Activities for the Week of May 4th – May 8th
With all of this time at home lately, most of us are searching for fun new ways to entertain our children. There are tons of great ideas out there, but often we find ourselves without all of the supplies. Instead of going out to buy supplies, try some of the fun activities with stuff that you most likely already have around your house! Each week we will be providing you with fun activities for you and your children to enjoy together.
A big predictor of resilience is spending quality time with our children, and being there to listen to their feelings. We may not be changing the rules about what they are allowed to do, but we can still honor their feelings. These activities may be a bridge to having opportunities to listen to what your children are experiencing. Talk about COVID-19 and what you and your children are experiencing, and emphasize how you will be there to help keep them safe.
Dress Up Relay: Age 4+
Do you have dress ups? Great! If not, that’s great too! Run around the house and grab a variety of clothes or objects that can be worn.
Here are some ideas:
- Old cowboy hat or baseball hat (if these aren’t available try a large mixing bowl or strainer)
- Button up shirt (old flannel or Hawaiian shirt)
- Large coats
- Skirts or pants
- Ski goggles or sunglasses
- Boots or tennis shoes
- The options are endless! The items do not need to be fancy; work with what you have available in your closets.
- Fill two suitcases or boxes with equal amounts of clothing. The clothes must be big enough to fit all the players.
- Place the suitcases or boxes at one end of the room.
- Divide the players into two equal teams. If there are an odd number of players, one player on the team with fewer players takes two turns.
- Have the teams form two lines at the end of the room opposite the suitcases.
- At the word go, the first player from each team runs to one of the suitcases or boxes and dons all the clothes in it over the clothes he’s already wearing. Decide ahead of time whether buttons, zippers, and so on must be fastened.
- When a player is completely dressed, he then quickly removes all the dress-up clothes, puts them back in the suitcase or box, and runs to the end of his team’s line.
- The next player then takes a turn and so on until everyone on the team has had a turn.
- The first team to finish wins.
Add a different twist (this might be better outside): use spoons and eggs and keep the teams (or just do it with your child if you have one child). Have fun trying to carry the eggs to teammates with the spoon and then having the next child take the egg and continue the activity.
Frozen Toys: 1+
This is a simple, yet fun activity for all! Your toddlers and young children can have a fun time trying to pull out the objects from the ice, and your older children can make it a competition to see who can remove the toys from the ice the fastest!
- Baking Dish (any size will do, just make sure that it is deep enough to hold objects and water)
- 5-10 small toys or objects from around the house
- Optional: Salt
- Fill the baking dish with the objects that you have gathered.
- Fill the rest of the dish with water, taking care to not overfill!
- If you are making this for younger children, make sure that some of the objects are sticking out of the water for an easier grasp.
- Place dish in freezer, making sure it is flat and level.
- Freeze for 4-5 hours, or overnight.
- Once frozen, pull out the dish and let your children try to free their toys!
- You can time your older children to see how long it takes them to free the toys. Let them get creative and figure out different ways to make the ice melt faster!
- You may want to show them that when they sprinkle salt on the ice, it magically helps the ice melt faster!
*If you are doing this as a competition with older children, you may want to make them each their own smaller tray.
Button Button: Age 3+
This simple game is an oldie, but a goodie that all ages of kids can enjoy playing! The best part of this game is all you need is a button and at least 4 people to play the game.
- Button or object similar in size like a penny or dime
- All of the players will sit in a circle with their palms together in front of them and eyes closed.
- The play who is “It” has the button between their own palms and will go around to each player and pretend to release the button into their palms.
- The person who is “It” will choose one player that they will actually release the button into their palms.
- Once they have gone around the whole circle, players will open their eyes and together everyone says “Button, button who has the button?”
- Each player will get a turn to guess who has the button.
- The player that ends up having the button will then be “It” for the next round.
Big Building Supplies:
If you have a stockpile of toilet paper or paper towels, then this project is for you! Gather up the toilet paper, paper towels, laundry baskets, large Tupperware etc. and let your child build towers with these large “building blocks”. Let them use their imagination, then have them knock down or run through the large tower that they just built!
Ideas for items:
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Laundry Baskets
- Large Tupperware
- Plastic Bins or Totes
- Old Boxes from deliveries or moving
- Anything that you can find around the house
- Muffin Tin
- Baking Soda
- Spoon or Syringe
- Optional: Food Coloring
- If you are using food coloring, place a small drop of food coloring in each muffin tin.
- Place a small amount of baking soda in each muffin tin, about 1-2 teaspoons.
- Pour vinegar into a small bowl.
- Let your child spoon in vinegar to the tin and watch each small explosion with amazement!
- If you used food coloring, the color will appear when the vinegar and baking soda mix. Take time to talk about and notice the colors with your child.
Grab your broomstick and get ready to go down low! Most people have played limbo before, but make it a fun competition with your kids to see who can get the lowest.
- Long stick such as a broom handle
- Space to be able to move around. Try going outside if it is good weather.
- Optional: Fun music to brighten the mood
- Hold the stick out in front of you at about shoulder height.
- Players line up behind the stick and take turns going under the stick, taking extra precautions as to not bump the stick.
- Once each player has gone under, lowering the stick each time you cycle through all of the players.
- If a player touches the stick, he/she is out of the game and can cheer on the rest of the players.
- Last person to be in the game wins!
Let your children take turns holding the stick and lowering it for the other players. It is especially fun when adults join in the game if they are able!
