We've put together the ultimate guide to spending 2 weeks at home with kids. It's really important to keep some sort of structure over the next few weeks, so we've tried to include an active option, a learning experience and a more crafty activity so that you can keep everyone happy and healthy! Our Monday-Friday ideas feature more STEM, with slightly more relaxed options for weekend activities.
Of course, feel free to mix and match the activities depending on your child's needs and what your family enjoys doing, but this is a great guide to planning out some free, fun things to do at home over the next couple of weeks.
1. Do Yoga Together
You'll need: space in the living room and access to the Internet
2. Ice Excavation
You'll need: small casserole dish, baking tray, food colouring, small toys (eg. plastic animals and Lego people) and an eyedropper or similar
The night before you want to do this activity, fill your dish about 3/4 full with water and a few drops of food colouring, throw your small toys in and put it in the freezer overnight. When it's ready, flip the dish onto a baking sheet and loosen the ice from its container. When the ice block is successfully removed from the dish, get your kids to add hot water with the dropper and slowly excavate their toys as the ice melts.
3. Tornado In A Jar
You'll need: jar with lid, sand, water and washing up liquid
Fill jar 3/4 full with water, add a drop of washing up liquid and a sprinkle of sand on top (this imitates real tornadoes, which pick up dirt as they move and turn brown). Screw the lid on tightly, flip upside down and shake for a minute in a circular motion. Turn it the right way up, place on a flat surface and watch your tornado swirl!
1. Indoor Hopscotch
You'll need: electrical tape
Stick lines of electrical tape onto the floor in a hopscotch layout and you'll have your own indoor track!
2. Make Dinosaur Eggs
You'll need: toy dinosaurs, soil, flour and water
Warning: this gets messy! Add a good scoop of soil to a bowl and about half as much flour and water. Knead until it becomes a playdough consistency. Wrap this dough in an egg shape around your toy dinosaurs and there you have it, a dinosaur egg!
3. Write A Postcard To Future You
You'll need: card, scissors and felt tips
Cut a piece of card 10x15cm. Draw a design on it with your felt tips and then write a letter on the other side to your future self. You could write about your hobbies, family and all your favourite things and then hide it away somewhere to be re-read at a later date.
1. Build An Obstacle Course
You'll need: furniture and other household items
Set up about 10 stations for your kids to get through, like crawling through a tunnel made of dining chairs, throwing balls into a bucket or doing the limbo under a broom. It's perfect for kids with bundles of energy and can be set up indoors or outdoors (or both)!
2. Make A Drum
You'll need: plastic bowl, paper and elastic band
This one is super simple, just take your bowl, put a piece of paper on top and secure it with a rubber band. Use wooden spoons or pens as drumsticks and see how the sounds change.
3. Fireworks In A Jar
You'll need: jar, small bowl, food colouring (multiple colours), warm water and 4 tbsp oil
Put oil and a few drops of each food colouring into your bowl and mix until the colours have broken into smaller droplets. Fill your jar 3/4 full with warm water and add the oil mixture carefully on top. As the food colouring moves from the oil into the water it'll begin to swirl and dissolve, creating a vibrant firework in the jar.
1. Marching Practice
You'll need: space in the living room or garden
March on the spot according to the tempo set by a grown-up. Give 'orders' and get the kids to turn left or right, or take steps forwards or backwards. Why not add a learning element and ask them to recite their times tables as they march.
2. Rainbow Collage
You'll need: magazines, cardboard, scissors and glue
Look through your old magazines or rummage through packaging in the recycling bin and cut out bright colours. When you've got loads of pieces together, split them into the colours of the rainbow. Cut out an arch shape from your cardboard and stick your coloured pieces onto the arch in colour order to make a rainbow.
3. Go On A Google Earth Journey
You'll need: access to the Internet
Live out your normal life on Google Earth, exploring your street, school and local supermarket as you practise your map-reading skills. After that, why not travel further afield and explore the Taj Mahal or the Egyptian pyramids? It's a brilliant way to introduce kids to parts of the world they haven't seen before.
You'll need: access to the internet and space to groove
Zumba is a fun way to get the whole family involved in staying active, and there are loads of online resources you can use, including this brilliant Zumba dance to the iconic song 'I Like To Move It'!
2. Teddy Zipwire
You'll need: string, a hanger and a soft toy
Tie a piece of string to a high and low point in the house, attach your favourite cuddly toy to a hanger and send it down the zipwire. Why not make multiple zipwires and race your toys?
3. Brew Up A Storm
You'll need: large glass jar, shaving foam, eye dropper or similar, food colouring, 1 or more small bowls
Make up as many bowls of coloured water as you'd like with your food colouring. Fill the jar 3/4 full with water and then top with shaving cream so that it's just above the rim. Drop coloured water onto the shaving cream cloud and look at what's going on below... as the 'cloud' gets heavier, colours will start seeping through like vibrant rain.
