Things Grownups (with kids)(ought to) Know How To Do: Indoor edition

So you’re a grownup—with kids—and you read the outdoor edition Of Things Grownups (with kids)(ought to) Know How To Do. The idea is that you know how to have fun with your kids, you’ve just forgotten most of it.

But its raining outside and you want something for them to do which will help preserve your sanity until naptime.

This ones easy. Bust out a stack of color books which you have, wisely, purchased beforehand a box of crayons. Voila! You’re good for at least an hour. Alternatively you can boot up, dial up, and download and print color sheets off of the internet. There are several sites which offer free and fairly nice color sheets on just about any topic. Our useful friend Google can help you there as I lost all my links somehow.

Cut and Paste
Paper, scissors, gluestick. Instant indoor fun: allow kids to cut out shapes or drawings from paper and glue them to other larger pieces of paper. Be careful to use safety scissors, even though these can still cut. We use the little multicolored ones Fiskars puts out and they work great.

Brushes, paint tray, big paper. We found some little paint trays with indentations for each color. That way if you get a six color paint set they have a few wells left over for mixking.

Finger paint
Oh, this one is self explanatory.

Come on, you can at least make a snake. You can at least make a long snake and show your kids the ancient technique of making a little pot out of a snake. Or a face or a dinosaur. You never know until you try.

Modeling clay
See Playdoh. I always preferred modeling clay because you could leave the stuff out if you wanted to do so.

Tinker toys, legos and other building things
Legos are great and magnetic thingys are dangerous but you can build a catapult out of Tinker-toys and a few rubber bands if you try hard enough.

If you’ve got one who likes to read and its raining out, let them read all they want. “Kids need exercise, blah, blah” of course they do. But they also need to know how to entertain themselves.

Other Materials list:
Butcher paper –for covering up the top of your good dining room table or for huge murals or whatever. Its great stuff and its plastic backed so the paint or markers doesn’t soak through.

Cookies cutters and other clay things
You can either make your own or buy a dandy set of clay sculpting tools from just about any hobby shop. Or online at or other art shop. (We’ve actually used misterart and they’ve got pretty good service. Also, just about any Walmart has a cheap set of cookie cutters that work great in little hands.

Magna Doodle, Doodle pro, etc.
These are great for teaching kids letters and sounds. Anyone with mediocre drawing ability can draw one or two pictures for each letter. If not, well, practice makes perfect.


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