At this stage, in our third lockdown of the pandemic, it’s fair to say we are all struggling to juggle working from home whilst also juggling home-schooling and keeping the little ones entertained too!
We’ve collated some of the top ideas for activities to do/try at home with younger children, utilising your local area/garden and daily walk.
As we mentioned in our indoor activity blog; anything water related is guaranteed to keep children busy for hours, so why not take it outside?!
Sensory soup is a concoction of leaves, flowers, plants and citrus fruits – anything you’ve got to hand can be added! Provide children with a bucket or bowl, some spoons, jugs and cups and sit back and enjoy a cup of tea whilst they create an appetising soup or even a gorgeous smelling perfume for you!
All you really need for this is a handheld piece of cardboard with some sticky tape attached! Then head out on your daily walk and encourage children to collect and pick up natural objects that interest them and stick them to their board; not only does this provide some focus for your walk and daily exercise but also provides an opportunity for children to re-visit the activity back at home, and they could even conduct some research on the objects they’ve discovered too!
If you have a transport mad child on your hands, then a transport survey is not only a fun activity to conduct, but you can also factor in some early mark-making and number fun too!
If you’re lucky enough to be on a bus route, you don’t even have to leave your home for this! Just set the children up with a clipboard, some paper and dependant on your child’s age/stage of development, either pictures of vehicles they might see, or the names of them and give them a time frame to see how many of each mode of transport they can spot!
For some children, this could go on for hours, it never gets old seeing a train whizz by when you’re three! Even better if the bus you notice is a double decker!
Regardless of whether you have a garden or not, you can still create an obstacle course or physical challenge for your child to burn off some of that much needed energy!
If you don’t have a garden or the resources to create an obstacle course at home, then how about a chalk balance challenge on the pavement? Draw different lines, zig zags and circles and encourage your child to move their body in a range of different ways around the course!
Failing that, utilise the local space and set them challenges as they walk along; ‘Hop over those drain pipes’ ‘Balance on that wall’, ‘Run to that tree’, adding an element of fun and challenge to your daily walk but also enabling them to burn off some energy.
If your child is of the age of showing an interest in letters/numbers, or even if they aren’t, this is a great way to introduce letters and numbers, and also begin to introduce the idea of distinguishing between the two!
As you walk, chat about road signs and symbols, shop fronts, numbers on telephone masts – any numbers or letters in the local environment, identify them, talk about them and soon enough your children will start to recognise and instigate these discussions themselves!
With special thanks to Chloe Webster – registered childminder and Under 5s specialist!