It’s raining, it’s pouring, your day is boring—sometimes you want different. These ideas are good for families, groups of friends or roommates, or kids on their own.
Have an Indoor Treasure Hunt
Children in the house? Keep their day active with a treasure hunt. Make one set of clues for every player (try rhyming the clues for fun), each clue leading to the next one and, finally, to the treasure. Whoever solves the clues first and finds the treasure—a small toy, an IOU for a movie, maybe coins (regular or chocolate)—is the winner. Or have your kids play as a team to solve the clues—and uncover the treasure—together.
Camp in the Great Indoors
If you have a pop-up or small dome tent, it’s easy to set up camp for your kids indoors. If not, you can create tents by draping sheets over the couch. Make them comfy with airbeds, pillows, and sleeping bags, then follow through with an indoor picnic.
Dress up in fancy duds, set the table with the good china and put on your most formal manners. On the menu: tea, juice or hot chocolate, and easy egg or chicken salad tea sandwiches in fun shapes you can make with cookie cutters. Let your kids decide the guest list—and which of their favorite dolls or stuffed animals are on it.
Make your own Skin-Softening Scrub
Do a little spa therapy with a homemade scrub (this one comes courtesy of New York City makeup artist Gucci Westman): Grind about two cups of oatmeal, a natural skin soother; add a few handfuls each of coffee grinds and brown sugar. Then stir in three or four spoonsfuls of skin-nourishing honey, ginger, and noni extract (find it at health-food stores). Before storing the batch in the refrigerator, Westman scoops out enough for a week into a jar, which she keeps in her shower, using it daily. “It smells lovely, and it’s gentle,” she says. “When my skin feels really dry, I add olive oil, too.”
Create a City on Paper
If you have a roll of kids’ craft or butcher paper, roll a long piece out, use painter’s tape or books to secure the corners down. Then, let your kids draw a metropolis. Make roads, bridges, cul-de-sacs, and neighborhoods. Include lakes, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, shops, and restaurants. They can also use Legos and blocks to construct buildings and drive toy cars along the roads.
Plan a Vacation
You may be stuck at home, but you can still dream of a warm beachy resort or mountain escape. Even better, you can make a game out of it. Look at a map, and let kids pick a location they’d like to visit. Have them research how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. They can create a budget based on plane tickets or hotel cost, make a plan of what sites to see, or local foods to try, and then sell their ideas to the rest of the family. At the very least, everyone will learn a little bit about a new city or state. At best, you may figure out your next family vacation.