''What a Year this past week has been"
With the current Covid-19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic forcing many families to go into isolation and social distancing, either by choice or due to contracting the virus, I thought it would be a great idea to share a resource of things you can do at home to continue to keep your kids entertained. This is something that I struggle with as I tend to take my kids out a lot during my non-work days. We love visiting the Zoo, Playcenters, Parks, all things that are really off the table now.
I do not have a background in teaching or education but what I do know is that children learn through play and doing. These ideas are not homeschooling or learning resources. Hopefully this will be able to be sought from your children’s teachers.
1) Be Inspired by some Play-Based Instragram Accounts
Instagram (and Pinterest) are a wonderful resource for getting ideas for activities that you can do at home and usually from materials that you can find around the house.
These accounts have activities available for babies right up to about 6 years old. A few accounts that I have loved and have obtained some great ideas from:
- @play_at_home_mummy – Emma shares activities that she sets up for her three daughters aged from 0-5 years old. What I absolutely love about this account is that she also details the type of skills your child will develop which include their gross motor skills, cognitive ability & fine motor skills. Plus she adapts activities to suit all three ages of children so great ideas for entertaining multiple kids
- @curiousmeqld – A Play-Based account mostly set outdoors, many of the activities can be adapted to suit your backyard or a small outdoor area. We were inspired a couple of weeks ago to make a taste safe foam which involved a can of kidney beans and cream of tartar. It gave my kids a good hour of entertainment and was simple to make. Plus I did not have to worry about Tommy wanting to eat it (although I imagine it might not taste the best)
- @zaras_play_tribe – featuring many activities that can be created with items you would likely already have at home plus other products which you would be able to purchase online, these activities are aimed at the 2-5 year old age group. What I have learnt from this account is that sometimes the most simple activities can be made into something that is a whole lot of fun.
- @cardboard.kiddo – an account I have recently discovered and aimed at the younger 1-2 year old age group. This account has some great ideas of DIY toys that you can make out of cardboard. Sheryl provides clear instructions and also details some of the benefits your child will get from each activities. Sheryl is also currently offering a free e-book through her Instagram account detailing 20 activities for Young Toddlers
My daughter is absolutely obsessed with Frozen (ok – who isn’t?). If you want to get moving, clear some space and put on some songs from your child’s favorite movies and just sing at the top of your voice and dance around. If you have a Spotify account you can create your own playlists of songs that your kids love. Or maybe you would like to introduce them to some songs from your own childhood.
3) Painting & Chalk on the Concrete
We have a long strip of concrete on the size of our house. Whilst my daughter is pretty good at keeping the paint on the easel, My 21 Months paints everywhere but the easel. So I give them a big space where they are allowed to paint and let them run free so to speak. We use Crayola Washable paints which comes out easily. My kids always end of mixing the colours so being able to let go a little bit for this activity does help. If you are wanting to avoid the shops, paints are able to be ordered off most big stores like Target, etc.
A quick hose down of the concrete does the trick with removing the paint.
4) Rotate & Donate Toys!
My kids are so lucky to have their own playroom. Believe it or now, most of the toys that they own have been gifted to them. My husband and I rarely buy toys for them. Encourage your kids to get involved in cleaning up their play space. This will help them discover “new” toys (the ones they may have not seen for a while and give them a new life). With toys that they no longer have an interest in, encourage them to donate them to others who might not be as fortunate as them. If you are not wanting to directly donate products due to social isolation, you will find many charities do have donation bins available so you will not have to see anyone. Just remember to only donate products that can be reused
Kids love helping to bake something (and lick the spoon) plus there are many wonderful lessons that they can learn from something as simple as baking a cake.
- Different ingredients used to create a finished product
- Measuring different ingredients
- Ingredients and how they change their form (example – solid chocolate and melting it to create a liquid form of chocolate)
Now I know some supermarkets it is almost impossible to find basic ingredients such as flour & sugar at the moment, but I have noticed the cake mix sections still have product available. So even something as simple as a cake mix will provide entertainment.
We also make a big deal of decorating our cake/muffins/biscuits with icing and sprinkles. If you are after sprinkles that are a bit more fancy, I have purchased products from Get Sprinkled
6) Make a Pretend Shop or Restaurant
Even if you don’t have a suitable “shop front” you can use a table to display goods for purchasing. Ask your child what sort of things that would like to sell. Do they want to sell food like a supermarket or prepare food like a café? You can even get creative and create some pretend money and signs pricing everything at the shops. If you are wanting to get some wooden food or café products for the pretend shop or restaurant, we highly recommend our Make Me Iconic range which will provide many hours of play.
Some products from the range include the Candy Jar, Tea Set, Ice Creams, Wooden Taco & Stacking Burger.
7) Take a Virtual Tour
Did you know that Zoos Victoria have recently set up live cameras so that you can enjoy the #animalsathome? Watch the Giraffe Cam and see your tall friends eating (apparently they spend most of the day doing this) or have a peek at the newest arrivals to Melbourne Zoo – a litter of Snow Leopard Cubs. There are so many other wonderful options that you can explore right from your home. Take a tour of the Great Wall of China, Visit The Louvre or The Moneterey Aquarium in US. We have shared a post of many great resources over on our Facebook Page
8) How My Body Works
This activity can work with a variety of ages and can be adapted. You will just need butcher’s paper and a texta. Your will need to either have yourself or your child lie down on a piece of butcher’s paper. Then trace the outline of your body. Then you can get your kids to help name different body parts (include internal organs if appropriate). They might like to draw the different parts or if they are older practising writing and spelling the different names. You might also like to take the drawing outside and paint different parts of the body.
9) Treasure Hunt
Doing a Treasure Hunt can be as simple or elaborate as you want. You might like to write clues specifying where an object is or you might do something like ‘the next clue is located 15 steps from the couch.’ This will encourage counting and to think outside the box. Make the final prize something rewarding like a favourite toy or snack.
You can also set up a treasure hunt to be outside and use a checklist (this could be done inside as well). One method that works well with my 4 year old is do set it up as the “Colour Game.” You might specify you have 20 seconds to find 3 things that are the colour blue. You could encourage your child to run to the items and touch them or if they are small items they could bring them back to you. This is a great way to also help burn some energy as well.
10) Jigsaw Puzzles
We absolutely lover Jigsaws here. Only this morning, the whole family worked on a 500 piece Disney Puzzle. It did take about 3 hours as we would be doing other things around the house whilst putting it together. Even though the puzzle was way advanced for Miss. 4, she had fun trying to help us find certain pieces and seeing the final image coming together.
We have managed to curate a little collection of Puzzles from the Ravensburger Range and from Op Shops. If you are not wanting to leave the house, Playdreamers sell a love selection of Puzzles
We also have the Make Me Iconic Fairy Bread Puzzle currently available in our Clearance Section!
I hope that with this blog post I have been able to provide you some inspiration and further resources to explore to give you ideas about what you can do at home. There is so much inspiration currently available and even by having one activity planned each day, it can really help to add some structure to your day and break up the day.
Have you explored other activities? Let us know below!