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Curious Comets The Cozy Indoors

8 Experiences You Can Recreate for Cooped-Up Kids

I think we can all agree that things are (and have been for almost a year now) really weird. Who knew we’d miss things like a trip to the grocery store or even the daily commute to work? If we find ourselves missing the daily pleasures of pre-quarantine life, just imagine what it must be doing to the kids.

With online classes, no play dates with friends or outings with the family, things can get really dull really soon. Though there are certain things you can include in their daily routine to keep them occupied (like exercise, crafts, etc.), every once in a while, let them have a little reminder of certain events they used to love and now have to wait to experience again. Here is a list of favorite experiences you can recreate in the comfort and safety of your own home.

Bowling

One of the most fun indoor activities for kids, and most adults, is bowling. Set up a bowling lane in your living room and make some bowling pins with small plastic water bottles. You can fill them with clear or colored water. Set them up in a triangle and hand over any ball to your child to act as a bowling ball. This activity works great for younger children as it develops their motor skills. Older kids can count the pins they knock down.

Carnival

Agreed, going to a carnival has its own special charm but with the right materials, you can try to recreate some of it in your own home. Set up small games in different rooms or even beside each other and also serve up common carnival snacks like cotton candy or sweet corn. For the games you can have ring toss, darts, bottle pyramid, etc. Find ideas among these 20 carnival activities for kids. You can even have prizes for them to win and photo booth as well.

Movies

This is not just one of the best quarantine activities for kids, but something you can make a weekly or monthly event in your home. Print out or make a poster of the movie you plan to screen that week (after consulting with the kids of course). Make tickets and give them to the kids earlier in the day. If you’re wondering how to make a movie theatre at home – there’s really nothing to it. You just have to rearrange your furniture so that everyone can sit together comfortably, facing the screen. This can be on the sofa or even on a comfy blanket on the floor. If you have a projector, that would be amazing but your TV will work well too. For effect, you can queue up some trailers of other movies (preferably ones you plan to screen in the weeks to come) before the movie of the night. Turn down the lights, adjust the sound and let the fun begin. Serve up some movie theatre snacks like popcorn or nachos. If you plan the movie around meal time, you can use an ‘intermission’ to finish dinner and return to your seats.

Camping

Camping is fun but not always possible. That’s why we have indoor camping! If you set the scene right, include the right food and entertainment, the children will forget they’re in the same room they are every day and believe they are camping under the stars. If you have a tent, set that up. If not, build one with blankets and chairs. Throw in some fluffy pillows to make it cozy. You can play games like a scavenger hunt or “I spy with my little eye” or even dumb charades. If it’s night time, you can hand over flash lights to the children and tell them stories in the dark (not scary stories or they will be up all night and maybe for a few nights after).

Picnic

This is one of the easiest and best indoor activities for kids. Having an indoor picnic is great way change up your usual routine. Create a little empty space (maybe in the living room or even the kid’s bed room), lay out a mat or a waterproof tablecloth and prepare a picnic basket. The basket can have typical picnic snacks like sandwiches, fruits and juice boxes. Remember to include napkins and cutlery and maybe some board games.

Puppet show or play

If you already have some puppets then just come up with a story and perform it for your child, maybe from behind the sofa. If you don’t have puppets, here are some great ideas on how to make puppets with the children. You can all come up with a script together and each play a part and maybe perform it for grandparents or even just for yourselves.

Holiday

If you can’t go for a vacation, bring the vacation to you. Let the children choose a type of vacation, your options can be – having a beach side holiday, sightseeing a particular city, visiting a national park, going deep-sea diving – the possibilities are limitless. Look for an appropriate video or website. There are plenty of virtual tours of museums, national parks, safaris, monuments and more. You can visit the Great Wall of China or go on a tour of the International Space Station while sitting in your living room. There are plenty of virtual zoo and safari tours for children as well. Explore.org gives you access to wildlife webcams from across the world so you can watch real animals, live in their natural habitats.

