When the Covid-19 lockdown was announced a huge influx of activity ideas for kids to do at home rushed in. Free videos and live Zoom classes on anything from ukelele to P.E. to phonics and French flooded the internet. Craft ideas, indoor games, baking and cooking follow-along videos… you name it. Screens were suddenly a school and extracircular activity centre for families.
Thank goodness for that; the only problem is the abundance to sort through whilst juggling everything else. So we’ve put together a list of activities that we and our readers recommend. They’ve been tried and tested and given the thumbs up by kids. Some have even been repeated more than once! Give them a try if you’re stuck for acitivty ideas as lockdown drags on…
Draw with Rob
I know I am not alone in saying that Draw with Rob has been a smash hit during lockdown. Many mums have been thankful for Rob Biddulph’s calm, easy-to-follow online illustration tutorials. Reader Emma Paton of Finlay Fox said this “is our fave! We all do it together”. At least twice a week Rob has been sharing lessons on how to draw characters from his books, with the rare spon post devoted to other images such as a racecar – huge hit with my son. From the jingly theme music, to Rob’s easy going manner, it’s a joy to put these videos on and let the kids release their inner artist. Ok, I’ve done a few as well. It really does make you feel like you’ve got skills and gives a confidence boost when you look at your finished drawing.
Egg Shell Smashing Game
A game kids can’t quite belive they are allowed to play is also off to an exciting start. Five Minute Mum offers a treasure trove of quick activities for kids, and this is one of her ideas. Basically you save egg shells as you use eggs then we’ve you’ve got at least 10 halves per kid line them up wherever you like (we used cloth covered trays, placed on wooden floor) and write numbers and/or letters on each one. Then give your kid a wood spoon or a mallet-like device and shout out questions like “What’s the first sound in the word kite?” or “How much does a pack of Match Attax cost?” and they’ll eagerly look for the answer and SMASH IT to bits.
Reader Louise (@louweeziz) says this game is a big hit at her house too. They also like games that involve “posting pasta through ‘mouths’ in a box and giving teddies their correct ‘order’ in the cafe.” Adding, “Thank the Lord for Five Minute Mum!” Candy McManus says her girls also love to smash shells, and are also fans of Five Minute Mum’s Detective Game.
Baking with kids looks cute on TV and social media, but in reality it often leaves you feeling frazzled and the kitchen a bomb site. Enter mug cakes. Cakes – baked in mugs. You’ll feel the satisfaction of doing a ‘baking’ activity with the kids, but it’s a quick one bowl mix job, spoon into the mugs then into the microwave. Seconds later you’ll all be digging into gooey chocolate cake. We used THIS RECIPE from the Table for Two blog.
BBC Bitesize TV programme and online games
BBC Bitesize is a reliably engaging educational series on iPlayer accompanied by online lessons and games for kids, organised by school year. The daily TV episodes cover a range of varying topics, presented by real teachers. There’s also body movement and storytelling. My kids love the online educational games, especially Karate Cats which has English and a Maths versions. We are daily viewers and players of Bitesize media!
MORE TRIED & TESTED ACTIVIITES FROM OUR READERS…
Lots of you must be incidentally keeping the house clean considering what type of play your kids love! Veggie recipe whiz 15 Min Mom says: We make soap bubble caterpillars and giant bubbles on the kitchen table. We used straws of different sizes and bottle ends to dip into sapy waster and created trails of bubbles on a soapy surface.
Candance McManus says her daugher Mae loves playing with shaving foam and anything that has to do with water – washing up toys, etc.
Jemma Thomas of Jemma’s Health Hub says her family had fun making the squidgy soap recipe that Russell Brand and his wife Laura put on his YouTube page.
Sally Webb, curator of Home is Where the Art is says “anything from Emma Scottchild’s Quick Crafts book” has been popular with her kids. Emma has also been hosting an online art club.
Travel Counsellor Rebecca Berzins says her daugher loves watching Let’s Go Live with Maddie Moate and Greg Foot. The YouTube series has activities around a theme that changes weekly like “Dino Week” and “Mission Space”.
Photographer Katherine Millard says “we recently discovered Adventure in a Box – we loved their anatomy printable project”.
What kid activities have been hits in your house during lockdown?