Ideas for fun – even in small spaces (and with limited waste!)
For many Australian’s this week is school holidays! However – for most Victorian’s this week looks not so very different from the last many months of having kids at home during the week for remote learning!
A few mummas have reached out for ideas on how to keep kids entertained these holidays! For some, they already feel like they are completely out of ideas!
Thankfully Spring is here (well kinda! We had snow here this week! Like actually proper floaty snow and freezing cold temperatures outside haha!). Here are some of my favourite ideas to keep kids busy – and produce as little waste in that process as possible!
I’ve tried as much as possible to make these ideas self-sufficient for kids to play (with some supervision) after they are set up. It works really well in our house to set up an activity and then let them play for a time while I work on my own tasks.
There are 2 ways to do this! You can hide one treasure and give them clues or a map to find your hidden treasure (for some family fun try hiding the movie for the night, a voucher for a meal out, or tickets to your next family outing!). OR you can do more of an orienteering session and give them a list of treasures to find. Again this can be inside or out. Get as creative as possible here! “A leaf that looks like a heart” and/or “a reminder of your favourite holiday” might take a bit more hunting than “a smooth rock” or “a teddy”.
Sometimes our kids will set this up themselves and sometimes they will look for help to set up something more challenging. This often means lengths of timber and milk crates have been dragged around the yard in rather creative ways! But it is a fantastic way to use what you have and challenge their gross motor development at the same time. This can be done outside or inside. Hello the floor is lava!
This was a favourite even in the Tiny House!! On the coldest days we would hang up a blanket inside from the loft and turn the couch into a fort! On warmer days we would throw that blanket over the top of some saw horses outside and make a cubby house outside. I found the addition of some books and snacks made this a pretty popular idea even with some older primary school aged kids
Sketch around the shadow of any object. You can either hold an item above the paper or tie it up and suspend it! Sticks, leaves, cutlery, flowers or even the shadow of their own hands/arms/feet can make for some fun creation.
Make some story rocks
This is a super simple idea! But essentially you decorate rocks to be able to tell a story. So maybe a smooth oval rock with a drawn on face and hat could be a character to tell stories. You can even have the kids draw scenes for them on paper (so maybe a bed to lay in, a gym to work out at and a table to eat at for example). You could decorate stones to be food items, insects/animals, or other characters and use them all together to tell new or familiar stories. We first did this over a year ago and the original rock person still features in the girls’ backpacks for fun when out and about.
I’m loving all the eco-friendly DIYS lately! I’ll link to some of my favorite accounts – check out their variety of recipes on everything from food, slime, eco glitter paint, playdough, face paint and much more! Once the DIY creations are made this can then set up for some fun outdoor craft time on some scrap paper too.
Audio Books and podcasts
There are some great audios designed for all ages of kids! Check your local library for electronic borrowing of audiobooks! This is a great way to access free audio content. You can also access a bunch of content on various apps too. I’ll link some of my favourites here
The Musical Story of Peter Pan (this is on the list as I have fond memories of hearing my grandad singing the tunes out of this story. He still sang them many years after my mum used to play her record as a small child. I grew up with this one and my kids love it too)
ABC Kids Listen has a bunch of stories, podcasts and music sessions. It’s our go to!
While I haven’t listened to many of these podcasts; I found this blog from Kidspot to be a really helpful list of podcasts for all ages of kids.
I have tried to make these ideas as friendly as possible for small spaces. My number one suggestion though is to try get them outside for some play time. However – there is often plenty we need to do as adults even in school holidays, so there are plenty of suggestions to set them up for playtime inside too.
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