It’s no secret that the Easter school holidays this year is going to be different. The coronavirus outbreak has brought a new set of challenges, one being more time spent indoors. But, along with this challenge comes a new opportunity to slow down, make the most of the time indoors and simply enjoy time together. Admittedly, this is easier said than done and keeping your sanity during this time in close quarters will likely be tested. For this reason, we have the perfect list of activities that are sure to keep the kids busy and your nerves intact. On a side note, if all else fails a glass or two of wine wouldn’t go astray.
Keeping routine during the school holidays is a tricky one, but all too important to ensure the flow of the household stays in place. One way to do this is to help the kids look forward to different days in the week by creating themes. A perfect theme to get the kids excited is Superhero Day. Get everyone involved, designing superhero outfits, discuss your superpowers and dedicate the whole day to a super day with your superfamily. Enjoy your very own Marvel moment with superhero movies, create a comic book strip and get the kids involved with creating an obstacle course for their superhero training.
Netflix and chill
Sometimes when all else fails, we need to head back to the old faithful. While you might not want to crack on the screentime rules, this could be the perfect time to huddle down and just enjoy each other’s company. Lock in a movie list for each day of the week, or hunker down and plan a binge-watching session with the whole family. And most importantly, don’t forget Frozen 2 is now streaming on Disney+, and as they say, there is no time like the present!
Old-school board games
From Cluedo, Uno, Monopoly, Scrabble or even ConnectFour; this is the easiest way to while away the hours and keep the kids busy. It also might be time to break out the jigsaw puzzle!
Let’s vlog it!
It’s no surprise that Youtube is all the rage these days, with all kinds of content to keep the little minds active and learning. From toy reviews to learning about space, there is plenty to explore online with guidance. For those seeking a more creative outlet, it is also the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill like video editing and get in on the action! Help your little ones create their very own vlog and Youtube channel. Alternatively, hit up TikTok for new-age fun, learn dance moves and upload your very own family video.
Feel zen with some Yoga
There is plenty of video content floating around to help with this one, but a series to have the kids hooked is the YouTube account Cosmic Kids Yoga. With all kinds of yoga-for-kids videos, its sure to help the kids zen out in the lounge room. The best part is, it’s not just for kids; you can all do yoga together as a family!
Cooking and baking
If you have a little Masterchef on your hands, or you would just like to level up on at-home-skills, then spend a day cooking or baking together. Cookies, scones, brownies. Baking is an excellent lesson in measuring, ingredients, and of course, making delicious goodies. The same applies to cooking. Give the kids a challenge and let them pick out a kid-friendly recipe for dinner. And voila, a delicious dish and an afternoon of fun!
Learn something new
With so much time spare it can be a bit overwhelming deciding what to do next. But it is also the perfect time to set some challenges. The challenge could be for independent learning or even something you and your little superstar to undertake together. Feeling musical? Learn an instrument. Parlez-vous Français, non? Why not learn a language! Download Duolingo and give it a try, or head over to Youtube. Or better yet, learn a new skill like knitting or crochet. Check out Ravelry a free online resource for knitters, no matter your skill level. Now more than ever is a perfect time, with plenty of online resources you and your little one will be able to skill up in no time.
For little Monet’s in the making, these school holidays are perfect for unleashing that inner artist. Get creative and get crafty. From building a toilet paper bird feeder to pressing flowers, or simply buckling in with some painting and drawing, enjoy the time creating something new. If you are stuck for ideas, head online and join a free virtual arts and crafts lesson. From origami to Easter crafts, there is plenty to choose from.
Have fun in your own backyard
Being cooped up inside can admittedly drive even the most sound a little mad. If the sun is shining, then hop into your garden and soak up those rays. There is nothing quite like a good old-fashioned game of backyard cricket, or why not try your hand at a new game, like Finska. If you are a bit limited with space, look at how you can keep the kids busy growing a herb garden or try a spot of bird and insect watching.
The art of pen and paper
The art of writing is argued to be lost by some, but now is the time to rekindle this passion. A great way to excite the kids is to read a book together and then get them to write their very own novel. Or another challenge could be getting your kid to start their own journal. If neither is of interest, perhaps it’s a good time to look at breaking out the envelopes and stamps. Get the kids to write a letter to someone they love like grandma and grandpa, or a family member who lives far away.
