Keeping Families Connected, Healthy and Happy Through Unprecedented Times 

30 April 2020

We have put together a list of activities to help you navigate being at home- we are all in this together!

As we face down another term of uncertainty with our kids stuck at home almost every day of the week, we need make sure we commit to this new (albeit temporary) way of life with the wellbeing of all close to our hearts – but especially that of our children!

We’ve compiled a few ‘sanity saving’ suggestions to help support our parent community by offering some fun and hopefully inspiring activities you can do at home with your children!

The below list has been prepared by one of our Operations Managers – Chris – based on what she has found works at home with her daughter.

 

Scavenger Hunt

When your children are in sound asleep (at last!), grab at least 10-15 items from around the house. Draw up a list of the selected items. Once you have recorded all the items on the list, begin to hide them around the house and even in the garden (if available).

The following morning, give your children the list, explaining that they have to find each item and place it in a box. Each time an item is found, record your child’s name next to the item on the list to help you keep track of who found what.

To make this more competitive, a timer could be used placing a limit on the amount time they have to recover all the items.

The person to find the most items might win a treat/sticker/movie night of their choice/future voucher for an outing when we’re allowed out of the house again.

 

Lava Tiles

This is a great boredom buster and laughter generator! Place masking tape on the carpet or tiles at home in different angles and spots. Play your favourite family tunes and get everyone moving around the house – the trick is to not step on the “lava”. Those who do are “burnt” and are out of the game. The last one standing gets a prize!

You can play a few rounds of this – potentially choosing a different DJ removing some of the lava tiles, and introducing a different referee.

 

Cotton Ball race

A simple yet very entertaining game that only requires two things: coloured cotton wool balls and straws.

Give each participant a straw and a different coloured cotton wool ball. Makes sure everyone remembers their colour! Line everyone up on one side of the room. Once everyone is in a line, they need to drop down onto their tummies an assume a commando crawl position and place the straw in their mouth with the cotton ball directly in front of them.

On the count of three, everyone (remain crawling on their tummy) blows air through their straw to propel their cotton wool ball across to the other side of the room.

You can mark finish line using tape or at the opposite wall.

No hands are to be used to push or throw the cotton ball further!

 

Dance class or Yoga Class

We have a number of free resources at our hands thanks to the digital age. YouTube offers a number of dance classes suitable for families or kids.

A great resource for dancing is Mihran K, who creates dance tutorials for children aged 4+. He even includes his daughters in his clips!

One great example is his hip hop tutorial – parent will also love to join in these classes!

Yoga can also be a great way to bring calm to everyone, and help you get into your body and out of your head.  There is a plethora of resources out there – especially on good ol’ YouTube and Vimeo.

One of the most popular is Cosmic Kids Yoga. A great way to get children involved in yoga, mindfulness and meditation across the globe through a very animated story-telling approach. Some of the themes include Moana, Frozen, Spiderman and Trolls! Great for ages 3+.  You can check out a link to a sample class here!

 

Mini-Films for grandparents /extended family/chosen family

It can extremely heartbreaking not to be able to see our loved ones – particularly those who are in the ‘high risk’ category during this pandemic. A great way to connect and create a family repository is to create mini weekly videos. You could choose a different theme or member to play presenter and film a 2-3-minute video.

Some ideas that may work include share one’s news, thoughts, an art piece or completed projects, a newly discovered garden or walking trail or a significant milestone (loss of tooth, first steps etc). It will be a relatively tangible way to share and save those special moments.

The end of this period, you could collect all the clips (or favourites) and put them on a USB to be gifted at Christmas or for someone’s birthday!

 

Cooking Class

Our very busy, fast-paced and modern lifestyles have, unfortunately, meant that many of us are not devoting the time to cook nourishing meals and enjoying them as a family – however, now is the perfect time to revisit some traditional family recipes, or simply take the time to make things together from scratch.

Simple meals can be fun and healthy such a homemade pizza, sushi, fruit salad, burgers, protein balls, pancakes and colourful salads.

You’re never too young to get involved – don’t believe us? Check out this clip with the world’s cutest and youngest chef extraordinaire – Roman. At the age of two he is baking a lasagne!

 

Roll the Dice Hunt

A simple and educational game to keep the younger ones who are in the early years of schooling and are grasping mathematical concepts.

All you need is one or two dice. Give your little one the dice and get them to roll it/them. Whatever side it lands on, get you little one to count the dots. Once they’ve established the number of dots, they are to run and find a number of objects that correspond with the number shown on the dice.

For example, if they roll and it lands on 5 – they count the five dots on the dice and then run around the house and collect five items. Together you count the items and make sure they match. For every correct attempt, they get a sticker!

To make it more challenging you can use two dice and increase the numbers 1-12.

 

Board Games

It’s nice to have a way to bring everyone together! Our old dusty board games need to come out of the woodworks and share their benefits with all family members.

The areas of the brain that are responsible for complex thought and memory formation are the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These parts benefit greatly when playing board games together and ultimately strengthen your family bond.

Children’s brains are forever growing and developing – up until the age of 28! By engaging in board game, children develop their logic and reasoning skills, improve critical thinking and boost spatial reasoning. The ability to concentrate and focus for a longer period of time is also developed by getting them involved in regular boar game playing.

Some great board games, particularly for developing vocabulary, include Articulate for Kids and (for more advanced or older students) Taboo.

 

Zoom play dates

Our children will also feel the great need to connect with their peers and have a break from those sharing the same roof. A fantastic way to facilitate this is by using Zoom – an online platform used for learning, conference calls, meetings and of course play dates! Multiple people can join, and it will be a great way to get people chatting, playing a game or simply eating together.

We at SSA offer online programs in debating and public speaking on Zoom, which   have proven to be highly effective! With small classes, 100% live lessons and years of experience, we’ve got plenty of great ideas to help keep kids occupied. To find out more visit our website!

We hope these ideas can bring joy to you and your loved ones through the next few months!

Stay well, stay safe and when challenges arise, remind each other that this is temporary!