Looking for things to do today with the kids? Chances are the kids are getting under your feet and today’s one of those days when it feels like you’ve got 10 children and not just one or two. So… you’re looking for a little inspiration for free activities and things to do today – not just for your own sanity but to bring a smile to everyone’s face! Hopefully this our little “5 things to do today with kids” list will do just that.
1. Try the Marshmallow Challenge
You’ll probably have come across the Marshmallow Challenge (a.k.a. The Spaghetti Challenge) on a work Away Day – it’s often used as a fun team building exercise for people in Creative and Tech industries. Well, according to this TED talk, it’s a serious winner with young children… and (embarrassingly) they do much better at it than the adults do. Here’s how to do it:
1. Form teams of 2 or more people – say 2 kids on one team, mum and dad on the other.
2. Give each team 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 metre of sticky tape, 1 metre of string, a pair of scissors and one marshmallow.
3. Set the timer for 18 minutes and see which team can build the tallest free-standing structure (no taping it to the floor!), with the marshmallow on top.
You’ll be amazed at how much fun this is, and how it sparks a whole afternoon of building cool stuff.
2. Build a spaceship
Even with a house full of toys and cool gadgets, nothing beats making your own homemade spaceship. All you need to do is hand the kids an empty cardboard box (big enough to sit in) and point them in the direction of colouring pencils or markers. They will happily spend hours creating pretty much the weirdest ship you’ve ever seen and taking turns pushing each other around in it. You can liven things up a little by capturing their Sylvanian, Ninjago or Star Wars figures in blue goo (stick them to the wall with blue tac) to prompt hours (and I mean hours) of rescue missions.
3. Go back in time
If you’re visiting the UK (or if you live here!) a National Trust membership is a must. The kids absolutely love to pretend they’ve gone back in time and make-believe that the historic homes, ruins and grounds are their very own.
There are dozens of incredible historic properties with hands-on history, animals, outdoor adventure playgrounds and free activities for kids. Some (like Belton House) even have superb indoor play areas. We’ve handpicked 30 of the best National Trust sites for kids – check ’em out.
If you’re not in the mood to go too far afield, just head to the local woods and the kids can pretend they’ve sneaked into the Bishop’s hunting grounds or are joining Robin Hood’s band of merry men.
4. Get Crafty
From DIY Harry Potter wands and monster bookmarks to toilet roll choirs, Red Ted Art has by far the best collection of kids craft ideas. Try out one of the thousands of crafts on her website, or plan ahead by ordering her delightful book: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids.
Some people prefer the decorative crafts, but we just love making things the kids can play with afterwards – for example the toilet roll singers can then have a (very, very weird) X-Factor sing-off or star in their own stop-motion music video.
5. Make a movie or music video
Our mini reviewers have a blast making little movies peppered with silly jokes and musical interludes, and it’s easy enough to do on the iPad. On a rainy day, we like to take things to another level and create a stop motion animated movie with the kids – either in 3D using plasticine or 2D using paper cut-outs, or even breathing life into physical objects like this very weird scissor bedtime video. Writing the story, practicing the script, creating the characters, filming and editing will keep them happy and engaged for ages… you can spin something out in a couple of hours, or draw it out over weeks.
Leave a comment below with your favourite things to do with kids!