Around the House Color Sorting:
Do you have a child learning their colors right now? Try out this easy color sorting activity. Send your kids on a mini scavenger hunt to find anything and everything in the house of a certain color. For example, ask your child to find 5-10 things in the house that are red. Your child could come back with things like an apple, a red blanket, mom’s lipstick, a coca cola can, a firefighter dress up hat etc. If it is nice weather, you can even extend the hunt outside! Try a new color every day for a week, or knock out all of the colors in one day.
Simple Homemade Playdough:
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup table salt
- ½ cup hot water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Optional: Food coloring
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
- If using food coloring, add several drops to the hot water
- Carefully pour the colored water into the dry ingredients
- Add the oil and mix
- Once cool, use your hands and turn the dough out on to a clean surface
- Knead the dough for at least a few minutes. The longer you knead the smoother the dough will become.
Let your child’s imagination run wild while creating! Playdough is a great sensory activity for children of all ages. It can often help with regulating when your child has uncomfortable energy.
Folded Paper Bracelets:
This tutorial shows you how to make paper bracelets for your kids to wear. The tutorial has you paint on paper before cutting the strips, but you can do this with plain paper! If you don’t want to break out the paint, but your kids want it to be colorful, try cutting the strips out of an old magazine or some of the advertisement junk mail!
No Snow Snowball Fight:
If you have a bunch of old newspaper, magazines or junk mail laying around this activity is perfect for you and your kids! Take a sheet of whatever paper you have laying around and wad it up into a ball, you can make it tight or loose, but we suggest the tighter the better! Have your children help you make the “No Snow Snowballs” and let them experiment with using multiple sheets for one “snowball”. Once you have your desired amount of “snowballs” head to a clear area inside your house, or outside if it is nice weather. There are tons of different ways you can use your “snowballs”. Here are a few of our ideas:
- A good ol’ classic snowball fight.
- Divide up into two teams, if you get hit by another team’s snowball then you’re out. Last person standing wins for their team.
- Everyone stands behind a certain point and sees who can throw their snowball the farthest.
- Someone stands about 5-6 ft away with their arms rounded in front of them like a basketball hoop. Everyone else lines up and takes a turn to see if they can make a basket with their snowball.
- Let your children use their imagination to come up with their own rules to a game with the snowballs!
Grocery Bag Kite:
This activity works better if it is a slightly windy day, but if it is a calm day don’t let that stop you! Your child can run with the kite behind them to get it flying.
- Plastic grocery bag with two handles
- Yarn, twine or any thicker string that you can find
- Cut a long piece of your string, about 5-6 ft. Your string can be longer or shorter. If you have enough string, let your children experiment with different lengths.
- Hold handles of grocery bag together and tie your string to secure both handles together.
- Go outside, wait for a gust of wind and let your kite soar!
- If it is not windy enough, try running with your kit behind you to see how high you can get it!
Pretend Play Mail: Age 2+
Have your children ever received a letter in the mail? Or mailed one themselves? Take some time to teach your child how to mail letters! This simple DIY mailbox is an easy and cheap way to teach your children. The creation of the mailbox will need adult supervision.
- Square or rectangular small to medium box (an old amazon box, used tissue or cereal box)
- Knife or scissors to cut a rectangular slit in the top of the box, making sure that it is big enough to slip a letter into.
- Paper for writing your letters.
- Pencil or pen
- Optional: Items to decorate your mailbox
- Optional: Envelopes to hold your letters
- If there is not already a slit in the box (there will be if you are using an old tissue box), have an adult use scissors or a knife to cut out a large enough rectangular slit on the top of the box.
- Tape or seal the bottom of the box if needed.
- Decorate your box if you choose!
- Once you have created your mailbox, teach your children how to write a letter to a family member. They can draw a picture, write a thank you note, etc.
- Teach your child how to address the envelope. This can help younger children memorize their home address!
- Once done, the child can slip the letter into the mailbox.
- Make sure to write your child a letter back! This is a great opportunity to connect with your child through small notes.
- If you have a stamp laying around, take this activity one step further and actually send a letter to a loved one. This could be a grandparent, a friend they are missing from school, or maybe even their teacher!
Does your child ever see you receive packages on your doorstep? Let them play “Delivery Man” and fill old boxes with toys or items around the house. Let them place the box on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run away. When you or a sibling open the door, you will have a fun package on your doorstep to play along with!
Ask your child what they know about birds, and to name any birds they are familiar with. Tell them that you are going to play a game where they pretend to be birds. Talk with your child about the three types of birds in the game.
- Flamingo – Ask your child what they know about flamingos. Share that flamingos stand on one leg when they sleep. Invite your child to stand on one leg for as long as they can. Ask your child what it would be like to sleep standing on one leg.
- Eagle – Ask your child what they know about eagles. Share that eagles have large, strong wings that they use to soar through the sky. Invite your child to stretch out their arms and soar around like an eagle.
- Robin – Ask your child what they know about robins. Share that when robins are on the ground, they hop on both feet to move from place to place. Invite your child to hop around like a robin.
- Ostrich – Ask your child what they know about ostriches. Share that ostriches are not able to fly, but they can run fast and even let people ride them. Invite your child to show you their fastest running in place like an Ostrich.
Explain that to play the game, you will call out a bird and they will perform the action for that bird until you call out the next bird. Begin the game and continue calling out birds for as long as your child is interested. Plot twist: switch roles and give your kiddo a turn to call out the birds while you do the actions! You can also try doing this with other animals such as different barn animals, safari animals, etc.
*Adapted from Kinder-Care Education