Luckily social media is full of lots of tips and tricks to keep children entertained and even up to date with their learning while making it fun for everyone. It’s a big ask, but we have collated as many fun things as we can find so that no-one is left out and everything gets a look through. .
Take a trip with us through the fun you can have with your family during the lockdown – prior warning it may get messy.
1 – Make Playdough
Every small child loves playdoh, and it can keep them entertained for hours but did you know you can make your own?
The following recipe can be improvised to make more or less, and it’s up to you.
Try 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt,1 tablespoon of oil (any oil apart from olive oil) 1 cup of water and some food colouring.
Mix all together and knead well – keep it in an airtight container to stop it drying out. Don’t blame me if you spend the rest of the year scraping git off the floor. I told you it was going to get messy.
2 – Make a Bird Feeder
You will need peanut butter, toilet paper, birdseed, plates, a small bowl and a disposable wood or plastic knife.
Directions – Use the knife to coat the toilet roll with peanut butter. Best put the peanut butter in a bowl as little fingers like to lick it and we don’t want the jar to be cross-contaminated by double-dippers do we?
Roll the peanuts butter covered tube in birdseed and put it on the branches of your tree.
Ask the kids to list every different species of bird and then draw them, hours of fun.
3 – Make a Den
All kids love dens, and it’s also an excellent way to get the fussy eater to eat. Make a den with a cardboard box or a large blanket over the back of two chairs. Just like Harry Potter, you could make the den under the stairs just watch out for spiders though we don’t want to give the kids nightmares.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or outside space, put up a tent and fill it with toys and snacks. If you’re courageous you could let them camp out, this always seems a good idea at 7 pm but by 1 am not so much!
4 – A Treasure Hunt with the Woodland Trust
This hunt can be set inside and in the garden and as the restrictions lift you can take it to the park.
The woodlandtrust.org.uk has lots of good tips. The general idea is you give your child a bag and a list of items to find, for example, a leaf, flower, piece of bark, an unusual stone. Once collected you discreetly throw out the snails and use the remaining items to make a picture.
If you can’t go out, you can do this in the house by making cardboard letters and hiding them. Then ask the kids to find the letters you have hidden around the house, making up words as you go and then get them to put the words together in a poem or story.
After all this, you will need a cup of tea and a cake for sure.
4 – Make cakes with Jamie Oliver
Everyone loves Jamie Oliver, and his lemon drizzle cake is the best if you don’t like lemon don’t worry, there are recipes on his website and YouTube channel that will suit everyone.
Chocolate fudge cake, Rocky Road, Caramel Shortbread, this list is endless and the step by step videos are great for kids.
The suggestions above are for young children, now for some tips for pre-teen and teenage kids.
5 – Keep Scrapbook
Way before the birth of the internet boys and girls across the world collected football or Pokemon cards, and they used these to trade in the school playground. Now the whole idea of obtaining this sort of memorabilia has moved online.
Auction houses and online dealers are looking for scrapbooks from the turn of the century onwards, and more modern dealers want rare Pokemon cards. Look in the loft, shed or outhouse, ask grandad, and you will find an entire community out there who want to trade and discuss the old days.
5 – Make an Animated Movie
Sign up to YouTube and with just your phone to hand you can make a movie. If your film is good and maybe even informative lots of platforms will pay a fee for original content.
Write a script to go with your movie. There are all sorts of platforms out there looking for original texts. Here are a few writing tips to get you started.
Start with the ending first. If you know where you’re finishing it might help you start. Make a movie about something you know about, then consider downloading an animation app like moovly.com – it’s free, and the step by step directions are clear and easy to understand from any one of 11 years old upwards.
We all need a break from activities every so often, the continual buzz of action can make us manic; meditation is good for the whole family.
7 – Take up Meditation
Follow these easy steps from Clare Connolly on YouTube to give your brain a break. Before you get started, turn your phone off, find a comfortable spot, in the garden, or anywhere you won’t be distracted.
Breathe in (see the steps above) let your body go heavy, feel the weight of your arms and legs, acknowledge your surroundings. Focus on your thoughts, register them but don’t dwell on them.
Consider why you need to meditate: think about the broader benefits of being in the moment. You don’t need to achieve anything, and just being is enough. Allow your mind to wander, picture a path to the beach and follow that path. Drift away for a few moments and when you do don’t pull yourself back until you feel refreshed.
Mediation might be a big ask, so once the kids are safely installed in their den how about some online gaming for adults only. Immerse yourself in a fictional world for a while and notice how a short break makes us happy.