It’s funny how we tend to see more rain in the fall than in the summer. Maybe it’s Mother Nature’s way of wrapping up summer and giving us a heads up to brace ourselves for cooler temperatures. For some, fall is a favorite season full of sweaters and boot fashion, and for others it’s disappointing that the outdoor fun has to come to an end. When you have kids, it can especially take a toll on little ones who are used to their summer walks, hours of playing in the yard, and all the water activities their little hearts desire. Keeping kids indoors can seem a bit stressful, but the secret is to be creative and come up with as many activities as you can to keep them engaged and entertained. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few to try out at home.
The best thing about puzzles is that no matter your age, there’s just something about a puzzle that makes you feel accomplished when you’ve finished. Anyone from your toddler to your older kids can participate. To make it appealing, clear your dining table and set it up with your kids favorite snacks: chips, fruit slices with dip, cookies, cheese and crackers, and anything else you’d like. Choose a puzzle theme that will interest them. For example, Dowdle Puzzles has cities, landmarks, animals, and even fine art. Not only does this keep your kids entertained, it will also educate them on different destinations. For your younger kids, such as toddlers, puzzles can provide cognitive learning benefits. The best puzzles for toddlers are ones with their favorite cartoon character or a scene from their favorite movie.
For kids, dressing up is part of their magic, make-believe world where anything goes. Whether it’s a superhero with a cape, a doctor or a fairytale princess, kids can spend hours playing the role of their imagination. The best thing about dress-up pieces is that they can be very budget-friendly. For example, the Presley Couture unicorn dress can be a way for your little one to dress up and have a pastel tea party with you, siblings, or neighborhood friends. To add an educational twist on the average dress-up, you can act out scenes during reading time so that it can be a nice change to the “everyday book in bed” routine.
Not all screen time is bad. If your kids have access to an iPad or if you have a streaming device where you can interact with educational apps, sometimes it is the best way to teach your kids new concepts. Apps such as ABC Mouse are a great way to teach your little one about colors, numbers, spelling of words and animals, to name a few. Apps like these can prep your kids for the actual classroom when it comes time. Another plus side to screen time is that you can partake in daily exercise. Toddler yoga is something that you can both do together to work on your strength and flexibility. Yoga, for kids especially, is said to help with their anxiety and boost self-esteem. Make sure that you have a fast internet connection, such as Utah Broadband to help with all of your screen time — any interruption and you are sure to lose your toddler’s limited attention span.
Let your little one “help” you in the kitchen. At times, getting dinner ready can seem impossible between an active toddler and your workload. Create a station where your little one can help out. For example, put your toddler in their high chair with different vegetables and fruits cut up along with a small bowl and let them pretend they are helping you make a salad. You can always add the vegetables to your steamer later and serve them for dinner, while saving the fruit for dessert so nothing goes to waste. Or make a pizza together and have your toddler sit at the counter and let them spread out the sauce and add the toppings with you.
If cooking isn’t engaging enough, you can try baking. Sweets are always on a toddler’s mind so helping to add chocolate chips to a cookie recipe or frosting to a sugar cookie will seem like all the fun in the world to them.
Staying in doesn’t have to be a drag, there’s so many things to do. As a parent, we just have to tap into our inner kid to create some fun with whatever we’ve got.