As we’re coming to the end of our fifth week in lockdown I think it’s fair to say that this past week has been HARD. The relaxing of our routine during the ‘Easter break’ has kicked us in the butt and it’s been difficult to shift back into the loose structure that we were following before.
We have three kids, Freya (10), Teddy (4) and Charlie (2). Every Monday Freya’s school teacher uploads a week’s worth of activities to the school website for her to work on throughout the week. Thankfully she seems to be enjoying (most of) her schoolwork and welcomes having something to do each day. Entertaining two preschoolers on the other hand is tough. I don’t know how the ladies at preschool do it! In my despair this week I’ve turned to the internet in search of inspiration for activities to keep the boys occupied, and hopefully prevent them from totally destroying my garden! I’ve compiled a list of my most hopeful, and most successful finds and I thought I’d share them here in case they help anyone else.
1. Making Roads
Use masking tape or chalk to draw your own roads on the floor. These could be straight roads, zig zags, or loopy, windy roads. Whatever takes your fancy or your space allows for. These can then become roads for toy cars or paths for your little ones to follow.
2. Water Painting
If you have a lovely dry day then a great, low mess, low effort activity is to let your children paint in the garden using just water and a paintbrush. There’s loads of scope to this activity, just like ‘real’ painting. They could paint pictures, practise their ‘control’ by painting over chalk letters, numbers and shapes, paint around each other. Our favourite is to ‘paint off’ the chalk left from the day before so we have a clean slate to start with each morning!
3. Buried Treaure
Bury some toys in a chosen spot, either in the sand pit (if you have one), a tray or bucket filled with sand or soil works just as well, or even just straight into the soil. We have a set of plastic dinosaur skeleton toys that are perfect for this but you could use any toys that don’t mind getting a bit grubby. Then let the kids dig them up! They could use spoons, spades, brushes (archaeology style) or just their hands. If you’re feeling extra enthusiastic you could even draw a treasure map to follow, or let them bury them and draw you a map!
4. Ice Age
Freeze some of your children’s toys in a sandwich box or bowl filled with water overnight. You could add food colouring to the water to make it more jazzy if you like! Then set them the task of rescuing their toys using whatever tools you like; straws and hot breath, water droppers, spoons…
5. Treasure Hunting
If you’re lucky enough to get out for a walk give each of your children a bag or basket (pockets are fine too!) and let them collect treasures on the way. Stones, pinecones, cool sticks, interesting leaves, anything that takes their fancy. You can use these for craft activities later or as ingredients for magic potions.
6. Magic Potions
If you’ve ever read George’s Marvellous Medicine then you should already have a good idea of this one. Fill a bowl or bucket with water, or the sink or even the bath if you’re feeling brave! You might want to prepare a selection of ingredients beforehand, or just go with it. Throw in your ingredients one at a time and give them a good stir..Talk about the way each ingredient changes the potion’s colour, smell, texture. You could even get them to predict the effects first.
These are just some of the activities we’ve tried, or are on my list of things to try, but there are so many out there. I hope these give you some ideas too. Drop your favourite activities in the comments below and don’t forget to let me know how you get on! Stay strong and stay safe!