The recent spike in COVID-19 is stopping us from putting our foot outside of the house. Parents are juggling between working from home and taking good care of their kids. Fret not because we are bringing you a list of family fun activities to do at home to keep your children busy!
1. Word Search Challenge
Some people may find Word Search boring but let me assure you, there is nothing boring about a Word Search challenge.
You’ll need two copies of Word Search puzzles—either print the same puzzle twice or get two different puzzles with equal number of words to search for.
You can challenge your little ones or team your little ones into two groups and see who completes their puzzle the fastest. Although from personal experience, I must warn you, this game can get a bit addictive.
To make it more challenging, you could setup a timer and see how many words a person can find within the allocated time. And if you’re challenging your little ones, you may want to get Word Search puzzles with longer words than your little ones.
Not only is this activity fun, Word Search is said to develop pattern recognition, broaden vocabulary and give a sense of accomplishment upon completing a Word Search puzzle.
2. Build A Fort
Build a fort with sheets or blankets, as big or small as you wish anywhere in your house and get your little ones to help you with it. Then grab some pillows, books, toys, cookies and escape into your fort with your little ones.
Have a tea party, animated storytelling sessions, read, draw, play with toys, pretend-play, or if your fort is facing the television, you can snuggle up with your little ones for a movie night. Oh, the things you can do in your fort!
You should definitely try baking with your toddlers. I admit, it might get a little messy but not only is it a great bonding activity, baking boosts your little ones’ confidence, develops basic skills such as listening and counting as well as improves their vocabulary when they learn new words from a recipe.
You can let them help you fetch ingredients, add them, stir them, give them a small portion of dough to knead, use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the dough, let them frost a cake, sprinkle toppings on cup cakes and I could just keep going.
Alternatively, you could also bake or get some plain cupcakes and set up a decorating corner for your little ones with different flavoured icings and toppings such as chocolates, candies, marshmallows, sprinkles, nuts, fruits, and crumbs. Give them a free reign over the decoration and watch them get creative!
4. Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunting is a good workout for your little ones, physically and mentally. What’s more, it fuels your little ones’ problem-solving skills and encourages creative thinking
Create simple and short riddles that when solved will lead your little ones to the next clue and hide around the house, with a prize hidden at the final location.
To make this more fun and stimulating, instead of riddles, you can use mini games or a combination of games and riddles as the clue. You could ask them to solve a puzzle, paper maze, a simple math equation, build a particular shape with building blocks, make the sound of or act like a particular animal, act cute or angry, and so forth.
The fun of this game is that you can get as creative as you want with the clues and activities you include.
5. Produce a Movie
Give your little ones a camera on-record and ask them to narrate whatever they see around the house, you’ll be surprised by their imagination.
If your little ones can write, get them to write a story or script. Get your phone out and record them as they act out the scenario, act it out with them, or they can act it out alone if they wish. If your little one wants to record their siblings acting, let them be the cameraman.
In addition to giving their imagination fodder to grow, you’re also allowing their communication skills, sense of responsibility and confidence to grow.
6. Indoor Obstacle Course
If your little ones love jumping from one couch to the other, they’ll absolutely love an indoor obstacle course. It is much easier to set up than you might think.
You can tape a masking tape to the floor and tell your little ones to only walk on the line. Topple some chairs or stretch a cloth between chairs to create a tunnel and let them crawl under it. Grab your couch cushions or pillows from the bed and pile them up and have your little ones climb over it.
Settle a stick up between two chairs and let your little ones do the limbo. Pile up some cushions and have them jump over it. Have some toys in a straight line and get them to run in a zigzag around the items. The possibilities are endless.
If only one kid is doing the race, you could time them to add a sense of thrill and have them attempt to beat their own timing for the next round.
If your little ones are competing, you can have the winner decide what to have for dinner, give them the choice of picking the next destination for a day out or such.
7. Keep the Ball Up
A game I used to play growing up which admittedly could get quite competitive when played with siblings. If you want some free time, toss them a ball and watch them go at it for hours.
To make it more challenging, you can tell your little ones to only use one hand to keep the ball on air. You could also use a balloon and tell your little ones to only use their head.
8. Art & Crafts
Stimulate your little ones’ imagination with arts and craft works, a great way for little ones to express themselves and develop their creativity.