1. Boost Your Morning With A Smoothie
You'll need: blender, 2 peeled oranges, 1 banana, 1/3 cup chopped frozen pineapple, 1/4 cup chopped frozen mango, 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt, 1/2 cup coconut water (plain water is fine if you don't have it), 1/4 cup ice and 1 tbsp honey (don't use if serving to babies under 1)
Start your morning with an immune-boosting smoothie. Throw your ingredients into a blender, whiz them up for a minute or two and you're ready to go! One of the best things about it is that you can also turn this healthy recipe into an ice lolly by pouring it into lolly moulds and sticking them in the freezer.
2. Build A Pirate Ship
You'll need: large cardboard box, wrapping paper tube or similar, paper, pens, scissors and tape
Draw a wood design all around your cardboard box to make it look like a real pirate ship. Next, design your own pirate flag and tape it to the top end of the tube. As the finishing touch, tape the tube to the outside of the box and there you have it, a pirate ship with a personalised flag!
3. Make A Terrarium
You'll need: glass or clear plastic bowl or jar and bits and pieces from your garden
Not only are terrariums great for decoration but they're also loads of fun to make! Put rocks at the bottom of your container and then add leaves, flowers or small plants from your garden - use your imagination to build your mini greenhouse.
1. Backyard Bowling
You'll need: 10 empty bottles and a ball
You don't need to leave the house to go bowling! Put your bottles in a triangle shape, with 4 rows of 4, 3, 2 and 1 bottle respectively. From there, start the family competition and use your ball of choice to knock down as many bottles in one go as you can. Can you get a strike?
2. Have A Toy Picnic
You'll need: a blanket or towel, your favourite toys and snacks
Invite your favourite teddies and dolls to join your family on an indoor picnic, where you'll set up a blanket or towel for everyone to sit on and enjoy some snacks together. You could also bring things like board games or cards and turn it into a full family play session!
3. Make A Fort
You'll need: cushions, blankets and chairs
Using your furniture as supports, drape blankets and sheets across the room and add sofa cushions and pillows from your room to make a cosy den. Why not turn it into a reading nook by bringing your favourite books in, along with a torch or some fairy lights and snuggle up for some family reading time?
1. A Twist On Twister
You'll need: paper in 4 colours, a plate, scissors and pencil
Bring Twister to the garden with this alfresco family version! Outline the plate onto your paper, making 6 circles in each of the 4 colours. Cut out the circles and lay them onto the ground in rows of each colour - now you're ready to play! Use an online generator like this one and spin the wheel to be given the positions you need to attempt. Kids will have loads of fun trying to navigate around your makeshift board, but who will come out on top?
2. Ice Hockey Has Shrunk!
You'll need: baking tray, 2 spoons, bottle lid, post-it notes and water
Pour a layer of water in your baking tray and let freeze. Stick a post-it note at either end - these will be your goals. Use spoons as hockey sticks and a bottle lid as a puck on your mini ice rink and try to hit the post-it note on the opposite end of the tray to score.
3. Make A Top Trumps Deck
You'll need: paper, pen and scissors
Pick any category you're interested in and build a deck of cards based off it, using classic Top Trumps categories like strength, age, agility and anything else you can think of. When you're finished, cut out your cards and play together as a family!
1. Play Indoor Ping Pong
You'll need: 2 paper plates, 2 toilet paper tubes, tape, a table, divider and ping pong balls
Create your ping pong paddles using a paper plate taped to a toilet paper tube and separate your dining table into 2 sections with some kind of divider and you're ready to play. It's family competition time: game on!
2. Magic Milk Science Experiment
You'll need: cotton buds, food colouring, washing up liquid, full-fat milk and a shallow dish
Pour about 1cm of milk into your dish and add drops of food colouring all over. Dip a cotton bud into some washing up liquid and dip it into the milk, holding it at the surface for around 15 seconds. Watch as it turns into a tie-dye rainbow in front of you, all because of the way soap reacts to fat molecules in the milk!
3. Hunt For Words
You'll need: a magazine or newspaper and a highlighter
Pick a word and see how many times you can spot it in one magazine or newspaper, highlighting it whenever you find it. Make it educational by hunting for specific types of words like verbs or adjectives and highlight everything in different colours.
1. Crepe Paper Laser Labyrinth
You'll need: crepe paper and tape
Tape ribbons of crepe paper across a corridor high and low, zigzagging the pieces over each other. Kids will love trying to get from one end of the corridor to the other without touching any paper.
2. Make A Comic Strip
You'll need: felt tip pens, paper and imagination!
Pick a theme for your story - maybe it's superheroes or pirates or a family stuck in lockdown - and start to draw out a comic strip, using your felt tips to make each image super vibrant and colourful. This is even fun for kids who haven't quite got their writing down just yet as it relies mostly on pictures to tell the story instead. Don't forget to use classic comic strip words like POW and BANG!
