Making the extraordinary out of the ordinary
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
These are some ideas for fun activities using objects you already have lying around the house.
1. Wrapping up old toys. This is great for toddlers who have just discovered the joys of unwrapping presents. Take their old toys or familiar objects from the house and wrap them in newspaper or wrapping paper and watch their reaction as they unwrap them...
2. Obstacle course. Create an obstacle course in your living room! Use furniture, sports equipment, toys... Whatever you and your child can find. I normally include some kind of eating challenge - apple bobbing or trying to eat a jelly baby from a plate of jelly babies in flour. An extension would be to use a blindfold to make it harder. This link has some great ideas for indoor obstacle courses to get you started: https://www.familyeducation.com/fun/indoor-activities/indoor-obstacle-course
3. Blindfold tasting challenge. This is a simple game where children wear a blindfold and guess what foods they are being fed. It's a fun sensory activity that works with all ages. If they are feeding you or other children you can bring out their mischievous sides by including things like hot sauce, a spoon of marmite and other more challenging tastes in the range of foods available. It's fun to make weird mixes and see if they can guess what's in their (strawberries and vinegar? Jam and salt?) With little ones the most extreme I would go for is to include lime or lemon. Filming the activity so you can watch it back and laugh together at their reactions is also a great extension.
4. Yucky 'feel box'. Traditionally a halloween activity, you can do this all year round. Food and objects which are designed to feel like gory things are placed in different boxes, e.g. grapes for brains and dried pasta for bones. Each box is labelled with something horrible and disgusting and children put their hands inside to feel whats there. You can use tupperware, cereal boxes, shoe boxes - any containers you have. The key is the make an entrance big enough for a hand to go in but that doesn't reveal whats inside. After introducing this activity to children you can give them the opportunity to create a similar experience for you or for other family members on another occasion. For older children, who don't need supervision, preparing this activity should keep them occupied for a while! A variation would be to just use a blindfold and place the yucky objects and food in their hands (it's a bit less work!)
5. Make new crayons out of old crayons. If you have loads of old broken up crayons lying around don't throw them away! With this simple method in the video below, you and your child can make new jazzy crayons out of the old ones. You just need a cupcake tin and an oven. You can make crayons in different shapes if you have silicone molds at home (e.g. hearts) - these molds can be useful if your child wants to make bathbombs at some point, which I included in an earlier post, or soap