28 April 2014

School Holiday Fun at Home *Ideas for the Housebound*

Autumn. School holidays. What a combination.
The weather is likely to be dodgy at times and unless you’re heading off for a tropical island holiday or have bottomless pockets, you might find yourself stuck at home with kids who are bouncing off the walls, driving you nuts while the rain pours down.

I've dug into the archives and come up with some wet day holiday fun ideas you can do at home. Here's a few of our favourites...

Have A Lazy Pajama Day with Family Brunch
Declare a Pajama Day and stay in your PJ's all day. Make pancakes for a relaxed family brunch. You can make pancakes from scratch or use the easy shake-em-up bottled kind. Get the kids helping, set the table fancy, put out loads of toppings; then sit down and eat brunch together. Then slob out and have a cosy Movie Marathon while the rain falls down and the wind howls.

Make a Movie
Getting the kids to come up with their own movie will keep them occupied for a while, thinking up a script, characters, costumes and “effects”. Use your ipad or camera-phone to film the masterpiece. If they're old enough, they can even film it themselves; Miss Fab and her pals have made a couple of DIY epics on her camera without any assistance. If inspiration is lacking supply the kids with a theme: Noah's Ark, Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears are all movies we've made when the kids were little (flippin' hilarious).

Camp Inside
Put up a dome tent in the lounge and play games like Trouble, Snap, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes and (our favourite kid-friendly game) MONOPOLY EMPIRES. You can even spread out a rug in front of the tent and have an indoor picnic by the fire/heat pump. Or use blankets and sheets, string and pegs to construct a hut, then pile up the cushions and watch a movie from inside it.

Have a Movie Marathon
You can't beat a movie marathon sleepover – drag mattresses into the lounge, string up some Christmas lights and settle in to watch movies back-to-back. Check out my movie reviews page for kids and family movie recommendations. If nothing on that list appeals, can I heartily recommend a "Back to the Future" marathon? Great family viewing - just a few minor curse words dotted here and there and a few PG moments which if you know the movies well enough you should be able to guide your kids through, but apart from that they are a great laugh, perfect for a Movie Marathon (for older kids).

Have a Theme Dinner
Raid the cupboards and find stuff to have a dinner party on a Theme. Our favourites have included an Indian Party and a Spanish Party; a Fancy Dinner , Middle Eastern, or Chinese ones. You can spend the day planning, decorating, researching ideas on the internet and getting things ready. Also loads of fun are movie theme dinners where you can eat themed food and then watch the movie e.g. Star Wars, “Brave”, Toy Story (Pizza Planet) etc. Invite friends to join you, or just keep it in the family.

Throw a Party for No Reason
Raid the cupboards and find or make food to hold an impromptu party; Homemade Lemonade, mini meat pies, muffins, iced cookies, popcorn, fruit, and icecream sodas have all featured at our impromptu parties. You can get the kids to do face painting, dress up, do silly dancing or play Singstar or Buzz.

Invite other house-bound friends over for even more fun – make a wet-day into a celebration; the more the merrier. You can even theme it, like we did for our Impromptu Lego Party. (One of our Rainy Day Parties was featured last week on the Parenting Magazine blog - woop)

Just today I hosted a Book Club Party - Kids Edition. Everyone brought books to swap (two piles: "books to borrow" and "books to keep"); the kids rioted played while the mums had coffee and ignored the screaming nattered. It was completely mad but awesome, and everyone went home with some new books.

Photo Scavenger Hunt
And if the sun comes out? A photo scavenger hunt. All you need are a few photo-taking gadgets and a simple list. Offer prizes for the best photo in each category, then go on a walk around your neighbourhood to see what you can find. A nice way to let off steam after being cooped up inside (wear gumboots for some puddle jumping while you're at it).


So there's a few ideas to help you survive the rest of the school holidays (and the cooler season) without going stir crazy.

Got any other bright ideas? Share them with me below...

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