Coronavirus has sent us all home – with the kids to boot.
How can we manage to keep our small humans amused, entertained and educated? Here are a heap of great ideas to get you started.
1. Virtual tours
When travel is temporarily off the to-do list, virtual tours are the next best thing. Ride a rollercoaster, take a camel ride in Uluru, or tour the Louvre Museum. You can even visit Taronga Zoo via Taronga TV and the Sydney Aquarium.
2. Workouts for kids
3. Workouts for adults
4. House party!
Let your kids choose the music and get the tribe shaking their tail feathers.
5. Listen to stories or audiobooks
Download the Kinderling Radio app and let your child choose a story to listen to – there are heaps of popular books recorded. Audible has made a lot of their collection free for kids. You’ll find lots of choice for children at Storynory and Lit2Go.
6. Learn a language
DuoLingo is a great website to start.
7. Podcasts for kids
8. Download great kids apps
One of our iPad favourites is Don’t Let The Pigeon Run This App, by Mo Willems (from the Pigeon book series). Lots of silly activities.
9. Learn to draw
Still on Mo Willems, he’s doing daily online drawing tutorials, Lunchtime Doodles. And it’s something fun parents and kids can do together. Or visit Art Hub on YouTube run by a family of talented artists.
10. Websites for kids
11. Khan Academy
This non-profit YouTube channel shares free interactive software, exercises, videos and articles for all ages. Check out all the lessons here.
12. Make a comic book
Got a kid who loves Captain Underpants? The Cat Kid Comic Club has free downloadable templates for comic-making and you can share yours online.
13. Print out colouring-in pages
Search Google for your kid’s favourite movie character, eg: ‘Lightning McQueen colouring in pages’. You’ll find loads of images you can copy and paste into Word and print out. Just add crayons for a fab colouring-in session.
14. Make salt dough
You can do imprints of your kids’ hands and turn them into paperweights or ornaments to gift to the grandparents. This blog has an easy tutorial.
15. Set up a cake decorating station
Make a batch of cupcakes and pop them on a table with containers full of pre-made frosting, sprinkles, choc drops and berries. Let your kids decorate the cupcakes just in time for afternoon tea.
16. Make sourdough bread
This is a longer-term project, as you have to create the starter first and ‘feed’ it daily until it can be used to make the bread. But the results? Yum! Try this tutorial.
17. Do a fingerprint painting
Set up little containers of paint, make sure fingertips are dry and go to town on a big sheet of paper. You can press your fingerprint into paint to make a body or head on your page, then draw on arms, legs, hair to complete your picture.
18. Draw around your hands or feet
And fill in your outlines with a glue stick and whatever you have to hand – feathers, dry pasta, cotton wool balls – to make fun pictures.
19. Do a family band
If you have no instruments, make them out of pots, pan lids and wooden spoons. Or, fill containers with rice or beans and pop on the lid for cool shakers.
20. Play pen pals
Write Grandma, a friend, cousin or a neighbour a letter and post it. You might just get a few letters back and it’s a lovely way to stay in touch.
21. Make invisible ink
Use lemon juice to write secret messages to people. Just ask an adult to warm the paper near a stove or heater when you want the messages to appear.
22. Sort the LEGO
Give your kids some containers and ask them to sort their Lego collection into colours. It’ll keep them busy and make it fun creating new things. Or take the Lego challenge – a calendar month full of fun activities for any age.
23. Build a cubby
Using blankets, pillows and dining room chairs, you can create a great fort or cubby inside. A large cardboard box can also make a great cubby for little kids.
24. Do an indoor treasure hunt
Collect a pile of household items, write them down and hide them around the house. Give your kids the list and send them on a treasure hunt.
25. Play dress-ups
All kids love a dress-up opportunity – whether they have a dress-up box to raid or your wardrobe. Have a themed dinner – black tie and silver service? Don’t mind if I do. Don’t forget to have your camera handy to record the evidence!