Ideas for keeping children engaged and entertained may be wearing thin – not to mention testing your patience – as we head into another weekend of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. That’s why we turned to some industry experts for their best advice .
Kirsten Fairfield, co-founder of BabySouk.com
My first piece of advice is to start your day strong: get dressed, eat breakfast and indulge in a fun exercise routine to get everyone motivated and ready to start the day. Talk to your children at each stage, explaining what you are doing and why, ensuring they are engaged in each activity. As for other ideas:
- We love to engage in role play at our house. Kids love to do what we do: create a shop or market stall, go shopping, price up food, cook lunch in a pretend kitchen, set up tea time with a tea set, create a restaurant – the list is endless.
- Another great idea is to use masking tape on the floor and create a road/track for cars, so your children can ‘transport’ themselves from place to place. Vilac have some beautiful wooden role play toys that help the imagination get going.
- We also try and make sure each day involves arts and crafts. This could be a project, painting a picture, or making your own jewellery with a bead set. My kids love using leaves and flowers to paint and make prints. Another tip is to use potato cut-outs to dip in paint and use as stamps.
- There are some great websites we love to help kids learn how to draw – for example, Art for Kids Hub is super-creative. We also sell wonderful colour pads and paint kits from Melissa and Doug on BabySouk.com.
Maggie Moffat Baxter, education expert
Since students are experiencing school in their home environment at the moment, it’s important to create a separate one for weekends to recharge, relax and have fun. (This goes for parents as well!) You’ve probably already created a school spot or area for online classes and it’s vital to close up shop and create distance from this physical space and mindset. That said, entertaining children at weekends raises new challenges as they are now home 24/7 and there are only so many spaces in the home that lend themselves to this.
- Why not build a fort? This requires great imagination and you can get really creative. Use lights, blankets, pillows, create a welcome sign, art for the space, maybe even a theme. You could even turn this into a competition for slightly older kids.
- Another idea could be to make a treasure hunt. It can be either parent-led or child-led, depending on age. Make clues that lead to the next spot. For example, ‘Where would you find grandma’s picture?’ or ‘In this spot you’d brush your teeth.’ You can make it more difficult, so they have to work harder: ‘It’s cold, you can change the temperature, but you cannot go in’ for the refrigerator, for example.
Elli Kasbi, founder of Elli Junior
We all have been through ups and downs during the last few weeks, and that’s totally normal. Of course we worry about our own health and the health of our loved ones. On top of that we are also concerned about the pressures of home schooling and our own workload (big shout out to all other parents working from home and managing to home school!) I keep my stress at a manageable level by keeping myself and the kids busy; in fact, keeping them active isone of my top tips. Here’s how:
- There are lots of free activity ideas at Kidzapp, a free app created by a dad based in Dubai. They have huge amounts of creative, thought provoking and entertaining activities for kids to enjoy at home . Check out their ‘fun at home’ section.
- We also love to cook together at home. Have little ones pick a recipe from the internet or a book and make it together. It’s amazing how many kids love to get stuck in the kitchen. And if they make it they’ll definitely want to eat it. Challenge them to make something they’ve never tried before! If you have younger kids, think about getting them their own kitchen set so you can cook ‘together’ every day. We sell lots of personalized and bespoke kitchen sets on Elli Junior.