Indoor activities for over-fives

Bored boy stares on

An unplanned day at home with the DC has been known to strike fear into the heart of many a Mumsnetter.

With unpredictable weather eliminating options outside the house, you won't be the only one scrambling to come up with new and appealing activities. But fret not – we've cherry-picked seasoned Mumsnetters' best tips for keeping your children entertained indoors.

Be resourceful
Mum and daughter get crafty

  • Spend a day making all those craft things that they get for birthdays but are currently languishing under the bed!
  • Raid the recycling for boxes and cartons and see who can build the best robot.
  • Invent 'fun' games that involve using Mummy's big vacuum cleaner or dusters.
  • Give them a bin bag and ask them to sort through their toys, putting any they no longer play with in the bag. They'll discover toys they've not played with for ages, making the task last hours instead of minutes and, at the end of it, you should have a bag full of toys to give to charity!
  • Try blind tasting. Take it in turns to blindfold each other, then feed the blindfolded person random things, like a square of jelly, a piece of banana, and see if he or she can guess what it is.
  • Lay a treasure hunt round the house with easy clues leading to a prize.
  • Get them to hide treasure and make a map for you to find it.

Get creative
Cartoon arts and crafts

  • Towards the end of the holiday, make a scrapbook. Stick in photos and drawings of places they have been to.
  • Make people out of catalogues – the ones that show clothes without people in them. Your kids can then put together outfits and draw faces/feet onto them.
  • Stick some blank paper on a wall somewhere and turn it into a 'graffiti wall'.
  • Let them do their own face paint (then take photos for perusal at 18th birthday parties).

Artistic license
Girl directs movie

  • Use your camcorder to make a 'film' of a favourite book. We did The Tiger Who Came to Tea, using a stuffed toy tiger, shots of our table set up for tea, empty food packets, and a homemade cardboard claw peeking round the front door. You can do lots of voiceovers to explain what is happening, or do it documentary-style and interview the Mummy, the child, the café owner, Daddy, the tiger etc.
  • Get them to organise a play. If they are older, they can write the play themselves; little ones can act to you reading out a favourite book.
  • Pretend to be writers. Staple about six pieces of A4 paper together into a 'book' for them to write and illustrate.