With schools being closed and quarantine being in place across the country that means more family time. The loss of school and childcare activities such as PE lessons, sports games, and social activities is inevitably making parents/carers concerned for the physical and mental wellbeing of their little ones. While these are unsettling times, as a parent, you can help contribute to a positive, fun at-home environment that can foster meaningful and lasting positive memories for your children.
While fun memories sound great, you might feel perplexed at what to do with your kids who are now at home for the time being.
Below is a list of five interactive activities that can help occupy and stimulate your kids. Hopefully they will create fun, happiness and laughter in your home.
1) Indoor treasure hunt.
When children are cooped up it's great to give them something that will keep them engrossed and moving. What can be better than a good old classic treasure hunt? You can search the internet for printable clues (with or without pictures) and scatter them around the whole house with one clue leading to another and place some treasure such as a sweet treat or token. You can also set some rules at the beginning of the treasure hunt such as no running or finding the treasure in a certain time limit to make it more fun. Even though the treasure hunt will keep your kids moving, turn it into a good brainstorming activity and give out clues that will put their brains to work.
2) Explore nature through art.
A refreshing nature walk in the back garden or field where they can safely see, hear, smell or feel the flowers, leaves, stones, and trees and feel connected to the natural world. You can turn this into a little art activity by giving a bag to each child with a drawing pad, a pencil and some colouring pencils or markers in it so that they can note down what they see, smell and hear. Later, indoors they can use their memory and drawing skills to draw and paint what they experienced on the nature walk.
3) Homemade Puppet Show
Reusing a cardboard box, they could cut out, create and decorate their very own puppet show stage. By gathering dolls, teddies and/or figurines they can be the characters of their show. Ask your kids to create a plot and if they are older they can write a short script. Allow time for the children to practice their show and prepare. They could have hours of fun plotting and creating this. In the evening time they could perform the show for you and family. Make it extra special by recording their show or video calling other family members to join in on the unmissable entertainment.
4) Story Time
Children love the simplicity and calmness of story time. It just doesn’t have to be a bed time activity. Generate conversations with your children by reading daily stories that will interest them or even reminiscing about your childhood with them. If you are feeling adventurous, you could write your own little story to share with your kids. Include little memories from years ago. My favourite stories growing up was when my mother used to tell me about “the olden days”. My eyes used to light up and my imagination ran wild as she transported me back in time.
5) Cook Alongs.
With most meals now being made in-house, enlist your kids to help more with prepping and cooking their favourite foods. It is a practical way to engage with your children, keeping them busy whilst serving a purpose. They will learn the value of helping out, gain cooking skills and also have fun in the process.
Annette Kelly x
We’ve joined forces with Wellness Expert Annette Kelly (Little Penny Thoughts) to help us through the days and nights and keep our mental health in check.