For those parents stuck at home with the kids, these four weeks are likely to feel rather daunting, especially when trying to find creative ways to keep your little ones educated and entertained.
We’ve put together some ways to keep the fun going.
1. Make a cardboard fort
So simple but the fun can last for hours. Put any boxes you have out in the garage to good use. Don’t have boxes to spare? A sheet fort using chairs and bedsheets can be just as fun.
2. Set up a treasure hunt
Treasure hunts are pretty easy and depending on how many items there are, can last a while. Hide anywhere from 10 to 20 clues around the house or in the backyard to keep kids occupied for a few hours. You can also create your own treasure map to enrich the experience. Especially with Easter coming up, a backyard Easter egg hunt is a great way to keep the kids occupied.
3. Dive into Kelly Tarlton’s virtual aquarium
Aquariums are a great way to learn about the underwater world, and also a great way to relax the kids at the end of the day as fish can have a calming effect. Kelly Tarlton’s is currently offering virtual tours with live streams of their keepers, aquariums and star sea creatures. They’ve also got downloadable activity sheets and sea-themed craft activities. Dive in here.
4. Bake together
Cookies, cakes, brownies. Anything! Baking is a great lesson in measuring, ingredients, and of course, making delicious goodies.
5. Sign up to Crikey Club
If you’ve got an animal lover in your life, we recommend signing them up to Crikey Club. This fun online club run by the Irwins at Australian Zoo is a fun way to learn about conservation, with virtual zoo tours, activities and education all in one.
6. Have a picnic
Grab a sheet, whatever food you have, and enjoy a living room picnic or take the fun out into the backyard if you are able. You can even play that memory game at the same time: “I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing…” Each person takes turns remembering (in order) what everyone is bringing and then adds one thing each turn.
7. Get moving!
Get the kids up and moving with fun dance fitness classes. There’s lots on youtube for all different levels. One of our favourites for the kids is Jump Jam.
8. Host a paint night
Grab some paper or canvases, brushes, and paints, and do a paint night at home. If you’re lucky enough to live locally, you can also challenge the kids to find materials during the day from the backyard or from your local park to add to their masterpiece.
9. Set up indoor hopscotch
If you can’t get outside, grab some painter’s tape and map out your hopscotch indoors. You can also create your own paths and add in obstacles to make the game more fun – get creative.
10. Do Yoga
The YouTube account Cosmic Kids Yoga has all kinds of yoga-for-kids videos. It’s not just for kids, either; you can all do yoga together as a family!
11. Listen to an astronaut read from space
Storytime From Space is unlike any other kind of storytime; NASA astronauts read stories to kids while they float around in space.
12. Make your own board game
Is your family up to the challenge of creating your own board game? Use these DIY board game instructions to get you started.
13. Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy
This science experiment site has some great at-home experiments you can do with your budding scientists.
14. Bird watch
Here in NZ, we’re so lucky to have so many amazing native birds. Can your kids identify five types of birds and then research them? For siblings, you could also add a bit of healthy competition to this project and have prizes for best presentation, best researcher, most creative etc.
15. Learn about insects
Log onto the Smithsonian Science Education Center to do a deep-dive into insects.
16. FaceTime a princess
Live from the castle, your child’s favorite princesses are available via FaceTime or Skype! You can decide what to chat about during the 15-minute call; princesses can even read your little one a goodnight story.
17. Craft your own hand soap
There’s never been a more relevant DIY project than making your own hand soap.
18. Check out Mystery Science
Mystery Science has lesson plans for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. Their lesson plans cover everything from: How does hand sanitizer kill germs? to What causes things to glow-in-the-dark?
19. Start an indoor herb garden or terrarium
You can start an indoor herb garden by using eggshells as planters or make a terrarium out of mason jars. Check out Food52 for a terrarium tutorial.
20. Build a Barbie House
For a fun DIY project, make or renovate a barbie house using fabric, old curtains, paint and your imagination.
Hope these ideas help your whanau enjoy some quality family time together in your bubble.