Wow – what uncertain times we are all living in right now. I hope those of you reading this are safe and healthy and lucky enough to be with your loved ones.
I don’t know about you, but I have been struggling with the uncertainty of life during this global crisis. Here in the UK, we are in our fourth week of lockdown. Our whole family has had to adjust immensely to a new way of living our daily lives.
I am working from home whilst trying to potty train my 2 and a half year old son.
Oh, and I’m also adjusting to the role of teacher to my four year old whose school has closed.
I feel very grateful to have my husband at home right now. The truth is he has the patience of a saint which I lack and I’m not sure I could do all this without him right now!
Anyway, I’m sure we are all in very similar situations, and I just feel lucky that I am not having to put myself out there on the front line so to speak. Kudos and a big thank you to those that are!
If you’re a Mum like me, I bet you are pulling your hair out trying to think of LITERALLY ANYTHING to entertain your kiddos with. This has been particularly difficult when you can’t get out to buy entertaining things to throw at your little ones. Even online options have been heavily ransacked.
I thought I would create a list of 25 things that your children can do at home during this period of self isolation.
1.Write and post letters to family
Your children will surely be missing family members during this time. Write a letter or paint a picture to send to a loved one
Encourage them to make them something special and pop it into the post box next time you go on your walk. Your family may also reciprocate and I know my little ones adore getting mail through the letterbox.
I love baking with my children! I ask them what they would like to make and we raid the cupboards to see what we can whip up together.
Why not try some classics like rice krispie cakes if you’re a beginner? Or go all out and create a showstopper for the family. It’s super fun no matter what level your baking game is at!
3. Grow fruit and vegetables
This is something we are attempting to do in our house right now. My husband built a raised wooden bed to eventually begin a vegetable patch in our back garden. We have sown some seeds inside, and it takes a little planning. But it would be great to eventually harvest some of the fruits of our labour.
It’s great to teach your kids about the process of growing, how to care for plants and to get them excited about different types of foods!
4. Make a mud kitchen
We are lucky enough to have a mud kitchen in the garden which was a birthday gift for my daughter last year. The kids LOVE playing with this, although it brings me out in a cold sweat when I see them approaching the kitchen again covered in mud.
I like to see them pretending to cook different things using what they can find in the garden. You could make your own out of any old pots and utensils you have around the house.
Check out these amazing food painted stones that children can create for their mud kitchen. Two activities in one – winning!
5. Video call family and friends
This is a time where online contact with loved ones will be key. Why not set up a weekly google hangouts meeting with your family members so you can all catch up? My little ones think it’s magic!
6. Paint rocks to hide on your walks
Create secret messages or funny images on rocks to leave out in the open when you go on your walks. Add a hashtag to your message and you may be able to track who and where people have found or re-hidden your rock.
7. Cosmic Yoga
Cosmic yoga is a children’s yoga channel on YouTube who create sessions based on popular themes or TV Shows / Films.
This is one of my daughters favourite activities to do for her PE task for homeschooling. So far, she has mostly enjoyed the Frozen and Trolls themed sessions.
8. Declutter and donate
This period at home is a perfect time to totally declutter your house and really consider what items bring you value and which are just collecting dust.
This could be a perfect opportunity for you and your children to work through their bedrooms together. Maybe bag up some toys they’ve outgrown and consider donating them when you are next able to.
9. Have a picnic!
On a beautiful spring day, we love nothing more than packing up a picnic and taking it to the beach during nice spells of weather. Though that can be really difficult to think about right now!
If you have your own outdoor space, why not take out a few throws and cushions to lay on the lawn. Ask your kids to decide what they would like in their picnic basket and lay out lunch outdoors to get some fresh air and have an adventure in the garden.
If you don’t have an outdoor space of your own, or on a rainy day, why not picnic in your living room and take a trip to the virtual zoo?
There are many different live streams of zoo’s on YouTube where you can watch any animals from penguins, monkeys or sharks. There are even live streams of national parks in Kenya where you can spot lions, giraffes and elephants!
10. Online events
Many businesses and artists online are holding other virtual events that you can attend with your children.
Some have included a reading of The Gruffalo by Julia McDonaldson and online plays from theatre groups.
If you’ve exhausted what Netflix has to offer, this might be a more adventurous way of keeping the kids entertained form indoors.
11. Make a den
A classic indoor or outdoor activity that will keep children entertained for hours. If you have a tent or teepee you could put it up somewhere in the house to give your children their own special place to play.
If not, I have made countless dens using a table, some chairs, blankets and pillows. Both choices have my children using their imaginations for hours at a time.
