From: Amy Blaikie  – Tiddlers

Tip: Staying Inside Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

The suggestion of staying home, and staying indoors, can sometimes be met with a sigh from both children and parents alike.

But it honestly doesn’t need to be boring! Here at First Steps, we do so many different crafts, creations, games and constructing things, we feel we can share some knowledge to help all our families enjoy those days spent inside.

Here are some tips, tricks and activities you can do at home to keep everyone entertained as the weather outside becomes colder and even more unpredictable!

Camp Out

Children love building dens, pretending to camp and build things, so why not build your very own den or fort. Anything from blankets, to cardboard boxes, pillows, old curtains, anything you have to hand can be used to create a den for the whole family.  Grab some snacks, or why not go the whole hog and have a little inside picnic in your den. If you all get tired out with all your building, why not spend an hour or two watching your child’s favourite movie or tv programme for a while and get some minutes of downtime and cuddles with mummy and daddy.

Snow Ball Fun

As the weather gets that bit colder – why not create your very own indoor snowball fight. Using rolled-up paper – grab some from the scrap drawer instead of new, and roll pieces up into small balls.

Each team can have a goal (we suggest something not too small, like a wicker bin size) and see how many each team can score against each other. You can also have little targets to help encourage hand/eye coordination (just make sure anything breakable is out the way)

Another fun way to enjoy throwing your newly created snow balls is to use sellotape on a doorway and see if you can stick them to it – this encourages and helps motor skills in toddlers – and is pretty fun too.

Shaving Foam Fun

Shaving foam is a wonderful indoor sensory activity that toddlers love, just look at our Picture of The Month.  Squirt some in a bowl and just let them have fun. Add food colouring if you like. You might want to put them in an old shirt and put a towel down too, it does get messy, but the joy it brings is great. Why not put some orange, red and yellow food colouring in there this month and create a wonderfully autumnal coloured bowl of fun!

Snow Dough

Have you heard of cloud dough yet? If not, this is a great alternative to Play Doh. It’s so soft and silky and yet it can be moulded loosely into shapes. Best of all, it can be made from just two ingredients! So now that it’s creeping towards winter time, why not create some snow dough instead, based on this simple recipe.

Recipe for Snow Dough:

2 cups corn flour
1/3 to 1/2 of a cup vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons silver glitter

[You can also use baby oil, which makes it smell and feel even nicer, but do NOT use with under 3’s or any child who may put it in their mouth as it is dangerous if ingested. We stick to vegetable oil just in case!]

Follow this and you will have your own heap of Snow Dough in no time. Use your Play Doh tools, or cutters and shapes from baking, they can all be used to make this a very fun activity for all involved.

Fashion show time

For those little divas out there, granting them access to your wardrobe for an hour or so can be complete heaven. Let them try on your clothes, put on your shoes and use your jewellery. Get them to also use their construction skills and build their own runway, then allow them to parade up and down until their heart’s content. Adding in some of their favourite songs can create fun too.

Pizza party

Make some pizza bases using your favourite chef’s recipe or buy them ready made (most supermarkets do these now). Then lay out lots of toppings and ask your kids to decorate their pizzas.

Get creative with lots of different colours, shapes and sizes. Explore where the ingredients come from too to help your children learn more about their food.

Once they’ve finished, pop them in the oven and lay a rug or picnic blanket down with some paper plates and cups. Children will love devouring their homemade creations.

Butter tub boats

Make your own butter/margarine tub boat creations and set them to sail in your very own sea. Have a competition too on which floats the longest. You can use these in the sink or use them at bath time for even more fun. Card and old lolly sticks can make great sails too.

We really would love to hear if you find our tips and advice useful, and/or you would like a certain topic covered – just let us know, please contact Ian on hello@firststepspoynton.co.uk or call 01625 859867.