We have all been stuck indoors for a while so it is always good to have some ideas of how to keep the little ones entertained during lockdown. We still have only a few months to go until things go back to normal – hopefully – so read on to get some inspiration. Anna and I collected a few activities we have done with our little ones that could probably help you out when you are feeling stuck.
My daughter is very active. She needs physical activities daily otherwise I know she will be upset at some point. She will sit down and play for a bit but soon enough she will get up and start chasing the dogs. I made peace with the fact that kids just do not feel cold and they most likely prefer playing outdoors. Mine absolutely does so I let her be outside as much as possible even if the weather isn’t great.
Being from Brazil I personally feel like the first lockdown was easier to deal with when it comes to keeping the kids entertained. The weather was nicer, we had plenty of sunny and warm days so outdoor activities were our go to. We were constantly in the garden playing with water and basically just running around. We also had the paddling pool out which helped killing some of that extra energy. So here are some ideas of what you can try with your kids if the weather is nice.
1 – Outdoor painting
Just get all the paint out and let them make as much mess as they want. My daughter was painting the fence at some point and loved it. Make peace with the fact that they will get dirty and things will get messy but that is also where the fun lives. Let them get messy and enjoy the sunshine. You can clean it later…pick your battles. 🙂
2 – Stones painting
You read it right. Rock painting is such an easy, cheap and fun way to keep them busy. You can make them look for some nice round rocks or whatever shape they want and paint them, draw some funny faces on them. They are already outdoors making a mess so use the opportunity to engage them into looking for some fun shaped stones and get painting. They can do abstract painting of some cute ladybugs like you can see in the picture. Its great for kids of any age and amazing for creativity as they need to use their imagination.
3 – Window Painting
Do not freak out just yet. This activity is great. I know it also sounds messy but anything involving painting and drawing will keep them entertained for ages and the paint is all water based and super easy to clean.
4 – Chalking
This one is also so much fun to do on sunny days. There are some great chalks that are quite big and easy to grip for small hands and also easy to clean. They can paint fences, walls and pavements.
5 – Design Some Posters
During the first lockdown, so many families designed posters to display in the windows – showing rainbows or saying thank you to all of the keyworkers in our communities. It’s always a great idea to spread some positivity, so why not keep the kids busy creating some posters with uplifting messages to display in your windows or around the house? You could also create some cards or letters to send to your friends and family who are not living by. I know we all miss these relatives during these lock down times. You can use this free fonts collection to make the posters stand out, and look really effective.
6 – Baking
This is by far one of my daughter’s favourite activity. She is 4 years old and has always been interested in anything going on in the kitchen. Growing up my Brazilian grandma never let me help out in the kitchen because of the mess and to also keep me safe. But I always tried a different approach with my daughter on this situation. She is a very picky eater and I noticed that if she gets involved in the process of cooking she is more willing to try new foods. I also want her to grow up comfortable in the kitchen, which for obvious reasons I am not. But baking is something I actually love doing especially with her. I have great memories of us in the kitchen together and I am sure she will remember it. She loves everything apart from waiting for it to be ready but decorating and obviously licking the icing as she decorates is what is she is looking forward to. I also have my mum with us in London for a few months and is lovely to watch them making cupcakes together. Its an amazing bonding experience. I also get my husband involved so it is a beautiful and delicious family activity.
7 – A walk in the woods
This is my favourite. I love being in nature. This lockdown has only made me appreciate being outdoors more. I feel grounded and at peace when I am surrounded by trees and nature sounds. Do not overthink this and get your kids out in nature whenever you can. Walking in the woods has been our favourite go to activity especially when we are all so stressed out and anxious during these turbulent times. We all need some silence and to switch off from the news and social media once in a while so whenever you have a chance, gear up and run to the woods. If the weather is nice you can take a picnic blanket and some snacks and just sit there for a bit listening to the birds and wind. Our dog also loves it. We recently had so much rain and the woods we normally go was absolutely covered in mud. I wasn’t exactly impressed (I am Brazilian and will never understand the fascination that the kids here see in mud) but for the sake of my sanity and my daughter’s we went anyways and wasn’t it a whole new level of fun. No, I wasn’t jumping in the puddles but finding your way around and just being at one with nature was great. My daughter and dog obviously were in their element. Thankfully I got this muddy puddle suit for my daughter which was an absolute winner. She was dry the whole time and we got to enjoy the experience fully. You can tell them to collect sticks, look for fairies and listen to the birds singing. It is very magical if you take the mud away.
8 – Dance
Keep them moving. What a better way to burn some energy while having tonnes of fun than dancing? TikTok is my favourite app for this one and I had my daughter join me a few times to learn some dances. She loves it. There are plenty of options on Youtube as well. My daughter also loves to watch Just Dance Kids. The routines are fairly easy to learn and the songs are great. She will be in front of the tv dancing for a while and I always join her.
9 – Origami
This one will not keep my wild one entertained for long but it may work for yours. My mother is a craft master. She is great with her hands and used the time to teach my daughter how to make some animals using just paper. My favourite is the flying bird. I do not like crafts at all. I have no patience but this one is quite easy to make and looks super cute when it is ready. And it flaps its wings which is super cool.
10 – Gardening
We know that sensory play is amazing for kids development and they love mess. What an amazing way to get them engaged and also teach them about plants and nature. Get those little hands dirty and show them how to look after flowers. I do not have much space in my garden but I have some pots so everytime spring comes we buy some seeds and I let her plant it. She has her little gardening kit and she is always excited to dig the holes in soil and water them afterwards. Is great fun and an beautiful opportunity for them to learn a bit of responsibility.