9 Fun Indoor Kids Activities

Looking to escape the heat with some fun indoor kids activities? When you pair an unbelievably hot day with kids on the loose for summer vacation and you have quite a dilemma! Here are some fun, unique, and educational activities to try with your youngsters that do not require you to leave the air conditioning!

Cooking

Kids love to help in the kitchen! While it may be too hot to cook anything in the oven, there are some no-heat options! Ask them for help in making sandwiches (cut them in fun shapes), making a fruit salad, or putting the peanut butter in their celery. Ever think about hosting an inside ice cream social for the kids and their friends? Let them help make their own desserts! Get some summer learning done while you’re at it – help kids practice measuring, fractions, and reading labels while they help with food preparation. Maybe you can even convince them to help clean up!

Take a Museum Trip

Shuttle the kids from one indoor location to another! During the summer, many museums have activities just for kids and families to enjoy. Pack a lunch so you don’t have to pay museum food court prices. Take a few hours to experience something new inside instead of melting outside.

Go to the Library

Again, go from one indoor spot to another! Many libraries have summer reading programs that reward kids for reading as many books as possible. This is a great chance to get some education and socialization over the summer. Enjoy free story hours and craft sessions whenever you can!

Indoor Trampoline Park

Hands down, this is one of the coolest ways to entertain a group of kids! Many locations offer open jump sessions, but also nights that are just for families. Check coupon sites for promotions since these are often popular locations to visit. Burning energy and lots of social time – sounds like a great indoor activity to me!

Host an At-Home Spa

This activity might not appeal to every kid, but it might appeal to some of the youngsters in your life! Have your kids help you look around the house for the items you might need – nail polish, foot tub, lotion, etc. If you want to take this to the next step, get out the makeup too! Plan for a whole at-home makeover. Super easy and a great photo opportunity!

Board and Card Games

Games can be particularly fun any time of the year! Look for games that give everyone a chance to play! Think about staying away from the video games so that you can have some great interactions with the children while they play! We have compiled a list of the funnest board games

Create an Indoor Campsite

This can be the coolest way to camp, literally! Create enough space in your house to setup your tent and get out your pillows and sleeping bags. Pack your picnic lunch (or dinner) to eat by the tent. If you’re up to it, you could even roast some marshmallows on a gas stove in the kitchen if you have one!

Build a Yarn Maze

Get out at the yarn and get ready to have your kids entertained for hours. Take the yarn and wrap it around banisters, doorknobs, chair legs, door frames, basically anywhere you can wrap it safely. Watch the youngsters climb around this yarn maze and have a great time! Roll up the yarn as you go so that you can reuse it for other projects! Bonus points if you can make it a scavenger hunt with something cool attached to the end of the yarn.

Indoor Slides

This one takes a little pre-planning and work, but it could be totally worth it to entertain the kids! Get large refrigerator-sized cardboard boxes and cut them to cover all the stairwells in the house. Slide from floor to floor for as long as possible!

Volunteer

Take the kids to a place where your family can volunteer together! A few examples: many food pantries need help sorting and stocking, libraries need help re-shelving books, nursing homes need people to host activities, and so on. Look for opportunities that have educational and social value. Think of the great lessons for kids to learn while in service of others.

Even when the temperatures are scorching hot, there are a plethora of exciting and new activities to try with your youngsters. Stay cool and have a great summer!

Featured Image via Unsplash

8 Family Picnic Ideas

You want your family to go on a picnic together.  The weather is lovely, there is nothing on the TV and you have managed to drag the kids off the computer games.  How can you make sure your picnic is memorable?

Here are some ideas:

Have a picnic in your back garden.  

There is no need to travel.  Just throw down a blanket and decorate with balloons and throw around some cushions.  This is quick and a clever way to grab an hour or two with your kids.

Ban all devices and just sit and talk as a family for a short amount of time.

Have your picnic on a boat.  

Take a boat to the middle of a river or lake and eat as a family as you bob about on the current. There is nothing more calming than being in the middle of a body of water.  Also, Dad will become an expert in currents and how to get the most out of the boat – which can be funny to watch.

