I thought I’d make a list of activities for families to do at home during this lockdown period. I’ve read that many parents are finding it hard to come up with ideas to entertain the kid’s while they are stuck inside at home. So here is a list of things to do while stuck at home…
- Obstacle course
Obstacle courses are a fun way to get the kids active and moving around the house in a safe way. You will need some skipping ropes, string or yoga straps, cushions or pillows and anything else that can be used to create a “pathway”. Get kids to set it up outside or in a space in the house that won’t be disruptive. Once they’ve set up the course, they can place little cards at each “station”. These can either be handwritten, for example, “do 10 star jumps on the spot,” or “5 push-ups”. You can even place yoga cards at each “station”, for children to practice when they reach the station.
Here are some yoga cards for you to buy http://www.essential-being.com/product/yoga-for-feelings-cards/
2. Paint rocks and hide them on a bush walk and send photos and hints for friends to find
On one of your walks, get the children to find some rocks big enough to paint on. When you get home get them to draw and design what they will put on their rock using pencils and paper. Next see if you have all the right coloured paints to begin painting and decorating the rocks. Glitter is also a fun way to decorate the rocks (just make sure the kid’s do this outside).
The children can even add special words, for example, “SMILE”, “KINDNESS”, BE HAPPY”, “LOVE”, or anything else.
On the next walk, you can get the children to hide the rocks in special places and take a photo. You can then text friends the photos, encourage them to go to the same spots, and find the rocks themselves. Once found they can then take these home to keep! The children can even draw their friends a “treasure map”, of where they hid the rocks, and place it in a friends letter box to find.
3. Put on a play
Find an area around the house that can act as a stage and ask children to set up a space where the audience will sit (normally this is the couch or get them to set up some chairs). Children can then come up with the characters that they want to be – for older kids they could design and draw their characters. Children can then come up with their costumes using things around the house to create them. Next, they will need to make the tickets to the show – these should include the day of the performance and the time and a little drawing about what the play is about. They can then hand the tickets out to their family members.
They then act out the performance – see if you can film it for them to watch over after!
4. Indoor camping
Get the kids to come up with a list of items they will need to do indoor camping inside e.g. tent, bowls, cups, marshmallows, sleeping bag etc. Get them to pretend that they are on a camping trip. You might even bring out an old map and see if they can find a place to “set up camp for the night”.
5. Wombat stew
Wombat Stew is a classic Australian Children’s story. You can watch it on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFb6gP7mZZo
Children can then make their own “Wombat Stew” outside in the garden using bowl, sticks, mud, leaves, water, feathers and anything else they can find. I would recommend setting up an area where they can make their stew (away from anything that will get muddy) and put them in old clothes because of course, they’ll probably get messy as well! Ask them questions about their stew – what’s in your stew? Is it magical? What powers does it have? What else could you add to the stew for flavour?
6. Making Bubbles and a Bubble Wand
To make the bubble mixture collect the ingredients.
- 4 cups warm water
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup dishwashing liquid.
Firstly, whisk the sugar into warm water until the sugar dissolves. Next, add the dish soap and whisk to combine. Letting the homemade bubbles sit for a couple of hours or even overnight helps them work a bit better but is not strictly necessary.
To make the “bubble wand”, get children to find a stick that they will use as the handle. Next, you can use a pipe cleaner or a piece of wire (adults might need to help kids with this if it is sharp) and make a circle with it. Attach the circle to the stick with sticky tape to create a “bubble wand”.
7. Painted Fish
- 8. Playdough
To make the playdough first collect the ingredients. You will need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil or baby oil works too)
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 to 1.5 cups boiling water (add in increments until the texture feels right)
- Food colouring (optional)
- A few drops of glycerine (optional – to add stretch and shine!)
Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the boiling water (a little bit at a time) into the dry ingredients and stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Add in the food colouring and glycerine and stir together. Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it until all the stickiness has gone – this is an important part of the process, so keep going until it’s a good consistency! If it’s still too sticky ad a touch more flour until it is just right.
To keep the playdough good put in a plastic container or glad wrap and store it at room temperature.
9. Gods’ eyes
Gods’ eye are a good way to get your child developing fine motor skills, coordination and is a calming exercise! This may take a few hours for your child to complete or over a couple of days.
- They will need to find two sticks (relatively the same length and size) from the garden
- 3-4 different types of coloured wool
To make the God’s eye, begin by crossing two sticks to form an “X”. To secure those sticks, and keep them in place, wrap a piece of wool around the intersecting points of the stick. You can knot your wool to start, or you can just trap the tail under the wool as you start wrapping. Do a few wraps in one direction, and then rotate your sticks, and do a few wraps in the other direction to ensure the sticks are stable and won’t move around. Make these quite tight!
Grab your first piece of coloured wool and wrap your wool around one stick, close to the centre of the God’s eye, and take it over the next stick. Continue wrapping it under and then over – UNDER one stick, and then OVER the next stick. Continue wrapping and winding it like that, rotating your God’s eye as you work around it. When your child has done a few layers and you can really see a good thickness of the colour, they may want to change the colour. You can do this by simply cutting the end and then tying the next colour on the end in a knot.
It may take your child a few attempts to get the hang of the winding process as there’s quite a bit of coordination required. They will have to concentrate to hold their sticks in one hand, and their wool in the other, as well as turning their God’s eye around as they go.
There’s a lot of focus required, but once they get the hang of it, it becomes repetitive, making it relaxed and calming!