You’re at home with the kids, your spouse is at work and it’s a beautiful day outside but you have no clue what to do with the kids. You’ve already taken them to the park 4 times this week (and it’s only Wednesday), and you and the kids are both getting sick of it.
Or you’re home with the kids, your spouse is at work and it’s pouring rain outside and now the park isn’t even an option, so now what do you do?
Allow us to hopefully spark some new ideas to entertain your kids and you with this list of fun things to do:
1. Romp it up
Where I live, my city has a great kids program called Tot Romp. It’s a space at a local community centre where they set up toys, slides, games, and activities for the kids to play with. It’s a great way to get out of the house, play with new toys and meet new families. It costs a couple bucks each time you go so it’s a relatively low cost option.
Check your local community guide for times and locations.
2. Go for a stroll
While it’s super easy to go for a walk to the park, what about when it rains?
One of my favorite places to go in that case is the mall. It’s a great way to burn off some energy and do a little window shopping. Chances are it won’t be super busy if you go midday so you will probably feel more comfortable letting the kids just wander around and enjoy their time there as well.
As an added bonus, a lot of malls now have a children’s play space for your smaller kids to climb around on and interact with other children around their age.
3. MasterChef your house
Did you know there is a Junior version for MasterChef? That’s right–many kids love to cook! So, why not involve yours in creating a meal?
Lunches and dinners can seem like an endless task, and sometimes a challenging one, with the kids stuck inside. What better way to combat those problems than having your kids help? Sure it might get a little messy, but it’s bound to create some fun memories. Afterwards, have the kids pitch in for clean up!
Thinking about what to make with your kids? Check out 40 Easy Recipes To Cook With Kids
4. Bake away
Baking is a great way to get your kids involved, as they can help create any snacks they eat or any other baking that you need to do.
Added bonus – this will help with the kids refining their math skills as they help you measure out ingredients.
5. Get lost at the blue and yellow
IKEA is one of those places that can easily take up a whole day depending on how you plan your trip (and how many times you get lost).
If your kids are old enough, they can be dropped off in the kids play area and you can shop (or have a coffee and snack for an hour or so). And even if they aren’t old enough, they can still run around the showroom with you, and then you can all grab a cheap bite to eat at the end of the day.
6. Get creative!
Put down an old table cloth (or one from the dollar store) and put your little one in the highchair, give them some child friendly paints and let them go to town on some art creation! Feel free to utilize other child-friendly media, such as non-toxic clay, confetti, and gluesticks.
Whether you use paper, fabric, cardboard, or another material, your kids are bound to have a good time.
7. Future Olympian in training
Many communities are great at providing things to do for families, yet we often forget to use them as a resource.
Gymnastics is one of the best ways for kids to burn off A LOT of energy. It’s safe and fun for them to run and run for an hour or two. It’s often cheap – or free – so it’s worth seeing what your community has to offer.
8. Switch it up
With my kids, I’ve noticed that they often are so bored of seeing the same toys, same spaces and same games, so why not switch it up?
Take your kids to a friend’s place. This will give the kids new surroundings, new toys and new games to play with that will entertain them for a while.
You can even swap with friends so that one person isn’t always hosting. It gets your child out of the house and provides great social interaction, and hopefully a new friendship or two.
9. To grandmother’s house we go
Besides you, chances are that nobody loves your kids as much as their grandparents. We’ve heard it said that being a grandparent is all the fun of being a parent with none of the responsibility.
My kids love their grandparents and they always have a blast with them so why not let them spend more time with them?
10. Go on a date
If you have multiple kids, it can be really hard to get one on one time with them.
A great idea is to go on a date with one kid each week. One week mom takes a kid out, next week dad takes a kid out until each parents has had a date with each kid, then start all over again.
This is a great way to slow things down or speed them up while getting to focus all your attention on just one kid.
Here’s a sweet video about a dad taking his daughter on the first date:
11. Kids cafe
This one is similar to the one above but I know in my area, there is a couple of cafes that have a designated play space for kids and great snacks for parents. They often run different events such as music classes which can be a great day out.
