I have a 2 year old brother and a 5 year old brother that I help care for. I also have a 2 month old son of my own. The boys get so stir crazy when it rains, and I frequently have to either take care of the baby or get some paperwork done so I cant have them up my nose all the time. The 5 year old wont play by himself, and they both hate arts and crafts.
Any ideas as to what I can do for the older ones while I have the baby?
We have an indoor trampoline, which is great. We did have a small ball pit but don't anymore. They enjoyed it, though. You can always do things like have them make a fort out of blankets & pillows or put down a towel and give them a small pan of water with measuring cups.
the fort idea from PP is a good one! we also pile all blankets/comforter and pillows together and my ds rolls around for ever!
playdough? my ds doesnt "play" with it, he just smashes and bangs on the playdough, which is fine with me :)
Coffee, Vintage and Kids. My Life.
Aqua sand. It makes a bit of a mess, but I pull it out when we're stuck inside, and it keeps the kids busy for awhile.
Newspaper basketball. Use wadded up newspaper and tape to make a ball. Pull out some laundry baskets for baskets. Move the furniture around to make enough space for a game. The ball is soft enough that it won't do damage in the house.
We also do blanket forts on rainy days - those work great. If you can get a large appliance box, those are great, too. You can help the kids make it into a fort or whatever they want to use it as.
Books on CD. These save me on days I need to work from home.
You said no arts and crafts, but have you tried folding paper airplanes? The 2 year old would be too small to make his own, but the 5 year old wouldn't, and a lot of little boys who don't like crafts will sit and fold paper airplanes, especially if you teach them a couple different styles (there are lots of great kits cheap in the bookshops). The two year old would be big enough to throw them.