We’ve done a week in (mostly) home isolation and I’m not going to lie – it has been TOUGH (with a big fat capital ‘T’!). Who knows how long we’ll be stuck in this situation? So to stop it from being Groundhog Day every day, I’ve put together a list of the BEST activities to do with the kids in home isolation.
While Monopoly and card games certainly have their role, I tried to think out the box and ‘borrow’ some inspiring ideas from other mums glued to their homes right now. I’m going to mix these up into our home-schooling schedule to keep the kids engaged. I hope you enjoy them….
Here are lots of fun activities to do with the kids in home isolation
1) Make a Mug Meal
A mug meal is a perfect all-in-one dish that is perfect for kids to make. They can generally do all the preparation and since most mug meals are cooked in the microwave, it’s easy for them to do the cooking too. You can make mug muffins or omelettes for breakfast, potato soup for lunch and chocolate pudding for dessert.
Check out these yummy mug meals on Mouths of Mums:
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- Milo Lava Mug Cake
- Strawberry & Cream Mug Cake
- Chocolate Mug Cake with Marshmallows
- 1 minute Choc Blueberry Mug Cake
- Strawberry Mug Cake
- 70 second Nutella mug cake
- Easy Peasy Choco Brownie in a mug
- Microwave chocolate mug cake
2) Make a fort in the lounge room
This one keeps the kids keeps my kids occupied for ages. It makes a bit of a mess and the kids dig out all the sheets, towels and pillows from the drawers but hey, at least I get to enjoy a cuppa in peace.
3) Play UNO
If you haven’t played UNO with the kids yet, dig it out or buy a set and play it. It’s so much fun and has an educational aspect too – so you can get away with it being part of your home-schooling day.
4) Bake bread
One of my favourite activities to do with the kids in home isolation is baking. The kids love baking cupcakes and other sweet treats but bread is always top of the list. It’s the kneading that they always clamour to do – it’s therapeutic pummelling dough, isn’t it.
Here are a couple of bread recipes to make with the kids:
5) Build a cardboard play dome
We’ve got this one earmarked for the school holidays. It looks like so much fun. Check the how-to here >
6) Camp out at home
Dig out the tent and sleeping bags and have a campout in your backyard or lounge room. Have a BBQ for dinner and toast marshmallows over the embers or a candle.
7) Paint Portraits
My kids absolutely adored drawing portraits of eachother. But now, we’re taking this one level up. I’ve managed to buy some cheap painting canvases from Kmart and the kids will paint portraits of eachother. We’ll then hang up the masterpieces in their bedroom
8) Make a treasure map
Make an authentic-looking treasure map with the kids. Brew some black tea (leave the tea bag in the hot water for a long time to make the tea stronger). Crumple up a piece of white paper and paint it with the tea. Let the paper dry. You can also take the paper outside and rub some sand over it. Then each kid can draw their own treasure map.
9) Talent Show
Let the kids put on their own “Australia’s got talent” show with costumes, props and music. Film it for maximum memories
10) Chalk art
Grab some chalk and get creative on the pavement
11) Stained glass art
Cut a piece of contact paper into a shape. Then cut pieces of tissue paper and feathers and stick them onto the sticky side of the contact paper. Tape your creation on a window – preferably one that can be seen from the street – to cheer up passer-byes.
12) Try origami
My kids love trying out origami creations. There are tons of YouTube videos for easy origami animals or flowers
13) Make an obstacle course in the house
Each kid can take turns setting up an obstacle course in the house. It’s a great way to get the kids active.
14) Painting in the backyard
Make a batch of homemade paint (one cup water and one cup flour with food colouring) and let the kids go crazy with paintbrushes in the backyard.
15) Water / oil / food colouring experiment
Simple science experiments are fabulous ways to keep the kids amused. Try out this one:
Put half a cup of baby or vegetable oil in a see through jar, then add half a cup of water
Then use a dropper to add a drop water-based food coloring into the oil. Add more drops of different colours and see what happens
16) Make shadow drawings
Go outside and place a white piece of paper on the floor, place a plastic animal or figurine on the piece of paper and trace the shadow.
17) Make a Fairy Tree
Let the imagination go wild. Create lots of things to make a fairy tree… stick fairies, clay beads/toadstools, cone bees, painted stones. Here are step-by-step instructions to make a whimsical fairy home.
18) Button necklaces
Buy a whole lot of mixes buttons. Get your child to separate them into colours, then use a tapestry needles and yarn to thread the buttons and create a button necklace.
19) Make shrinky drinks using chip packets
These are just so adorable. Check out this step-by-step and pictures on WikiHow.
Empty and wash the chip bag you wish to shrink. Get all of the crumbs and other food particles out of the bag. Leaving them in will cause bumps and irregularities in the bag after it shrinks. Dry the bag with a paper towel to help remove leftover particles.
Place the chip bag on the baking tray. Lay the chip bag between two sheets of parchment paper. If you want your chip bag to have a flatter, smoother look, place a second baking tray on top of the parchment paper, sandwiching the bag between the trays. For a wrinkled look, leave off the second tray.