Gather some blank papers—small or big—or a transparent sheet, spread out some crayons, markers, paint, coloured pencils and pens and let your little ones create a masterpiece with them.
Model clay to look like their favourite characters or animals, use beads to create simple ornaments or jewellery, make masks out of paper plates, and teach your little ones to fold paper birds.
9. Indoor Relay Race
Instead of simply running with a baton in hand and passing it on, you can have your little ones do something before the baton passes hand.
For example, the first child with the baton has to leap like a frog to the next child and the next child has to hop on one feet to the next child in line. Then that child may have to run holding a spoon with an egg on it to another child who would then have to run with a bowl of water without spilling any of it to the next child. This child might only be able to move on certain colour of tiles to the next child and so on. You could keep the race going without breaking it by having the last kid with the baton move to the end of the line.
An indoor relay race is much more fun if you have more than one kid to play but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work for just one kid. You could have your little one do all the tasks instead of different kids doing different tasks.
10. Create A Puppet Show
What better way to get your little one to pick up a new interest by introducing puppet-making? Puppet-making is a fun and engaging activity widely introduced by many kindergartens around the world. Making it from scratch, puppets are relatively easy handcraft to do with.
Be it your used popsicle sticks, socks or paper bags, simply utilize any resources that are laying around the house that has been unused for many years. Put up a theater with cupboards and unleash children's creativity for a puppet show.
11. Host a Singing Contest
Belt out your kids' favorite songs and everyone takes a turn to sing. Make it all fun by someone starting with a verse while the next continues with another. This would eventually lead to a lot of laughter among both the kids and parents.
Alternatively, you can make up a song on a Sunday morning while doing house chores. Get everyone to sing together and create lyrics that no one will ever forget.
12. Science Experiment
Research shows that kids who pick up science at an early stage tend to get along with science faster when they go attend primary school. That said, it serves as an important reminder for us to expose our children to science as early as possible.
Now, don't get us wrong! Learning science doesn't have to be all theoretical and boring. In fact, it can be a very interesting lesson if you make it right with science experiments. Simple ingredients and basic materials are helpful enough in this scenario which is perfectly safe for kids to play along.
For example, use a few items such as balls, eggs, stones and water bottles for a sink or float experiment at home. Kids can do this activity at the kitchen sink, in the bathtub or on the floor with a tub or basin filled with water.
13. Create a Sensory Table
The sensory table is a thrilling activity for toddlers and preschoolers. It's going to be one of their favorite activities to do! Throw in items with different textures, sizes and shapes, mix it up or stack it, ask the children to explore it with multiple senses and use their imaginations to guess the items!
13. Video Game
Playing a video game together is said to be the fastest and most convenient way for a family to stay connected together at home. With the growth of games continually increasing over the years, this has also led to a wider scope of games for kids of all ages. No matter what age children you have, there are games out there that can enrich their education and enhance their mind from as young as two years old.
One of these video games that we had to introduce to you is the Nintendo Switch. It went viral and popular as soon as it launched its products. There is a wide array of games for you to choose from, from fishing games to car racing. If you have extra budget, top it up with the RingFit Adventure where you can do exercise to stay healthy while playing games. How does it sound to you?
14. House Cleaning
Most of us are caught up with having to work the extra hours to make ends meet and provide for the family. The downside to this is that we now have lesser time and energy to put aside everything on top of the extensive list for housekeeping. From cooking, cleaning the house and helping with the kids on the studies, it can be very tiring after a long day.
A mother shared on Facebook how she kept her kid busy while working from home for the next 3 weeks. The trick is to make the child share her burden on the house chores by giving her kid a monopoly monetary reward. With the reward, her kid can buy TV time, gaming time or snacks in the house. Such a creative way to motivate your kids to start with some home errands!
15. Explore Old Family Photos
Do you have an old family album collecting dust in your storeroom? There's no better time than now to visit these photos with your children. Reminisce the good old days and make it into a storytelling time for the little ones. It is also a good opportunity to introduce your ancestry to the younger generation to better understand where they came from. The family photo album is a great way to let distant loved ones feel included as well as tighten the family bond. Furthermore, visiting old photos together may inspire all family members to start a curated collection of photos together to look back on when they’re older.