Guest blog written by Dakota Murphey
With a lot of spare time on our hands courtesy of COVID-19, it can be hard to keep our ideas fresh when it comes to keeping the little ones entertained.
However, ensuring your children’s minds are consistently stimulated is vital to their development, so it’s important to keep them as engaged as possible throughout this trying period.
If you’re really stuck for ideas though, then don’t worry – we’re here to help. Listed below are a wide range of activities designed to entertain your little ones while teaching them some crucial skills that’ll help them throughout their life.
Learn About Nature
A great way to utilise your time outside during your daily walk or in the garden comes through designing games that help bring your children closer to nature, making them act more responsibly and encouraging them to respect the world around them.
Listed below are a few great ideas to get you started:
Bingo Boards. After observing your local green space – whether it be a park or your own garden – create personalised bingo boards with the plants and animals you often find there. Then, send your children on an adventure to search for and identify each of the allocated bingo spaces, watching their faces light up as they come across a range of different wildlife.
Set Up A Bee-Friendly Area. Bees play a critical role in keeping the planet’s ecosystems running, so teaching your kids about how important they are is vital. Identify a small area of your garden you want to make more bee-friendly and then educate your children on their importance. This should, in turn, encourage them to be more mindful and appreciative of them in the future.
Plant & Grow Seeds. Whether you have access to a garden or not, planting seeds is one of the best ways for your children to explore nature. By gathering a few simple pots, planters or trays, you can bring nature right to your living room. Let your kids pick the seeds they want to grow, then teach them how to plant, grow and ultimately take responsibility for another living thing.
Getting creative in the kitchen is not only a great way of teaching your children basic life skills but it can also create lifelong memories for you both.
While the age range of your children will influence the types of cooking activities you can do, there are still a number of kitchen-based things you can get your children to help you out with.
From cookie cutting to cracking an egg, your little ones will love being able to get their hands dirty and get stuck into the mess. By tailoring your cooking sessions around a new skill each time you teach them, you never know, you could have a budding Jamie Oliver on your hands in no time!
Budgeting With The Grocery Game
Everyone knows the grocery game, right? A makeshift shop set-up, cashier and a customer browsing for their shopping essentials?
Well, this simple game can be easily used to effectively teach your children the importance of both budgeting and prioritisation.
By adding prices to your shelved groceries, you can then set your ‘customer’ a budget to see how well they spend their money. To take this one step further, you could even create potential recipes for your children to work out which food items they need and whether their budget can stretch to it or not.
On the flip side, if your child wants to work as the cashier instead, test their mental maths skills by removing the need for a calculator, adding up the grocery costs as they go. Then, challenge them at the last minute by removing an item or two and ask them to recalculate the price. This will help keep them entertained while engaging their brain as well.
Linking Interests To Careers
One fun way to keep your children entertained during lockdown is to encourage them to think about the future. After all, it’s never too early to broaden your child’s mind and persuade them to start thinking about the different career paths out there.
Get your young ones to write down five things they like, love or are particularly interested in. Then, have them draw pictures that represent each of these things and use this information to suggest ways in which their interests can be shaped into a career.
An interest in animals can link to a career as a vet, for example, while enjoying dress-up games could lead to roles within acting or media. This game will not only help sew seeds for your child’s future but it will also enable them to focus on the things they enjoy, improving their self-awareness and ability to forward plan.
It may sound obvious but the best way to keep your children entertained is by simply having fun!
By getting messy with some at-home arts and crafts or dusting off your old board games, you can help keep your little one's mind whirring, making both yours and their time in lockdown feel all that much shorter.