Fun with the kids at home

Stuck at home these school hols? Here are 15 ideas to keep kids of any age entertained and engaged.

Toddlers

Obstacle course

This can be made inside or outside. Use a variety of objects (cushions, soft toys, boxes, buckets) with no sharp edges to create an obstacle course for your child. You can time them, get them to do it start to finish, then back again; they could even hop, skip, or jump it.

Water play

Water play (fully supervised, of course) is always popular with this age group, so you could get them running under the sprinkler, squirting the hose, floating boats either in the bath, or in puddles on a rainy day. They could also paint the fence with water, which is a great non-messy way for kids to have fun with painting!

Pots and containers

Pots and plastic containers make great drums and tomtoms – use wooden spoons as drumsticks.

Make-believe

Spending time with your toddler playing tea parties, restaurants, or shops is a wonderful opportunity to expand their vocabulary, explain how things work (choose item, pay for it, receive item, leave the shop, etc), and let your child lead the game. You can both have fun setting up the shop with items from your pantry, using play money to buy things, and taking turns being both the shopkeeper and the shopper.

Play dough

Toddlers love play dough, and they can help you make it as well as play with it. Check out our easy no-cook version you can make at home.

Schoolkids

String things

String is great for making telephone lines in two empty tins, threading down the hallway to make a laser maze, and hung from chairs to make
a flying fox for stuffed toys.

Who am I?

A sticker is put on the head of one family member, with the name of either a book/ movie character, celebrity, singer etc and through a series of questions that receive only a yes or no answer from the others, they have to try and guess who they are.

Build a pillow fort

Sofa cushions and pillows can create forts, Nerf war barriers, beds for stuffed- toy patients while playing hospital, rocks to hop to and from when the carpet is lava, and shipwreck detritus to swim toward and cling to in the ocean.

Super slippery slime

Slime is still incredibly popular with schoolkids, no matter how annoying parents find it! Check out our easy recipe for slime you can make at home.

Fun with paper

Paper can be folded, cut, threaded with string, and drawn upon to make treasure maps, paper dolls, hats, boats, snowflakes, origami animals, mini storybooks, and more.

Tweens

Torch tag

As seasons change, bedtime can be more fluid – so why not play tag after dark? Torch tag is like the classic game of tag, except with a dark twist (literally). The rules of torch tag can differ, but like classic tag, one person is “it” but has to spot other players hiding in the dark using a torch.

Sherlock Holmes

Each player picks an occupation and thinks about five things that person would use in their occupation. They take turns being the spotlight player and stating the items their person would have in their pocket. The other players must guess the occupation.

Paper aeroplanes

Making paper aeroplanes sounds simple, but it’s actually an awesome STEM activity. Tweens can print out paper aeroplane templates from the internet, or design their own, and spend time getting them toy and land successfully,both indoors and in the garden. They can even build a landing strip!

Create a comic strip

Find a printable blank comic strip online and print it out, or have your tween draw simple boxes on paper– and then get creating their own comic strip. They can base it on friends or family, their favourite TV show or game, or a book they’ve read. Better yet, they can create a whole series of comic strips and “publish” them regularly for the family to enjoy.

Meal planning

Get your tween to take over meal planning for a week. Have them make up a menu, check what ingredients are in the pantry and fridge, prepare a shopping list, print out recipes, and sort out a budget (online shopping is great for this). If they choose recipes they can cook on their own or with minimal help, you’ll have dinners sorted for the week, and you’ll be teaching them a valuable life skill.

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