The at-home kids' activity guide

Being at home with the kids seems a daunting prospect but with some ideas up your sleeve and a dose of imagination, it’s a chance to get really creative and build some great memories. We’ve brainstormed a load of ideas that’ll make your house the home of the party. You've got this...

Shop Kids & Baby


Feeling crafty

There's not much about the world of arts and crafts that little ones don't love, and now is the time to get creative. Paint rocks to make hedgehogs; decorate paper plates as snail shells and make a head using coloured paper; or try creating butterflies out of toilet rolls. 

Creating room decorations is a great way to go - designate each child’s room to be a different theme. Try a jungle theme and make wall art by cutting out trees from coloured paper, leaf printing onto canvases and lining up all the soft toys so they look like they’re in the wild. The next room could be book themed. Cut out cardboard capital letters and wrap coloured thread tightly around them to make beautiful yarn decorations. Kids could trace the illustrations from their favourite books and colour them in. How about making a sign post out of a wrapping paper tube, pointing to kids’ favourite places from books (we’re thinking Narnia, the Hundred Acre Wood, Hogwarts and such)?

The kitchen is your indispensable friend when it comes to indoor activities. Try making LEGO-inspired brownies. With the kids, whip up a normal batch of brownies, dip each brownie into a bowl of coloured icing and press six M&Ms in a matching shade into the icing. For a healthier alternative, whisk mashed up banana and yoghurt, place in muffin cases, top with dried banana chips and freeze for a tasty snack. 

The thought of days without much to break them up can be daunting, but inject imagination into the week by trying Alphabet Days. Get kids to think up things to do starting with the same letter each day. ‘I’ could be inside out day (wearing your clothes inside out), learning about insects, making pretty ice cubes, playing an instrument, dress to impress or present to the family something that inspires you. Alternatively, make each day about a different country. Learn a few foreign language phrases, make a recipe from that country and try the country’s national dance or singing their anthem.

Activity kit

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Games galore

Games and getting competitive is another great way to spend afternoons. Use masking tape to mark out noughts and crosses on your floor, a car race track, a long jump pit or different shapes which you can call out instructions for (leap frog to the circle, slither to the triangle, do a crab at the square and so forth). Tape up streamers in an intricate web across your landing and get kids to try and crawl through without touching them (Mission Impossible-style). For older kids, stage a video game contest with prizes. 

Hunts are a great idea. Turn out all the lights, close the blinds and do a treasure hunt in the dark with torches. Otherwise, hide LEGO bricks in one particular colour and get kids to search for their designated colour.

Bring the blow-up paddling pool inside and fill with cushions to make a cosy den. Get kids to gather natural materials from the garden, come inside and make sculptures with what they sourced, and then lay them out as an art gallery, getting kids to give little speeches about their creations. 

Alternatively, write out a script for a simplified version of one of your kid’s favourite books, and suggest the children act it out as a performance. Create costumes, prepare an interval snack, make up a programme and film the performance to send to friends. 

Organise digital hangouts with other kids by putting on a conference call. Kids could each bring something for show-and-tell and talk about what they've been doing that day. Each parent could read a story to the whole group of their child's choosing. You could even co-ordinate activities. Maybe each child brings their egg carton cardboard animal they've made (for example) and they could all be awarded a different accolade (cutest, most ambitious creation, friendliest character and so forth). Or you could play group charades and do a quiz.


Boredom busters

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Garden antics

Think of the garden as your playground. Invest in a basketball hoop and host an NBA-style competition. Why not put on a mini Olympics by setting challenges and an assault course for kids (and adults alike)? Children could make up medals and sashes for the whole shebang. 

Get bikes for the kids and use them for the area around your house. Also try roller blades. If you've got a patio garden, you could even put on some music and turn it into a roller disco ('80s legwarmers optional). 

The garden is also the perfect place for messy play. Create a water sensory table by filling plastic pots with water, adding glitter, food dye and bubble mixture and giving kids whisks and pipettes for creating DIY science experiments. 

With a bit of imagination, time around the house won't be time wasted. Arm yourself with some great ideas and remember to treat yourself along the way. You deserve it. 

Outside calling

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