There can be many reasons we might want our children to stay indoors for the day. Sure, we’re all aware of the benefits of fresh air and exercise. But what about during bad weather? Rain and wind can all result in fevers and colds if children are allowed to play out all day. And let’s face it, they often persuade us! But the home can be as exciting and magical as a day out if we get creative. With a few quick and affordable tricks, we can transform a room in the house into a wonderland.
It may be old-fashioned, but building a “fort” has stood the test of time. Essentially, something must serve as a canopy or several canopies. Bed sheets or blankets will do the trick. It is even possible to pitch up an actual tent indoors if it is a pop-up. Somewhere that can become a magical and inviting cavern is what you’re going for. A safe haven that can be visualised as somewhere exotic or exciting. Cushions, soft toys, and other cosy items can be perfect additions. Especially if you are all staying indoors to avoid cold weather or a storm. Drape the canopies across furniture or mount them temporarily to the walls or bookcases with the help of pins. (Heavy objects are rarely a good idea as they can be pulled out of position and become liable to fall.) Remember that you could add a theme into the mix. Perhaps with some supplies like water and snacks, you can all be explorers hiding from a dangerous wild animal. Perhaps you are on safari or trekking through the jungle. Maybe you’re a pirate crew at sea with the wind whipping at the sails of your ship. Or maybe you’re just a wild family living in a deserted forest! Whatever your scenario, add a few props like leaves and twigs, or stuffed animals. The fun can last all day and even into the night. Be sure that nothing electric is touching fabrics or flammable items. Let your imagination run wild!
Most children love the opportunity to paint or draw. The vibrant colours and tantalising textures appeal to many ages. They can express themselves and choose a subject that they like. It might be animals, transport like planes and cars, or a favourite character. The important thing here is to feel uninhibited, so take any safety and tidying precautions ahead of time. Cover any sensitive surfaces and remove any precious objects or fabrics! Have a variety of materials available. Watercolours, finger paints, felt tips and pencils are all inviting and distinctive. You could play some music and ask the children to paint what it reminds them of. Or you could tell them a story and ask them to illustrate something from it. With squash and sandwiches at lunch you can make a whole day of it! Your child may even discover a passion or talent they didn’t know they had.
Another opportunity to enjoy textures can be simple cookery. Making biscuits, cakes or even a simple fruit salad can be a lovely way to keep children occupied. The smells and sensations can be exciting and engaging for many different ages. Check out suitable recipes ahead of time and you may already have the ingredients in the store cupboard!