I and my colleagues have just created an ideas sheet of activities to do at home, aimed at the families we support with early years children. It is a simple list of ideas and suggestions of things they can do at home, these ideas are mostly free or things they hopefully have in the cupboard. I have pasted a copy here in case it is useful for anyone else.
Alistair Bryce Clegg is also collating some fantastic ideas.
Ideas for parents if schools are closed
This is a strange time for everyone. During this time children need reassurance, cuddles, kisses, love and they need parents to play with with them. Here are some ideas from Nurture Outreach team of activities you could do with your children if the schools are closed.
Take a walk, each day if possible. Each day you could decide on looking for different things- day 1 it might be red things, day 2 yellow, day three blue etc. One day you could see how many different coloured things you can collect and then come home and stick them on some paper or card.
Make a den together , you only need a blanket and a chair, you could have a snack whilst in the den, make it cosy with some cushions and a blanket. Share a story in the den.
Have an indoor picnic, put a blanket on the floor, put some plates and cups on the blanket and have a picnic together, imagine where you would like to be, maybe a beach or a jungle.
Have an outdoor picnic-if the weather is good have an outdoor picnic , if you have a garden you could do this in the garden.
Make a picture for a loved one, we are being advised to stay away from older people, this can be sad for everyone. Get your child each week to draw a picture or write a note to someone who is old and staying at home. Post this to them.
Play hoopla Turn a chair upside down, make hoops out of some cardboard, throw the hoops over the legs. Have a point for each leg.
Play shops Give your child some money, together make some price labels , put them on the food in your cupboard. Take it in turns to be the shop keeper and the shopper.
Make an obstacle course- Use furniture to go under, blankets to cover yourself in, hats to put on your head, make this together and take it in turns to use.
Play hide and seek, take it in turns to be the hider and the seeker.
Junk modelling Keep empty boxes and toilet roll inners, make models and creatures with glue and tape
Plant some seeds If you have a garden plant some seeds together or save old plastic tubs e.g yogurt pots and plant some cress or pea seeds and grow on the window sill. When they have grown put them in a sandwich, you can eat the pea shoots instead of letting them grow into pea plants
Make a treasure map Hide some treasure and make a map for the child to find where it is. You could each do this and make a map for the other person to find the treasure.
Make sock puppets Turn your socks into hand puppets, give your puppet a name and make a story together.
Make a bug house Find some sticks and leaves and a make a bug house, you could leave this at the side of your house or flat and then check on it after a few days to see what bugs are in there.
Dance together Play some music you both like and dance together
Pretend you are an animal game Imagine you are an animal and make the noises and movements for the other person to guess.
Play bubbles Go outside and play bubbles, watch where they are flying, Imagine where they might go.
Play emotion faces Pull a face of an emotion and get your child to guess the emotion. Take it in turns to do this.
Pretend you are at the hair dressers– take it in turns to be the hair dresser, brushing hair, putting clips or bands in, pretend to cut hair ( no scissors, just use your fingers) you could gently give the other person a head massage.Talk about what they would like their hair to be like today.
Play weddings Get toy animals and dolls and pretend two of them are getting married, think about the food they would eat and the dancing they would do.
Make a car/ rocket/ train Use the washing basket or a big box, get your child to decide what vehicle it’s going to be, get them to sit in it and pretend they are going on a journey. Talk about what they can see on their journey.
Make a fruit salad together Use tinned, frozen or fresh fruit, chop it up and put it in a bowl, talk about the colours, tastes and textures, enjoy eating it together.
Milk ( or substitute milk)
White sliced bread
Put a small amount of milk in cups and add a tiny amount of food colouring, this makes home made paint. Each person have a slice of white bread and paint a picture on the bread using your paint, look at your pictures. Toast your bread and enjoy eating the toast.
Make play dough
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
2 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoon oil
1 cup of hot hot water with few drops of food colouring added
Mix everything in a bowl, stir it well and then knead it and play with it. You could get your child to help you make this. When you have finished put it in an air tight container, it will last for weeks.
Home made bubble mixture
6 cups water
1 cup strong washing up liquid e.g. Fairy
1 table spoon glycerine
Mix gently and use, this makes enough for a big bottle
We hope you have some lovely time playing together. Keep safe and well.
From Sonia, Andy, Sharon, Fred and Ruth