I’m a diehard introvert with social anxiety. I dread half-term as it approaches, but the six week holiday is in a league all of its own – the mere thought brings me out in a cold sweat. I can’t stand crowds or lots of raucous loud noise. So the solution for me is to try to plan lots of indoor fun for kids that we can stay at home for. We can play indoors or in the garden – so long as it’s relatively calm I’m not fussy.
Play Dates Count as Indoor Fun for Kids, Right?
I’ve been working on making some close mummy friends during the last few months in my anticipation of the loathsome period: I’m hoping they’ll share my (disproportionate?) distaste for anarchy and instead take pity and invite us for play dates. I’ll let you know how that goes…
The Best Indoor Fun For Kids?
When it comes to playing at home with the children, one of the absolute best activities you can do with your child is to get creative with a cardboard box. I’m not kidding: what is it people say about kids and Christmas?
The best present is the cardboard box their toys come in.
So what exactly can you do with one to keep them entertained for more than five minutes? Here are ten ideas for indoor fun with the kids using the lowly cardboard box!
1. Indoor Fun For Kids With a Cardboard Box – Get In It
No frills, no fuss – getting inside an empty box is enjoyment enough, in and of itself. Particularly if it’s necessary to fold and carefully arrange limbs to do so, à la a semi-pro contortionist.
2. Fun At Home With a Cardboard Box – Turn It Upside Down and…It’s a Den
Kids love a den. Hell, my husband loves a den!
If you task a group of children with building a mini-fortress (and award them with an ice-cream for the most inspired or ambitious project) you’ll see some great things. And they will be occupied for several hours.
3. Or a Castle
Likewise a castle. This one has epic amounts of scope for creativity: a moat; trees; swords…
4. Indoor Entertainment For Kids Using a Cardboard Box – Make a Dragon
… With which to slay the dragon, obviously.
Unsure how this would work? Come on guys… Okay:
- Open out the box;
- Create a cuboid for the tail. (Or, if you’re as pedantic as my hubby, a 3D triangular shape, because apparently I don’t know how to design a dragon’s tail…);
- Fashion a body and a head in similar ways (a second cardboard box may be required);
- Use a flat piece of cardboard to cut out spines, remembering to include tabs with which to attach them to the tail with glue or tape;
- Get felt tips/paint/stickers/crayons/tissue paper/glitter, etcetera to decorate the beast.
5. Indoor Fun For Children With a Cardboard Box – Open a Kitchen
Who doesn’t love a pretend kitchen? (Answer: the adults who have jobs to do in the real kitchen.)
You could make a serving hatch and hand out the ice-creams I mentioned in number 2 in there as well. Basically, the ice-cream is a theme which can recur in just about every suggestion on this list. I just wouldn’t recommend proffering it on cardboard crockery or with cardboard utensils. (Though if you do, I’d love to see photos.)
6. Fun Indoors With a Cardboard Box – Call It a Boat!
For the moat outside of the castle, obviously. If they spring a leak, ie. make a hole in the hull, it will double up nicely as a suit of armour to go with the sword. How? Open up the hole till they can fit their head through and then encourage them to be creative. Seemples.
7. Fun and Entertainment With a Cardboard Box – Design a Robot
Kids bored of the suit of armour? Brilliant, it’s time to rock the robot. I recommend getting a few mates together and banging the stereo up a little – anything will do so long as it has a decent beat. Entrust the eldest with video recording equipment of some kind and host a dance-off.
8. Indoor Entertainment For Kids With a Cardboard Box – Create a Maze
If they do a proper job you won’t see them for a while… #justsaying
9. Top Fun at Home For Kids With a Cardboard Box – Fashion a Racetrack
Flatten out the box and draw a track. You could even use discarded pieces of box for tunnels and bridges. Again – creativity is key. Most likely (surely?) your child will already have at least a couple of toy cars. But you could encourage enthusiasm with the lure of a new one – if they build a decent track first.
10. Best Fun Indoors For Kids Using a Cardboard Box – Graffiti it
Even as adults we love being naughty. Case in point: when painting our spare bedroom my husband couldn’t help himself daubing rude pictures on the walls before covering them up with sophisticated Blush emulsion. I guarantee this will go down well.
Indoor Fun For Kids… Get Creative Using a Cardboard Box!
So there you go, ten fun things to do with a cardboard box, and I’m sure your kids could come up with more impressive creations. Really, the concept is simply to encourage and promote a little imagination. Once the cogs are turning, they’ll be enamoured for hours. (And just in case a little more inspiration is necessary, check out this epic post for many, many more ways to enjoy a cardboard box.)
And when they get bored, check back for my next post on ten ways to entertain your kids with a potato. Jokes! (Although printing? Baking? I’ll revisit this…)