DIY INDOOR GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Many of us are stuck inside these days due to Covid19 and social distancing. If you're a parent, you're probably looking for cheap/free activities to keep your kids entertained (or keep them busy while you have to work from home).
Previously, I shared an idea for a daily planning chart. Today, I have a couple of activities/games that you could quickly make at home to add to that activity list.
WORD TREASURE HUNT
We decided to make ours Easter/Spring themed, but you can use whatever shaped cards you wish. This activity is easily adjusted for different reading levels - you can use just letters for those younger children, phonetic words for your 4-6 year olds, or some multi-syllable spelling words for your older kids.
1) Write letters or words on colored cardstock or index cards. We chose to make ours shaped like eggs, and used some real and some fake phonics words to add another element to the game at the end.
2) Hide the cards around the house or hide them in a box/tub of shredded paper (or Easter grass if you have extra)
3) The first part of the game involves having the child find the cards. The second part of the game is having them read the letters or words aloud. If you've written some real words and some fake words, they can sort them at this time into bowls/buckets/boxes of "treasure" vs "trash" words. This second part of the activity keeps them occupied a bit longer and encourages reading to actually happen, instead of it just being a treasure hunt
CHOCOLATE FACTORY MATH
This activity is mostly for kids ages 4-7, but you could get the older kids involved with the younger kids if you have mixed age ranges. It can be played with 2-4 players
1) You will need dominoes and pieces of paper with numbers 1, 2, 5 and 10 written on them (or monopoly money or something similar)
2) If you want to add an imagination and role-playing component to it at the beginning, you can have the kids act out making the chocolate by stirring the dominoes and spreading them out flat face down to cool. Once the "chocolate" (i.e., the dominoes) are cool and face down on a flat surface, you are ready for the Math activity. Divide the play money up evenly between all of the players
3) Choose one person to be the chocolate shop keeper, and the rest to be the customers. On their turn, the customer flips over one "chocolate bar" and asks the shop keeper how much it costs. The shop keeper needs to add the domino dots together to tell the price. The customer must then count up their pretend money to find the correct amount to pay to the shop keeper. Change can be given, if necessary
4) It is the next customer's turn to buy a "chocolate bar" in the same manner. Play continues until someone runs out of money. If a customer does not have enough money to buy the "chocolate bar" that they flipped over, they pass it to the next customer to see if they have enough money. If none of the customers have enough money to buy it, the shop keeper gets to put it in his/her stash.
5) Play continues until all of the "chocolate bars" are flipped over. Near the end, as the customers run out of money, the shop keeper's stash will start to grow. For the final component of the game, to determine a winner (if you wish), have each customer and the shop keeper count up how many "chocolate bars" they each have in their stash to see who ended up with the most chocolate
This game involves creativity, imagination, life skills of buying and selling, and math skills such as adding and using money. And the best part is, they don't even realize they're learning!