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With the weather turning colder and wetter and Autumn setting in, staying home becomes more and more appealing. I have to confess, I’m pretty fair weather when it comes to the great outdoors – I’m not one for traipsing around in the rain if I don’t have to and love cosy days at home as a family.
Finding games and activities to occupy my children though, is key to stopping the dreaded cabin fever setting in. When they were young it was harder to find things that could hold their attention, so, one of the joys of my children getting older, has been being able to fully enjoy activities together without so much of the stress and mess.
If you are looking for some new things to try, here are three things we enjoy doing together when spending days at home…
Do you have a smart speaker? Something my children discovered in lockdown is the quizzes it can do when asked, that are fun to play as a family. No board game set up or prep needed, all you have to do is ask and then you’ve got a ready made quiz to play together. If not YouTube is also full of them – We pop it up on our tv and then search up quizzes to play in teams.
There are lots of Disney ones or guess the movie/song games with clip montages to watch. They don’t take up lots of time, but they are a nice little activity to do together, if you are spending the day at home.
Both my children love computer games, but trying to understand the complex worlds they inhabit, when playing their favourites on their consoles, to me feels a bit of a minefield to understand. If I try and join in on a game they are playing, we spend more time with them talking me through the instructions and do and don’ts than actually playing.
It can all get a bit much if I’m honest -they get frustrated that I don’t understand what they are telling me, plus when we are finally playing, I’m then useless and can barely move let alone complete whatever mission they have set me!
Something I’ve discovered recently and find far better doing all together is Plays.org. It’s a browser based website (so you don’t need to download anything) that has hundreds of different games you can choose from that are all free.
Although I’m sure there are many complex and involved games on here too, what I like, is the simple (what feels to me like arcade ) games that I can have fun playing with the kids, with minimal instructions. I bring up the website on my phone or laptop, then we take turns trying to beat each other’s scores. It’s also a handy website to have book marked when out and about, as a good distraction tool if you need to keep the children quiet when waiting for something. Its also a good site to come back to, as they add new games to the categories regularly.
This is a recent one, but as both my children absolutely love TikTok, this is a great source of ideas for things to recreate at home. My seven and nine year old may both watch very different things, but something that regularly crops up in both of their feeds, is recipe videos. They tend to be hacks or new snack ideas to try and because they have seen them on there, often made by people they are following, they are keen to try them out themselves.
We have tried out hacks (These have been 50/50 whether they work, so I have also learnt to manage the kids expectations prior to starting!) made toasted wraps folded in a special way and most recently created chocolate poppets by freezing their fidget toys. Some of the ideas are daft, but they don’t take long and I feel like the kids appreciate me getting involved in something from this platform that they are so immersed in.
Some more posts you might enjoy…
Kids rainy day activities for fun at home – here are our favourite boredom busters
We are really lucky to have a garden space to play in, and like many we have a trampoline that the kids LOVE to bounce on. With so many hours to fill, I’ve written a post here with 6 fun things to do on a trampoline.