With the increased need to social distance and self isolate during the corona virus pandemic, many of our parents are feeling over-whelmed wondering how they will keep their kids, especially their younger ones, entertained without relying heavily on their devices. Quite rightly too, as most of us aren’t teachers and aren’t skilled for the challenging task of keeping the kids entertained for a prolonged period of time. Well, happily for us, we have been given access by Dr Adam Arnold to a series of activities to fill their week and we are sure you will find something that will help ease the stress. And luckily for us it won’t stop here, with a series of 7 activities being released every week over the next 3 weeks there are plenty of ideas to come. So here are our first 7 activities.
- Story Time
While isolating at home it is a great time re-engage in reading and what better book to read than your child’s favorite book. Kids love it when we read with them but to make it more interesting and keep them engaged try using different voices for each character or ask questions during the story, for instance “why do you think the pigs were so afraid of the wolf?” It helps to know that they are understanding the story and really listening.Or you can be even more adventurous and write your own story! Using your child’s favorite characters, places they like to go and things they like to do create a story unique to them. Kids love it when they are the centre of attention and knowing that you remember what they like to do and where they like to go will make them feel very special, you can even add names of some of their friends or family members too!If your child is older you could read and discuss a book or a chapter of a book and make up your own endings. You can even make up your own stories by sitting the kids in a ring and letting them “add a sentence”, one after another. We’ve done this before and made up some really funny stories this way.
- Art is a Favourite with Kids
Isolating doesn’t mean life has to be dull. A great way to keep colour in our kids lives is through art cause we all know kids love art, especially art on a large scale. They LOVE to scribble and draw, especially on any large surface they can find (like walls) so if you can find some large rolls of paper you will have happy hands to draw and scribble to their heart’s content. Stationery stores and butchers are a great place to look for some large rolls of blank paper. Give them a call before heading off, otherwise use what’s at hand cause the kids won’t care.Tacking paper up on walls or ripping off a large piece to cover a table will keep them occupied for hours!Give them crayons, washable markers, finger paints, glue, sparkles…anything you can think of that they would be interested in using and you can be on your way doing what you would like.
- Crayon Creations
If you’ve never been a crafter, isolating is a time to enhance your skills and we’ve got an easy project you and the kids will love. Give the kids their old wax crayon stubs and help them make shavings from them with a butter knife onto a piece of wax paper. When they’re done, carefully take their creations to the ironing board, lay another piece of wax paper on top, and briefly press with a warm iron. Let the kids watch as the colours melt together then put them on the table to cool down and harden.Once they are hard give them back to the kids to cut into different shapes. Then punch a hole in the top and thread a piece of ribbon through. The kids can then hang them in their rooms, in the window, wherever they would like and bring some colour into their world with the creations they have made.
- Fun with Clothes
Kids love playing dress-up with their parents clothes, so why not give them some of their own that they can play with any time they want? If they can’t see mum and dad heading to work during isolation, they can become them for an hour or two or even the whole day. Let them dress up like you and pretend to go to work or on an outing, they can make up different skits and even build sets with old boxes!
If you have clothes that you don’t think they would play with but are too old or stained to take to a charity shop cut them into strips. Your kids can make “rag rugs” with them. I have attached a link from My Poppet with 7 different ways to make a rag rug but there are many sites on line that will show them how to do this. Not only will it give a new use to old clothes but it will also keep the kids busy too 😊
- Puppet Show Fun
Imagination play is important in kids, not only does it build creativity but it is an excellent way to decrease stress, especially needed when they are forced to isolate from their friends. Let them make finger puppets by drawing characters on their finger tips or from paper and help them to create a “show” with a script and characters. You can even make a stage by building up a few boxes stuck together with packing tape, make the top one have an opening at the front and hang up a curtain (you can use rags from the rag-box for this).Let the kids practice until they feel really confident then invite the other members of the house to come and watch the “show”. Your kids will love this, and will love it even more if you are able to incorporate the audience into the show. All the laughter and applause will make them want to create more shows for the future! Who knows, they might even get into making more elaborate puppets 😊
- Fun in the Kitchen
This is a great skill to develop and what better time than when you are all home together. Find some cookbooks, let the kids choose a simple recipe and work together on making dinner, desserts, snacks or cakes. If you have a few children divide the work between them, with the older kids doing the main cooking and the younger ones responsible for the measuring. If you choose cakes then they can all join together to do the decorating cause we all know that this is the best part!If you have been trying to get your kids to eat more veggies then have them help you cook them. Let them pick a veggie for that nights dinner and then show them how to cook it obviously guided by what they can for their age. The more involved they are the more likely they are to gobble it down.Of course dessert are always fun for kids. If making biscuits you can let them put the dough on the baking sheet or if it’s rice bubble treats they can mould and decorate them. There are lots of options when it comes to cooking and anything that gets your child into liking to cook is a good thing, and it’s fun!
- Worm Farms
This one is for the family that doesn’t mind getting a little dirty and wants to engage in some outside activities by creating their very own worm farm.Start by getting a large clear plastic container, some soil, leaves, a little sand, and some bits of vegetables to create the farm then dig up some earthworms.Fill the container with loose layers of soil and sand, beginning with soil and alternating the layers. Make the soil layers about 4x the size of the sand layers. Also make sure the top layer is soil. 4 or 5 layers should be enough.Drop some small bits of vegetables and leaves on top, and then put the worms in. Add a lid of some sort, making sure it has air holes then put the newly created worm farm in a cool dark place for a few days.The worms will tunnel down through the layers, and the kids will see just how good they are at churning up the soil. It will be fun for them to see all the tunnels the worms make and how creative they are in making them.Please remember to let the worms go when the kids have finished with them.
We truly hope you find something here to help not only keep the kids and you entertained but inspire them to get creative with their play. Remember isolation doesn’t have to be all bad, we just need to look for the fun and the joy in new and interesting ways.
Stay tuned for our next 7 ideas which will be available soon. In the meantime stay healthy and safe.