk or play a game of soccer together. Fresh air can be a great way to deal with boredom! No matter what time of the year, being outdoors is always good for your mental health.

 • Make a “bored box.” This does not have to be fancy. Include simple items like paper, paint supplies, and crayons. Play dough and clay are also great to have handy. Adults and children alike love to color or draw. Slime ingredients are always a huge hit. Don’t be afraid to get messy! Just stock up on a few items your family loves to do together and keep them stored in a box for an instant activity anytime.

 For more information, contact the Butler Cooperative Extension Service at 270-526-3767.

 Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

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Reference:  Beyer, M. (2017). Fun Family Night Activities That Take Bonding to a Whole New Level. Retrieved November 2019 from https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/842477/50-family-fun-night-i...

Source: Dr. Kerri Ashurst, Senior Extension Specialist for Family and Relationship Development

By: Tracy M. Cowles, Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

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