Building block challenge
Give the kids something to look forward to and check-out the 30-Day Lego Challenge. With daily challenges like 'build a house' to 'design a new space rocket’, kids will be encouraged to think outside the box when creating something new each day. Plus, it might also give you a few moments of quiet… sounds great, right?
Dance and impromptu concerts
Turn your living room into a stage and break out the tunes. This is an easy and sure way to get the kids moving. Challenge them to choreograph a new routine, get them to sing a song, start a round of karaoke or just have an indoor dance party together. There are even plenty of online live kid-friendly dance parties. So tune in and get ready for a boogie!
DIY spa day
Need a moment of downtime? Set-up your very own DIY spa day! Crack open the nail polish and get crafty. This is the perfect day to make bath bombs or even your own body scrub. Then the best part, test it all out after!
Play-dough and slime
If the kids are keen to get messy, but you are hoping to keep this one contained, then why not make your very own play-dough. All you need are quart-sized bags, all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, veggie or coconut oil, and food colouring. There are plenty of recipes online to check out, and if you are open to something a little messier (but way more fun!) why not create your very own slime!
The great indoor-camp-out
While the great outdoors is a bit of no-go at the moment, why not recreate your very own camping experience, but inside! Set-up a tent (or a pillow fort), crack open the marshmallows and enjoy a cosy evening together.
Take a virtual trip to the Museum or the Zoo
What is better than a trip to the museum or the zoo? Doing it from the comfort of your very own couch! Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo can now also be explored through exciting Virtual Reality experiences using Google Expeditions. To do this, just download the Google Expeditions app on your mobile device or tablet, search for Taronga, and get ready for your virtual field trip!
Alternatively, visit San Diego Zoo thanks to several animal cameras set-up across the site. Highlights include the koala cam, polar bear cam, and tiger cam. For the cutest of them all though, check out the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Sea-Otter Cam that allows you to watch what the sea otters are doing at any given time of day! Families can also take virtual tours of museums and galleries around the world! Check out the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Louvre in Paris and the Guggenheim in New York City. Another highlight is the virtual tour of the Great Wall of China or the digital field trip to Yellowstone National Park. All can be done from the comfort of your own home. BYO snacks!
Go on Safari
Much like the virtual tours, you can now head on an African Safari while at home! Check out Nat Geo’s Wild Earth | Safari Live to see animals on the prowl and learn about the wildlife kingdom in all its glory. You can also check out the waterhole cams of famous game reserves amongst other live streams. Check out explore.org/livecams for more.
Create your own magical moments
Have a budding Houdini in your midst? These school holidays get them learning the best magic tricks online. Who knows, they might even surprise you!
Paper aeroplane competition
A sure way to get the competitive juices flowing is to have a family paper aeroplane challenge! Spend the afternoon learning to create a variety of paper aeroplanes and put them to the test.
Head to Space
No, we aren’t even kidding! Storytime From Space is unlike any other kind of storytime; NASA astronauts read stories to kids while they float around in space. The NASA website is also packed full of free activities and worksheets for children interested in outer space. If your little one is aspiring to be an astronaut, there are also countless free images of the universe that are packed with shapes and colours sure to keep them stimulated for hours on end.
Study the weather
A sure way to get the kids excited for the day is by studying the weather! Set-up a daily weather watch diary and note down any key changes they see. For those who are more interested, you could even do a study on the weather, using the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Learn about currents, air masses, and more.
Learn to code
If you have a brain that needs a little more stimulation, then get them learning the ropes of coding! A special skill that is bound to help them through all walks of life, there is plenty of free online resources to help understand the ins and outs. Check out Code.org, Code Monsters, Khan Academy, Scratch or Swift Playgrounds to get them going.
Discover the wonders of the world right at home through an awesome science experiment! Check-out the incredible ideas online from learning how to make a tornado in a cup, make instant ice cream or develop elephant toothpaste. For more ideas, visit Youtube, www.fizzicseducation.com.au or www.madsciencepromo.com/athomeexperiments. Another great way to do some science experiments is with Bill Nye, The Science Guy. Check out his website www.billnye.com/home-demos for more.
Indoor Easter Egg Hunt
Since it is Easter, this is the perfect time to create your very own indoor Easter egg hunt! Get the kids buzzing and indulge a bit by cracking open the chocolate Easter eggs. Or for more fun, with less sugar, why not create your own Easter eggs! Paint some hard-boiled eggs and enjoy an afternoon of fun.
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