The vast majority of us are going to be spending more time at home over the coming weeks and months. If you have children and you’re looking for ways to keep busy and have fun without leaving the house, here are some ideas to give you inspiration.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts can be great fun for children, as well as adults. Creative activities are proven to reduce stress and promote calm, and they can also encourage children to be more imaginative, to hone their fine motor skills and to relax. If you have a store cupboard full of paints, crayons or pencils, or you have supplies like pipe-cleaners, pom-poms and thread, you can make all kinds of creations, including bookmarks, personalised cards for special occasions and pictures to hang up or give to friends and family. It’s also a great idea to use any rubbish you haven’t yet recycled or thrown away to build models. You can turn baked bean tins, cereal boxes and washing up liquid bottles into everything from robots to castles. If you need more ideas, there are some fabulous guides and video tutorials available online.
Ready, Set, Bake!
Baking is a brilliant idea when you’ve got a day at home with the kids and you’re looking for a fun-filled activity to while away the hours. You can get children of all ages involved in rustling up a loaf of bread, baking cakes or scones or putting on a family-friendly dinner party. Use recipe books aimed at kids, or search online for ideas. You’ll find articles on how to make jam at home, ideas for funky, child-friendly cakes and desserts and lists of ingredients and utensils to help you prepare in advance. If you have very young children, you can teach them basic techniques like stirring the mixture and decorating fairy cakes, while older kids can take a more active role under your supervision. Children often enjoy the process of making cakes or savoury treats, and they take pride in creating something the rest of the family will enjoy devouring.
If you can’t go to the cinema, why not bring the cinema to you? Instead of going out to watch a film, turn your living room into a movie theatre for the day. Snuggle up on the sofa, choose a couple of films and munch on popcorn. If your kids love to watch films, and you don’t already subscribe to movie channels or streaming services, it might be worth investigating signing up. Watching movies is a great way to spend time together and you can alternate between who gets to choose the film.
Getting fresh air is beneficial for everyone. Being in the open air can increase energy levels, make you feel calm and relaxed and enable kids to burn off excess energy. Try and get out into the garden on a daily basis and make the time you have fun. If your kids tend to gravitate towards video games, computers or the TV, and they’re reluctant to go outside, organise some games. You could play hide and seek, create a children’s obstacle course, set up a treasure hunt or run your own version of the Olympics or the Premier League season, for example. You could also have a picnic outside if the weather is playing ball or get some blankets and floor cushions out and chill out with a good book.
If your children love to dress up or they enjoy reading or writing stories or role play, why not plan a show and let their amateur dramatic skills shine? This can be brilliant for confident children who feel comfortable in the spotlight, as well as those who are shy. Putting on shows and creating dance routines can boost confidence and help kids get used to reading and talking aloud. You can give them ideas and scenarios or let their imaginations run wild. While they work on the finer details and practice their roles, you could help out with music, props or costumes. When the stars are ready to perform, you can film the show and send it to your parents and siblings so they can enjoy it too.
With most of us facing a long period of time at home, it’s a good idea to have some activities planned to keep the kids busy and enjoy quality time together. From baking and painting to outdoor games, movie nights and amateur dramatics, there are plenty of ways to keep boredom at bay without leaving the house.