Ten fun things to do with the family in the UAE

Brilliant ways to keep the kids busy

Ten fun things to do with the family in the UAE

As we head into another weekend at home in the UAE, you may be wondering what things you can do as a family to keep busy and have fun.

Well, we've got a few that might just do the job. And, when you are all worn out, sit them down and let these celebs take over for a bit. Here are ten fun things to do with the whole family. Enjoy!

Illustrate

If your children like drawing there's lots of inspiration around at the moment, with illustrators offering free online tutorials for kids to get involved with.

A popular one is Draw With Rob, a website from author and illustrator Rob Biddulph, who's written books including Blown Away about a fearless penguin and Give Peas a Chance.

His videos, show children how to create some of his most beloved characters including Fred Bear from GRRRRR! and a sausage dog like the one in Odd Dog Out.

Make play dough

A serious favourite with kids of all ages that can keep them entertained for hours. They can use cookie cutters to create fun shapes, build play dough animals or roll it out to make snakes.

All you have to do is try not to stress about the colours being mixed together! Here's an easy way to make your own:

2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
Half to 1 cup of cold water
2 drops of liquid food colouring

Mix the flour and salt then add the water, oil and food colouring. Knead the mixture well, adding a little more flour if the consistency is too wet.

Potato printing

This will take mums and dads back to their own early years arts and crafts fun. All you have to do is find an old potato, cut it in half and then carve a shape out of each half to use as a paint stamp.

Let them loose with the pain so they can create fun patterns and make you another piece of artwork to add to you treasures.

Feed the birds

Bring a spot of nature into your garden by making somewhere for the birds to gather and have some food. There are loads of flying feathered friends around at the moment, including some beautiful green parrots. Once you've lured them in and they are tucking into a feast, you can enjoy getting a closer look at them without them flying off.

To make the bird feeders, use a large milk bottle and cut it in half. Then use felt tip pens to colour the plastic, or anything else you'd like to make it colourful, and fill it with bird seed. Place outside somewhere high and then sit back, wait and watch.

Tell the time

Give we've all got a bit more time on our hands, how about teaching the kids to tell the time properly? They will have loads of fun making their own clock and hopefully will use the end result to develop a new skill.

You could do it with just paper and a pin to attach the hands, or cardboard or a paper plate would do the trick.

You can make it as detailed or as simple as you like, but writing quarter past, half past, quarter to and midnight/o'clock in the relevant places will help them get the gist.

Go on a treasure hunt

There's all sorts of fun to be had indoors or outdoors with a treasure hunt.

Give each child a bag and a list outlining what they have to find. Include things like a leaf, a flower, a stick, a stone... anything that they can find in the garden.

When they find them, they can put them in the bag.

Once they've successfully ticked everything they have collected off their lists, they could use the items they have found to make a nature picture afterwards, or a leaf print.

And if you want to stay inside (it is getting hot out there after all) then why not hide some letters or words around the house. They can find them and then use them to make words and sentences. They won't even realise they're learning, which is always a bonus.

Sock puppets

You may already have a puppet show or some puppets you could use, but if not, then get an old sock and make your own. Make your own characters and then grab a cardboard box and create your own theatre for the puppets to perform in. Kids can then practice performing before putting on shows for the rest of the family.

Hand prints

It's always lovely to get hand prints and foot prints from your little ones to capture that moment in time.

Use poster paints and paint the palms of their hands before letting them stamp their hands down all over the paper.

Older kids might want to make more arty pieces such as a peacock or a tree... both fun to make using handprints.

Play the alphabet game

Now this one couldn't be simpler and it'll get them writing and practising their spellings without them even knowing.

Basically, pick any subject like the name of their favourite animal, colour or even the names of chocolate bars they like and they have to write one down for each letter of the alphabet. You could even get the kids to see who can do it the fastest, if you can handle the fallout that is.

Fun with paper cups

It might not sound all that interesting, but there's all kinds of games you can play with paper cups... really.

You can make a walkie talkie by cutting a hole in the bottom of two cups and linking them with a bit of string. Or see who can stack them the highest without them falling or see who can knock them all down with a ball. You could have points for getting the ball inside different cups and see who can get the most, or play the child's version of beer pong where they have to drink whatever's inside the cup it lands in. Make sure you're supervising this one!

You can find loads more ideas for indoor fun here

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