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Let them loose around the house with these awesome DIY indoor activities, all geared for upper primary kids, including creative craft and fun stay-at-home games.
A little bit messy, a little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun, these ideas for fun indoor activities for kids will get them moving, planning and competing with DIY craft, games and more. You can make the most of pieces you already have lying around at home or add extra. Plus, some of the results will make perfect gifts (if you can part with them).
If you have left over tiles from a kitchen or bathroom renovation, this is a clever use for them – otherwise pick some up from your local hardware store, ideally square-shaped. Lie a tile on a piece of blank paper and draw around it, then have your kids sketch out a picture they’d like to make permanent on their coaster (this step isn’t essential but will help minimise mistakes).
Once they’re happy with the design, get them to draw it again, this time using a permanent pen or paint marker on the tile. If they want to use lettering, try stencils. When they have finished the drawing, set aside the tile so the ink can dry. Once it has, spray with a setting spray that’s suitable for ceramics. If your tiles have a rough backing, prevent scratching surfaces by attaching felt to the base of the coaster with a glue gun.
Somewhere on a shelf, in every home that’s seen children grow, sits a wonky clay pencil holder, vase or dish. Over the years, those quirky and creative little sculptures become every bit as precious as the crystal and porcelain curios they sit amongst. And most were created while trying to keep young hands busy while stuck indoors.
Thankfully, needing access to a kiln is a thing of the past; all that’s required for your child to make their craft keepsake is some air-dry clay, paints, nimble hands, a plan and some patience (you’ll need a couple of days up your sleeve as the clay needs time to dry before being decorated). Challenge the kids to make a creature or homewares item, then have them add colour and personality with some non-toxic poster paints.
If one activity isn’t enough to keep them entertained, set up three and have them move between the stations: indoor activities for kids don’t have to be stationary. Start with bowling: use toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls as pins (the kids can colour them in, if they like). Line the rolls up at one end of a hallway or room and get the kids to knock them over with a ball (for fun, they can even make their own ball).
The next station is for target practice: elevate an empty tissue or shoe box to a counter or table and have the kids shoot brightly coloured rubber bands in. (If you’re using a larger shoe box, have them draw a dart board or bullseye on the inside.) Finally, using large pieces of cardboard, cut out circles of varying sizes, write a points value on each, then stick to a wall. Give the kids a soft ball and have them aim for the circles, adding up their points as they go.
This is the perfect age for playing games with slime: too old to accidentally eat it or coat the walls and young enough that slime hasn’t lost its appeal. While there are plenty of recipes for making slime, Elmer’s Everyday Slime Starter Kit has all the ingredients you need – just grab some Tupperware and a spatula for mixing. Once you’ve got the slime at the desired consistency, the challenge for the kids is as simple as sticking in a straw and blowing until a bubble forms. Have a competition to see who can blow the biggest bubble!
This is a super easy way to get kids jumping, lunging and stretching without ever having to say so. All you need are two ‘rackets’, each made of a paper plate with two wooden sticks or even popsicle sticks firmly stuck on as a handle; and an inflated balloon (keep a few spares handy in case of breakage). The game is to bat the balloon back and forth. Raise the stakes by adding challenges: the balloon can’t touch the floor; players can only hit the balloon once to get it back to their opponent, and so on.
Those shoeboxes of old photos you keep telling yourself you’ll put in an album but never do? Now is their time to shine. Or you can print out a stack of more recent photos in black and white (head to the instore Print & Copy shop if you don’t have a printer and photo paper at home) – that way you can guarantee the end result will be uniform.
Either way, for this DIY activity you’ll need around 20 pictures, some string, strong tape and a large stick. Cut around four lengths of string, at 60 centimetres to one metre in length each, to hang from the stick. Have your kids choose five photos for each piece of string, laying them on top of the string at evenly spaced out intervals and leaving extra room at the top of each string to attach it to the stick. (If you have lots of photos, you can use more lengths of string or add more photos to each length.)
Once the kids are happy with the placement, it’s time to stick the pictures to the string with tape. Attach each photo to a string with two pieces of tape, one piece of tape at the top and one at the bottom of each photo, sticking the string to the centre of the back of each photo. Continue until all pictures are on their piece of string. When that’s done, it’s time to tie your lengths of string to the stick, giving each row of photos enough space that they don’t touch. Finally, tie one piece of string to one end of the stick and another piece of string to the other end, then join the two pieces in a secure knot. Your photo collage is ready to be hung!