In these times you never know when you will have your kids home from school or kindergarten for 1 week, 2 weeks or more. The situation can change day by day, and therefore we created a list of activities that you could do together with your kids at home. Because let's face it. We LOVE our kids - BUT - having to entertain them 24/7 right out of the blue can be a little daunting at first.
Screen time and the internet are getting a lot of bad press, but having a bit of downtime with a game, video or program is a pretty normal part of most families lives, especially if we are stuck indoors for a while.
Also remember to look after yourself. The house does not always have to look like a million dollar home, right :-) Try asking your kids to help with laundry and tidying up - a little tip - if you make a game out of it, it works a lot better :-)
10 ideas for keeping kids entertained
1. Star in your own TV show.
Turn a cardboard box into a TV by cutting a square out of one side and covering it in tin foil. If you don't have a box big enough you could make a cardboard frame.
Take turns to get into the TV and put on a show! You could create a more positive version of the news, be a stand-up comedian, or remake your favourite show.
2. Make some music
Children love making noise - why not turn it into music?
You can make all sorts of musical instruments out of things you might put in the bin. Clap two yoghurt pots together like a coconut, or put some rice in an empty milk carton to make a shaker.
The Scouts website has instructions for more complex instruments for older children.
3. Have a SPA day
Lots of us would enjoy a trip to the spa at the moment! Tell the kids it's a spa day and spend some time pampering each other.
You could paint nails, give each other massages, and even have a go at making into your own face mask to look after your skin. (If you're braving lockdown haircuts it might be a fun way to do them too!)
4. A sensory scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts immediately make the world around you more exciting. It's lots of fun to do in nature but can also happen inside if the weather is keeping you in!
To add an extra level think about how you can ask your child to use different senses, for example: 'find something that feels soft', 'find something that smells nice', 'find something that makes a noise'.
5. Be a SUPERHERO
Fancy dress is a brilliant way to get silly and have fun - for children and adults!
You don't need fancy costumes: use a tea towel as a cape, pull on a pair of tights or put on some rubber gloves. Think about what your superpower is and what you use it for.
Older children might enjoy thinking more about their character. They could draw a picture or make a comic about an adventure their hero has.
6. Make a special soothing box
It's a very anxious time and people of all ages will be feeling the strain. If your child is at a stage where they can understand when they're feeling worried it can be helpful to think about things that help them feel calm.
A self sooth box brings together things that ground you and help you feel peaceful. You can help your child to make a special box that they can get out any time they feel worried.
Things you could put in:
- Activities - coloring sheets or a favourite book
- Something to touch - a cuddly toy or a fidget spinner
- Memories - photos, letters or special mementos
- Something smelly - a favourite cream or some perfume on a tissue
Your child can choose a favourite song to listen to when they use their box and decorate the outside to make it feel extra special.
7. Join the Mad Hatter's tea party!
Make lunch or snack time exciting by giving it a theme, like the Mad Hatter's tea party.
Set up a carpet picnic and ask everyone to wear hats. You can wear hats you already have or try making some out of paper or cardboard.
Or hold a teddy bear's picnic and invite along all the cuddly toys!
(WARNING - This does not go well with most kids age 12 and up 😀 )
8. Put together a time capsule
This could be a project for older children. The idea is to gather together lots of interesting facts and positive memories to put into your time capsule.
It helps children look forward to the future and think about the good things that have happened in lockdown.
Ideas for your time capsule:
- A factsheet of what you are like right now: your age, your height, your favourite things etc.
- Interviews with other members of the family
- An interview with someone outside your house, like a grandparent or friend, over video call
- Drawings or stories
- What is a typical day like?
- What things are you most looking forward to doing again?
- What are you doing to keep busy? Have you learnt anything new?
- Have you had any events or birthdays in lockdown? What did you do to make them special?
- Your favourite things you've done
- A letter to your future self.
You could keep adding to it as restrictions change so that when you look back you will have a record of what it was like coming out of lockdown.
9. Have a sleepover
Make the weekend (or any other night) feel exciting by having a sleepover in a different room of the house.
Get the family together, get in your PJs and snuggle up for a special night in. You could make some popcorn and put on a film, play a board game or take turns telling stories.
My son (who is 10) actually thought this idea (and myself) was pretty lame, but after he had done it one night, he came back the next day asking if we could do it again 😀
10. Create new sounds around the house
Your children might think they've been in the house so long they know every inch of it - but do they?
Go on a journey around your home and find different sounds, or find different things you can make sound with. It might be putting the kettle on in the kitchen or scraping a stick against a wall in the garden.
Each time you find/make a sound use your phone to record it and then pause until the next one. When you listen to it back you will have a soundscape of all the noises around your house.