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Games for Kids – Some Ideas for Parents with Children at Home during COVID-19

Some Ideas for Parents with Children at Home during COVID-19

Bringing up children in the UK I have learnt to be resourceful, when you can’t always open the doors and let the children play in the garden.

A family friend is babysitting her grandchildren and the weather is turning in the Southern Hemisphere and was wanting a few tips on how to keep the grandchildren engaged indoors. You always have books, indoor tea parties, dress up sessions and puzzles as activities,  but sometimes you need to have more tricks up your sleeve to release the children’s energy.

Here are some of my ideas:

Create an indoor play circuit with a plastic swimming pool filled with ball pit balls, a tunnel and a skipping rope. My London home could only have two of these out at one time, if that is the case for you too, let the children play and then set up the next activity.

Indoor bean bag games are good old fashioned fun. You can buy or make the bean bags together, an old shirt cut into squares and filled with rice works well. Then play games on how long they can walk with a bean bag on their head, try walking up stairs with a bean bag on their head, throwing and catching bean bags to each and sliding bean bags down an indoor slide.

Children need to get some fresh air in the day, when there is a break in the clouds gather winter or summer leaves and make collages. Sticking down what the children have gathered in the winter to create a memorable picture, or in the summer they can make an outdoor picture in the garden on the grass or a paving stone. They love this activity.

Playdough was a daily feature in our lives, brilliant for hand-eye co-ordination, dexterity, fine motor skills and creativity. Theme your pretend play making stationery holders, pizzas or animal.  (I was the master of the humble snail, my husband used to mould elephants!).

Print out colouring and activity sheet using the children’s favourite TV character from the internet, the BBC has a wonderful range of activities. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/makes

Make a den indoors use the sofa cushions and blankets or outdoors using two chairs to drape a sheet over the chairs, allowing the children to hide in their den. We would serve a pretend tea and read books in the den and have hours of fun.

I also had one of those little indoor trampolines for when the weather was too awful to go out, which really helped with burning the children’s energy.

When all the energetic activities are done, settle down to popcorn and a movie or cartoons depending on the age of the children, it is lovely to snuggle the children and just relax, before the evening bath time routine begins.

I could visualise all these activities as if they were a few years ago, but a decade has passed! Have fun and enjoy these times, before the children play independently and you are not needed in the same way.

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