We are facing weeks and months of uncertainty right now with a potential quarantine, with children at home for very long period of time. No school, no going out and socialising. It feels very bleak but I am trying to get my head into gear. There is not point being anxious and lots of point in being pro-active. I’ve seen loads of resources for families to help with education and learning but I’m thinking fun now. Fun activities to do with your kids at home. My eldest has the attention span of a gnat and I know she thrives on being ridiculous and having fun. She’s 6, so why not?
She’s clued up about Covi-19 and I’ve explained we need to protect the vulnerable and make sure the hospitals can cope. In her mind she excited to be potentially home. She’s excited to have me as her school teacher….I’m not sure I’m as excited however. I’ll make a plan. I’ll make a timetable and we will also go with the flow a lot. But we will need some fun and here are some of my suggestions to help make this time at home more fun than worry!!
Fun Activities to Do With Your Kids at Home
What I would also explain to your kids is they need to stick to an activity and help you to clean up. If my kids are going to at home they almost need to stick to a nursery/school mantra. Set activities and they will be responsible. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be militant but we will need some structure, to be able to clean up after themselves before moving on to something else.
In no particular order, here are some of my fun home activities to keep your kids busy and happy at home, not necessarily educational things.
In the Home
– Build a den – never fails to be fun
– Play hide and seek
– Make a cosy nook for reading or having a bit of screen time
– Listen to stories. We have the Toniebox which is fab and you can subscribe to audiobooks or listen online
– Role play games. My girls love doctors, restaurants, babies – anything where they can use their imagination
– Set up a shop and even use real money to practice getting to grips with this. We have a couple of toy tills which help out with this too
– Play dress up! Doesn’t have to be actual costumes but anything! May your clothes if you dare!
– Let them do your hair. All three of mine love doing my hair and now and the I let them
– Have a sleepover. Your kids may not always get to sleep together but let them do this, with some treats and maybe a film. Perhaps sleep on an air bed together
– Playing camping – another of my girl’s faves. Packing up and setting up camp somewhere in the house
– Playing schools – this is a great way to get them to do some of their reading or school work, as long as kept fun and light hearted
– Baking – this doesn’t have to be difficult. Easy biscuits or cakes
– Pretend baking. It’s messy but my girls love a bowl, a bit of flour, water and sugar and making mixtures. Their games can last a while!!
– Colouring in
– Crafting, sticking and glueing
– Scrapbooking – if you have a printer take photos of what is going on at home and make some cool scrapbook pages. They will be fab to look back on when all this is over!
– A sensory/scary box. Blind fold your kids and ask them to put their hand in a hole you have mad in the box. Add objects and ask them to guess what it is! You can make this a bit scary, if you have foods or even slime!
– Reading time – all go quiet and have 30 mins of silent reading (obviously better for older children but they can read alone in quiet and you can read to your pre-schoolers)
– Board Games. Dig out the games you maybe had for Christmas and have never played
– Paper games – noughts and crosses, hang-man. This is a perfect time to teach them the games you used to play
– Games where no equipment is needed! Eye-spy, charades. The good old fashioned ones that are also good for a bit of hidden learning too
– Party games – sleeping lions, musical statues and musical bumps can be all good fun when you need a giggle and an excuse to party!
– Dancing and watching music videos online (if appropriate). As a kid one of my favourite things to do was shove music on and dance for a while. Fab exercise and really funny
– Pamper time. For girls and boys! This maybe a warm bath, a nice massage, some mindfulness, nails painted, hair washed and dried well. Loads of things to relax
– Face-painting or let the kids do you! My eldest takes ages doing my face and really keeps her busy
– If you can cope PlayDoh or plasticine!
– Do a jigsaw. Depending on your kid’s ages and abilities, this can take up some time
– Rough play (safely). My girls love a mad 5 minutes. Tickling, chasing them, scaring them. It can bring some giggles and laughter when you are going a bit stir crazy
– Cleaning time. This may depend on what sort of child you have but my middle girl loves to clean. Get them to help you dust or make bed. Even unload easy things from the dishwasher. For some kids, this is really fun
– Learn a new skill. My middle child loved doing baby sign and there are so many videos online for makaton and sign.We have a piano and my eldest has already found some videos online to teach herself certain songs
– Cook. Get the kids involved in making their meals. They may actually eat them!
– Make videos. I’m going to journal some of our day in “day in the life” videos with my eldest but you could make music videos, try out some acting or plays or just be ridiculous!!! This is where Snapchat really does come in handy!
– Make a cinema. Watch a film, close the curtains, have some treats and sit back and relax with a good film
– Yoga and fitness. There are loads of videos online for kids too and this can be a fun 30 mins. They learn fun skill and good exercise
– Get a cardboard box. You can colour it in, climb in it and even make a TV out of it, to pretend to read the news or do TV show. My eldest used to have great fun with this
– Set up a treasure hunt. These are really good fun and can be secret good practice for reading and writing
– Independent play – my girls are very good at playing their own games and I will of course be suggesting they go off and play by themselves for a bit
– Screentime. You think I’d miss that out? Games, videos, TV shows. Yes you are all going to need a break, so fit it in your schedule
In the Garden – Fun Home Activities
– Make potions and mixtures – one of my favourite things to do as a kid – water, a bucket and spade or spoon and various stuff from the garden. Hours of fun!
– Make a circuit – this is good for exercise, co-ordination and learning new skills. You may have plant pots to run around, a skipping rope for 10 skips. You can be as creative as you want
– Playground games – What’s the Time Mr Wolf, Chase, Hide and Seek. These can all be really fun when you need something to do
– Gardening. Get your kids involved in clearing up the winter garden ready for spring and summer
– Water play – it will get warmer and you don’t need expensive kit. Just bowls, pans and spoons. My girls love this!
– Bubbles. If you can get hold of bubbles this can be great fun in the garden
– If you have space, ball games, bat games; anything you can play in the garden
– Bug hunt – have a nosey around your garden for bugs and see if you can identify any of them
– Garden role play – you may play house, exploring or safari games. Anything using their imagination
– If you have a large rope set up skipping with three people. My eldest did this on a school trip and loved it
– Plant some seeds and watch them grow over the coming weeks (likely in the house for a while until it warms up)
– If you have chalk, drawing on any pavement or patio around the house (if you don’t mind!)
I’m not going to lie; I’m feeling nervous and apprehensive about long periods of time at home with my three children, one of which is under two.
I know the girls need to continue with their education and learning but they need to have fun. We all need to have fun. I hope this list of fun home activities helps a little.