Keeping the family entertained during the summer holidays can be a challenge, let alone when you’re not able to leave the house! I have two boys aged 5 and 9 and I must admit it has been difficult to find activities to suit them both. After a lot of research we have come up with a (tried and tested) handy list of 20 fun things to do with the kids whilst you’re on Covid-19 lockdown. If are looking for creative ideas, exercise, educational fun or messy play – there’s something in this list for you.
1. Perform a play
Many children love role play, even the older ones – though they might not like to admit it! Why not get your kids to exercise their imagination and develop their team-building skills by putting on a play for you? To help, you can give them a topic, such as a ‘dramatic day at the farm’ or ‘funny aliens visit Earth’, or even ask them to come up with something totally new themselves. You might be able to get on with some work or housework whilst their practicing, and it’ll be a great memory to get on video!
2. Host a Birthday party for a pet or toy
Draw the curtains, put on some tunes, get out some cake a candles, make disco lights using torches and dance the afternoon away! You could even host a game of musical statues or sleeping fish. A great way to add some excitement to the day.
Get out the Playdoh, clay or make up some salt dough (there are loads of online recipes) and get sculpting with the kids! Perfect for all ages and a great opportunity to make little gifts for neighbours, friends or Grandparents.
4. Online Youtube Exercises
A simple search on Youtube will give you a huge list of kids exercise classes for the whole family to follow. You could give Joe Wicks a try, or even look for something different such as kids yoga or karate.
5. Go on a scavenger hunt
You can do this during your daily exercise hour. Make a checklist of outside items for the kids to find, such as coloured flowers, lamp posts, bugs or certain leaves. A great way to explore nature.
6. At-home camping!
If you have a garden simply pitch up a tent, or if you’re indoors make one with chairs and blankets for some good old fashioned camping! You could ask your children to bring some toys out to join in, have a teddy bears picnic and play some garden games.
7. Face painting
If you don’t have face paints, use make-up and practice painting each other as animals or characters. This one is bound to bring about some giggles!
8. Play dress-up
Get some fancy dress outfits or make your own! Wearing fancy dress can make the day feel exciting and special, and you could even do some fun role play!
9. Make a chalk obstacle course
Draw out a course in your back garden for the kids to enjoy. You can include hop scotch, a running track, circles for the children to jump across and even a leap frog area. The kids might even like to make one up. If you don’t have chalk, you can simply use water and a paintbrush to mark out a course. If you don’t have outdoor space you can create this using coloured tape on the carpet.
10. Pasta pictures
Pasta comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is great for making a unique collage. You can also get the paints out so the kids can bring some colour to their pictures once dry.
11. Maths colour by numbers
If standard colour-by-numbers is getting a bit boring, why not try a maths version? A search on Google will reveal lots of printable pictures and will get your kids developing their maths skills. You can print different sheets for different ages, or why not make your own?
12. Sports day
Make your very own home-school sports day! Ideas include a 3-legged race, running competitions, relay races, egg on a spoon run and an obstacle course. Great for getting the kids to burn off some energy.
13. Decorate a frame
Grab an old, plain frame for your children to decorate. You could use paints, pencils, beads or cut out coloured squares of card for a cool mosaic effect. Ask the kids draw a picture or pick out a photograph to fill the frame with, for a special piece of sentimental wall art.
14. Treasure hunt
Ask your children to each hide an item in the house, such as a toy or a coin. Then give them a piece of paper to draw out a treasure map. They can then each go on a treasure hunt! To make the paper look old, tear around the edge and then rub a used, damp tea bag on on it and let dry before drawing on it.
15. Nerf maths quiz
A great way to sneak in a bit of maths practice! Write numbers from 1-20 on post-it notes and stick them to the wall. Shout out maths questions such as 3+4, and get the kids to shoot at the answer using Nerf guns (or soft balls).
16. Lego maze
Create a marble-run maze out of lego for a fun lockdown activity. You could even add some lego men or items to the maze for the player to collect before getting to the finish.
Use a simple cake baking kit or even make up some banana bread. Other ideas include shortbread, cheese straws or a traditional bread loaf.
18. Re-decorate a wall
Use wall paints or even some regular poster paints, and let the kids loose with a wall in their bedroom! Another great idea is to buy some wall stickers on Amazon and let the children arrange them in their own unique way.
19. Have a movie night
Shut the curtains, turn off the lights, get out the blankets and the popcorn and settle down for a good old fashioned movie night! Disney Plus is currently offering a 7 day free trial, perfect for some quality family time.
20. Have an online meet-up with friends
Grab a free Zoom or Houseparty account and set up a video meeting with your children’s friends for some quality catch-up time. Houseparty has some great games they can all play together online.
What worked well for you? Leave a comment if you have any more ideas or tips! Stay safe everyone.