Whether you are working from home, self-isolating or just social distancing, you're probably finding it difficult to come up with new ideas to keep the kids entertained!
Setting up and creating activities can be an emotional process. Finding an activity that keeps the kids entertained for more than 3 minutes, uses everyday household items and keeps the house looking (reasonably) clean, is a balancing act that just never seems to balance! That's why we have rallied up our wonderful nannies and asked them what their favourite household activities are that are quick to organise and don't require a 2-hour pack down!!
Animal craft using egg cartons and paper towel rolls! This is a great activity as it can be used for different skill levels and uses everyday household materials.
For younger children, it could just be drawing and painting on details and colours.
For older children, feel free to make it more advanced by adding additional craft tools like scissors, pipe cleaners and pom-poms.
Tip: If you encourage children to use their own imagination with the design of the activities, they will often be interested in the project for longer!
- Kaila O'Dea
Cardboard boxes! A cardboard box can be anything: a train, ramps for cars, an aeroplane, a house. It's a great way to encourage the use of imagination. Extra points for it being an item you don't have to worry about getting ruined!
Indoors bowls. Grab one of the kids’ (soft) balls and find a few items that can be easily knocked over. Pop bottles, paper towel tubes, and toilet paper are usually easily accessible items that work best.
Create a necklace, toddler style! Use a piece of string (a shoestring works well because of the hard end) and something to thread on it. Big beads would be great. But other items such as straws or large pasta noodles work too. This activity is great as it helps develop and use fine motor skills.
Tape a line on the floor in different ways (zig-zag, curvy or straight) and have a toddler walk along it, trying to balance their best. Can they do it forward, how about walking backward? Another fantastic gross motor activity that can be done both indoors and outdoors.
Additional resources: https://handsonaswegrow.com - great website as activities are categorised by age, activity and area of learning.
- Danni Richmond
Baking is another great activity to do with children! Kids love the process of finding the ingredients, to putting it all together and eating it.
They can get impatient and easily distracted however, so it is important to find a quick, easy and yummy recipe to keep them entertained!
Sweet potato brownies
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a food processor (mixing
with a wooden spoon works too).
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes at 180°C.
Tip: Separating and laying all the ingredients out like this creates less mess and makes it easier for the children to pour.
- Isabella Dichiera
Fairy gardens and magic potions are a great way to get the kids outside and explore the garden. Tell kids to use their imagination to find ingredients for their potions or furniture for their fairies new home - it's amazing to see their thoughts run wild.
Garden play can also create fun ideas for additional activities like drawing or flower pressing. For any families who are staying home, ask the children to find flowers and leaves that can be hard-pressed and sent with a letter to family and friends. This is a positive reinforcement in times where children may be seeing less of their friends. It also gives them something to look forward to if it becomes an ongoing activity. These are all activities that can be done independently so parents/carers can be as involved as they wish.
Tip: There are a heap of great fairy garden ideas on Pinterest, but it's always fun to let the kids decide.
- Eliza Rogers
Creating activities that double as a learning experience is a fun way for families to teach their children important life lessons! With our current social environment, some families are now trying to homeschool their children. Below are some activities that are both enjoyable and informative.
Dot painting is a good way activity to get children thinking about History in a creative way. You can use the end of a paintbrush to create amazing dot paintings. You can go even further with this activity and teach children about primary and secondary colours.
Andy Lee, Dave Hughes & Eddie Betts all have books that use humour to teach life lessons to children in a fun way. There's many activities you can link these books with, especially kindness and empathy activities.
Fun Brain, Prodigy, Math Playground, Splash Learn and Math Game Time are several free online Math resources that parents can use with their children at home. For Science, there is also several online resources, such as: NASA Kids Club, Discovery Mind blown, How Stuff Works and Amazing Space.
- Natalie Anemouri
These are just a few of our favourite activities that our nannies use to create joyful environments for the children they care for. Hopefully we have given you some extra resources to navigate these new times that we are experiencing. It important to remember to do what you can and that we are all in this together.
The Nanny Diary has kept our doors open to ensure we can help the families who need it! Please get in contact with us if you have any enquiries.
The Nanny Diary Team xo