Encourage the Kids to Organize the Food!

Give them the freedom of the kitchen and the picnic basket.  Leave when they tell you they are happy with what they have made for you all to eat… potentially a disaster… always interesting.  I would suggest this might not be the option if you are trying to control the calories.  There is likely to be a strong emphasis on cake, chocolate and crisps… but you know you have taken this option because you want to have a day of eating this stuff too.

Colorful Jars of Food.

Cut up different fruit and vegetables as brightly colored as you can and fill up jars with a good variety.  These jars look awesome and are excellent to dip into as you are eating the picnic.  It really is an interesting way of getting kids to eat healthier and it keeps the food fresh and easily protected from the wildlife.

Make a Campfire.

Make yourself a camp fire… even though you are not camping you still want to roast marshmallows and bake potatoes at the base of the fire.  It also lovely to sit and watch as the light dims.  It will keep people out talking late into the night.  Make sure you dig a pit to build the fire it and ensure that it is completely doused with water before you leave.

The Snack that Smiles Back!

Give all your picnic foods faces… when you are making your sandwiches and cakes use salad and fruit to give all the food eyes, a nose and a mouth.  You could make it a competition to see who can make the funniest of faces and maybe give food names… it gets a bit brutal when you start chomping down.

Hide Mini Treasures

Hide mini treasure in amongst the food so that people find surprises as they eat.  I wouldn’t put these things in the food, otherwise the dentist will be busy, but in the packets.  People will have moments of excitement or feel special, even if it is just a little love note.

Sit and Talk

Just sit and talk and eat slowly.  This shouldn’t be unique… but in today’s world eating slowly and gently chatting is as rare as it comes.  Sit quietly and enjoy each other’s company.

5 Fun Cooperative Games for Kids

Through cooperative games kids learn to think and work with one another as they apply skills learned to accomplish the goals of their group or team. These games are always fun to develop and play and have the effect of bringing children together. While competitive games focus a lot on losing or winning, cooperative games are all about the success of the whole team.  They give all children involved a chance to be winners.

What’s in a Name?

(for kids in grades 1-3)

While kids at any age or grade can play the game, there’ll be variations. For kids in grade one through three this game is effective to help them bond together at the start of a new school year or term.  In this cooperative game the pupils are grouped in pairs or with partners where one has to talk about the surname or first name of their partner. It starts with one of the two in a pair telling the other what their name is and its meaning. After sharing names and meaning, the kids should be allowed to share a little more about their names. Kids should be encouraged to talk about their unique names, how they are spelled, whether they hold any special symbolism, why they were given the name, the meaning of the name in other cultures/languages and whom they were named after.

One individual should tell all this information in two minutes before allowing the other to do the same. They should be encouraged to pay as much attention as possible throughout the game. After the two have shared names, two pairs should be joined together to form a team of four kids; each partner in a pair has to introduce their partner to the other pair until everyone knows each other.  Kids should be encouraged to tell as much as possible about the name of their partner.

“MAX” – A CO-OPERATIVE GAME


Family Pastimes Max (Cooperative Board Game)

  • Players work together to get the creatures safely home before Max the cat gets them
  • Children learn to use logic, consultation and cooperative decision making in an exciting way
  • For 1 to 8 players ages 4 through 7 years

A cooperative game available for sale, it’s great for kids 4-7 years of age and accommodates 1-8 players. The kids have to learn to work as a team to ensure the creatures have arrived home safely before they are attacked by Max the ferocious cat. The game calls upon the mind of the kids to make cooperative decisions, consult and use logic in the most exciting ways. It’s made using child safe paints, water-based glues, soy-based inks, recycled papers and boards.

