Climb the Walls with (Inexpensive) Fun
By Shannon M. Medisky
Fortunately it needn’t take a lot of money or even a lot of stuff to find new ways to get your kiddos off the couch and up and moving. So when it feels like those four walls are closing in on you andyour kids, try climbing the walls—so to speak—instead because with all of these ideas you nor your kids will have to take boredom sitting down. Broaden your child’s play horizons by moving things up off the floor and up on the walls! Creating vertical playscapes is a clever way to help get kids up and active. For a breath of fresh play fare, try any of the following great, “green” and inexpensive ways to climb the wall with fun:
Use empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls to create your own marble chutes. Use removable adhesive putty available at any office supply store and use the power of gravity to power the marbles’ descent. Children will have fun decorating the rolls with markers and crayons and the chute designs can be taken off the wall and rearranged over and over again.
Lightweight cardboard boxes and plastic tubs can easily be repurposed into indoor basketball hoops. Simply cut out the bottom of the container, attach to the wall with a few push pins or removable adhesive strips, grab a foam or stuffed ball and your children can instantly enjoy shooting hoops indoors.
Create an indoor golf course using a variety of supplies out of the recycle bin. Inverted empty plastic tubs with a small opening cut out of the side create instant holes, pieces of cardboard can be cut and colored to create fun decorations and course mazes and empty wrapping paper or paper towel rolls make ideal golf clubs.
Use a suspension curtain rod and hang an old shower curtain with holes cut in it inside a hall or doorway. Children of all ages can have fun playing target practice at a “wall” that goes up quickly and easily and stores even more easily. Increase the fun by assigning point values to each of the various holes and keeping track of points. For an easy game of indoor volley or to breathe new life into a simple game of catch the ball, fold a sheet or blanket over a suspended rod and toss the ball back and forth over the “net.”
Got a sliding glass door or large picture window? Then you’ve got a great canvas ready to be painted by your pint-sized Picasso. Put an old sheet or newspaper down to catch any paint spills and equip your child with some brushes and ordinary tempera paint and let your kiddo go to town. Whether they “trace” things they see outside or come up with their own creations on the transparent canvas is up to them, but anyway they do it spells out fun. Worried about the clean up? Don’t be. The tempera paint washes off easily with a sponge and warm water. No fancy cleaners or extensive elbow grease required!
Photo credit: boegh
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