Being cooped up at home during the rainy season, with not much to do, is definitely not a fun idea for children. If it is pouring, they get frustrated as they cannot go outdoors or play sports. The murmurs of “I’m bored” and “I have run out of things to do” grow louder each day and even the most judicious mother is driven up the wall, trying to think of ways to keep the little tykes engaged.
But there is no reason to panic or lose your head about how your child will keep himself busy. And you do not have to depend on the tablet or television to keep him distracted. We have some fun activity ideas for you that your children will love doing indoors and that are sure to bust the boredom. Here goes --
1. Play with DIY Bowling Pins
Who doesn’t love the rush and thrill of a game of bowling pins, especially when it has been made at home? Give your youngster some old half-litre plastic bottles and get him to make nine pins out of them. Here is how it’s done -- paint the bottles white and once they are dry, put some sand or pebbles inside to weigh them down. Choose a long space in a convenient part of the house and mark a playing area with coloured tape or chalk. Use an old rubber ball for bowling and your game is ready. All you have to do is knock them down! Your child can be doing it for hours and stay out of your way.
2. Write a Diary
For preteens and teens, keeping a diary in which they can regularly record their thoughts is a good idea. It not only serves as a journal of the day-to-day activities but also helps them contemplate on what they have done on a particular day and if they have used their time productively. When the rain is pelting outside, inspire your child to go one step further and describe what she sees outside, through the window -- the beauty of nature, what people on the road are doing, how animals take shelter from the rain and record this in her diary. She can even make small illustrations of the things she describes. It will also be a good tool to enhance writing skills.
3. The Dressing Up Game
This is for slightly smaller children (4-8 years), who love wearing their father's big boots or Mommy’s beautiful saree. Encourage the creative imagination of your children by letting them dress up as certain characters from popular culture; the more colourful and wacky the home-made costumes, the better. This will keep the little ones having fun for a long time and they won’t know where the time went.
4. Plant Herbs in Jars
When the skies open up and you cannot step outdoors, there is no way to indulge the children in gardening activities. Or is there? Think again -- you can always help your child plant an indoor garden or create herb jars for the balcony. All you will need are a few empty and cleaned pickle jars and other reusable glass jars from the kitchen, some mud and a few seeds/saplings of plants which grow in the semi-shade. If you have leftover mint or coriander sprigs with some roots in your kitchen, just use them. Get your child to neatly put in mud and home-made compost (if you have any) into the glass jars. Put in seeds/saplings and some water. She can create as many as she wants and line them neatly in the balcony.
5. Make a paper collage
If your child is interested in art and loves spending time making various crafts teach him this one great indoor activity. He will get a chance to use his imagination while doing this hands-on activity and also get creative. All you need is a piece of chart paper, glue and whatever colourful paper that is lying around in the house. Just tear the coloured paper into bits and keep them aside. The more the colours the better. Then let him draw a picture of his choice on the chart paper and then start sticking the paper bits within the outlines of the chart. Turn the bits into a beautiful piece of paper art.
6. Build a blanket castle
Many of us may still remember the fun we had while building castles and houses with bedsheets inside our rooms and sitting inside cosily. This is a great group or individual activity and requires skill and imagination -- typing up the blankets, putting pillows and other stuff inside to make it cosy and so on. This will engage the child’s faculties for some time and keep her occupied.
7. Make your own video
Instead of playing meaningless games on the tablet or smartphone for hours together, children could use this technology for a creative pursuit -- shoot a video of themselves or their surroundings, edit and add elements to make it look like a movie. The more funny and wacky it is, the better it will be. It could be about everyday things but with an extraordinary touch. It could also be about the rain and the impending weather conditions. This will be an engrossing prospect for the children.
So let the children discover new things to do during the rains, while they are home.