Working from home, or self-isolating with little ones? Read our blog at Toby Tiger, highlighting indoor activities designed to keep little ones healthy and happy!
While we are all adjusting to staying at home, we’ve rounded up some great indoor (and a few outdoor) activities for children…
Don’t panic! There are so many fun indoor activities to do, and chances are our kids will look back at this time with fond and happy memories. Of course, we’ll all be faced with various challenges in the weeks ahead, so it may help to set some structure to your day. Here’s our free weekly planner template for you to print out…. And here are some fun self-isolation activity ideas to fill it!
Click image to download pdf.
Keep on moving!
This is key to keeping all of us happy and healthy during this self-isolation period. It’ll help you destress, and the kids will burn off some energy.
Go freestyle and compile a workout playlist of your kids’ favourite songs. As well as marching on the spot and stretching, incorporate some challenges: who can hop like a bunny or frog, waddle like a duck, jump over cushions, or do rollovers in a straight line? Encourage them to use their imagination!
If you’d like more of a routine, there are some fab – and free – online workouts. We love The Body Coach videos geared for little ones and, every morning, there are live PE sessions. You can subscribe for free here
If you’re able to venture outdoors for your daily exercise, grab the scooters and head to your nearest open park for some much-needed vitamin D. Or turn your garden into an adventure:
On your walk or in your garden:
• Turn your walk into an obstacle park: Jump over leaves, run to the nearest tree – make it up as you go along!
• Take pictures: Give them an old camera and let them snap away. If you get them printed, you can turn them into a collage another day.
• Hunt for bugs and birds: Make a list in advance of what you might see and tick them off as you spot them.
• Treasure trail: Gather treasures for an art project to do at home. You’ll be amazed at what they can create!
Children love to learn from growing things. Now’s the time (and thank goodness it’s nearly spring!) to nurture your outdoor space.
Teach the kids how to spot and remove weeds then plant bulbs and seeds to watch them grow ready for summer. You can even task the kids into giving the garden a general tidy-up, washing down furniture and patios - watch out for the hosepipe!
If you don’t have access to an outside space, bring the outdoors indoors with our collection of fun indoor activities for kids:
• Give kids the very important job of plant monitor. Ask them to keep a daily check on all the plants around the house and keep them nicely watered.
• Grow herbs then use in their cooking time!
• Make cress heads from eggshells, then use in your sandwiches once ready! Paint a funny face on the shell, place some wet kitchen roll in the bottom and put some damp cotton wool on top of that. Sprinkle some cress seeds on top of the cotton wool and press them down gently. Leave on a sunny windowsill and watch them sprout! For more info click here
PHOTO CREDIT: kidsdogardening.com
Besides baking activities, which most kids love, teach kids some age-appropriate basic cooking skills to last a lifetime. From showing how to prepare cereal, make toast to boiling an egg and helping to prepare dinner, there’s something that will appeal to all ages.
Dig out the craft box and let little ones get creative. Of course, kids can while away plenty of time painting and drawing – you can send their creations to those relatives you may not be able to see for a while. Have you taken part in the Rainbow Trail? Kids up and down the country have been painting rainbows and displaying them in their windows, creating a rainbow trail for passersby to see. Here's a printable rainbow template for your little one to colour in. Tag us on Instagram @welovetobytiger and use hash tag #rainbowtrail and #tobytigerrainbowtrail.
Click image to download pdf.
Also try some other activities, such as:
• Coin rubbing: Best for older kids who won’t try to eat them, Take a few different coins, paper and pencils and get rubbing!
• Do you have anything around the house that needs an easy fix or can be upcycled?
• Egg box caterpillars - give him a name, paint in rainbow colours and colour in a friendly happy face. See how here
PHOTO CREDIT: playresource.org
• Make a puppet theatre. Cut the back panel from a cereal box (leave the top, bottom, sides and front). Cut a large window into the front. Paint it and it’s ready for showtime!
Explore the world from home by visiting top museums... from home!
We are enjoying:
Head to London’s Natural History Museum - for some animal magic! The Google Arts and Culture tour shows you a fab range of animal exhibits. Can you spot Dippy the Dinosaur? Lets go!
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Their free ‘museum at home’ offers quick virtual tours and super fun science experiments! Lets go!
The Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum- all mini astronauts will love the online exhibitions, including a history of the spacesuit! Lets go!
And, you know how much we love animals at Toby Tiger! We can’t get enough of the live webcams at zoos and aquariums. Take a virtual tour around and watch these lovely animals in their habitat. These are some of our favourites:
Edinburgh Zoo: Can you see Yang Guang the panda tucking into some tasty bamboo, or the tigers having a snooze? Lets go!
- The UK’s Living Coasts website has a fab Penguin cam. Pay a visit at feeding time - 10.30am and 2.30pm for a fish feeding frenzy! Lets go!
Who doesn’t love music? Set the alarm every hour on the hour and blast out a fun, happy tune or two. Drop everything and take turns doing silly moves.
If you have school-aged children, chances are you’ll have been sent work for them to do from home. This will help you to structure some home learning. Still, there are also tonnes of online resources to tap into to give a different slant on your day and to make learning fun and interactive whatever your kids ages!
Our pick of apps and online education sites:
Reading eggs https://readingeggs.co.uk/: In addition to books, this is a fun way to learn to read with games, songs and puzzles.
Twinkl: Get a month’s free access to this fab learning zone. Head to the site [www.twinkl.co.uk] and enter code CVDTWINKLHELPS.
BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize Great updated content to support learning from home from preschoolers to GCSE level!
National Geographic https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/?fbclid=IwAR2EvXbRZM-9G1xYYOZ84I6yyJHTdijTmd0IAB4BT3NTSzhG6crI_tbEGDY: Mini explorers will love the fascinating facts and guided experiments.
Wind things down as you begin to relax into the evening:
Dim the lights, throw the cushions on the floor and make the ultimate cinema space for some quality family-friendly movie time. Once the film ends, ask older kids to look up some fun facts about the movie and the actors.
Mindfulness practise is a great relaxation tool and can encourage little ones to be calm and present. Try @mindful_kin on Instagram for awesome mindfulness activities and relaxing childrens massage techniques.
Time to stretch and relax - there are so many benefits of practising yoga whilst in self-isolation.
Try these fun animal poses for kids:
Snake: Lie face down with your legs, feet and tummy on the floor. Put your arms behind your back, hands clasped and fingers interlocked, lift your chest and hiss like a snake. Ssssss!
Flamingo: Stand with your feet together. Extend your arms out like wings, lean forward and one left leg behind. Return your leg to the ground and arms to your side and repeat with your other leg. Squawk!
Frog: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees to a squat and place hands between your feet. Move your weight slightly forward and pop up to a little jump. Ribbit!
Butterfly: Sit down, bend your knees and bring your feet together. Wrap your hands around your feet and press your knees toward the floor. Flap your wings by moving your legs up and down.
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Do what you can and let’s have some fun along the way. Tag us your pics and activities on Instagram @welovetobytiger – we can’t wait to see what you’re all doing!