Sometimes it can be pretty difficult getting everyone into an activity when they’re at different ages and/or stages of development. So today we look at spending some school holiday time at home with young kids, and finding things to do that will keep everyone interested for a period of time.
- Music can bring kids of various ages together. Put on a DVD of children’s action songs, or play a CD and get everyone to boogie together. To add another element of fun, make some shakers together first (a jar or bottle or stock canister and something noisy like rice, lentils or pasta. Make sure the top is sealed tight or even glue it on if you are concerned about choking hazards)
- Build a fort with chairs, old sheets or blankets – for an added dimension add fairy lights, a bell at the entranceway… whatever you can come up with!
- If you have large stackable blocks or connecting blocks, children from approximately 1 up will enjoy playing with these. Be prepared for older children’s vast creations to come crashing down at the will of younger kids though!
- Make some edible paint, spread out some newspaper/newsprint and collect together some things you can use that are a bit out of the ordinary – cotton buds, old toothbrushes or old combs, pasta, plastic forks and spoons, baggies with the corner cut off etc. – paint a mural to hang for the rest of the holidays
- Grab some chalk and hit your driveway or a fenced area with some paving for small kids – kids right from age 1 to school age can have fun with chalk art!
- Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes
- Get a large basin or bucket and fill with something nice to sink your hands into – sand, cold pasta, cereal… anything you have to hand. Bury some treasures (plastic animals, little notes, cut out shapes – anything you can find!) and have each child pull out something in turn
- Find a large cardboard roll (a fabric store should help you) or piece of pipe and get a collection of balls to feed down. Feed them into various vessels, have one child feed, another catch etc.
- Gather together a series of plastic bottles and place them in a bowling V – have each child roll the ball to see how many bottles they can knock down – smaller children will take joy in retreiving the ball and older children can endeavour to win a small prize by reaching the highest score
- Dress ups can work for the young to the older child. You could play dress for an occasion… like a tea party or a teddy bears’ picnic. The older children may like to help pick the dress up clothes for the younger ones
- Baking is always a hit
- Mark out a hopscotch in your lounge with some painter’s tape that removes easily (warning that very young kids will probably love to remove the tape, which could be their job after the hopscotch concludes… but they may be keen during!)
- Crayon crafts or colouring pictures
- Set up an obstacle course
As always, we are in this parenting thing together! If you have an activity that is a never-fail hit with small children of varying ages, do post it below!