2011-02-03 / Family

Fun Indoor Activities For Kids

Outdoor play is great for kids, but what do you do on those cold, rainy or blustery days when Mother Nature seems to be conspiring against you?

“ Most parents aren’t comfortable with the television or video game console acting as babysitter,” says Emily Kilpatrick. Vice President of the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), “but they also struggle to find indoor activities that really nurture their children’s minds.”

Parents can encourage their children’s natural curiosity by finding fun indoor activities that spark their imaginations while they’re away from the classroom.

To help, here are some of the most popular indoor activities from the NCFL’s new educational Web site, www.Wonderopolis.org, which features a novel “Wonder of the Day” daily for parents to explore with children:

Let It Snow: Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, almost all children are fascinated by snow. With the help of some pipe cleaners and a few other simple supplies, you and your kids can learn how to make your own ice crystals in a jar.

Do- It-Yourself Aromatherapy: Recycling takes on a fun twist when you help your kids turn old wax crayons and empty soup cans into homemade candles. Add some scented oil or a few drops of vanilla extract to create a calming atmosphere in your home. Just make sure to never leave a lit candle unattended or in reach of small children.

Create Virtual Biographies: Are your kids fascinated with a historical legend like King Tut or a children’s author like J.K. Rowling? If so, have them create a modern day biography by researching them online. Then have some real fun by asking your children to imagine what it would be like to be Facebook friends with that person. What would his profile look like? What would she talk about? Would Jacques Cousteau like “Jaws” or “Titanic”?

Go Stargazing: Not many people live far enough north to view the beauty of the northern lights. Even if you do, artificial light and inclement weather can make stargazing difficult. But the AuroraMAX Observatory in Yellowknife, Canada, conveniently broadcasts live video via Webcam every night, allowing viewers all over the world to experience the beauty of aurora borealis firsthand.

Plan a Staycation: Is the economy putting a crimp in your normal travel plans this year? Check out the Wonder of the Day titled “ What Would You Do on a Staycation?” to get ideas on how to get your kids excited about not going away for vacation. A basement camping trip can be just as fun as an authentic camping trip, while still enjoying the luxuries of home.

For more fun indoor activities to explore with your kids, visit www.Wonderopolis.org.

Remember, you can make learning fun for your kids and explore the world without ever leaving your family room.

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