Here is the situation:  we have a bunch of family coming in for the weekend.  All total, our family included, we will have eleven children ages 11 and under, and six adults in the house this weekend.

The problem?  It looks like we will all be in the house this weekend.  The plan was a weekend for the kiddos to swim and play on the swing set play set park McH built.  But now???

A weekend of thunderstorms in the forecast.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to call off the weekend and tell everyone to stay home.  Not.  At. All.  But????  Have I mentioned my noise tolerance problems?  I really, really, really, want everyone to be able to enjoy each other’s company outside where noise tends to dissipate.

It’s not going to happen.

And that’s okay.  I’ll survive.  I won’t be kicking my diet Dr. Pepper habit this weekend, but I’ll survive.

Here is the other problem, though:  what do we do with all of the kids?  I mean, aside from duct tape and a velcro wall, which we don’t have and I only advocate in my little fantasy land where life is that simple and kids wouldn’t be traumatized by it all, what are some good indoor activities that would keep eleven children entertained?

Here is what I have so far:

*Set up a table in the garage and pull out the gallons of paint I won in an art store drawing back before we moved

*Make peanut butter play dough (umm . . . I don’t think any of them are allergic . . .)

*Watch a movie and pop popcorn

And . . . I’m out.

If it just rains, they can swim anyway (as long as Mother Nature has some kind of hot flash), but if there is lightening then swimming is out (because I’m all about water safety, no matter how inconvenient it is for me) (okay, that was a joke – you all got that, right?  I would never even consider putting kids in the pond during a thunderstorm).

So, to sum up: we are looking forward to seeing family that we don’t get to see that often, but I need your ideas for indoor activities to keep eleven children ages 2-11 happy.  Or at least busy. 

And, yeah, I would take them all to the local children’s museum if we had one.  The best I’ve found is an art museum about an hour away.  I’m sure there must be indoor kid things somewhere in this quadrant of my state, but so far the only one I’ve found is the butterfly house.  And I just don’t see that flying.  Har dee har har.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says HELP!

9 thoughts on “Help!

  1. Dianna

    Two fun gooey things that the kids can do while the table is set up in the garage – give them cookie sheets, food coloring, shaving cream, and popsicle sticks. It can keep my little ones busy for hours. Also, a new science experiement that was a long-term entertainer – mix water and corn starch. Then spend hours picking up a semi-solid material and watching it ‘melt’ back into a liquid. That was hugely popular yesterday during cruddy weather!

    Set up a puzzle table somewhere the dogs can’t get to it. Everyone – kids and adults – can work on it throughout the weekeend. Balloon volleyball in the basement … have the kids build blanket tents and give them a ‘picnic’ snack… tell the other adults to babysit while you go see another movie… 🙂 🙂 🙂


  2. What kind of garage do you have? or basement? Set up a little platform. Let them sing, dance, put on a performance for the adults. Get some little headsets (dollar tree),down load some music, and provide girly dress up clothes… instant fun! Boys will enjoy too.

    Also, for the boys, make a ramp to race hot wheels. Just takes a piece of plywood.



  3. I just got caught in the beginning of the thunderstorms. When I left my office, it was sunny and blue skies, and I am now drenched from walking back from the courthouse!

    Anyway…the butterfuly house is pretty cool, if you have kids who like butterflies. They do land on you. The closest children’s museum is all the way up in Ann Arbor, unfortunately…The art museum occasionally has child friendly stuff, and my kids like to go in the cloisters and look at the tapestries, but they are weird that way. (I think their website would list if they had any kid centered activities for the weekend.)

    Could they have a Wii bowling tourament?


  4. You are so smart to try to figure out what to do now rather than winging it. When we get together with extended family, the younger kids like to make up skits and dances and then perform them for the rest of us. Maybe you could organize something like that?


  5. When I was a youth group leader one of our favorite activities was a scavenger hunt. We divided the kids into groups & each group had a driver & a camera. Then we gave them clues to find different things in & around town. They had to take pictures of themselves with the answer & then rush off to the next clue. The first year everyone started at the same place but that didn’t work very well as the groups were always on top of each other & it made for some hairy driving – on driver drove her van over a parking block & ripped off the running board, all in an effort to leave the parking lot first. The next year each group had a different first object/person to find. We also did a hunt where we hid containers with clues all around town, but that takes a little more prep work. My kids usually went along & had a blast. They loved the thrill of the chase. Afterwards we’d hook up the cameras to the tv & look at everyone’s pictures. The winner was either the group that found the most items or finished the list first. We also did this at the local Walmart – groups had a list of things to find – they’d take a picture of the object/person & at the end of an hour we’d see who had the most stuff checked off their lists.

    I also have a list of games involving pantyhose & tennis balls in case you need them 😉


  6. is there one of those inflatable indoor bounce house places nearby? Those seem to be popping up everywhere lately. or bowling? The movies?

    I like anything involving sticking them all in the garage 😛 And honestly? A velcro wall would probably be SUPER fun! ha.


  7. Art Projects!! When we have big family holidays I usually have something ready for the kids to decorate. I’ve done cookies with icing to decorate. They had fun doing faces on whipped cream ghosts one year. And there are a ton of other non-food things they can decorate – picture frames, doorhangers, flip flops, books {I’m thinking plain composition books}.


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