Capture the Flag

Among elementary kids Capture the Flag is one of the most popular games. In this game the idea is to have players from one side making way into the territory of the opposing team to take their flag and make way back to their own space without being tagged in the process. Pylons and a flag are required materials and best played outdoors. It can be played for 10 to 15 minutes every time or until a given team/group has accomplished a specific score. In the game the playground is divided into two with each team on either side. The kids need to create two teams, each team on their zone. Every team should have a flag, made from a light material such as fabric and easy to carry around by one kid. Each flag has to be placed at the back of the zone of every team where it’s visible to the opposing side. On a part of their zone each team should create a ‘jail’.  The game starts by having all kids lining up at the periphery of their area.

Once a whistle is blown they should go to the zone of their opposing side and try to take their flag while avoiding being tagged. Those tagged while in the opposing side’s zone are put in the jail and only get out if tagged by a teammate. If the flag is taken and ferried to the other zone next to the other team’s flag the team has either scored some points or won. However, the rule of the game is that while defending their flag a team cannot remain standing around to guard it. The defending team has to be a minimum of five meters from the flag at any time.

Race to the Treasure!


Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! Award Winning Beat the Ogre…

  • WE WIN TOGETHER: Build a path with your team and collect 3 keys on a race to beat ogre to the treasure! It’s a game…
  • FUN CHALLENGE: Kids love working together to beat the ogre. Players strategize, cooperate & build the path together….
  • BENEFITS:Cooperative games cultivate emotional development, shared decision making, positive self esteem, creative…

This award winner is a cooperative game for 2-4 children from five years old and above. It offers a chance for kids to lean the art of strategy, grid mathematical concepts and critical social development tenets and skills with zero reading needed.  The game involves players working as a team to reach the treasure before the ogre by developing a path from the beginning right to the end.   If the kids are successful the victory is celebrated as a team.  The game has a Play Advances Learning approval seal and won the Oppenheim Portfolio Toy Platinum award.

15 Seconds

One of the most entertaining and fun way of letting kids know about one another, this cooperative game helps everyone to learn how to think fast on their feet. You only need a list with specific questions and a timer. Essentially, every kid should sit down, forming a circle. A question is picked and every person has to answer it within 15 seconds. Everyone has to be silent and if a kid answers early the person manning the timer should read out the remaining seconds.

The questions can be favorite food, favorite movies, favorite pet animal, what you do every Sunday or Saturday morning, and favorite color among others. In case you’re handling a huge group, break the kids into groups of six. You can also have a long list of questions and have one person answering their own unique question. Make the game fun by asking the kid who has just spoken to choose the next person and the question they’re to answer.

Swimming Workouts for Beginners

Swimming is a fantastic way to get fit!  It is a physical activity that works every muscle group in the body, improving both strength and endurance.  Swimming is also a low impact activity.  If you have weak knees or ankles, you will find swimming much better than other workouts like running. 

Other benefits of swimming include:
  • It’s a great stress reliever and a very relaxing way to exercise

  • Swimming will greatly improve your cardiovascular fitness

  • It burns a lot of calories!

  • Your muscles will become toned and your posture will improve

  • It can improve your balance and coordination

  • Swimming is a fantastic way to exercise in summer when it can be too hot to work out in other ways

  • Because swimming is low impact, it is ideal for people with injuries

To help you get started, this article will share some fantastic swimming workouts for beginners!

Some General Tips Before Starting

Before you “dive in” here are some general tips for beginners.

  • Make sure you have a basic level of swimming before attempting a workout.

  • Swim in a safe environment like a swimming pool.  Only swim in the ocean if you are an experienced and fit swimmer.

  • Don’t overdo it early on.  Swimming takes a lot of effort, particularly if you are not used to it.

  • Warm up before entering the water

  • Remember to stay hydrated by drinking water

Short Freestyle Distance Intervals

This basic workout involves swimming freestyle for short distances with breaks. Start out by swimming 25 yards at a time, with a rest period of 30 seconds between each lap.  Beginners should swim at a slow to medium pace initially.

You may benefit from using breaths instead of counting seconds.  Perform a lap, then count to 20 breaths before starting the next lap.  This will also encourage you to really use your entire lung capacity while taking your interval break.

