The school holidays are coming, which means your children are about to have a lot of free time and nowhere to go. To support our parents and children we’ve compiled a list of offline activities to stimulate minds and keep your children busy and engaged during this period.
Considering how much time everyone spends in front of a screen it’s also important to balance that with some offline activities. Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into your daily/weekly schedule:
- Tinkerlab Schoolhouse: This is free for the first 45 days and consists of a collection of activities for families with children aged 3-10 to do at home.
- Board Games: You can stick with the family favourites or explore the surprisingly vast variety of board games.
- Start a virtual book club: If your children like to read, they can start a book club with you or with their friends. This allows them to get together with their friends once a week to talk about the book they’re reading.
- Start a virtual film club: If your children are passionate about film, they can start their own film club with you or their friends. This allows them to get together with their friends once a week to talk about the same film they watched.
- Learning 4 Kids: This platform offers instructions for fun, simple play ideas for younger children at home.
- Have a picnic in your garden: For those who can, have a picnic in your garden. It will help to break the monotony of the routine and just add some fun and whimsy to meal times.
- Learn a musical instrument: If you have a musical instrument in your home, you can help your child learn to play it. If you aren’t proficient in the instrument there are a variety of online tutorials that teach people how to play musical instruments.
- Build a puzzle: This is an easy and simple way to keep little ones busy or even create an entire family activity.
- Teach your child/teen to cook: Teach your child/teen to cook a few basic meals during this time. This is a good life skill for them to learn and will also help them feel a sense of accomplishment once they’ve successfully created a meal by themselves.
- Teach your child/teen to bake: Teach your child/teen to bake a few basic baked goods during this time. This is a good life skill for them to learn and will also help them feel a sense of accomplishment once they’ve successfully created something by themselves.
- Go for a walk: At the moment you can still leave your home for exercise, so once a day or a few times a week go for a walk with your family. Be mindful of social distancing and only go with your immediate family.
- Make a blanket fort: An activity that never dates. By helping your child make a blanket fort you’ll provide them with hours of entertainment.
- Colouring: This activity has taken off with adults around the world as they realise the calming and stress relieving effects of colouring. Colouring can help your children decompress and take part in calming activities.
- Homemade play-dough: You can make this with a variety of recipes online and it will give your younger child hours of enjoyment. It’s also good for fine motor skills and teaches your younger child how to grip and pull.
- Reading: If you or your family aren’t big readers, maybe now is the time to explore this. Reading is a calming, solitary activity that will help your family remain calm during this stressful time and ensure they don’t get on each other's nerves.
- Origami: All this requires is square pieces of paper. There are numerous online tutorials that can teach you and your child how to create all sorts of interesting shapes.
- Start an art project: Suggest to your child to create a drawing, painting or craft something. This will help them to use their creative brain but it will also absorb them for a significant amount of time. You could also schedule time to work on the art project over multiple days, which reduces the amount of activities you need to come up with.
- Have a spa day: Have some relaxing and fun time with your children by having a relaxing and calming spa day. This can include everything from yoga and meditation to painting each other's nails and facials.
- Stargazing: For those who can, spend some time every night having a look at the stars in the sky. Learn the constellations and the stories behind them, and learn about which planets can be seen in the night sky. There are also a variety of stargazing apps to help you with this.
These are just some activities we found, feel free to look for your own or change them to suit your needs. Let us know about the ones you tried or ones we missed that you think should be added to the list.