If you’re cooped up inside, invite the neighbor kids over to the Your House Café. Decide who plays the host, the servers, the cooks and the guests. What’s on the menu? Whatever you have on hand. What’s more important is helping everyone understand their role on the team. Bonus points for printing or drawing the menus du jour.
Raise the bar on a favorite activity by creating a book club with elementary-age kids. You’ll foster peer-to-peer learning and help your kids engage with a lifelong pastime. For the first meeting, pick something you can read aloud together, then talk about it as a group.
Start the Book Club
There’s a reason to have refrigerated cookie dough on-hand – you never know when you’re going to need it. Gather the troops around a cookie-assembly station to decorate, then bake and enjoy.
Get Cookie Recipes
Organize a quick scavenger hunt in the house or around the yard. Think in themes, such as “Forest Finds,” “Household Handyman” or “Animal Collectibles,” as you make the list. Sweeten the pot with a prize; maybe the winning team earns a chore-free Saturday or an extra week’s allowance.
Look no further than your favorite crime caper for rainy-day inspiration. Split into teams of cops and robbers, identify the missing treasure (the family dog?) and set your story in motion. Ramp up the intrigue by having the looters pull out all the stops (kidnappings! ransom notes!) while the cops are hot on the trail.
Downtime is the perfect time to preserve the art of letter writing. Sit down with pens, markers, crayons and lined or construction paper to create mini mail-able masterpieces. Half the fun is deciding who your recipients will be and what you’d like to tell them.
You probably haven’t seen a few of these since your own childhood, but it’s time to pull them out again. Some classics such as Clue, Scrabble and Candyland never ever get old.
Ten Classic Board Games
You’ve got movies, popcorn and enough hard candy to cause a gag reflex in grown-ups, but what else can you offer? Give your slumber partiers a midnight task: Have them prep a few cans of sweet rolls so they’re good to go at rise-and-shine time.
Ten Sweet Rolls Recipes
Need a break between the bus stop and homework start? Turn off the TV and turn on the ovens. Ignite their culinary creativity by asking for ideas on how to make kid-friendly classics such as quesadillas, pizza rolls and more.
Head outdoors for a picnic on the terrace. Before dining al fresco, get all hands on deck to ensure weeds are out of view and fresh flowers are picked. Then call a quick powwow for meal-planning and packing. Will you need blankets? Paper plates? PB + J or roast beef roll-ups? The options are endless, but make sure the kids are part of every detail.