Monday, June 27, 2011

5 Great Indoor Games and Activities

  1. Marshmallow tinkertoys - A bag of marshmallows and some thin pretzel sticks are all you need to build the perfect puffy pal, a 3-D house, or tepee. Your child simply skewers the marshmallows with the sticks to create his own masterpiece. Add to the fun by placing toy pigs or other animals in the house and challenging your child to be the big bad wolf and blow it down.
  2. Sugar cookie pizzas - Even the most domestically challenged chef can pull off this sweet and simple project. Slice several thick cookies from a roll of refrigerated sugar-cookie dough. Gently flatten them a bit on a cookie sheet to widen them, bake, and cool for about 10 minutes. Next, your little Mario Batalis can decorate their pies with strawberry jam or red icing for sauce, shredded coconut for cheese, and red M&M's for pepperoni.
  3. Grandparent greetings - Haul out the craft supplies and set up a home Hallmark business. First your child creates the card with stickers, glitter, cut-out magazine photos, or whatever else he likes. Then you ask him what he wants to say to the recipient, and you write it inside. (I once received one of these from my then 2-year-old nephew that said, "Dear Aunt Isadora, I like to bite my piggy toy. Love, Jared." That was one card I never tossed.) The icing on the cake? When the weather clears up, let your child stamp the envelope and slide it into a nearby mailbox.
  4. Create a sensory table - Remember the slimy thrill of sifting your hands through a bucket of ersatz eyeballs (aka peeled grapes) at the local haunted house? This activity offers the same thrills without the nightmares. Fill a series of bowls or washing basins full of textured objects -- peeled grapes are still a good choice, as is cold cooked spaghetti, steel-wool pads, cornstarch, or dry beans. Blindfold your child, have him sift his hands through, and describe what he feels. Then challenge him to guess the object.
  5. Pirate Play - Wrap a bunch of wooden blocks in aluminum foil, and hide them around the house (don't get too clever -- remember whom you're dealing with). Give each child a flashlight and a small paper bag, and challenge them to find the buried silver.


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