We all have those days when we’re stuck at home….perhaps the car is being serviced or you are waiting for a tradesperson/delivery or perhaps your child is toilet training and you are reluctant to go too far from the house. Sometimes we all need a “home day”.
For a little inspiration our committee members have shared some of their favourite low cost play activities to do at home.
Go for a stroll around your neighbourhood with your child. If they are walking then leave the pram at home (you don’t have to go far) and let your child lead the way. Stop whenever something catches their eye, such as:
If the weather is nice enough set up a child height table outside and place different sized containers from around the home on top. Fill some of the containers with water and let your child experiment with pouring water from one container to another.
Backyard obstacle course
If the weather is clear but not quite warm enough for some water play then you could make an obstacle course in your backyard. Look around your house for ideas for activities – remember to get your creative cap on. This article has some great ideas on how to create one https://www.familiesmagazine.com.au/kids-obstacle-course/
If there is a nice blue sky with fluffy clouds take a picnic rug into the backyard or to your local park and lie down with your child. Look for shapes and patterns that the clouds make. You could even tell stories to each other based on what shapes you see. Enjoy some relaxing time in the fresh air together. This can even work on your balcony if you have one!
We’re yet to meet a little one who doesn’t like bubbles. It isn’t hard to get your hands on bubble sticks at your local supermarket so this is an easy and relatively inexpensive activity to do with your child. If you’re lucky enough to have found a bubble kit with lots of different shaped wands then you can experiment making different shaped bubbles. Most discount and cheap stores sell battery operated bubble machines as well which can also be lots of fun and give parents and caregivers a little rest!
Indoor tents and cubby houses
If it is a rainy day you might be restricted to being inside the house so a fun idea is to make tents and cubby houses with furniture and sheets or blankets. Let your child use their imagination and go with it. You could also have a picnic lunch or morning/afternoon tea in the tent/cubby.
Gather some soft toys together and host a tea party! If you have a play tea set you can use this, otherwise get creative with what you have around the house. An invisible tea set can also be fun.
Blow up one, two, three or even more balloons to play with. You can play volleyball, hit them back and forth to each other, see how long you can keep the balloon off the floor… the ideas are endless. You can even blow up a balloon without tying it up and let it go to see what happens!
Sort it Out
Help your little one to sort out a group of items into categories. The way you sort them will depend on what items you have, but sorting by colour is usually a good one for toddlers and preschoolers. Some ideas for things to sort include laudnry pegs, coloured balls from a mini ball pit, bottle caps, lids, hair ties, pieces of felt or other material, socks or toy cars. Depending on the age of your child and the type of item you might even be able to leave them for a couple of minutes to grab a cup of tea!
Good old-fashioned playdough is always popular. We like to use this recipe:
1 cup salt
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons oil
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 cups boiling water
Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl/jug mix water and food colouring. Add to dry ingredients and mix. Once cool enough to touch knead gently until smooth. Store in an airtight container. For some variety you could use different colours or add in edible glitter. Use cookie cutters and other objects around the home to create shapes.