Stay at home activities for kids on school holidays and in lockdown
Lockdown becomes a real trouble when it starts on school holidays. Parents and kids are locked at home and while parents try to catch up with their meetings and work, cook some food and have at least half an hour rest, kids complain they are bored, have nothing to do and make parents feel mad.
However, there are many activities you can arrange for your kids these days. It does not really matter whether you have lots of free space, have some or no budget to spend on some activities and fun. What you really need is a mix of creativity, some basic ideas and kids who are active and open-minded and ready to explore things.
Kids are like a play dough. Give them an idea or direction for a game to play and they will dive into the world of imagination and magic the next moment.
So you are probably already tired reading through this intro, so let’s move into the action plan and see what can be done at home to entertain, engage and make your kids busy.
Firstly, there are many assumptions we need to consider. Do you have any budget to spend or no budget at all? Are you a parent who is Okay with screen time or you would prefer kids to avoid any. Do you have lots of free space or have limited area for a play?
We will not be discussing something basic such as reading, drawing and playing toys 😊
We will cover all the above. Let’s rock it!
I do not want to spend any budget or may spend very little and I would prefer to avoid any screen time.
Ask your kids if they would be interested to become actors and prepare a show for parents. They will need to think of the show, create costumes, decorations and may be even some music, or sing a song. How about using a lamp and creating some light and shadows? And do not forget to create some tickets for parents and anyone else attending the show. Even a teddy bear can attend or may be he/she may play a show with you. This activity is perfect for creativity and creative thinking development.
Build a maze from furniture and anything you find at home
Kids can use chairs, furniture, boxes, anything you find to build a maze. All items will work and will have a purpose in the magical maze. Only a real hero can go through it.
Locked at home but planned camping. No problem. Either install a tent in one of the rooms or use a blanket to build it. Bring mattress and blankets inside or sleeping bag if you have one. Use bricks, toys or books and arrange them as fire logs, put a torch or a headlight inside to emulate a camping fire.
Shut the curtains and blinds and enjoy camping.
Wipe the dust from board games
Board games are always great way to spend time. So check your shelves and wipe dust from the boxes, it’s time to reinvent all board games.
Build your own board games
If you do not have any board games at home, then ask your child to create his/her own board game. This activity will involve a lot of creativity, thinking, imagination and fun. The best board game is of course the one you create yourself.
Build your own games
We have built many games with kids and they love them a lot and below are two we loved most:
- Take some boxes of different sizes, draw different scores on them. Create a few little throwing bags from old socks or balloons filled with some grains or flour. Place all boxes on various distances. Score as many point as you can. This game creation will keep your kid busy and play will be fun.
- Create you own mini golf. Make some ball from paper. Find some sticks or anything reminding you’re a golf club. Use bricks or any toys to build obstacles, car tracks or paper to build bridges and golf courses. Cut some round shapes from paper as these are holes. Enjoy your own mini golf course.
This activity may keep your kids busy for hours.
Write a short book (3-5 pages) with your own illustrations
Why not become an author of your own book? Sometime a good story is just few pages. So, ask your child to write a 3-5 pages story and draw illustration for each page.
This will keep your child busy for long time and may open hidden talent of your child.
Play with plastic bottles and card boxes
Check you recyclables’ waste bin. Plastic and carton are perfect materials for craft and play. What you need to do as a parent, is to set the right context. For example, your child likes inventors and innovators, then you may ask her/him to become one for a day and build a robot or new machine or device from the plastic bottles and boxes. Then present her/his invention to you.
Get ready to be impressed by what kids can create with what you were calling a rubbish 😊
Reinvent Lego or any other bricks
If you have Lego but your child is not keen to build then try to change the context of play. Lego and any other bricks are great to keep your child busy but sometime your child just needs a little push. Ask him/her to build some non-existing creatures, robots or heroes and then invent their names and unusual skills and super or magical powers. This way you will set the right context and your child will focus on the goal and not the bricks while bricks will be reinvented for the new imaginative play.
Listen to audio books
Yes, kids love listening to the stories. Download bunch of audio books and let your child enjoy them. If you want to boost his/her abilities to read then find a book and download same audio book. Let a child listen audio book and follow the story in a real book. It is a trick to boost your child’s ability to read.
By the way, for more tips and trick on teaching kids to read you may listen to one of our Thinklum podcasts on reading.
Draw postcards for your grandparents and friends
Drawing is something everyone does but how about drawing a few postcards for friends and grandparents. Kids love doing good things, so postcards are a great way to develop creativity, keep kids busy and make relatives and friends happy.
Check our blog for even more awesome ideas
I do not want to spend any budget or may spend very little and screen time is Okay, it the new reality we live in.
There are many free courses and content on YouTube. We have selected some cool ideas below.
Find some instructional videos on YouTube how to create origami. Start with the simplest projects.
Can you solve the Rubik’s cube? It is a cool skill to have and to impress many. There are plenty of instructional and educational videos on internet. Your child will spend from one to few hours on learning some strategies. And trust us this knowledge and skill will stay with her/him for the entire life.
Learn singing or dancing
Yes, there are plenty of video content to learn singing or dancing. This is a real fun for kids and they will also learn important skills.
Watch educational programs and create your trivia game
Make watching educational video more purposeful. Ask your child to write down some questions as they watch a video and then create a Trivia quizzes game. This activity will help your child to gain important skills such as listening carefully, asking the right questions and organizing things.
Learn taking photos on mobile phone
It is possible to use your phone camera to take incredible shots almost as a professional. Lots of video content on internet may help to learn this for free. This is a skill to stay with your child forever and trust us she/he will thank you many times when they start using Instagram, Tik Tok or any other social media or messenger platforms.
I have budget to spend but no screen time, please.
There are plenty of food boxes and kits at your local supermarkets with detailed instructions on how to cook a meal from muffins to soups. All checkouts have free magazines with recipes and guides on how to cook each meal using product from the store.
Let your kids become your home chefs for a day or may be even for a week.
Buy some seeds, soil and gloves. Let your child learn and experiment with gardening. Great way to learn heaps of things and enjoy a home-grown cucumber or roses.
Table games (air hocket, soccer, mini ping pong)
There are plenty mini table games available today. Easy to install but cost some money. But will keep your kids entertained and busy for hours and days.
There are plenty of preassembled robots on the market these days. We do not know why but kids just love robots, building robots and playing with robots. So, if you have some free bucks to spend then go for it, buy a robot and let your kids explore tech and have fun.
I have budget to spend and screen time is not a problem, please.
Online live courses for kids
If you have budget to spend and okay with screen time, then you may go for the online live courses of private tutoring sessions. Kids will obtain lots of skills, learn a lot and have fun for hours. Check our main page to learn more about the option we offer.
Hope you were able to find great options for your kid. Remember all you need is to set the frames for your child, create this magic around their play and you will see kids will accept it and will enjoy time learning, creating, moving and having fun while you may focus on yourself.
Let us know what your kids liked most and what works better to them and share any other ideas with us.