7 fun tips and tricks to keep your kids busy at home
Kids driving you a little bit crazy?
By Practical Parenting Team
April 01 2020
Having your kids at home can create pressure to be both a parent and a teacher. Especially when they’re home for long periods. Finding ideas to keep them entertained, while nurturing their development, can feel almost impossible.
To help, we’ve developed a list of kid-friendly learning activities that don’t always rely on having access to screens – but will still keep them engaged enough to offer mum and dad respite.
Get out of the house, from the comfort of your sofa. Many Australian Zoos currently offer live streaming of several of their animal exhibits. While Google Arts and Culture has partnered with world-renowned museums and galleries to offer virtual tours.
Shopping Role Play
Foster your children’s imagination and numeracy skills with fun role-play situations. By creating a mock supermarket with fake money, it can encourage your kids to problem-solve and think about budgeting. Or you can also bring this into activities throughout the day, from having to “buy” lunch from the cupboard or by creating an at-home restaurant for dinner.
Regular gameplay has a variety of benefits for our children’s cognitive development. Games like UNO help with numeracy skills, while Scrabble can help with their vocabulary. Overall these games can also help children build on their problem-solving and communication skills – while also having fun!
Colouring-in & Drawing
While it may seem like a no-brainer, don’t underestimate the power of colouring. It encourages your kids to take a bit of quiet time (and comes with therapeutic benefits), while you try and answer important emails or get on with some odd jobs. Mentally, drawing and colouring-in can help improve fine motor skills, while stimulating creativity and self-expression.
Try downloading free print outs online that engage the use of multiple colours while also requiring an attention to detail to train your child’s hand-eye coordination.
For some fresh air and fun, try 'Spelling Hopscotch'. Using some chalk, draw a hopscotch board on the ground. Give your child a word to spell as they jump from square to square. If they spell it wrong, they have to go back to the start. They win when they get through the hopscotch board without making any mistakes. Helping to promote physical activity and build on their vocabulary.
At-home master chef
Make dinner and entertain your child. By getting your kids into the kitchen at dinnertime you’ll help build on both their maths ability and reading skills. Following a recipe can also be a great way to demonstrate the power of science – learning why some things float and others don’t, why water boils, and how different ingredients can take new forms.
The benefits of reading with your kids are immense. Regular reading helps not only improve your child’s reading skills but also helps improve concentration and inspire imagination. Reading can also help give your child a bit of calm downtime before a nap or bedtime.
It’s important to make this activity feel fun and new as learning to read can be frustrating for little ones. ABC Reading Eggs adds songs and games to help make reading an enjoyable activity.