Top 5 ways to keep your children entertained... As told by a teacher
Lockdown is hard on everyone and we all have our ways of coping and getting through the days. What makes lockdown particularly difficult for you as parents is the balance between home schooling your children and your workload while working from home. Below are my top 5 activities to help keep your little ones entertained and thus helping to preserve your sanity.
A pre-warning that there are some serious, I repeat, seriously helpful and easy activities below which will help you survive lockdown and help keep your little ones entertained. So, make sure to save this blog for repeat reading!
You may be thinking “what on earth is STEM”?
STEM helps to engage students and provides them with critical thinking, problem-solving, creative and collaborative skills.
The STEM process is a follows and I suggest getting your children to write and answer these questions:
- Observe/ask - what is the problem?
- Collect - what information will I need to solve the problem
- How can I solve the problem? - think outside the box
- What materials do I have or need & what steps will I take?
- Test my plan
- Reflect - did it work? If not, what should I fix to try again?
Some simple ‘around the home’ STEM challenges could be:
The options are truly endless with this and often your little ones might come up with some great ones themselves!
I can feel your eyes roll as you read this and intrinsically scream “ahh the mess”, but hear me out! Being creative has many benefits. Craft helps to develop motor skills, creativity, helps with reasoning and problem-solving.
My suggestion is to sit down with your children and ask them if there is anything in particular, they would like to create this week and then get them to search around the home for supplies, even if it doesn't 100% match as this also teaches them vital problem-solving skills. If you’re able to do so, Kmart, Spotlight and Target have some great craft kits available and often your local supermarket also has a small craft section if you require certain bits and bobs.
Leaving your craft corner set up can also be beneficial for your children to go back and forth when they like and my trick to keeping it tidy - cleaning scavenger hunt, more on this below.
Everyone loves a talent show and what a great way to keep your children entertained by getting them to organise their own.
Not only do they have to think about their talent and practice it - perhaps you make it that little trickier by getting them to learn a completely new skill to perform. Or perhaps they have an individual talent performance and a group talent performance.
As this is a show, other factors to consider are:
- Invitations for those in the home
- Costumes (ensuring they get creative and use what is at home). Perhaps the STEM challenge could be to create a costume for the talent show later that week!
- Dress rehearsal - no show is complete without practice.
Children love to perform, and I have no doubt this will be a winner.
This one could not be timelier and can be done indoors and outdoors - if safe to do so.
Start by getting your children to brainstorm Olympic Sports that they could do at home, for example:
- Hurdles up the hallway using pillow cushions
- Gymnastic routine
- If you have a backyard, perhaps it's a basketball shootout
- Race to tie shoelaces
The options are endless, and you can change what you need to make it work for your home and children.
But let's not forget all the activities that help to bring the Olympics to life:
- Have your children create their own scorecard for each event
- Create an Olympic torch for the opening and closing ceremony
- Create their own team uniform and logo
I can guarantee, if you ask your children, they will come up with some amazing and creative ideas too!
A scavenger hunt is my personal favourite because it can take many forms. From cleaning to around-the-house and even an art scavenger hunt - the options and entertainment are endless.
For the Cleaning Scavenger Hunt, you may be sitting there thinking “there is no way my children will fall for this, they’ll know they’re cleaning”. I’m here to politely tell you, you’re wrong! So much so, my class falls for the cleaning scavenger hunt every afternoon before home time. Let me break it into steps:
- Decide if you will have your children find items and reward them at the end, or, hide prizes for each item or task they complete - with each discovery being a win
- Depending on your answer to the above, hide your items in places that need the most attention
- Play along and encourage your children
- Congratulate your children for a job well done and acknowledge how much you appreciate their help
If you’re looking for free scavenger hunt sheets and ideas, simply Google ‘free scavenger hunt’, from here you can print ideas for the day or week ahead and you have a plethora of indoor and outdoor suggestions - should outdoors be safe to do so.
Regardless of where you are in Australia and if you’re in lockdown or not, these activities have been created with the hope to keep everyone entertained.