3. Make A Robot Costume
You'll need: large cardboard box, scissors and things to decorate with
Make sure your box is sealed on all but one side and turn it so the open side is on the ground. Add a head hole at the top and 2 arm holes either side. Now it's time to start decorating; stick a square of foil onto the front to make a screen, add bottle lids as buttons and draw a dial to give it a true robot look. If you've got any silver paint lying around, use that as the finishing touch.
1. Homemade Ring Toss
You'll need: kitchen roll tube, tape, paper plates and scissors
Cut about 10-15 paper plates into a ring shape and then tape your cardboard tube to the floor. Now try to throw your rings onto the tube like a funfair ring toss! Why not turn it into a competition to see how many rings you can score in 30 seconds?
2. Kitchen Orchestra
You'll need: pots, pans and wooden spoons
Take all your pots and pans out of the cupboard and turn your kitchen into a music hall. Learn how the sound changes when you hit different pans with a wooden spoon and try to figure out which ones sound the best.
3. Write Thank You Notes
You'll need: paper or card and pens
While we can't chat in person to friends and family for the time being, one of the best things to do is write letters to loved ones instead. Tell them what you've been up to and ask them how you are and then drop off the letter in a post box on your next family walk - who knows, you might find an awesome new penpal!
You'll need: running skills and a knack for hiding
This intense version of hide-and-seek would work well for a family with multiple children. The catcher stands in the middle of the room, shouts 'camouflage' and counts down from 20 with their eyes closed while other players run away and hide somewhere within eyeshot of the catcher. After 20 seconds the catcher tries to spot any hidden players from their viewpoint. If you're spotted, you're out of this game. Next, the catcher yells 'camouflage' agin and now counts down from 10, during which the others players need to run to the catcher, high five them and get back to a hiding place before the countdown is up and the catcher opens their eyes. The aim of the game is to be the first to high five the catcher without being spotted.
2. Become An Architect
You'll need: Lego, Duplo or Sticklebricks
Combine building with learning activities, for example if you're learning about specific countries in Geography or History, why not try to recreate different monuments like the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China using your building blocks? Working together on a huge, epic build is one of the best things to do as a family as it's a project you can continue for days, or even weeks!
3. Museum of Me, Myself and I
You'll need: paper, pens and small mementoes
Go around the house and collect your favourite things to create a museum all about you! Find your favourite toys and clothes, write a mini autobiography - there's so much you could use. When you've got everything together, lay it out on a table as if you're in a real museum and have the family walk around and admire all the artefacts.
1. Enter The Straw-Ball Olympics
You'll need: straws, tape and ping pong balls
Use straws as a race track guideline and tape them in place, with different lanes for however many people are playing. At the sound of 'go' each player races to blow their ping pong ball to the finish line using their straw - but don't cross into another lane!
2. Melted Crayon Rainbow Art
You'll need: plenty of crayons, hairdryer, heavy duty glue, thick piece of card, a towel and a grown-up's help
Wear something you don't mind getting messy and lay an old towel on the floor. Glue your crayons in rainbow order to the top edge of the card with the points facing downwards, making sure the crayons are overhanging off the edge of the canvas slightly. We recommend leaning your card against the wall and putting a sheet of newspaper behind it to avoid mess. Now for the best bit; angling downwards, blow your hairdryer onto the crayons so that the wax melts and moves down the card. When you've finished, wait overnight for the wax to dry and then you'll have your melted rainbow!
3. Make Bird Feeders
You'll need: toilet paper tube, peanut butter and bird seed
Coat the tube with a thick layer of peanut butter and then roll it around in the bird seed trying to get as much of it stuck on as possible. Thread the tube onto a tree branch in the garden and wait for a bird to fly over and try it out!
1. Garden Nature Hunt
You'll need: old gift bags, paper, pen and a garden!
Make a list of things to find in the garden, like twigs, leaves, petals of specific colours, a daisy - anything. If you've got younger children, use pictures instead of words, and if your kids are older, use anagrams on the list so that it's a fun puzzle for them to solve as well. Give each child an old gift bag and let them go around collecting all of the items. Treasure hunts are always one of the best ideas for passing the time as they're interactive and loads of fun!
2. Play Dress Up With Your Parents' Clothes
You'll need: a wardrobe and a keen sense of style
Mini fashionistas can comb through their parents' wardrobes and create their own outfits out of all the things they find. Pretend you're on Britain's Next Top Model and strut your stuff into the living room as you showcase your stylish new outfits.
3. Bake Cookies
You'll need: butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt, vanilla extract, chocolate chips and 1 egg,
One of the best things about baking cookies is that you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard already! Check out the full recipe in this post and make your own batch of deliciously chewy chocolate chip cookies - perfect for sharing with the whole family.