This is a guide to easy fun summer activities that can be done indoors with your children when the weather is harsh and going outside isn’t on the cards. This is the second post in the summer guide series, so please head over to this link to read Part 1 in which I have listed other fun activities/play ideas last week. Please read on for the remaining activities.
4. Observe Nature
Getting closer to nature doesn’t have to happen only when you are out and about. You and your child can observe nature, be it plants, bugs or even birds from within the confines of your home with the help of readily available and easily accessible things.
Water The Potted Plants
If you haven’t got any indoor potted plants, then this time of the year is good to start a little collection of easily maintainable plants with your child. This will not only bring your child closer to nature but will also help him understand plant life cycle. You can even start a dialogue about how crucial plants are to the existence of humans and make them environmentally aware.
You can make your own watering can by using an old soda bottle (by making tiny holes in the bottle cap). You can also reuse an old spray bottle (for example, the ones used for general kitchen cleaner liquid, glass cleaner etc. after thorough washing) and have a fun time maintaining a little indoor garden with your child.
This time of the year is perfect for observing different bugs, be it ants, butterflies, dragonflies, bees and so on who will definitely pay your potted plants a visit, especially if they are placed on your balcony. I just let sonny observe the different bugs resting on our plants (or burrowing in the soil) and it’s amazing to see him becoming engrossed in their world for a really long time. A word of caution, though: This has to be a supervised activity as some bugs, for example, bees, ants etc. can sting/bite when they feel threatened and so you will need to keep a tab on your child and make sure that he doesn’t venture too close due to his excitement.
Like bugs, birds are also frequent visitors to our apartment; pigeons and sparrows being the most common. Occasionally, we get to see some lesser known birds too, which is always such a treat for both me and sonny. Last year, we hosted a pigeons’ nest on one of our balconies, this year an adorable sparrow couple have built theirs! So, every day it is sonny’s job to put some rice and a cup of water outside for the sparrows so that they don’t have to venture too far in pursuit of food and water in the hot summer sun. And he has many conversations with his bird friends throughout the day.
5. Enjoy Extended Bath Time
If going to the swimming pool is not a possibility, then what could be the next best thing if not to enjoy extended bath time? Sonny spends hours in the bathtub every summer and it’s a great activity for him in terms of physical exercise, cooling off during the peak heat, playing, learning, hands-on experimenting and so on. This is how we make sonny’s 30-minute to 1-hour bathtime fun at home. And do you know the best part? It is THE PERFECT LAZY MOM ACTIVITY as the only involvement needed from my side is to enjoy a cup of coffee sitting outside the bathroom door and keeping a watchful eye on his activities.
Sonny loves water and he loves being active in it (irrespective of the size of the water body 😉 ), so I just tell me to show me his “moves” in the bathtub and lo and behold, he happily does pushups, squats, lunges and what not in the water. He even attempts yoga poses that he had learned at his ex-school and tries to swim in the limited space of the bathtub both of which are quite amusing to watch while sipping coffee!
Spray Gun & Water Balloons
Sometimes, I let sonny take the spray guns and left-over water balloons from Holi into the bathroom and it definitely makes for an extra-special bath time. A word of caution, though: You will need to be extra careful if you want to avoid getting sprayed on with the water gun or have water balloons thrown at you. Or perhaps, you will not mind the water because of the dry heat, which will invariably evaporate the water within half an hour.
The time in the bathtub doesn’t have to mean all play and games. It is a perfect time and place for “Eureka!” moments too 🙂 …I mean doing some hands-on experiments and learning new things like:
- Buoyancy – What floats, what sinks; making makeshift boats
- Viscosity – Which liquid flows how
- Osmosis – How “orbeez” grows in water
- Converting potential energy into kinetic energy – For example, making a plastic pinwheel (the regular kind) or a beach ball spin under the faucet and watch the speed change as the water flow is increased or decreased
- Observing water flow through various objects like funnels, sieves, colanders, clothes and so on
- Cleaning washable toys – Well, I sneaked this one in 😉 Sometimes I just let sonny wash his toys (the ones which can be safely dipped in water) and give them a good scrub and shine.
Here’s a list of other fun water experiments inside and outside the bathroom for your little one’s this summer.
That’s all I have time for today. In my next post in the series, I will cover food related, entertainment related and many other such summer activities. Till then, happy summer to everyone and don’t forget to share your views in the comments section below 🙂