Hello Again! Here in the Roanoke Valley area of North Carolina, we are enjoying (or cursing, depending on your state of mind) some snow! That means most everything is shut down and we get a little extra time with our little man. Although sometimes it's nice to just curl up in front of the fire with a warm blanket, hot cocoa, watching a family friendly movie, we don't want to be permanent couch potatoes. How about you?
So, I thought I'd share some fun activities to do with your Littles. Whether your a parent, grandparent, wacky aunt/uncle, or amazing friend, I think there's a bit for everyone. There are a mix of ideas that are great for snow days, rainy days, or outdoor activities to let them burn off some of that built up energy that always seems to accumulate and has them climbing the walls. Ethan is 3 now, but some of these he's done earlier in life and others I'd image he'll still love to do for years to come.
Ethan has always liked to paint because he always watches me and wants to be helpful. However, for the longest time he didn't want to get any paint on himself (I know, weird kid, right?!). He insisted on actually using brushes instead of finger painting. Here are a few solutions I came up with:
Of course there's the basics of painting with a brush on construction paper...
And then there was painting on canvas. We did this for Valentine's Day last year. All I did was make the letters "L-O-V-E" in painters tape. I also taped down a big trash bag as a tarp on the floor. Ethan still didn't like getting dirty at that point, so he used foam brushes.
Then once it was all dry, I just remove the painters tape and (drum roll please............) TA DA!
We've also done different painting activities with make-shift stamps and stencils. You can make all kinds of fun shapes by slicing a potato in half and then carve the end.
Eventually, he grew out of his hatred of getting dirty and embraced it. Well, I asked for it...
There is a great alternative if you want to keep clean and sane. Aqua Doodle mats are a God send! Even the cat is entertained. It came with markers you fill with water, but we decided painting with a cup of water was more fun.
Make a Tent or Fort
This is always a crowd pleaser. Here are a few that I have made for some special Littles in my life. I'll share how-to's in future posts for details instructions. However, there is much to be said for the classic blanket draped over chairs.
Or there's the always fun - a cardboard box! My little brother actually slept in a Lazy Boy box he decorated. We were fortunate enough to live across the street from a local furniture store that would gladly let him recycle their boxes into kiddie condos. After they had been wrestled in and destroyed, he'd just go get another one and start from scratch.
Other Indoor Activities
Music is a powerful thing. There are so many advantages to having at least some music education, and it all starts with having fun and appreciation for it at an early age. Here's a few simple ideas:
- Turn on the radio and dance!
- Sing while you do other activities (even cleaning to make it more fun)
- Pull out some pots and pans and let the little percussionist go at it
- March to the beat on top of bubble wrap
Sting Beads or other crafts
Go down any isle in a craft store and you are sure to find loads of inspiration. Of course, I'm such a craft supply hoarder that I have no problem finding random stuff to keep the little man entertained. Here, he's playing with a bunch of old wooden spools. Sometimes he uses them as beads and strings them together into necklaces. Other times, he sticks them into a large cardboard tube and slides them out the other side across the room. It can be messy, but that's life.
Sure, you can have a closet full of dress up cloths...
Or you can simply let them be themselves. Oh, the things they come up with! This will certainly embarrass him one day, but he's so dang cute. When he posed for this picture, he started singing "Happy Birthday" - sorry I didn't get video!
Kids need to play outside! It's great exercise for their bodies and imaginations. Here are a few ideas, but I'm sure they will come up with even more.
Make a Snowman - a classic! Also try snowball fights, snow angels, and sledding
Play in the leaves. Yes, we were trying to rake, but these are the moments you stop and have some fun!
Ryan went so far as to rake a race track for Ethan to run to his heart's content. He later duplicated it in the snow, also.
Play Kitchen - I know this is usually an indoor activity, but Ethan loves helping with dishes which makes more mess than not. So, I decided to make him an outdoor kitchen. In the summer, we can use the hose and he can make all kinds of fun!
These ideas are just a small sampling of ways you can keep your Littles active and engaged. However, they are sure to come up with their own games that they would love to have you join in.
I hope you enjoyed this post - a total shameless opportunity for me to show off our adorable little man. Please share what fun things you do with your Littles. I'm sure Ethan would love some new ideas!
Thanks and Have a Creative Day!