12. Reorganise bedroom
If you, like me, have been looking at the chaos that can accumulate in your kids bedrooms around the house, it might be time to consider reorganising and maybe even redecorating to give you a fresh look in your home.
Some hardware shops and online shops like Ikea are still delivering, so take a look on pinterest and see if you can find some storage hacks to implement in your kids bedrooms.
13. Play a board game
Under normal circumstances, we rarely have the time to play board games as a family. That’s all changed now!
Dig out some family classics and sit down. Buckaroo and operation are firm favourites in this house!
14. Create a reading nook
I would have loved this as a child – even as an adult this would be my dream hideaway!
Find a favourite spot in the house with lots of light – bring some cushions and a throw. Add a cute basket full of your little ones favourite reads and some hanging fairy lights to make it super magical and cosy – perfect!
15. Mini spa day
We’ve been doing this lots at home – it’s a fun way to entertain your small ones.
We have some peel away nail polish so we’ve painted fingers and toes. I have also been using up some of my Tropic green face mask which the kids find hilarious. Having cucumber eyes, a bubble bath and massages make it an amusing activity to say the least.
16. Make something from a box
What child doesn’t love being let loose with a giant cardboard box? Most households will probably have at least one lying around in the garage or shed.
Let the kids’ imaginations go wild. It could be anything from a car, a castle, an igloo, or a carriage.
Even if you only have smaller boxes. We love to make treasure chests and keepsake boxes. You could even make a zoo for your animal figures. The options are infinite!
17. Indoor scavenger hunt
Perfect for rainy days, or you could carry out into the garden if you are lucky enough to have nice weather!
Make a list of clues with objects in mind for the kids to find. This can be adapted to your child’s age – for example a preschooler clue might be a simple clue – like ‘find something red’. Whereas you can make an older child’s clues more elaborate.
18. Make your own playdoh
This is super simple to do and much, much more beneficial to your child instead of buying shop bought play doh.
It’s also a great activity to get your children involved with and is very frugal. Great!
Try this recipe from familyeducation.com to get you started!
19. Make an insect hotel
This can be done using some random objects around the home. If you have things like tin cans, or an assortment of twigs in the garden, they can be recycled and re-purposed into objects that will benefit the environment and natural habitats around your home.
Invite your children to hunt for things around the home and see what they can come up with!
20. Look at old photographs and tell stories
My daughter absolutely loves looking at photographs of my wedding day, and I love showing her.
It’s so nice reliving the special moments that I have captured and treasured either in a keepsake box or scrapbook.
Show your children photo’s of you or loved ones from different times and tell them funny or memorable stories. They are sure to really enjoy this considering the time we are missing with family members right now.
21. Dance to a different beat
My two love to dance. It’s fun to play a wide variety of music to them, to see what they really engage with.
We are using this exercise as part of my daughter’s homeschooling music lessons. Most days we listen to a song she may not have heard before and have a dance. We also try to tap or play an instrument to the beat.
It’s such a neat way to broaden their horizons! Plus, it gives you a break from the Disney soundtrack, am I right?
22. Dress up
During this pandemic, my daughter has mostly been going about her business dressed as Queen Elsa, and I can’t say I blame her. Who doesn’t need a little make believe right now?
Make a fun dress up station and let them go wild. Try finding some old clothes and accessories of your own that you don’t use anymore for them to play with. It’s amazing how their imaginations can turn something that’s dull to you into something completely magical to them.
23. Make a fairy garden
This is on our list of activities to add some magic to the garden.
I have a small terracotta pot that I plan to turn upside down and place on a tray. This can then be painted as a house perfect for a garden fairy. You can also add lots of other little touches like a miniature washing line and lollipop stick furniture. You can even plant some grass seeds to make a little lawn.
24. Drive in movie
Remember that cardbox we were going to transform? Why not turn it into a car and park it in front of the TV for a special drive in movie trip.
Make some popcorn and put on a classic for your children to enjoy.
25. Time Capsule
Although there are a lot of things about this situation that are just the worst – we can also use the time we have with our families to try and make some special memories.
We finally have the time to sit and connect with each other. We aren’t rushing – it’s time to connect.
Why not create a time capsule for your family to remember this unique experience? Some examples I’ve seen are to add photographs and salt dough handprints. Add some memorable details of current events and how you felt, what you did etc.
You could keep it to look back on or maybe you could bury it in the garden and wonder who may dig it up in years to come?
These times are indeed unprecedented, but I hope you take some solace in knowing it won’t last forever.
Use this time to create memories with your children, connect as a family, and above all teach your children that you can make good things out of even the worst situations.
What are your favourite indoor activities to do with your children at home?
I’d love to hear what fun and creative things you’ve been up to – please comment below!