Restaurants

If it’s been a while since you dined out as a family, try this for Sunday breakfast. Just set the table as it would look in a restaurant – with place mats and cutlery all neatly placed. Make a menu of limited items that you plan to make that morning (pancake, dosa, idli, milkshakes, cold milk, etc.). Greet the children, seat them and let them make their choice. You can set the mood by playing the radio or café music. To have some fun, when the meal is over you can ask them for feedback and maybe hand them a bill for a hug.

Some of these indoor activities for kids can be done on a regular basis and some might need some planning and preparation so can happen once a month or on special occasions. The world outside might be a scary place now, so the children (and you) deserve a break every now and then. These activities are more than distractions from screens or ways to keep the kids busy, they’re chances for all of us to feel a sense of happiness and normalcy.

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Playful Planets The Cozy Indoors

9 Fun Indoor Activities for Tweens

Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring! Stimulate your tween’s mind with these fun indoor activities!

We can’t always expect a Cat in a Hat to come entertain the kids when they’re stuck at home. Whether it is health, weather, or any other circumstances that make your tween sit inside the house, fun indoor activities come in to save the day. 

Here’s a list of 9 fun indoor activities for tweens

Tweens are full of energy and in this article you will read about fun indoor activities that will keep them engaged and entertained. So without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

Fun Workout Activities for the Win

Your tween is stuck inside the house and for some reason can’t go out? All you need is a little music and a good workout activity like dance or even yoga to keep him or her entertained as well as fit. This way your kid will not only have fun, but it will also ensure that your tween burns off excess energy. 

Engage them in Creative Activities

Staying creative is equally important for tweens as it keeps their mind active and healthy. Indulge tweens in a unique craft activity or keep them busy by making them try something different like knitting or creating their own journal. Few other suggestions would be making origami with them or free painting.

A Little Extra Help in the Kitchen!

For some odd reason, kids always get fascinated by what goes on in the kitchen. You could use this opportunity to get a little extra help as you can ask your tween to wash the veggies, or you could do a baking session with them to have fun in the kitchen. 

Keep the ingredients ready and ask your tween to mix everything well—you can make brownies, sponge cake, or cookies. It will not only pass their time, but you might also end up making a delicious dessert. 

Board Games Can Never Be Boring

When there’s nothing to do, your tween can always count on card games, puzzles, or other board games to have fun. Keep a few enjoyable games in handy for when this situation arrives, and you will thank us later. Playing board games will keep your tween busy, and it is also healthy for a child’s brain as board games are tricky and they act as brain teasers. 

Make Them Your Assistant for the Day

Tweens are like fireballs of energy and they just love doing something or the other to burn their fuel. You can ask your tween to clean the closet or set the room to keep them busy for a few hours. This trick will also secretly make your child a helper as you won’t have to do these tasks later. Another good thing about this activity is that your kid will learn to help around the house. 

Choose the tasks creatively for them. You can use this opportunity to instill a habit of doing their own chores.

Picnic in the Balcony Sounds Like a Plan

Do you have a lawn at your place or a balcony? You can plan a fun picnic with your tween in the house itself! 

Spread a sheet, get some snacks, and just sit, relax, and talk with your tween while you all enjoy the pleasant weather. Have your child talk about something that happened at school, or his or her favourite character in a book. This gives you both an opportunity to spend quality time together. Throw in some board games to make it more fun.

Call the Fashion Police!

Let your kid mix and match clothes and experiment different looks.

We are sure that your kid will look super cute in all those outfits, and you can also create a full-fledged fashion show out of it! Make your child walk the ramp, cheer loudly, play good music, and create a whole new vibe at your place. Little things like this develop an unbreakable bond.

Give it a Personal Touch With a Letter 

Letters give a personal touch and hence, they feel special. Make your tween write letters to their friends, grandparents, or loved ones who might not necessarily live around you. You can also have a letter-writing session where you exchange letters with each other. 

Writing letters will keep your kid occupied and it will also make those who receive the letters extremely special.

Set the Strings

Apart from being a fun indoor activity, a musical instrument has tons of benefits. A five-year study concluded that musical training contributes to faster brain development of kids. Along with this, it also helps them in their decision-making process.

It can be a hobby that will keep them engaged for a long time. And they will certainly enjoy it!

