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I don’t know what it’s looking like where you live but I’ve just scanned through the weather forecast and it predicts lousy weather right up until Christmas. That’s going to be really unwelcome news if you’re stuck at home with kids, so I’ve got a few ideas for keeping children occupied indoors, and they don’t involve video games or DVDs.

First, split the day up into three or more chunks, and don’t feel obligated to fill every one of them with entertainment. When you kids come at you with that horrible phrase, “We’re bored!” you can at least say, “ I know, but at 3pm I’ve got an activity for you. Until then, you have to entertain yourselves.” It’s actually good for kids to learn how to occupy themselves, so don’t feel bad if you don’t have non-stop action.

I’m sure you did most of these things as a kid yourself, but here are a few ideas for entertaining kids on a wet day.

  • Make forts out of furniture and blankets. Better still, get some cardboard fridge boxes from the skip behind an appliance shop and make wonderful castles and tunnels.
  • Have a craft table – cardboard, paints, glue, glitter. Yes, some of it will get on the carpet but you can handle it. Get them to make a car or a house or a robot.
  • Don’t forget to introduce your kids to the old-fashioned fun of marbles, knucklebones, cards, balloon games, hide and seek, and board games. And don’t forget reading. It’s an acquired taste but what a wonderful lifetime of pleasure they will have if they become good readers.
  • Get them to plan a TV show. They could film it on your phone, or they could perform it inside a cardboard box. Odds are, it will be better than a lot of what is broadcast.
  • Puppet shows with socks, musicals and comedy shows – kids love putting on shows as long as you are prepared to be the audience when they have it all worked out. The performances will be agony to sit through but just remind yourself, these are the good old days. And it’s not as bad as childbirth.

Have a great holiday and I’ll catch you in the new year.

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About Author

John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

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