Activity ideas for kids during self isolation

Whether you’re self isolating as a precautionary measure or your childcare facility or school  is closed, the prospect of keeping children busy at home can be a daunting one. There are some parents out there who are amazing at coming up with creative kids’ activities at home and have endless patience. But if you’re not one of them, let workingmums help you keep the kids busy and your nerves intact.

child drawing christmas cards


The best activities for kids at home will depend a little on their ages and preferences. Some children love crafting and artwork, while this can leave others cold.

Plus, self isolating makes it a bit tricky to make a trip out to crafting shops for all the myriad supplies you need. So we’ve chosen the ideas below because they’re possible without a trolley full of materials.

Craft ideas for kids

Here are a few crafts for kids that should keep them entertained for a while:

  • A paper aeroplane competition. Compare different designs and see how well they fly and land.
  • Create a family tree together, to explore the different branches of your family and their generations. Print out photos of each person and stick them on.
  • Make a set of bookmarks to encourage their reading.
  • Use insulating or masking tape to create a road map on your floor. Drive toy cars around your imaginary town and use other toys as landmarks and local characters.
  • Challenge your child to create an artistic collage – cut out from magazines and catalogues, use stickers and paint to bring it to life. If you have an empty picture frame it can go on their wall.
  • Raid the garden for decent sized stones and do some rock paintings.
  • Order white t-shirts and fabric dye to create some tie-dye masterpieces.

Fun activities for kids involving exercise

If the challenge for your brood is to get them moving and away from screens, here are some suggested physical activities for children:

  • Choose a song for a choreography challenge. Work together to create a funky dance and see if you can remember it all!
  • The floor is lava. Even older children are obsessed with this game. Put cushions and tea towels on the floor to help you make your way around the room without touching the floor.
  • Musical bumps or statues. The perfect opportunity to revive these favourite party games.
  • Fun circuit training. Draw pictures of different activities and place them around the room – or all over the house. The children need to visit each picture and  do the activity – e.g. hop on one leg 10 times, do 10 star jumps, 10 squats, 2 roly-polies etc. See how many circuits they can manage.
  • Dodge ball or catch in the garden

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Other things to do at home with kids

Self isolation is feels ominous and challenging, but it might help to see it as an opportunity to get round to jobs that you always put off.

Could it be time to get the children to help you sort through their toys and decide what can be passed on, recycled or donated to charity?

Going through your digital photos is a great way to spend some time, especially if you look at them together and see what everyone can remember about special days and holidays. You could choose a few pictures to make into prints and frame for their bedrooms.

And do remember that it’s not your job to come up with all the ideas for children to keep busy. Ask them to come up with a few things to do – although be prepared that they will  mainly involve making slime!

Also, don’t feel bad if the children end up watching screens for some of the time. You may well need to get some work done while you’re self isolating.

Planning activities for kids at home is a way to break up the day – not completely fill it. It might help to have a daily timetable so that everyone knows what to expect. It might include time for some chores, a daily walk, reading time and an hour of board games – as well as adult working time.

Most importantly, try and relax. While it’s good to find things to do with kids at home, it’s not OK if it wears you out completely. Do what feels right for you and your family.

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