I was busy at my desk when a little hand tugged at my elbow “Mommy, I am bored!”
“Ummm, go and take your crayons out” I replied. “But, I’m BORED”
“Well, would you like to throw a tea party for your toy friends then?”
“NOOO…I’M BORED!” This time, the tone and volume of the complaint sounded as if an impending meltdown was looming on the horizon.
Much like you KNOW it’s going to rain when you look up at the sky and see the dark clouds building up in the distance and then closing in!
Ok! This is it, I thought. I paused what I was doing, sat the little one down on my lap and decided to have a heart to heart chat with her.
What ensued was an eyeopener for me – coming from a little child! I realized that while adults too are caught up in the lockdown, they have lots and lots to do throughout the day (just differently).
But what about our little ones. Their regimental support structure – their school schedule – has been snatched away from them overnight. Here, I am assuming that they enjoy going out and meeting their friends at school. Not to forget, the planned structure and activities they used to go through …. where was the time for them to get bored during the pre-lockdown days?
My heart melted, and I decided to take on this issue as a personal project.
The result was this compendium of “FUN ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS AT HOME” to make their lockdown period fruitful, exciting, and engaging. I have divided the activities into 7 broad categories, to help cover the range of children’s interests as well as developmental needs.
You could make each category a ‘theme for the day’ for each day of the week. Or, you could pick and choose activities as you go along.
Also, you may like to record your adventures in a portfolio or album or a digital version of the same, just so that you and your kid can look back on this period with fond memories.
Before I start, here are some tips
- Fix up the kid’s normal daily schedule which should be followed as far as possible
- The daily schedule should involve a fixed time to wake up and go to bed.
- The child should be involved in all home activities like cooking, laundry, cleaning, dusting, watering plants, and so on.
- Within the daily schedule, fix a slot for the activities mentioned below, say 2-3 hours a day – at a stretch, or spread out
Category 1 : Fun games for kids to play at home
Physical activities :
The aim is to enhance kinesthetic skills in the child.
Obstacle course, Kiddies yoga / zumba / aerobics, Cartwheels (if space permits), Gymnastics floor exercises, Table tennis on your dining table, Carrom, Follow-the-leader, Hide n Seek, Balloon Badminton, “Simon Says”, Treasure hunt at home
Dancing to music :
Try to vary the music and dance styles. You could play your kid’s favorite music videos, and have your child imitate her favorite actors moves. Kids are exceptionally astute in picking up the steps. And the physical movement along with the auditory inputs are good for brain development.
Board Games :
Ludo, Chess, Cluedo, Monopoly, Snakes n Ladders, Chinese Checkers, Basic Business games. These games are ever green and enjoyable.
Intellectual Games :
Dumb Charades, Memory games, Chinese Whispers, Math skills and Number games
Guessing the object by touch, Guesings the object by sound, Hopping on different texture surfaces, Collecting objects with different textures, Water activities wherever possible
Category 2 : Easy science experiments for kids to do at home
The changing the density of water, Effect of gravity, Making a ‘magnet’ using static electricity, The surface tension experiment, Refraction of light
Identifying acids and bases using home indicators, Soft drink fountain, Rubber egg,
How plants grow, Respiration of leaves,
Identify constellations, phases of the moon, create a sundial
Category 3 : Culinary skills
Here are some easy-peasy ideas for your kids. Remember, all expeditions to the kitchen MUST be done under adult supervision
Breakfast: Boil an egg, Make a basic veggie-cheese sandwich, Learn to spread dosa batter on a tawa evenly (under adult supervision), simple coconut chutneys
Lunch : Noodles with chopped veggies, basic dal and rice, learn to knead a little amount of dough
Simple snacks : Kurkure Bhel, Biscuit sandwich (fruit slices between biscuits)
Easy Desserts : Banana ice cream (Just freeze a few bananas – peeled and cut – and when frozen, puree it in the mixer along with sugar and vanilla essence for a ready to eat ice cream), bread pudding, jelly and custard are very easy recipes for kids.
Category 4 : Easy Art n Craft ideas for kids
Craft ideas and easy DIYs
Dress your toys in designer clothes, Hand puppets, Easy face masks, Simple Origami figures, making objects of daily use such as photoframes, pen stands
Art and Coloring Activities for kids
Basic calligraphy skills – do make it age-appropriate
Fish drawing, Butterfly drawing, Flower vase drawing …these are the basics to start off with very small kids. A lot of kids coloring activities are available online.
Get them to decorate their drawings with anything that is easily available around you – pencil shavings, small pieces of colored paper, spraying with an old toothbrush dipped in watercolor. For slightly older kids, get them to look at free or inexpensive pencil shading, drawing courses, and implement a few ideas.
Always save their artwork for the whole family to savor later on.
Category 5 : Emotional and Social Skill development
Narrate social stories with morals and ask the child for his views on them. Be sure to ask him questions like “If……, then what would you do?” ” Or simply ask him to point out the hero or anti-hero in stories.
Encourage your child to start corresponding with family members via email or Whatsapp and get involved in making greetings in the form of ecards, songs, or recitation to play out for friends or family on their birthdays and anniversaries. Ensure you supervise your kid’s screen time. And please do not push her, if he is shy or reticent.
Ask him for his views on handling of pets, his friends at school, and at home.
Encourage him/her to make and keep ready cards, messages, and craft activities to give their favorite teachers and friends once school reopens.
Ask him if he wants to contribute a little effort towards enhancing community spirit like talking or sending messages to people about waste segregation, saving water, and so on.
Category 6 : Communication and Literary skills
Let’s start with the most basic activity – Reading. If you do not already have enough books at home, you can download storybook apps and read out stories to your kid. Try and get her to narrate back what she heard. Eventually, she will be able to read independently. (Kids, generally develop the innate talent of sight-reading, once you expose them to printed format)
Mini Book – Spend a few minutes to jointly brainstorm with your kid for an age-appropriate topic. Either make it a story, or a slice-of-life type of setting. Help her with setting up the flow and chapters.
Of course, this activity may spill over onto another day (if you are following the weekly system, you may want to select a chapter per week). When the book is complete, consider decorating it suitably and then binding the printouts.
Creating basic word puzzles – Crosswords, Find the words from a word grid etc.
Category 7 : Role Play Activities
Aha! This is something we have ALL done as kids. Remember how we turned into teachers, or doctors as kids. Only here, the entire family must encourage the kid, and actually converse with her as if she is already in that profession.
This is a brilliant way of finding out where your kid’s ‘spark’ lies (though, this will undoubtedly change over the years)
Let your kid go wacky and overboard in her career choice. Think chef, astronaut, banker, businessman, TV presenter, event organizer, sportsperson, actor, hell why not a superhero…you get it! Get her to dress for the part if possible.
As a variation, your child can mimic her favorite personality for a day.
Another favorite game of kiddos to to pretend they are getting married. Why don’t you all have some fun and pretend to have a destination wedding! Assign roles to each person participating and go have a blast!
Keep a fixed day of the week for this activity, preferably a weekend, so that the entire family can join in the fun.
Remember to respect your kid and her level of play acting – and participate with enthusiasm and sincerity – as this will definitely make her excited about her future goals!
You may be interested in reading about a career in event management
So, that’s it from me
Let me know in the comments below what you think of these ideas.
If you are doing something else exciting with your kid, not covered above, do share it with the rest of us!