If you’re at home looking up at a mountain of work and chores, with the kids on crazy mode, and you feel like you might be up the creek without a paddle, we are here for you. We’ve compiled a list of the RESCUE team’s top 8 ideas that will be sure to keep your little ones busy and give you a little breathing room to stay on top of things.
Before you start, make sure the kids are covered:
- Organize the kids’ daily schedule the night or week before.
- Fill a jar with the activity ideas you like from the below. Every time anyone says, ‘I’m bored’, pick an activity from the jar and get cracking.
1. Arts and crafts
- Don’t throw away food containers and packaging – they’ll be useful for arts and crafts! Make toilet rolls into rocket ships, scrap paper into flowers, cardboard boxes into forts. You can find a few good ideas here, but you’ll find more with a quick search online.
- Join the Art for Kids Hub family on YouTube for daily ideas on what to draw and paint.
- Print activity sheets: Jarrett Lerner and Elise Gravel are two artists sharing some of their work for free to keep the kids busy.
2. Indoor activities and exercise
- The Body Coach (aka. Joe Wicks) is hosting a daily live kids exercise class on his YouTube channel.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga has a library of themed yoga and mindfulness sessions for kids and families.
- Scavenger hunts: Give your little ones a daily scavenger hunt of things that might not be so easy, such as ‘Five things that Grandma loves’, ‘Five things that are from Vacation’. They can have all day (or until your working day is over) to find the things.
- Virtual World Tour: Every day, choose a new country that the kids are going to “visit”. They will prepare food from that country, learn words in the language and watch videos of daily life there. At the end of the day, the kids can fill a workbook out with everything they learnt.
- As part of your daily virtual world tour, give the kids an apron and let them experiment in the kitchen.
- You can find a host of free downloadable resources filled with ideas on what to cook online here.
4. Phone calls and FaceTime with friends and family
It’s important to set aside some time to check in with friends and family. A few good apps to get together include:
- FaceTime: for small groups of calls
- Zoom: for many calls at once
- Houseparty: for groups to join and play games together
5. Dancing to music
“Daily dance uplifts the soul to spiritual realms,” said Lailah Gifty Akita. There really has never been a better reason to dance. Here are a couple of ideas to get your feet tapping along with your kids’:
- Virtual dance parties: Make a date in the diary with friends and family to get together for a dance party. Using FaceTime, Zoom or any other video call app, each family should take turns to be the DJ for 30 minutes. And dance your socks off!
- KIDZ BOP Dance Along Videos YouTube channel is filled with short and snappy dance videos that the kids love!
6. Indoor camping
Bring the outside in for the kids to enjoy an adventure. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Put your tent up and lay out the sleeping bags, ready for the little ones to have a cozy night’s sleep.
- Hide some stuffed toys around the room to send the kids on a safari.
- Add a little bit of reality by turning out the lights and giving the kids some torches.
- Eat a camp-side dessert, made up of s’mores and roasted marshmallows.
- Put some outdoor animal sounds in the background on your phone.
7. Reading books together
Remember that any book is a good book; it just depends how you read it. Set aside some dedicated time every day to read, taking turns to choose the book you want to read out loud.
If you’re not available every day, why not switch things up and listen to audio books or YouTube videos like Story Time From Space where astronauts read tales from space or StorylineOnline where celebrities read stories.
8. Education for kids
It might be hard to keep up the old school routine, so our suggestion is to make it fun while you can. YouTube is a sea of brilliant resources. Crash Course Kids does bite-sized videos on a varied selection of science topics, while Free School has a huge amount of videos about every topic under the sun. For a little more interactive learning, follow The Dad Lab and discover all sorts of crazy and fun ideas that you can do in the home. Finally, NASA’s Teachable Moments is a fantastic hub for grade-appropriate science classes that last up to a few hours that are fun and informative.