You’ve probably got play dough in places you never thought physically possible, seen Frozen 117 times and exhausted your best singing voice. Not all heroes wear capes.
There’s no denying that the Corona Virus outbreak has forced us all to adapt in ways we never expected nor were prepared for, and the pressure that comes with taking up the role of teacher, as well as mum or dad, is huge but in all of this, remember you are a teacher of MANY important lessons, not just maths and literacy. If you’re doing your best and reassuring your children at a time when the whole world as we know it is unravelling and changing, you’re already teacher of the decade!
Rather than getting caught up in ticking off certain topics, take your child’s lead, what are they naturally inquisitive about, what do they enjoy? Above all, this is an opportunity to connect with your child and be present and active in their learning, and to cash in on those extra cuddles while they’re still little tiny people.
If you’re stuck for some inspiration for things to do, we’ve trawled the internet and our parent WhatsApp groups for some of the best activities. Mums, dads – you’ve GOT this.
If you have some outside patio space, dig out the chalk and get creative. They can draw the whole family, their teacher and class members, the planets, flowers or whatever else they fancy.
Grow your own cress
Are you even a kid unless you’re growing cress from a window sill? Get the step-by-step here.
Build a fort
Make a den indoors from quilt covers and cushions for a cosy movie night.
Check out the animals doing their thing in the wild
Here you can find the world’s largest live nature cam. From eagles to sharks and puppies, think of it like a virtual zoo without the bars. Unbelievable scenes to enrich your little one’s learning about the natural world, habitats and wildlife.
Have a virtual playdate
Organise a daily Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp call with your children’s friends. Most children don’t like to chat on demand so perhaps arrange a fun activity they can all do together on the hang-out.
Get the kids involved with yoga
Who said mindfulness and tree poses were just for grown-ups? This Cosmic Yoga designed especially for kids is great fun for the whole family, find it on YouTube here.
Make the most of your devices
Now is probably not the time to impose rigid screen time bans, instead why not explore your smartphones, apps and tablets and exploit their potential as an educational resource.
Make finger puppets
Using a piece of card, cut out the shape of an animal of their choice. Once they’re done colouring it in, cut two holes near the bottom big enough for your child’s fingers. Voila!
Create a pasta masterpiece
Using pasta shapes and PVA glue, create a fun piece of art. Why not paint them afterwards too? Monet who?
Have an indoor treasure hunt
Hide rhyming clues around the house or, if your little one is younger, use coloured dot stickers on pegs. Each colour represents a different number of points, when they collect enough points they win a prize.
Decorate plant pots
Round up any old pots from the garden and give them a colourful makeover. The brighter the better!
Set up a DIY tuck shop
Are your kids eating you out of house and home? Create a price list featuring all their favourite snack items, fruit 5p, crisps 50p, chocolate 25p and give your children £1 a day to spend. The kids get to brush up on their maths without realising it and you get to keep their snacking under control.
Paint a rainbow
Once they’re done painting it, pop it in the window for the other children to spot on their #rainbowtrail walk. The kids can also go out for their daily exercise and see how many rainbows they can spot in the windows.
Join in a live story time
Oliver Jeffers hosts a stay at home storytime at 6pm every weeknight. If you’ve exhausted your best-animated voice, he’s your man. Can’t make his 6pm live? You can find all his previous storytimes on his website.
Make leaf animals
Make an animal collage with some leaves and twigs from the garden. It encourages the kids to get creative and see leaves in a different way.
Make a DIY easel
Turn a small garden table upside down, wrap a few layers of cling film around the legs and huzzah! One very good makeshift easel. Happy painting!
Make a scrapbook
To help your little ones keep track of the days and give them a sense of routine, why not start a daily scrapbook. When they return to school they can take them in for show and tell and share everything they did during their time at home and catch up on what their friends did too.
Do a fashion show
Dig out the Christmas fairy lights and the Disney princess dresses, it’s show time. Simply line the floor with a few blankets or a sheet and cue the music. Mandatory for dads.
Make your own play dough
¼ cup of salt
2 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
1 tbs of oil
Mix the dry ingredients in a small pan, add the water and food colouring and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes until the dough becomes firm. Turn out onto a plate and let it cool before you are free to play.
Join in Joe Wicks’ daily PE class
A fab way to get the kids energised in the morning and to give them a sense of routine! Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, will be running daily PE classes from 9am on his YouTube channel. Find it here.
Build a fairy garden
Fill a couple of large pots with soil decorate with sticks, stones, shells, string and whatever else you can find to make the fairies a lovely humble abode.
Write a letter to granny and grandad
If the kids are missing granny and grandad, writing them a letter is a good way of encouraging them to keep in touch while practising their spelling and handwriting too. They can either read it aloud to them on the phone later on or post it to them so they can see how their handwriting is coming along.
Make fairy houses from toilet roll
Decorate old toilet rolls with paper and felt pens and use a cupcake case for the roof. Don’t forget to draw a little door on the front for the fairies to come and go as they please.
Play sink or swim
Using a big bucket or the bath tub and some household items or toys, ask your children which items they think will sink and which ones will float. You can use keys, apples, a cork, a spoon – anything goes!
Make blow paint pictures
Mix up some paint with water and place a large blob of it on the paper then, take a drinking straw and blow the paint so it spreads out across the page. If you’re doing this with young children, practise without paint first so they understand they’re blowing not sucking. Once dry, you can draw on some mouths and decorate your colourful blobs with googly eye stickers.