Saturday, 16 October 2010

It's that time of year again: indoor games for 3's and under

The weather is against us once more. When it's not pelting down, we still go outside and ramble. It's still good for foraging (sloes and crabapples, rosehips and mushrooms), but i'm gearing up for the Winter. Being inside with a 2 year old and a 3 year old can be akin to being in a state penitentiary with no time off for good behaviour, and the days can be long, long, long. So how to get through? Standard mothers helps during this long period of drabness obviously include the useful playdough and craft buckets, but boy, playdough does my HEAD IN after about 10 minutes. (The picture to left is son, at about 18 months, INSIDE when I was also INSIDE with a 4 month old. How fun is that? Not much. Look at how gross his nose is.) And really, it's not all that much fun, for 5 months of the year. Sure, you can buy Moon Sand and board games, but Moon Sand gets everywhere and board games just don't do it for my 3 year old. "MUUUUM! Stella is hiding the dice again!" Now son is getting a tad older, he can play imaginative role playing games or playmobil, and will, for hours, play at being a shopkeeper or librarian, but after 60 minutes this palls with me and daughter generally resorts to trashing the aforementioned shop/library. So for those times when role playing and playmobil are just too much, try these.
  • Baking: Muffins and biscuits. In the next few weeks, i'll be posting my gingerbread recipes, useful for tree decorations and stuffing your face. Baking makes a mess, sure, but you do get to watch them lick the bowl.
  • Painting: Yes, painting is icky and you clean up a lot after. But try this: get a wee bouncy ball, roll it in paint, and then stick a sheet of paper inside a biscuit tin and let them go hell for leather banging the ball around (lid on!) and see the patterns it makes. Or paint on mirrors, patio doors, or, even, the bath. Then wash it all off afterwards.
  • Dressing up: You don't need special outfits. Mum and Dad clothes are fine. Get them all in a heap and demand outfits of a certain colour or style. Let them be "Mum" or "Dad" and listen as they parrot back your catchphrases to you.
  • Assault courses: Take all the cushions off the seetee, the matresses off the beds. Use the whole lounge floor. It's not a lounge, it's an ASSAULT COURSE!Plus, you can see all the crap under the cushions, ignore it, and then put them back again. It feels great.
  • Dens: the best way not to see your kids for at least an hour. Pull out the seetee, get that sheet attached, and give them lunch in the den.
  • Hunt the object/Colour/Shape: Get yourself a prize bag of biscuits or something. Dole out prizes for the first one to find something ....BLUE! Then.......ROUND! and after a few minutes send them to find something very hard to find and eat some biscuits yourself.
  • Memory testing: Remember that bit in the Krypton Factor where contestants would watch a video clip and then answer questions on it? (No? You are TOO young.) Well, now do it to your kids. Watch a bit of Dumbo or whatever, and ask memory questions about it, rewinding to check the answers. What colour hat is Mrs Dumbo wearing.......
  • Get yourself a roll of plain wallpaper, get a kid to lie on it, draw round them, and then spend a few minutes drawing on features before "dressing it". Always goes down a storm with my two, particularly if the person is drawn in an anatomically correct style.
  • Pretend cleaning: for some reason my two are kept amused for up to 30 minutes by being given a sprayer full of water and a cloth. Result: damp, slightly cleaner house, and a chance to have a cuppa.
  • Being sick: they are the doctors, the stuffed toys the patients, and you are really, really ill and can do nothing except lie down and direct things from the sofa. Remarkably, this often means a lie down for me for up to 20 minutes. Result! If you really want to get gruesome, you can cut a hole in the most knackered and loathed cuddly toy and tell them to dissect it and have an operation. Trust me, they will LOVE this.
  • Hide and Seek: pushing the limits with this one, I can hide in some places for 20 minutes with a book. They never, ever, look in the bath. Not even when i've hidden there for the 20 minutes beforehand. There will be a place with the properties of a cloaking device in your house too, and you must find it.
  • Stair death toll: there is endless, and I mean endless fun to be had from flinging toys down the stairs. Hear my daughter as she "does" Baby Boo Boo Puppy the raggy dogs' voice as he plummets down the stairs. Followed by son mouthing "Heeeeelp Meee" as he flings poor Makka Pakka down. Also useful to re-enact the physics test of "What is heavier: a pound of feathers or pound of something else?".In other words, what flings down fastest. Trust me, they love this, and all you have to do is provide a lot of flinging stuff and sit and drink tea. And pick it all up afterwards.

Oh, there are more, but you get my drift. This is all about minimizing the time spent going "ARRRGGGH! When is it Spring?" and instead buying you time to have a cuppa/snifter. Being in with kids doesn't have to be terrible, it can be fun. You just have to allow them to mess up things a little, and really, it's fun to mess things up. Bet you, if you start off stair flinging, you'll get into it. There ARE things you want to fling. Just like a 3 year old. And how they LOVE seeing you do it.

1 comment:

Jan said...

I really fancy the stair throwing thing ,but I live in a bungalow ,and my baby is now forty three ,so feel I have missed the boat hee hee Jan xx