Cook the bag for ten minutes. Place the tray in the preheated oven (150 degrees centigrade) and allow to bake for 10 minutes. Check the bag every 2 minutes to gauge its progress and make sure the bag is not being damaged. After the ten minutes are complete, remove the tray and peel the parchment paper apart to reveal your tiny chip bag.
Take care when removing the tray and handling the bag. Both will be very hot.
20) Set up a pizza cafe at home
Give the kids free rein to run a pizza restaurant at home. Let them come up with a name, menu and prices. Then encourage them to take orders from family members. Provide them with the ingredients to make the pizzas and give them some guidance on how to do this. Help them with putting them in and taking them out of the oven. Ask them to set the table and to serve the pizzas when they are ready.
21) Balloon Rockets
This is such a fun way to demonstrate how a rocket works. So much fun for the whole family.
Step by step instructions here.
22) Hide and seek with stuffed animals
Ask your kids to make a pile of their stuffed animals. Then take turns hiding them around the house and the others have to find them.
23) Shaving cream finger paint
Cover a table with a plastic tablecloth. Then squirt a generous amount of shaving cream onto the table and let the kids go crazy with finger painting with the shaving cream.
24) Play lifesize PAC MAN
Make a maze on the floor with tape. Make sure the lanes are wide enough for someone to walk through comfortably. Pick two spots somewhere on the edges to be entrance/exits. Put a basket or container at each exit.
Cut pool noodles into little slices to act as the pieces the player will pick up along the way. You could also use coins or some other round object.
Choose two people to be Ghosts and cover them with a sheet
Choose one person to be pac man
Pac-Man can go any direction and turn whenever they want as long as they stay within the lines of the maze.
Ghosts can only move forward, unless they reach a dead end (then, they can turn around).
Ghosts have to move at a consistent speed. It’s also more fun if they make beeping noises as they move.
A Pac-Man can ‘deposit’ the pieces they have collected into their ‘bank’ if they make it to one of the 2 exits. They can than re-enter the game to continue collecting pieces.
If a Ghost catches a Pac-Man, they lose a life and have to sacrifice all the pieces they are holding.
The Ghosts win if the Pac-Man loses all their lives (you can choose how many lives a pac man has).
If a Pac-Man collects all the pieces before they lose their lives, they win.
25) Easy art
Add some vinegar into small containers. Add different food colouring into each container and add mix. Add some baking soda to the vinegar.
Place paper towel or paper in a disposable foil container. Use a syringe to suck up the ‘paint’ and then put it on the paper towel to create gorgeous art
26) Mosaic chalk art
Use masking tape to create a mosaic pattern on the ground. Then colour in the spaces with different colours of chalk. Remove the tape when done.
27) Salt play dough Stone Age Jewellery
Create salt play dough by following this simple recipe – Mix together 1cup flour, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup salt.
You can also add food colouring to the dough.
Now you can mould the dough into any shape. Make beads, rocks, stones or figurines. Make a hole in your shapes with any pointy utensil. Make sure you make holes big enough to pass the string through later. Then bake at 170c for one hour. After the dough has been baked, let it cook and then paint the shapes.
Thread them through a piece of string and you have a stone-age necklace.
28) Make cotton wool sheep
Print out a template of a sheep and let you child glue cotton wall balls onto its body
29) Coloured rice sensory play
Put rice and a few drops of food colouring in a zip lock bag to mix then let it dry in the oven (switched off) over night. In the morning, you can place the rice in a large container and let the kids play and play and play.
30) Do an Easter egg hunt in the back garden
Get a heap of the little Easter eggs and each person takes a turn to hide the easter eggs around the garden or the house. Everyone then gets to find them. At the end of each round, each person can eat one egg. But then they are pooled together for the next person to hide.
31) Fun photos with Google AR animals
We recently discovered a whole zoo of virtual animals that can be accessed via Google. Check out all the details here.
32) Colour sort objects and make art
We went to an exhibition a few years ago which was floor art made of everyday objects organise by colour. It looked absolutely spectacular and I’m planning on getting my kids to do something similar. Let them collect household objects objects and then sort them into colours and place them on the floor in a pattern.
33) Turn your blow-up pool into a cubby house
Inflate your blow-up pool, add a sheet on the floor then add some pillows and place a tray on the floor with art & craft supplies and some snacks.
34) Paint Rocks
Gather some small rocks and paint them with pictures or messages. You can them ‘hide’ them on walking paths so others can find them
We painted small rocks and tomorrow we will hide (“hide” ????) them on walking path in parks for kids to find. I decided to make mine native songbirds. I wrote the names of the species on the underside so the parent can have a teachable moment with their kids.
35) Tie dye t-shirts
Buy each kid a white t-shirt or other garments and then tie die them. Check out this step-by-step guide on how to tie-dye a t-shirt or check out youtube for heaps of tutorials.
36) Do a Makeover
Buy inexpensive make-up and allow your kids to make you over or let them loose with make-up on eachother. Just make sure you have some baby wipes on hand to wipe up the oopsies.
Do you have some other ideas to add to our list of activities to do with the kids while in home isolation? Tell us in the comments below.