With two weeks of school holidays to fill, many families will be wondering how best to keep kids entertained and busy during this period of social isolation. For many children, their out of school activities like swimming, soccer, basketball and rugby have been cancelled, as have school holiday programs, camps and activities outside the home.
Don’t be daunted. There are endless options you can do with the family from home that don’t include screen time.
Ready to keep kids entertained and busy? Here are our ideas to get you started:
Nothing quite beats board games, Lego blocks, puzzles and playdough for keeping children of all ages occupied for hours. Monopoly, Scrabble, Twister, Snakes & Ladders are just a few board games which will give children hours of fun!
Keep the kids occupied and organise a day to declutter and re-decorate their bedrooms. Doing a spring clean as a family will keep everyone busy and provides parents with the opportunity to make some extra cash by selling unwanted items online. Gumtree’s ‘Second Hand Economy’ report revealed that Australian households have an average of 23 unwanted or unused items laying around the house, so it’s a great time to get rid of some of that clutter.
Camp at Home
The ‘Camp at Home Heroes’ initiative has been introduced by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia to propose alternative camping options for school holidays that don’t breach government restrictions. Families can stay home and recreate caravan or camping holidays in their backyards! Take your tent outside and find a smooth, flat surface to call home for the night. Everybody can pitch in, whether it’s spreading out a tarp first, or putting together the poles. Make it cosy inside by lining the tent floor with yoga mats, doonas or multiple layers of sleeping bags and cushions.
Plant an indoor herb garden
Herb gardens are a great way to keep children occupied: They are easy and quick to grow, are hardy and their multi-sensory nature make them very appealing to children. Many herbs grow well indoors on a warm windowsill and the gardening supplies can be sourced easily.
Live Streaming from Taronga Zoo
Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is conducting “ask an expert” webcasts until June and has just launched Taronga TV for a daily dose of animal antics. The Australian Reptile Park in NSW has a new series of educational videos on YouTube called Animal Tales with Tim Faulkner, plus there are daily live streams including animal feedings, play time and virtual tours available on their Facebook page. Sea Life Melbourne, Sea Life Sydney and Wild Life Sydney Zoo have animal live streams on their Facebook pages too, or see what the Great Barrier Reef animals are up to by clicking here.
Keep Them Active
Budding ballerinas will want to join the Australian Ballet’s free morning classes via live stream, while promising actors can sign up for online drama workshops with Marian Street Theatre for Young People in NSW.
Let Them Help You
If you’re cooking or cleaning, let them assist you. Give them a job they can handle. For young kids, that might be stringing beans or setting the table. For older kids, that might be slicing vegetables, vacuuming the house or taking out the recycling.
Design a Treasure Hunt
Hide something like a coin or a sticker somewhere in the house. Give your kids a clue and let them run wild trying to find it. If you make it a bit tricky to find, you’ll build up their resilience—and their ability to find things without begging for your help.
Encourage Outdoor Play
Encourage exercise each day. Give your children a ball and let them run wild or put on some dance music and hold a dance competition. Give them a skipping rope or organise running races in the back garden to make sure they stay fit and active.
Host a Movie Night
Host a family movie night with a cinema that’s set up in your home. All you need are lots of pillows and snacks, and your children’s favourite movies! Or take it one step further and create a backyard movie theatre for your kids to enjoy a cinema experience under the stars.
Build a Fort
Give your child a few pillows and a blanket and challenge them to turn the couch into a fort. No child will turn down the chance to make a secret base—and they’ll be much more likely to play independently once they’re inside.
Have a Picnic in the Garden
Kids will soon tire of sitting around the same table for every meal, so pack up your lunch and take it outdoors. It’s a lovely way to keep mealtimes varied, and for everyone to get some fresh air.
If you don’t have a garden or it’s raining outside, have an indoor picnic on the living room floor instead. Kids will love the change and it will feel like an adventure.
Listen to an Audiobook
Reading is a great option for children of all ages but If your child’s too young to read independently, pick up audio versions of their favourite books. Let them sit down and turn the pages while listening to a friendly voice read to them. Or, if you can’t find a recording, use your phone to make one yourself.
Mulpha Norwest Pty Ltd ACN 000 004 633, Norwest City Pty Ltd ACN 603 333 615 (in its personal capacity and as trustee of the Norwest City Trust ABN 26 695 958 023), Norwest Real Estate Pty Ltd ACN 000 692 213, Norwest Flexi Pty Ltd ACN 607 435 165 (in its personal capacity and as trustee of Flexi Trust ABN 49 958 864 033) and Circa 1 Pty Ltd (“Norwest”) is committed to providing you with exceptional service, and this includes protecting your privacy and being open and transparent about what we do with your personal information. In abiding with the Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy Act 1988, we take all possible steps to ensure information about you, is not disclosed to or accessed by unauthorised persons.
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Mulpha Norwest Pty Ltd ACN 000 004 633, Norwest City Pty Ltd ACN 603 333 615 (in its personal capacity and as trustee of the Norwest City Trust ABN 26 695 958 023), Norwest Real Estate Pty Ltd ACN 000 692 213, Norwest Flexi Pty Ltd ACN 607 435 165 (in its personal capacity and as trustee of Flexi Trust ABN 49 958 864 033) and Circa 1 Pty Ltd (“Norwest, we, us, our ”) updates this website as often as practicable and tries to ensure that all information provided as part of this website is correct at the time of its inclusion; however, we do not guarantee its accuracy at any time. All information provided as part of this website is intended to be general in nature and you should not rely on it in connection with the making of any decision.
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