I admit it! Sometimes I use the television as a cheap babysitter. I try my best to limit it but sometimes I just have to turn it on. This summer I have 3 kids at home and a tight budget so we are not doing a lot of summer camps which means the kids will have a lot of indoor time. Therefore I am trying to limit video games and TV to a minimum. I have come up with a few entertaining ideas so if you are in the same situation as us then try these TV-free activities that are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained… at least for a little while!
Make paper airplanes
Warning: This one is highly addictive! My two boys absolutely love making paper airplanes. Buy them a book on the fine arts of paper airplane making, and then put your feet up and read a book.
Make a tower with toothpicks and peas
Go ahead- encourage them to play with their food!
Make homemade ice cream
Put two parts milk and cream and one part sugar in a coffee can, with any flavorings you want. Put the lid on, then put it in a bigger can and pour ice around the little can. Put Morton’s Ice Cream rock salt on the ice. Put a lid on the big can, and give it to your child to roll it back and forth for about 1/2 hour or until it turns into ice cream! (Do this one even if it’s winter…I won’t tell!)
Give them a magnet and instruct them to run it all over the house and see what they find.
And loose couch change is fair game! Dowling makes GIANT magnets that are perfect for little hands.
Make Leaf Art
All you need is some glue, paint, paper and, of course, some beautiful, colorful autumn leaves. Glue the leaves on the paper and start painting. Kids can paint on the leaves, around them — what ever they want! We used liquid watercolors, but any kind of paint will do.
Play First Family Savings and Loan
Save your cancelled checks and fake credit cards that come in the mail. Supply the kids with a calculator, pencils, small table and Monopoly money. This one was my favorite as a kid!
Build a mini log cabin with twigs
You can even go on an adventure at the park to find the sticks!
Have a tic-tac-toe tournament
Have the Kids make custom place holders out of play dough
Make your own soda
Here’s an easy recipe: http://www.easyfunschool.com/article2052.html
Make a card for Grandma
Get out the rubber stamps, art supplies and construction paper and make a greeting card for Grandma or another loved one.
Bake a Creative Cake
Buy the kids an easy cake or brownie mix and let them loose in the kitchen. Tell them they can enjoy the fruits of their labors as long as they clean up all mess. Use leftover candy for toppings.
Make Up a Treasure Hunt
Buy cheap dollar store toys. Hide in your closet. Make a list of items they must find outside. (A white rock, a feather, a red leaf, a penny, etc) Tell them an exciting booty awaits when they bring all the items to you.
Make a Cave Inside The House
Put old blankets over the backs of chairs or over a table to make a tent. Grab a flashlight and instruct child to go read scary stories inside it.