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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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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The newborn bubble is meant to be wonderful. You can sit back and enjoy time…