People look forward to summer all year long. The shorts, flip-flops, vacation plans are set out and ready to go before May even hits. But here in NE Oklahoma (other states as well) summer only means one thing: heat. Lots of heat accompanied by high humidity makes for a truly miserable season. The only thing that makes it harder is trying to figure out how to keep your kids occupied indoors because of the extreme temperatures outside.
My Current Go-To
I have to be completely honest with you. While I love Pinterest and blogs and all the wonderful ideas people come up with, I’m lazy and really don’t want to put the time into setting up indoor activities for my boys. So I usually let them watch T.V. Way more than is good for them I know. But if I have any hope of getting things done, this is the way it happens.
We have Amazon Prime so I thought I’d list a few of the show they watch (that I actually don’t mind):
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. If you have littles and they haven’t seen this Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood spin off, then they are missing out. There are only 2 seasons included with prime, but I think Netflix might have more.
- Super Wings. A show with transforming Robot airplanes who travel the world delivering packages to children. They learn a little bit about different countries they visit.
- Kratt’s Creatures/Zaboomafoo/Wild Kratts. All PBS shows and only a couple of seasons available for each show but I love that they are educational and allow your kids to learn about many animals that they only see at the zoo. Word of caution: These are publically produced shows and as such they do not teach from a creation worldview/young earth.
Other Indoor Survival Tips
Occasionally I will get out of my lazy bubble and try to come up with something for them to do inside that is not technology related. Maybe these are things you haven’t tried yet that your kids might enjoy, and they don’t really take much time.
- Go out early. Before I jump into the activities I want to suggest that you let your kids play outside in the morning (or the nicest part of they day). If they are old enough to go out by themselves, this may be the perfect time for you to knock out your to-do list. If they are still young, the take this opportunity to catch up on reading or get in some exercise. When we lived in Texas, we lived within walking distance of a great park and I’d pack the boys in the stroller,we’d walk there, play for a bit then come home for lunch. I got my steps in and they got fresh air.
- Go to the Library. Many libraries have great play areas for little kids. Nothing is more exciting to a toddler than a toy they don’t have. So take them to do something different. And this gives you another chance to catch up on reading. But if a library trip seems like a daunting idea, have them clean, or help you clean their room or playroom. It’s amazing what a freshly cleaned space does for a kid’s imagination.
- Playdough/Coloring/Crafts. No indoor activity list would be complete without mentioning PlayDough and coloring. Personally, my boys don’t care for coloring but playdough will keep them pretty occupied for a while. You could also break out the craft ideas you’ve been saving from Pinterest. I have never been brave enough to try any but maybe your child will enjoy it.
- Games. Nothing says childhood like a good game of hide and seek. My kids are a little young to be a challenge to find but they love it anyway. Another game I came up with a while back was lava jump. I’d lay out wash clothes on the floor (yesterday my boys used my throw pillows) and they have to jump from cloth to cloth (or pillow) without touching the floor, if they do, they have to start over.
Let them Be
Ultimately, kids love to use their imaginations. Provide them with a space and just let them be. I have been amazed to see what games and activities my kids come up with. My oldest loves to build forts and will use ANY material he can get his hands on to make one, even a laundry hamper and pillow. My youngest will play with any car on hand or just do what Brother does. It’s so fun to watch their imaginations blossom and their personalities grow.
I hope this was helpful for you and that your are enjoying your kids this summer. Keep Cool and Hydrated!