Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fun Indoor Activities for kids

Hi friends,

For some of us, winter is here and it is dark even before we get home in the evening. I feel quite sad for my daughter who does not get a chance to go out and play in the yard in the evenings or spend much time outdoors. My typical weekday rotuine is to get home spend about 10-20 min with her and just her and then start on my daily chores, cooking, cleaning, bathing her, feeding her, reading to her and gettign her ready for bed.

On weekends I try to fund fun things for her to do - now I mean physical things that actually help use up her endless energy! :-)

Last weekend I organized a playtime at Pump It Up (air filled slide, trampolines lots of bouncing and jumping), but it was a huge effort on my part trying to find 18 other moms willing to bring their kids. Now this went well, usually people have birthday parties here, but I organized a party and we divided the cost between the participating parents. Just that it is not really worthwhile with less than 16-18 kids. (I'll post pictures once I figure out how to edit out the faces) Anyway, I would love ideas of what else I can do with my toddler now that winter is here in Portland, it is dark, cold and rainy most of the time.

What do other moms do to keep the little ones occupied in the evenings when they are busy? Now please don;t say ask hubby play with them - not all the hubbies oblige on a regular basis. Little A does play by herself but I wonder if there are ideas that I could do for her to have some more fun.

Looking for ideas from other moms. Preferably indoor games activites that involve physical activity for toddlers and any other ideas...


Sandeepa said...

Oh SJ that was so wonderful, a great idea indeed. But organizing must have been a big hassle. Don't know if that would be ever succesful here as weekends are usually hectic for everyone :)

The most common places to hangout is the library or Barnes&Noble, but then that doesn't release the energy :D

Now that my daughter is almost 4 I see she spends a lot of time painting, doing Lego etc. I have to sit by her but she does those while I cook etc., and I get her foam stickers and such so that she can make her crafts with as little mess as possible :)

I recently got a magenetic board with lots of colored pieces and designs from Mellissa & Doug. (Thanks Sheela & Tharini for introducing me to their puzzles). It was on sale at Amazon, shall send you the link. A lot of time is spent making patterns on that too

Your daughter is still little, S wouldn't play on her own at that age only recently she has started that.

Also if you can try to enroll her in a activity class or something one evening a week, that way, at least one evening she has something fixed & fun to do.

Sheela and Tharini has lot of fun projects at their blog, check those out too

Rachel said...

My daughter is 3 and she keeps herself occupied with her paints and other art stuff..she has this sticker book..where they provide spaces for stickers and one has to find the right stickers that goes into the correct places. and since the subject is regarding shapes, colours, and what she learns at school right now..it all the more interests her..

The other stuff that interests her are play doh, hand painting (only cos her play room has these washable walls), large jigsaw puzzles that have numbers and alphabets etc.

Sheela said...

Hi Sj, did you organize this is Portland, OR?? In any case, you are way ahead than introverted moms like me - I am good at organizing, but, lack the social skills to actually contact others to make it a success :)

Anyway, your post got me thinking about expending the energy - Ana is 2.5 yrs and though they tire her out in daycare, weekends are still a challenge as you noted.

I have the nook set up for some physical play... I will post it in my blog so I don't take up too much space here...

SJ said...

Most moms with toddlers here have the same problem - it shouldn;t have been too tough just that some moms were extremely "not-courteous", cancelled last minute, initially I had planned tomorder some pizza too, then started my child eats no abc, my child needs blah. I was stuck with a laundry list of eating habits. I mean not one mom volunteered that they could help. Almost like I was going to benefit in some way if they showed up with their kids! Although it went well I am probably not going to organize this any time in the next few months - need that much time to cool off!
About the puzzles, do send me the link, but A still wants me to sit with her fir most of such activities and puzzles she already has.
I am thinking of signing her up for gymnastics when I get back from India. Do post what classes S is doing (she is a year ahead of A so I could use some ideas)

Hopefully in the coming A will play with paints and puzzles more herself. She still enjoys them but wants me sitting and playing with her most of the time.

Yes, in Portland, OR. Read my rants about in my reply to Sandeepa :-) I loom forward to your post on the play area in the

mnamma said...

Sounds fun! I just noticed that Pump-it-up opened a new branch near out place. But it sure must have been such a hassle for you organizing all this. On the weekend you can take her to the zoo (the zoo lights is such a beautiful sight but it gets very cold out there in the evenings). Also have you visited the Children's Museum or OMSI?

Tharini said...

Hi SJ. That was pretty resourceful of yopu to organise at PIU with such a head count. Guess it cannot be replicated everytime! Me and Sheela put across some ideas sometime back. Check this link:


Also, have you checked out the My Gym classes? They do have some on weekends as well in the mornings, and some free play time on some weekday evenings which works well if you are motivated enuff to take her.

Poppins said...

Yay, this is a subject close to my heart. In Bangalore, it's not so cold that I cannot go out but it is windy where I live and I feel guilty staying out for longer than half hour.

Some indoor activities for my crafts-challenged toddler (2 years +) that I indulge in:
1. Balloon play, throwing balloons etc
2. Put her in an inflatable indoor paddle pool, fill it with warm water and let her splash to her heart's content
3. Building house: Pull two chairs and drape a blanket around to form a tent, in which we take turns to hide
4. Good ol' Hide and Seek/I Spy
5. Dancing to peppy music, this is our favourite activity. If you have neighbor kids, call them over too for an impromptu party. It is good physical activity

Hope this helps.

jessica22 said...

Well, it really depends on your kids as far as what activities would work best for your kids. I know some people who like to have their children do things that keep their minds active while inside, and there are plenty of great educational and or creative things your kids can do while indoors. Kabillion’s Little Director is a great idea for kids with big ideas. It allows your child to upload their drawings, animate them, add music, voice over, and much more, while getting the chance to add them to a DVD you can purchase and own forever! This is an amazing gift either for your child OR, from your child to you or the grandparents! The possibilities are limitless. It’s also VERY easy to use and geared right to kids doing this all on their own. I work with Kabillion and I thought I would pass this site on to other's around creative children. I sure wish there was something like this when I was a child! Check it out at http://www.kabillion.com/littledirector and let me know what you think!

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