While we have the great luck to enjoy beautiful weather throughout much of the year in the South Bay, sometimes the weather drives us indoors where we need to figure out a way to pass the time. My loyal band of school-age testers inform me that these are some of the best ways to have fun inside the house, short of an iPad. These activities work well for kids of different ages and abilities to play together.
- Making tents: A bedsheet and some chairs will do nicely to create a thousand possibilities for a child-sized hideaway. A cave? A castle? A delightful place for reluctant nappers to snooze?
- Balloon “tennis”: Kids can bat a balloon back and forth with their hands, trying to keep it aloft as long as possible. Count how many times you can hit it without it touching the floor, which is, naturally, made of lava for this game.
- Quiet ball: This is great for groups of children about age seven and older. It’s basically catch with any small, soft ball that’s good for indoor play. The tricky part is that nobody can talk and you have to rely on non-verbal communication to indicate that you’re passing the ball to someone or that you’re open to catch it. (Before you start, make a rule about not throwing the ball at anyone’s face or at someone who isn’t looking. There’s a reason I am telling you this.)
- Cup stacking: This is a surprising hit with preschoolers and young elementary students. Figure out what you can build with a stack of paper or plastic cups. How high can it go? How fast does it fall down when you crash a car or a dinosaur into it?
- Stringing cereal: String Cheerios/Fruit Loops/round cereal of your choice onto pipe cleaners or yarn to make necklaces or bracelets. If you use yarn or string, wrap one end of it with tape to make a “needle” that keeps it from fraying and driving the user to distraction.
Guest Writer-Elizabeth Wagner is a special needs educator with over 10 years of experience working iwth special needs children in the classroom and home setting.