One of the most trying parts of being isolated at home with young kids during the COVID-19 restrictions, is being unable to take them to the park to play on the equipment, and not being able to do activities like going to the zoo, going to play centres or simply driving to a new, exciting park to play. We hear you, and we’re here to help!
We’ve come up with a list of activities that will keep you busy all day long. There’s a wide variety here, and you can pick and choose which activities suit you and your family the best. And rather than reinventing the wheel, we’re just posting links for the best instructions we could find.
5 Easy Sensory Bottles Sensory bottles, also known as Calm Down Jars, are really popular at the moment and can be a great way to help calm kids down. We’ve found a simple site that gives you 5 options.
3 ingredient DIY foam paint FYI: this can get a little messy so if your kids like ruining your house (like mine!), so you may want to do this outside on a warm day.
Fluffy slime This is an awesome recipe and so much fun! You can make it any colour you like and it’s pretty easy. Probably good for kids who are a little bit older because you don’t want them eating this! Keep in mind it only stays fluffy for about a day.
Mini coloured kitchen volcanoes We love this one because it’s all contained within a pan and the mess can’t go far!
Make an origami frog that jumps then take the frogs you’ve made and have races! That’s an entire afternoon right there!
Colour in autumn leaves with these templates and then you can take them and stick all the coloured in leaves on the wall to make a big tree. What a great Autumn idea!
Ladybug painted rocks These are gorgeous and you can use them to decorate your garden once you’re finished making them.
Play dough There are literally thousands of recipes out there, this one is pretty good and we hope you love it
Get you kids digging in the garden! It’s been something my kids love. We bought little kids gardening tools and they’re happy as pigs in mud (or kids in mud, maybe?) just digging and generally getting dirty! They look for worms, dig holes, fill them in again, and it’s a great way to get someone else to pull out your weeds! Click here, here and here for links to some little gardening tools my kids love.
Go for a nature spotters walk: plan a walk to your local park (yes, you’re still allowed to do that) and before you go, make a list of things that you want to see when you’re there. For example, you might write a list of 2 butterflies, 5 magpies, one stick insect and 4 dogs. You also have the option of choosing to bring home some samples for crafts later, such as feathers, rocks, leaves or bark. There’s no link for this one, just let your imagination run wild!
Make an obstacle course in your backyard: use things such as chairs, buckets, swings and trampolines to create a course that your kids have to run a number of times to be awarded with a prize. You can even use beach balls, pool noodles and trees! You get to decide how complex or simple it is, how many obstacles they are, and you can also control how dangerous (or safe!) it is. Again, you’ll need to use your imagination.
Get yourself a box of chalk for the pavement and go nuts! There are loads of ideas on sites like Pinterest and a cursory Google search will give you more ideas than you can possibly imagine. You can rest easy knowing it washes off in the rain (or when hosed!) and you can always have your kids do it on the footpath at the front of your house, just in case you don’t have any suitable concreted areas in your backyard. Click here for a link to some great chalk picture ideas
Digital learning and fun
The ABC Kids listen app is one of the best things I’ve ever found for my kids. There are stories, sound tracks for getting kids to calm down before a nap, the sounds of different animals in nature, lullabies, dancing and much more. It’s a great resource and has great ideas, whether your kids just listen to relax, or whether you use it to stimulate their creativity. Just download it at the AppStore
If you’re looking for a digital way to improve your kids’ reading skills, people keep raving about the ABC Reading Eggs App. We searched for others and just couldn’t find one that was as good as this. There’s a monthly subscription cost to this app, and each child has to pay separately. I’ve heard lots of good things about it, you can download it from the AppStore
In case you hadn’t heard, ABC has stepped and expanded its content to play educational shows in line with Australian school curriculum from 10am until 3pm on ABC ME (channel 23) every weekday, beginning on April 14th. The ABC are also adding to its portal, ABC Education, to now include 4,000 free videos, games and interactive resources across every subject in the Australian curriculum. They’re also adding to all of their apps to help kids learn. This is really exciting and will allow your little ones to learn a variety of different things, just as they would in school. What a great way to take the pressure off parents!
There are so many ways to keep your kids busy during this unusual time. I hope this small list has inspired you to look for more creative ways to spend the days with your little ones, and to have a really fun time.
Please share this with friends and family who you think might like some of these ideas. We want to help as many people as we can!
Feel free to email us and let us know how these ideas go for you and your family. We’d love to see photos of your creations, so send those too!
I wish you happy, calm days with your kids at home.
P.S. I just want to make it clear that neither myself or Inspire Chiropractic receive any kind of payment or commission for listing any of the above sites or companies. I just sat down and looked at the internet until I found stuff I thought might be useful. I hope you love it!