I am of the opinion (since you ask) that what parents want is a bunch of easy indoor activities to keep their kids busy, especially when they are stuck inside. They don't need (or want) to spend more time setting up a project then the kids spend engaged with it. Am I right?
If you're worried you won't live up to what's happing on Pinterest. Stop that thinking right now and log off that site! All you need to feel good about yourself is right here.
In other words, all you need are my favorite "easy but ugly" indoor activity ideas for kids.
Don't Sweat the Ugly
Long time followers of this blog (you're the best) know my favorite indoor activities are those my kids can do by themselves. I don't spend a lot of time creating beautifully designed DIY projects. You won't see my homemade toys featured on design blogs and pinned 300,000 times. However, what you will find right here are extremely easy ideas that normal parents can actually do.
I'm here to tell you it's okay if you don't decoupage your cardboard boxes, color coordinate your clothespins, dye batches of rainbow rice for sensory bins or cover tin cans with washi tape in order to keep your kids entertained. If you like doing that, great! But your kids won't care at all if you don't.
You can use items straight from the recycle bin, old duct tape and stained kitchen ware.
I'll say it again: your kids won't care.
I have some seriously ugly photographs in my blogging archives. I'm shamelessly pulling them out for you in all their ugly but awesome glory. These ideas are not pretty. But who cares? They will entertain your kids.
List of Ugly Indoor Activities
Warning: These pictures are not pretty, they lack proper lighting, and
may even be are slightly out of focus. CLICK on the orange links below to see the original project. Most of these easy ideas are great for toddlers through elementary school.
- Turn a cardboard box into a ball game.
- Turn a bunch of yogurt containers into... well, whatever you want it to be.
- Turn a box into the ugliest toy car parking garage ever.
- Turn a box into the ugliest toy stove ever.
- Tun an old pickle jar into a magnet busy jar. (Not for children under 4)
- Use a stained baking sheet for a toy car ramp or a toy car obstacle course.
- Thread pipe cleaners through an index card.
- Push toothpicks through a stained colander.
- Play with craft sticks.
- Construct with homemade cardboard building discs
- Play with a cardboard drop box (pictured above) - cut a hole in a box and drop blocks into it.
That last one is my personal favorite. I originally titled the post, "How to get siblings to work together." Go on. Click on it to find out why.
So what about you? How much effort do you put into helping your kids entertain themselves? Are your projects beautiful? Are they so-so? Or are they really quite ugly, like mine? No matter your design talent, we can all agree on the objective: happy, busy kids.
Don't forget, you can find more easy ideas (some might even be pretty!) on our giant list of indoor activities.