Indoor Activities to Entertain (and Educate!) Kids on Inclement Days

When is disagreeable and your children are stuck inside, you may have trouble finding positive ways to direct their energy.  Thankfully, you have a wealth of possibilities at your fingertips.  With appropriate outlets, you can turn foul weather into opportunities to encourage health and learning. 

Expend energy.  As KidsHealth explains, exercising is good for children.  It improves their physical well-being, builds their coordination, and encourages them toward a healthy lifestyle.  Children who are better when emotional and physical challenges arise, they are happier and more positive, and they enjoy healthier sleep patterns.  Exercising can also be part of your teaching toolkit.  If your kids are really wound up, it can be difficult to get them to focus on tasks.  Similarly, sometimes they hit a lull in the day, and moving around might help them.

Non-textbook math.  Many children benefit from learning math in a “hands-on” manner.  As HomeAdvisor explains, math is a key component in most career choices, but children often find learning math dry and boring.  Some experts suggest this is because traditional learning methods can feel too restrictive, while everyday life applications can make math fun and interesting.  For instance, you can ask your children to do the measuring for you when you’re baking or cooking. When they get the hang of things, have them alter how they tally the portions by using different-sized measuring cups, like the quarter cup instead of half.  Another great idea is to opt for a fun science experiment.  What child won’t enjoy making a glass of “lava”?  Blobs of lava float up in a glass in this simple but fun and effective exercise.

Art tutorials.  Doing something creative is a great way to engage your children.  Try some online art lessons to encourage and inspire them and found KlineCreative.com offers drawing tutorials which provide a firm foundation for pursuing artistic endeavors.  Videos are appropriate for virtually all aspiring artists, from young children to adults.  If you prefer to add colored pencils, acrylics, and pen and ink to your child’s repertoire, ArtyFactory.com provides lessons on a nice variety of skills and concepts.  Your youngster can explore everything from portraits to stylized pop art while learning techniques. Try How-to-Draw-Cartoons-Online.com.  Lessons are free and separated into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.  Children can learn to draw everything from dragons and castles to angels and toucans. 

Music lessons.  The internet offers a wide selection of lessons for budding musicians. For instance, one reviewer suggests trying DanmansMusic.com, where you can find an abundance of information.  Everything from how to read music to how to play there, including tutorials on guitar, trumpet, clarinet, violin, flute, piano, and drums.  Kids can even learn to strum the theme to “Power Rangers” or play instrumental duets together.   A huge variety of musical styles are represented, so you’re sure to find something your child enjoys, including folk, blues, classical, rock, big band, jazz, and everything in between.  There are also supportive teaching tools, such as word puzzles to help reinforce music-related vocabulary.  And if your children’s instrument of choice is their voice, that’s covered, too, with a substantial selection of vocal lessons.

Entertain and educate.  Bad weather doesn’t have to mean children!  There are fun and exciting learning opportunities available via the Web.  Encourage kids to exercise, find ways for them to enjoy math, get them to try some art tutorials, and even engage them in music lessons.  Explore the possibilities to keep children learning and entertained!

Contributed by a friend of Handsocks, Maria Cannon, who started her website hobbyjt.org because she wanted to share her passion for hobbies and how hobbies can impact our lives for the better, especially a positive impact on mental health/depression/anxiety. Thank you so much, Maria, for your insight on this subject! 

Casey Bunn

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