This time last week we were contemplating the prospect of schools and nurseries closing as we try to get a grip on Covid-19. The thought of being at home 24/7 with both my kids was more than a bit intimidating and I immediately started looking for activities we can do at home to pass the time. At 4 years old and 22 months they have quite differing needs. JJ is happy to play quietly with his toys alone, but his big brother needs more structured play if I want to avoid constant screen time.
What I didn’t anticipate was how quickly it would all happen. Piglet had a spontaneous high temperature yesterday and the current NHS guidelines request that he stays home for 7 days to be on the safe side. If he is isolating then that means JJ and I are too by default. So this was as good a time as ever to start trying out some of these activities!
They are mostly aimed at preschool aged children, around 3, 4 and 5. The are largely indoor activities – but I’ve added a couple of garden activities too for those that are lucky enough to have one. I’ve grouped them based on the skills they are developing with your kids.
Indoor Activities For Kids
Alphabet space rocket – A fun way for kids to learn the letters of their name
Puzzle Hunt Sensory Bin – Find letters and place them in the correct place on the puzzle.
Letter Matching And Posting – Combines letter recognition with motor skills and problem solving.
Cotton Swab Letter Painting – I think we would do this with our fingers instead.
Giant Alphabet Memory Game – You could replace paper plates with sheets of paper instead.
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Duplo Colour Matching – This could also be done with Lego or Mega Bloks
Colour Hunt – Identifying basic colours and matching them
Sticker Sorting – Ideal for toddlers upwards
Finger Paint Rainbow – With a free printable
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12 Ways to Encourage Preschool Maths in Everyday Life and Play – Helping kids learn through play
Number Matching – Using items you already have at home
Number Writing Salt Tray – Encouraging mark making with numbers
Lily Pad Math Hop – Have fun making it and then playing
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Create A Robocup – A simple craft for toddlers and preschoolers using items you likely already have at home
Roald Dahl Themed Fine Motor Skills Activities – 6 fun activities based on the Roald Dahl books.
DIY Sewing Cards – Beginners sewing project for fine motor skills
Sticker Line Up – Working on fine motor skills to place stickers on a line
Building Bridges – Make your toys walk along craft stick bridges
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Jelly and Cream – In my house the kids are more likely to eat this than play with it though!
Shaving Foam And Spaghetti – Simple sensory play
Spring Sensory Bin – Make use of items you already have at home
Mess Free Slime – Saves the stress of cleaning it up
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Farm World Sensory Play – Use farm toys and kitchen cupboard items to create a sensory play set up
Slotted Cardboard Dinohouse (Or Dollhouse) – Will take some set-up but worth it for the hours of play. Uses recycled materials.
Zoo Animals – With free printable
Veterinary Printables and Pretend Play – Nurse sick stuffed animals at the vet
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Upcycled Fairy Garden – make use of you unwanted garden toys.
Bug Hotel – spend time making a space for creepy crawlies to enjoy.
Nature Portraits – create faces in the garden
Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders – make sure our birds are well fed
Outdoor Number Hunt – use the garden to work on numeracy skills with a garden hunt. Replace the foam shapes for paper if needed.
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Free Activity Packs
Construction Zone – Digital download filled with construction based activities to work on literacy, numeracy, crafts and more. Free until 30th April 2020.
Out Of This World – Space themed digital download with activities to build on basic skills. Free until 30th April 2020.
Pirates Mini Pack – Pirate themed digital download with activities to build on basic numeracy, literacy and motor skills. Free until 30th April 2020.
Orchard Toys Activity Sheets – Loads of free printables for colouring, counting, basic crafts etc.
Colouring And Activity Sheets – A wide range of topics, all free
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Tales From The Tuff Spot – A fun Instagram account with lots of messy play and educational ideas
Peachy Speech – Instagram account with lots of activities geared towards working on communication
Facebook Parents Support Group – A group where parents can share their ideas for activities during this strange time.
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