Depending on your initial level of fitness, swim between 10 to 15 minutes when first performing freestyle intervals.  Once you are comfortable swimming 25 yards, extend the length of your interval to 50 or 75 yards and extend the time you spend swimming.  Record your personal best distances and speeds!

Using a KickBoard

If you are not confident enough to swim 25 yard intervals, there are a number of workouts you can perform with a kickboard and flippers.  These workouts will help you practice kicking, putting your face under water and breathing correctly.

Perform your stretches to start, then swim 25 yards on your side.  Hold onto the kick-board with a straight arm and rest your head on that arm.  The other arm should be straight down your side.  Have a rest, then perform another 25 yards on your other side.

Then, perform 50 yards holding onto the kick board with both hands and looking into the water.  Turn your head to breath, using both sides.  This exercise will get you used to kicking and breathing alternately.

Endurance Swimming

Once you have started to perform intervals well, you can begin to swim longer distances.  Endurance swimming will help improve your muscle tone and stamina.

Start by performing a few warm up stretches.  Jump into the pool and swim 250 yards at a slow pace.  Take your time and concentrate on your form.  Take a 20 seconds (or 20 breaths) break.  Then swim for another 150 yards and take another 20-second break.  Finally, swim for another 50 yards.

If these distances are too long or too short, alter them to a comfortable distance.  Eventually work your way up to 500 yards or longer.  Always keep a steady pace and think about your technique — it is not about speed, it’s about how long you can swim.

BREASTSTROKE and Freestyle Medley

By combining these two strokes, you can give yourself a more thorough, full-body workout.  Freestyle will really push your shoulders, while breaststroke will emphasize your chest muscles.

  1. 1

    Start with 50 yards of freestyle at a slow pace to prepare your body.

  2. 2

    Perform 4 x 25 yard intervals of freestyle, counting the number of stroke it takes you to perform each interval.  Aim to have the same amount of strokes per interval.  Afterwards, have a break of 30 seconds if you need it.

  3. 3

    Perform 4 x 50 yard intervals of breast stroke with 30 second breaks

  4. 4

    Perform 4 x 25 yard intervals of freestyle, counting the number of strokes

  5. 5

    Perform 50 yards of breast stroke at a slow pace

It is a hefty beginners workout that will address many muscle groups.

Work on Your Speed!

Once you have achieved a basic level of fitness in the pool, you might be interested in seeing how fast you can go!  You can perform this workout using any type of swimming stroke.

  1. 1

    Perform your stretches and swim 50 yards at a slow pace

  2. 2

    Swim 2 sets of 25 yards at a medium-fast pace to get your body ready

  3. 3

    Swim 6 x 25 yards at fast pace.  In between each 25 yards, take a full 60-120 seconds to recuperate.  Count your strokes per lap and check your times!

  4. 4

    Swim 4 x 25 yards to cool down

Working on Your Form

Maintaining correct form while swimming is crucial.  Proper form will ensure you are using the right parts of your body while swimming and maintaining maximum efficiency.  This workout is for freestyle and uses a pull buoy — a floatation device that swimmers place between their legs to give them additional buoyancy.  The pull buoy allows you to swim without kicking your legs and helps you to concentrate on your arms.

  1. 1

    Perform your stretches and swim 2 x 25 yards to warm up

  2. 2

    Using the pull buoy, swim 2 x 25 yards only using your right arm for momentum.  Keep your left arm straight in front of your body.  Concentrate on your shoulder rotation, pitch of your arm and the shape of your hand.

  3. 3

    Using the pull buoy, swim 2 x 25 yards using both arms.  Concentrate on the position of your body in the water.

  4. 4

    Using the pull buoy, swim 2 x 25 yards only using your right arm for momentum

  5. 5

    Using a kickboard, swim 2 x 25 yards kicking only

  6. 6

    Swim 2 x 25 yards as a cool down

Swimming is a fantastic way to stay fit.  Regularity is the key — if you have 4 to 5 workouts per week you will be amazed by the changes that happen to your body!