These are a few of the many indoor activities that your tween can indulge in to ensure that they have an incredible day inside the home. We hope that you got what you were looking for! 

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Curious Comets The Cozy Indoors

Bring Nature Home: 8 Indoor Activities for Nature-Loving Kids

My pre-schooler loved going to the park every day. Not for the slides and swings. Not necessarily to play and interact with other kids. He loved picking up fallen flowers, talking to (and unintentionally startling) the pigeons, and looking at the different colors in the evening sky.

When the mandatory lockdown started, it was easy to keep him occupied at home but it got me thinking – do I really want him to lose that ability to find happiness in nature? And lose that connection he has with it? Of course not.

There’s a reason why children (and even adults) are drawn to natural environments – the sights, sounds, scents, and textures of the outdoors are the perfect gateway for boundless exploration while promoting creativity, and increasing attention span while reduces stress. This high level of curiosity doesn’t last forever – so if we don’t let our kids experience nature while they are young, it might just become an invisible backdrop.

With the pandemic, letting children play outside is risky for them and scary for you. So here are some indoor activities for kids at a time when we have to be careful about the time we spend outdoors.

Indoor Gardening

Help your child create a kitchen garden or grow some microgreens. Just grab a handful of any of seeds from your kitchen (fenugreek, mustard, coriander), soak them and sow them in a container. Let your child sprinkle water every day and watch its progress. There’s something magical about watching a seed grow into a plant and it’s even more magical seeing your child’s face light up when they experience it.

Make Nature Faces

Thinking of outdoor activities for children is easier than coming up with engaging indoor activities, but you can blend the two with this one. If you do take the kids out for a walk – have them collect twigs, leaves, pebbles, etc., and use them later to make faces, animals, and other drawings on the floor at home.

Match the Rock

Trace the outlines of a few rocks and pebbles on paper and have your child match the rock to its outline. Once you start with this activity, you can encourage your child to pick up a different rock during every outing, and soon you’ll have your very own rock collection.

Scent Jars

This is one of my favorites, and it’s a great sensory activity for children. Have them close their eyes (or you can blindfold them) and let them guess what spices and herbs you present before them – one by one. I usually include basil leaves, a stick of cinnamon, some pods of cardamom, a few cloves, and even a slice of lime. You can talk about each after they smell it and tell them the names of the spices in different languages and how they’re used.

Paint with Nature

Remember those flowers, leaves, and twigs we collected earlier? Here’s another use for them. Tie some of these leaves and flowers to the ends of strong twigs and let your child use them as paintbrushes.

Leaf Threading

Tie a piece of twine to a thin twig and have your child thread some leaves with it. It’s a great gross motor skill activity and the outcome looks very pretty!

Stone Balancing

Lay out stones of different shapes and sizes and see how many they can carefully stack up before they all come tumbling down. This activity helps improve concentration and focus, hand-eye coordination, patience, and creative processing.

Bonus Benefit – it will also help them become champion lagori (or seven stones) players!

Float or Sink – Water Sensory Bin

Yes, this one involves water, which means there probably will be a little mess, but it’s definitely going to be a lot of fun. Just fill a little tub with water and leave some light and heavy items out for them to experiment with. You can include leaves, dried orange or lemon slices, pebbles, shells, etc. Have them feel the object and guess beforehand if it will float or sink and then let them find out for themselves.

A Few Tips

Nature stories: Pick storybooks books about animals, nature, and the great outdoors

Relive experiences: Keep talking about certain trips or experiences like the last visit to the zoo or the beach

Nature on TV: Instead of just cartoons, let TV time include some nature and animal documentaries

Get a pet: Having a pet is always great for a child to develop non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy. Give that it’s a lot of responsibility, you can consider something small to begin with – like a fish or a hamster

These tips will come in handy (even in the years to come) when it’s not always possible to take the children outside or let them participate in outdoor activities. If your child is already an outdoor-enthusiast, these fun nature activities will help nurture that connection, and if your child isn’t particularly fond of the outdoors yet, hopefully, some of these suggestions will help foster a love for nature!