Well now that the nationwide lock-down has been implemented and we are all trying to adjust to what will be the ‘new normal’ for the next few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to post a few activities that I have been doing with my little ones to keep them busy. These activities are done with things that I am sure all of you already have at home, because you can’t exactly pop out to the shops at this point. The idea is to see what you have available and make it exciting! Rather be creative and use what you have… and as a bonus this will certainly save you money.
So… easy distraction number 1…. Building with clothes pegs!
However, don’t just give them a bag of clothes pegs and leave them to it. You need to appeal to their curiosity first... show them what is possible. Just settle down in the school room and start building - they will become curious about what you are doing and in no time they will want to join in 😊 I told my little girl that I was building a castle, of course she found that rather dull so she decided to make dragons… and not just one but a whole dragon family! 😊 Once they are immersed in the activity, it could go on for ages and they will find other things to do with the pegs too
Second activity – Brighten up your produce!
For this you will need your butternuts, sweet potatoes or any other vegetable where your children can draw on. As on one of my previous blogs, if you provide interesting surfaces for them to explore, you will be immediately engaging their creativity. Why do we always draw on paper or on a smooth perfect- flat surface? Make it interesting and - for example - let them draw or paint on your veggies while you are cooking! I set up a table on my kitchen and put the veggies there with the pens… It became Halloween in March 😊 followed by dressing up of course…
Third: Great Wall of Whatever!
As you cannot use your paper goblets for a party right now, we’ll use them for some more building creations! I don’t know about you, but I always have stash of paper plates and paper cups that I keep for birthday parties, lemonade-selling events or picnics… use them now for a different purpose. Cups will make a perfect city for any figurine! For this I did the same as with the pegs. I started at it myself and let them become curious about what I was doing, and soon found something that they wanted to build for themselves 😊
Fourth and last activity: Rainbow Pasta!
This one was a bit more effort but – believe me - is totally worth it. Shape and color sorting with colored pasta!
I found this idea in a Pinterest post and thought I would totally try it as it only required pasta, food coloring and vinegar. All ingredients that I already have at home! Here are the preparation instructions:
- Put a teaspoon or so of white vinegar with a dash of food coloring in a plastic bag (re-sealable or Ziploc bags are the best so you can re-use them later). Do as many colors and/or as many shapes as you want.
- Put a cup or so of dry pasta in each, close them up tightly and give each bag to your kids for shaking! P.s. maybe change them into their ‘art class’ clothes before doing this.
- Once you have had enough of shaking and the pasta seems well covered, let it settle in the bag for about 10 minutes (I read a book to my children while waiting, as it keeps them engaged and they don’t become impatient)
- Open the bag and spread the pasta in a tray to dry. If you can’t wait (by that point my kids were desperate to playing with it!) then dry them in the oven: Set the oven to 70ᵒ with the fan going, and within 5 min (or by the time you have given them a mid-morning snack, for example) the pasta will be dry and ready to use
- Mix all the different colors and shapes, and voila! They will find a use for it, but you can also use them for a shape and color sorting activity if you want.
So there you have it! You can still have plenty of fun with the things that you have at home, and no need to go outside and risk your health or that of your family.
I hope it helps and give it a try! Let me know how it goes and post/comment on any other activity that you would like to share!