Staying at home all day is no easy feat, especially for energetic kids. But a little imagination can go a long way when it comes to filling in those oh-so-long hours.
With coronavirus lockdowns potentially lasting for months, even the most resourceful parent will be tested when it comes to keeping kids occupied at home.
But having fun should be your top priority during isolation, says senior psychologist Vicky Saltis, of Play Psychology.
¡°Play for children is a sign of normality,¡± Vicky says.
¡°It allows us to change the channel in our brains, from any worrisome thoughts, to a more relaxed, happy and enjoyable interaction.¡±
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The key is having a range of activities that will keep their brains active, bodies moving and fostering connection.
¡°Board games with family are a great as they create and maintain positive bonds and interaction,¡± says Vicky.
¡°For younger children cause-and-effect games are highly beneficial along with therapeutic play with sensory materials like rice, water playdough and kinetic sand.¡±
Most importantly, there is no need to go out and buy expensive toys or games.
Instead use things you already have at home and use your creativity to come up with new activities.
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50 ideas for kids¡¯ activities to get you started
- Learn origami?
- Bake healthy snacks
- Hold a daily running race and record your time
- Make musical instruments out of recycled materials
- Create an obstacle course
- Hold a backward running race in your garden
- Make your own word search puzzle
- Start your own veggie patch
- Visit the NASA Kids¡¯ Club and learn more about space
- Listen to an audiobook
- Make pasta or pizzas from scratch
- Run a karaoke hour
- Plan a family workout
- Write a journal entry every day
- Pick a country to learn about, then cook its national dish
- Build a house of cards
- Use toilet rolls to make puppets
- Make traditional lemonade
- Design an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt
- Throw a family dance party
- Make a movie using a smartphone or tablet
- Organise the bookshelf in alphabetical order
- Create a list of chores to earn pocket money
- Make a volcano
- Create an overnight camp in the lounge room or backyard
- Start teaching your kids the road rules
- Play dress ups
- Listen to a podcast such as Squiz Kids, Brains On or But Why
- Make a papier-mache pi?ata
- Put together a time capsule
- Join a virtual choir
- Take a virtual tour of an international museum or landmark
- Create a quiz or crossword
- Build a castle out of LEGO (or try a 30-day LEGO challenge)
- Spend a day rearranging your bedroom
- Make slime
- Make playdough
- Plan a dinner party ¨C either for your immediate family, or a virtual one with family or friends
- Teach your pet a new trick
- Create a list of questions, then call or email grandparents or relatives to ask them the answers
- Pull out an atlas or globe and learn the names of all the oceans
- Draw your dream home
- Make a game of bingo
- Learn how to juggle
- Try a meditation or fitness class
- Buy some chalk and draw on the footpath
- Make paper planes and hold a race or distance competition
- Pretend the floor is lava
- Build a cubby house or fort
- Write a letter and post it to a friend
More coronavirus tips and information:
- How to keep calm during the coronavirus outbreak
- How to keep your relationships intact during COVID-19
- Cold or coronavirus? How to tell the difference
- Best ways to stay fit and active at home
- Foods to boost your immune system
Written by Alex White.