12. Train your little Michael Phelps
This one can be indoor or out, but the pool is a great option to burn off that excess energy and it’s super fun for everyone. Just don’t forget sunscreen if you’re outdoors.
And afterwards, your kids will drop like a rock for a fantastic nap!
13. Treat yo self
This one is for the girls. The spa is always a good time, whether it’s just getting your nails done or going for a full spa day with massage and everything else.
Either plan an at home spa day (which can also be a fun planning activity!) or treat your kiddo and allow the pros to do it. My family tends to prefer the home option: we make homemade facial scrubs, pick up some masks from the dollar store, paint each other’s nails, and eat yummy treats!
14. Take me out to the ball game
Chances are it’s getting close to baseball season where you live. If you’re lucky, like I am in Vancouver, you may even have a professional or semi-professional team close by.
Take the family out to a ball game for the night. If you’re on a budget, go to the local park one evening and watch kids play some Little League.
15. Catch some rays
Take the kids to the beach. With summer fast approaching, take advantage of optimum beach weather! It doesn’t even need to be summer for this, cloudy days mean it’s going to be less busy and give your kid more space to run and explore! Pack a picnic lunch and you’re basically set.
There are plenty of great beach ideas to consider before heading out to the beach with your kids.
16. Take a ride
One thing I love to do is go for local drives and find new places to explore. Doing this with the kids can be awesome, as it’s relaxing and full of wonderful scenery!
Ask them what they see out the window, just make sure your destination has some space to let your kids out of the car so that they can get their energy out!
17. Search out a new park
Do you have errands to run in a different part of the city? Google the top playgrounds in the area and make that a pit stop after running your errands.
Who knows, it might just become a new favorite family destination!
18. Farmers’ markets
You don’t need to be a foodie to attend a farmer’s market. Often times there are farmers markets or festivals that are free to attend and will have music and different performances. It’s a great way to check out different interests and businesses in your community!
And for your reference, take a look at America’s best farmers’ markets here.
19. Chalk it up
Chalk is great for a few reasons, it’s super cheap, fun for the kids and harmless on clothing.
You can pick it up from the dollar store (or make it yourself if you’re really ambitious, another thing to do with the kids) and head out your front door for some cheap fun!
You can have drawing contests, draw roads or play hop scotch. Don’t forget to bring out the kids toys to play on after or simply sit and play endless games of X’s & O’s. Do a web search to utilize the plethora of ways that you can play with chalk!
20. Go for a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are great for kids. It gives them a task that they have to complete. If your kids are as determined as mine are, they will love it.
There are lots of free lists available online or simply make your own before you leave. Head out for a walk and have your kids either gather the items on a list, take a picture or point them out to you. It puts a new spin on your ordinary walks.
21. Zoo-m off
If you have a zoo in your area, go spend the day there. If you don’t have a big zoo, maybe there’s a petting zoo close by. Pack a lunch for the day and head out!
Kids love animals and being able to walk around so much, this is a win-win situation.
22. Go chasing airplanes
One of the best dates I ever took my wife on was a trip to the airport late at night. We took a pickup truck, lots of blankets and pillow and laid in the bed watching airplanes land.
Chances are good that there is an airport near you, go spend an afternoon there. The kids can run around while you wait for any planes and then help count them, what colour are they, guess where they came from etc.
Tip – make sure you have ear protection for children that are really young!
23. Head to the great outdoors
Whether it’s in the backyard or way out in the deep woods, camping was always a favorite memory of mine.
Getting out the tent and sleeping bags and roasting marshmallows is a guaranteed good time for parents and kids!
Be sure to follow proper guidelines and precautions so that your camping trip is safe and fun for everyone.
24. Fight the kids
Have a water fight! Kids love competition, especially if it’s against their parents. Find your inner child, get out your water gun and set teams, maybe even set up barriers and have a good old fashioned water fight.
We hope this list has given you a few new ideas to entertain both you and the kids.
This week choose one item from the list that you haven’t done before and go have some fun with your little ones!. No more using weather as an excuse either because we gave you indoor and outdoor ideas.
After you’ve done it, come back here and choose another one to try out the next week!
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com