Ciarán has two kids who need a lot of entertainment! He picks his top five best things to do when locked down in the house
When we have a day off with the kids, the first thing I aim to do is get straight out of the house! It causes less mess, opens up way more options and can usually involve burning off more energy. For many reasons though, this isn’t possible and we have to stay indoors. It poses some challenges but over the past few weeks, we have come across some great activities to do with the kids when stuck at home. We really loved doing these together. A few of them even that gave me some down time while the kids were kept busy.
We looked at activities we can do that:
- don’t cost much money (apart from the Lego)
- are educational as well as great fun
- that stimulate creativity
Here is my top five and do let me know what you think of them.
Make something Technical
We started the Lego Technic Land Rover Defender around Christmas and have only just completed it. We would dip in and out when stuck at home and we had many many hours of fun, teamwork and learning. It is designed for ages 11 and over but my five-year-old loved it. He started by just helping me find the piece for the near 1,000 different instructions.
Half way through the build, we had swapped roles and I was finding him some of the 2,573 pieces to assemble. It has been a truly memorable time together and although it’s not a cheap investment, it was well worth the €180/£160. Entertainment value per hour is very high. Check out our full review of it here.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Founded in 2012, Cosmic Kids Yoga post brilliant yoga videos for kids on YouTube. They are incredibly popular having had over 110,000,000 views on there, with their Frozen video having over 12 million views!
They also have an app and website which has some great resources to get kids into yoga in a very fun way. My kids love it. Surprisingly, their favourite episode isn’t even Yoga. It’s the Zen Den Meditation video. It encourages calmness and listening.
All their videos are done by qualified Yoga teacher and company owner Jaime Amor. She has an amazing way to connect with and entertain kids. Check the videos out and see if your kids can get an interest in Yoga which has so many physical and mental health benefits.
Cooking and baking
I think every adult has cooked something off the BBC Good Food site. It’s my go-to site when cooking, as the site is clearly laid out and easy to follow. Their kids site is no different.
They actually have a family/children specific section too! With loads of different activity categories, such as Picnics, Cakes, BBQ, Snacks and much more, there is something there to feed and entertain for every occasion.
Their red velvet cupcakes are a favourite of our kids and don’t be afraid to stand back a little and let them take over. Embrace the chaos and mess for a bit and make it as fun as possible. It will also be educational and HOPEFULLY you will have something nice/edible at the end. It is usually a great bonding experience and the kids learn so much.
Learn a language
Screen time is a challenge for all parents but using DuoLingo for language education is certainly time well spent. The aim of the app is to make learning fun and my kids certainly loved it. Having multiple languages is an incredible gift. Kids love games and they gamify everything in this so you just don’t want to stop learning. The app has 300 million learners and I am sure they are growing fast. It’s totally free to use and very easy to get started. The app is created by data scientists and machine-learning experts so it really is cutting edge yet easy to use. It’s incredible that it is free and my kids are learning Polish so they can talk with their grandparents.
If you want to be uber modern, you can teach them the language of coding. Scratch Jr is a coding app for kids aged 5-7, but we feel it could easily work up or down a year from that age group. It’s definitely something kids should be introduced to, as the world in 20 years will be even more digitally focussed than now. As above, it has some really smart people behind the project (Tufts University, the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, amongst others).
They give kids an easy platform to learn through coding their own interactive stories, games or drawings. It’s easy to pick up and gets kids thinking for themselves and puts them in the creative hotseat. Try it out and again, it’s totally free.
Has anyone seen any colourful painted rocks lying around their neighbourhood? Well, there is a mini movement and I suggest you join it! This does involve going outdoors at the start and the end, but the fun work is done at home. My kids first spotted some stones on a walk in the park with lovely quotes and colours on them. Some were in praise of healthcare workers. The kids were fascinated by them. We thought it was the elves at work. We said we would go home and send a reply to them.
Step one to getting involved is to go and find some stones that can be easily painted (flat ones work best).
Step two is to get creative and come up with a motto or drawing you want to paint onto it.
Step three is to put some varnish on it to protect it from the elements and increase longevity.
The final part is when you step outside and place it somewhere locally for observant people to see. Spread the love!
Finding entertaining things to do with kids when stuck at home is a really big challenge for all parents. When you just can’t get out of the house you are forced to be creative. Screen time can often be the go-to choice and hopefully there are a couple of screen options here that will mix it up a little. We have tried all of the above activities but would be happy to update the post with your suggestions. Feel free to message us on Instagram and let us know what you think are the best things to do at home with kids.