Lockdown life has placed some serious limitations on our ability to purchase/receive resources to keep our children busy – no more popping to the pound store for some quick arts & crafts or grabbing a book from our local Oxfam. Meetups and ‘story time’ at the library seem like distant memories as does the toddler group up the road.
Whilst the temptation might be to plop our little ones down in front of a screen so that we can do the chores and have a little breathing space, there are things that we can do to put a positive spin on lockdown, even when we have limited resources.
Have a look at these ten top play-time activities that require not much other than a little inclination:
- Disco time – turn the lights down, crank the music; have a mini-party wherever there’s space for dancing in your home. Let everyone have a chance to pick their favourite song. This is not only great exercise but a good way to release some energy.
- Build a den – huddle your furniture together and drape blankets to create a secret space for fun and games, or just resting.
- Look at old photos – these might be on your phone or on print. Have fun remembering past times and share stories about the pictures with your children, who will love hearing about themselves if they were too little to remember.
- Play ‘would you rather…’ – Would you rather be a duck or a chicken? Would you rather sing or dance? Would you rather draw or paint? Would you rather read a book or go to the park? This game is also a fun way to learn the things your children love best.
- Make up a song – choose a theme and get everyone to make up one line and then string them together (this will be really funny); use things around the house as ad hoc instruments (pots, pans, spoons, rice in a bottle as a shaker etc.) and then have a jam session with your new song.
- Dress up – have dress up party or fashion show with clothes, blankets, scarves, shawls and whatever accessories you can find.
- Clean the house together – put on some music and get everyone involved in a clean-up!
- Play charades – split into teams and act out your favourite book/song/movie without using words or sounds; if the responding team gets the answer right, they have a chance to act. The team with the most correct guesses is the winner!
- Prepare food together – whether it’s making a sandwich or cooking your favourite meal, include the kids. Get them involved in some of the steps; spreading the peanut butter or stirring the sauce.
- Junk modelling – take any rubbish in your home (cereal boxes, paper, plastic cartons) and if you have glue or tape, design and build something epic OR simply play a game of balance with your junk (see how tall a tower you can build).
Many of these ideas are taken from session 3 of our Kids Matter parenting programme, which focuses on the importance of play, encouragement and listening. Playing with our children is essential for bonding. Remember: for children, love is spelled T-I-M-E! So involving then in any activity with us will remind them they are loved.
For more Kids Matter COVID resources, click here. And if you’d like to find out more about Kids Matter or would like to get involved, as a volunteer or by financially supporting our programme, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on our IMPACT, click here.If you’d like to find out more about Kids Matter or would like to get involved, as a volunteer or by financially supporting our programme, please contact us at email@example.com. And for more on our IMPACT, click here.