As we enter another week of home learning and staying at home with the kiddos, you may be wondering what things you can do as a family to keep busy and have fun.
Well, we've got a few that might just do the job. Here are ten fun things to do with the whole family. Enjoy!
If your children like drawing there's lots of inspiration around at the moment, with illustrators offering free online tutorials for kids to get involved with. A popular one is Draw With Rob, www.robbiddulph.com/draw-with-rob a website from author and illustrator Rob Biddulph, who's written books including Blown Away about a fearless penguin and Give Peas a Chance. His videos, show children how to create some of his most beloved characters including Fred Bear from GRRRRR! and a sausage dog like the one in Odd Dog Out.
Make play dough
A serious favourite with kids of all ages that can keep them entertained for hours. They can use cookie cutters to create fun shapes, build play dough animals or roll it out to make snakes.
All you have to do is try not to stress about the colours being mixed together! Here's an easy way to make your own:
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
Half to 1 cup of cold water
2 drops of liquid food colouring
Mix the flour and salt then add the water, oil and food colouring. Knead the mixture well, adding a little more flour if the consistency is too wet.
This will take mums and dads back to their own early years arts and crafts fun. All you have to do is find an old potato, cut it in half and then carve a shape out of each half to use as a paint stamp. Let them loose with the pain so they can create fun patterns and make you another piece of artwork to add to you treasures.
Feed the birds
Bring a spot of nature into your garden by making somewhere for the birds to gather and have some food. There are loads of flying feathered friends around at the moment, including some beautiful green parrots. Once you've lured them in and they are tucking into a feast, you can enjoy getting a closer look at them without them flying off. To make the bird feeders, use a large milk bottle and cut it in half. Then use felt tip pens to colour the plastic, or anything else you'd like to make it colourful, and fill it with bird seed. Place outside somewhere high and then sit back, wait and watch.
Tell the time
Give we've all got a bit more time on our hands, how about teaching the kids to tell the time properly? They will have loads of fun making their own clock and hopefully will use the end result to develop a new skill. You could do it with just paper and a pin to attach the hands, or cardboard or a paper plate would do the trick. You can make it as detailed or as simple as you like, but writing quarter past, half past, quarter to and midnight/o'clock in the relevant places will help them get the gist.
Go on a treasure hunt
There's all sorts of fun to be had indoors or outdoors with a treasure hunt. Give each child a bag and a list outlining what they have to find. Include things like a leaf, a flower, a stick, a stone... anything that they can find in the garden. When they find them, they can put them in the bag. Once they've successfully ticked everything they have collected off their lists, they could use the items they have found to make a nature picture afterwards, or a leaf print. And if you want to stay inside (it is getting hot out there after all) then why not hide some letters or words around the house. They can find them and then use them to make words and sentences. They won't even realise they're learning, which is always a bonus.
You may already have a puppet show or some puppets you could use, but if not, then get an old sock and make your own. Make your own characters and then grab a cardboard box and create your own theatre for the puppets to perform in. Kids can then practice performing before putting on shows for the rest of the family.
It's always lovely to get hand prints and foot prints from your little ones to capture that moment in time. Use poster paints and paint the palms of their hands before letting them stamp their hands down all over the paper. Older kids might want to make more arty pieces such as a peacock or a tree... both fun to make using handprints.
Play the alphabet game
Now this one couldn't be simpler and it'll get them writing and practising their spellings without them even knowing. Basically pick any subject like the name of their favourite animal, colour or even the names of chocolate bars they like and they have to write one down for each letter of the alphabet. You could even get the kids to see who can do it the fastest, if you can handle the fallout that is.
Fun with paper cups
It might not sound all that interesting, but there's all kinds of games you can play with paper cups... really. You can make a walkie talkie by cutting a hole in the bottom of two cups and linking them with a bit of string. Or see who can stack them the highest without them falling or see who can knock them all down with a ball. You could have points for getting the ball inside different cups and see who can get the most, or play the child's version of beer pong where they have to drink whatever's inside the cup it lands in. Make sure you're supervising this one!
Have a tea party
If you've got a few children they can enjoy a tea party together, but even only children can enjoy it with a bit of imagination.
They can invite their toys along instead – give each of them their own invitation and enjoy a treasure hunt in the garden and pass the parcel.
All you need is the sun for this one – and we’re lucky enough to have plenty of that here – although you could always use a lamp if it’s a bit hot outside. Ask your child to get their favourite animals or characters out and they can easily draw around the shadows. You might get even more peace while they spend time colouring them in too.
Kitchen roll decorating
You don't need a mindfulness colouring book when you've got some kitchen towel to hand Using fine felt tips you can colour in the dots in different colours. Who knew kitchen roll could look so good?
Use chalk to make an obstacle course on the floor outside. Draw squiggly lines for the kids to follow, circles for them to jump in, hopscotch, footprints and running on the spot (you can draw a circle and put the number of seconds they have to run for in the middle). This is a fun activity with loads of benefits too such as aerobic activity, balance skills, outdoor time and academic concepts.
Build a robot
Boxes, bottles, tubes, or whatever else you have hanging around at home can be put to good use to make your very own robot. You could use gold paper or foil or paint or felt tips would work on cardboard too – perhaps covering the box in plain white paper first if needed.
Milk bottle ski-es
Collect your empty milk bottles and get the kids to design their own fun theme. They could make them into animals, put paint hand prints on them or wrap them in felt and cover them in glitter... anything goes. Then line them up and use a tennis ball to knock them all down. A fun game that will also help their counting skills as they work out how many they knock down each time and try and beat their siblings or mum and dad.
Create a family tree
This one might make you a bit sad when we can't see our loved ones at the moment, but it's a nice idea to get the kids making a family tree. You could FaceTime older relatives to get information and stories from them to be included.
If you're brave enough you might want to let the children have a go at making their own slime. It's become hugely popular over recent years and you can find guides to making your own online, or pick up a slime making kit, which comes with everything you need inside.
Build a den
What's an indoor activity list without a den or a fort? Drape blankets or sheets across the furniture in the living room and grab sofa cushions and pillows from your bedroom to make a cosy den to chill out in.