Updated: Aug 25
1 HAVE A CAR MAKING COMPETITION
Have you got any magnetic building blocks? If so perfect, get them out and have a car making competition. Children love playing with the amazing magnetic blocks, making not only cars, but numerous different shapes.
Don't know what magnetic building blocks are? Learn more, and find out exactly what these magnetic toys can do.
2 THROW YOUR KID’S FAVOURITE TOY A BIRTHDAY PARTY
We really like this idea a lot. It definitely falls into the category of things to do at home with a poorly-feeling child, and requires nothing but things you already have at home. It’s up to your imagination and circumstances - how big do you want this celebration to be?
It could be anything from just a pretend tea party - maybe in your poorly child’s best to make sure they’re resting up - to a big party with music, balloons, treats and party games (think Musical Statues, Pass The Parcel and Simon Says). You can even think about inviting some of your child’d friends over to join in the fun. And party balloons will still give the kids endless fun even when the party is over.
One tip from our side: start with a little smaller party as we are convinced that your children may ask for more parties like this. Be prepared to have a few ideas in reserve in case all the toys start piping up and saying their birthdays are coming up, too.
3 RICE PLAY
Take a messy play tray or a washing up bowl. Fill it with any uncooked rice and pop in several things to help your kids to become rice-panning-experts: Spoons, bowls, cups, balls, toys - anything you can think of really. The kids love it; it’s like messy play without the mess. Rice is way easier to clean up than teeny-tiny sand grains. So everyone wins!
4 A HOUSEBOUND TREASURE HUNT
Create a map of your home and hide small items around it. Mark each piece of hidden treasure on the map. Explain the map to your little one and offer your support for the hunting game in case they need it.
If your kids are older you can use word cards describing a place where you have hidden an item. For example: “I am cold and make a ‘bing bing’ noise if left open”.
The answer is the fridge, of course. Or possibly an emergency escape hatch. Kids love this combination of a quiz and hunt. It’s hard not to get in on the fun, too.
Even once they’ve found all the treasure, why not get them to organise their own hunt? They can draw their own map or come up with their own cryptic questions to send you on a great search.
5 CAVE OR DEN BUILDING
There is probably not a single child between 1 and 10 who doesn’t like to build and play in dens or caves.
Children’s imaginations go wild with this activity. From planning the build - what will they use to make their den? Can they gather the materials themselves? - to playing inside of it, each step is an absolute pleasure. Hopefully they’ll be inspired to come up with exciting, fun-filled role play, or simply enjoy a change the scene and play with their toys ‘hidden away’ in their cave.
The easiest way to create a stable den is through using a blanket or bed sheet and cover a table or some other furniture moved together. You can create quite a spacious den using four chairs arranged in a square with the blanket placed over the back rests. Add few cushions added into the cave and your kids will have a great time for sure.
6 KIDS INDOOR GYM
Transform your living room into a kid’s gym and create some fun and age-appropriate sports stations. You can put a trail of paper sheets on the floor which the kids have to walk over without touching anything else but the paper. Time jumping on the spot, which can be made more difficult for older kids (maybe they have to spin around while jumping).
A planking station is great fun as well. If you have a soft carpet or mattress you can try some somersaults with them if they are old enough (take care that they don’t hurt their neck!). Any other kind of gymnastic exercise which is performed only with their own body weight is great.
To make it more competitive you can use the stopwatch to time the duration of each exercise. But make sure to stick to age-appropriate durations. It’s about the fun and switching back and forth between the stations rather than aiming for the next world record.
Even more fun is it when mummy and daddy join in the kids gym activity and afterwards you all deserve a special treat!
7 FINGER PAINT ANIMALS
We came up with some fun fingerprint animals that you can read all about here. Why not try to create a full zoo of handprint and finger painted animals - use different body parts to create different animals!
8 A ROADWAY CREATED ACROSS THE HOUSE WITH INSULATION TAPE
Play mats are great fun for kids. They give them a great setting to get imaginative with their toys. But what if you created your own one? You could grab some tape and make roads all over the carpet. Think about how they will connect up, where they will lead to, and what sights you might need to add along the way. You could also use the same technique with the life size art portraits and draw your own scene on a ginormous piece of paper. Talk about what amenities the newly created community might need, and what toys are going to live there.
9 Make a Home Cinema
Set up a home cinema and settle down to watch some fun family movies together
10 LET KIDS DRAW THEMSELVES
Stick a load of A4 sheets of paper together (or if you have a big paper roll even better!) and place it on the floor. Encourage the kids to lie down on it and outline their body with a pen. From this moment on there is no way to stop the kids getting creative: colour in, add accessories to the figures like stickers or stamps, design clothes with old material offcuts or other things you might find in the art drawer. The kids will have lots of fun with the real-size copies and you may have something really special to decorate the their bedroom wall afterwards.