Games and getting competitive is another great way to spend afternoons. Use masking tape to mark out noughts and crosses on your floor, a car race track, a long jump pit or different shapes which you can call out instructions for (leap frog to the circle, slither to the triangle, do a crab at the square and so forth). Tape up streamers in an intricate web across your landing and get kids to try and crawl through without touching them (Mission Impossible-style). For older kids, stage a video game contest with prizes.
Hunts are a great idea. Turn out all the lights, close the blinds and do a treasure hunt in the dark with torches. Otherwise, hide LEGO bricks in one particular colour and get kids to search for their designated colour.
Dig summer’s much-loved blow-up paddling pool out of the garden shed, bring it inside and fill up with cushions to make a cosy den whilst it’s too cold out. Get kids to gather natural materials from the garden, come inside and make sculptures with what they sourced, and then lay them out as an art gallery, getting kids to give little speeches about their creations. Get kids to gather natural materials from the garden, come inside and make sculptures with what they sourced, and then lay them out as an art gallery, getting kids to give little speeches about their creations.
Alternatively, write out a script for a simplified version of one of your kid’s favourite books, and suggest the children act it out as a performance. Create costumes, prepare an interval snack, make up a programme and film the performance to send to friends.
Organise digital hangouts with other kids by putting on a conference call. Kids could each bring something for show-and-tell and talk about what they've been doing that day. Each parent could read a story to the whole group of their child's choosing. You could even co-ordinate activities. Maybe each child brings their egg carton cardboard animal they've made (for example) and they could all be awarded a different accolade (cutest, most ambitious creation, friendliest character and so forth). Or you could play group charades and do a quiz.