MANY parents will be panicking at the prospect of trying to keep the kids entertained for the rest of the Christmas break.
Without play dates and family get-togethers, toys will only keep them happy for so long.
If you are self-isolating and unable to get outdoors, you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve.
“We could be in this for the long-haul,” says parenting coach Anita Cleare.
“So it’s great to have a few surprises in store. These suggestions don’t require buying things. All you need is a little imagination.”
Here Anita, shares some of her best ideas for keeping kids entertained indoors.
CHILDREN love novelty, so try things they have not done before or let them touch things that were previously out of bounds.
These objects have a mystery appeal and are more likely to engage them. A room full of toys does not.
They have seen their toys before, and they are bored with them.
Parents spend a lot of money on them and before long they are not interested.
I’d advise parents to put some toys away – box up at least half and hide them for a while.
You can then get them out again and swap them over.
RAID your own wardrobe. Find some old shirts, skirts, scarfs, gloves – proper grown-up clothes – and create a fun dressing-up box.
You don’t need any money for this.
If you are happy to do so, you might also like to add in some costume jewellery or make-up.
Children will find this really special as they are not normally allowed to play with these things.
Other ideas include making a shop with unopened food products you have in the cupboard, such as cereal boxes and tins of soup.
SMALLER children love a blanket ride.
If you have a tiled or wooden floor, sit your child on a blanket and pull them along.
Just be careful you don’t pull too hard as they might fall over.
This is a great way of helping them to let off a bit of steam if they cannot go outside.
It gives them a sense of fun and is like an indoor theme park ride.
Vary the speed according to their age.
KIDS will not be taking part in the huge range of activities they usually do every week and we need to keep them active.
Start setting an alarm for random times during the day.
Whenever it goes off, it’s time for a family dance-off.
Everybody has to join in.
It’s fun and burns off a bit of energy and a few extra calories – for kids and parents alike.
THERE will be times when you need a calm activity and, in my experience, all kids love yoga, even very little ones.
You can find YouTube videos showing you basic moves.
Even toddlers can join in.
Play some calming music while you go through the moves and this can be a really nice, relaxing, wind-down activity.
It’s also great for mental health in times of stress and anxiety, so parents will benefit too.
IF it’s clean and dry, let the kids ransack the recycling box.
There’ll be all sorts in the rubbish at this time of year.
You’ll have to be careful of anything sharp but it’s usually full of items such as cardboard boxes, tubs and plastic bottles you can use to make things.
Give them some string and crayons and leave them to their own devices.
Kids can make really good musical instruments with a Pringles tube with a ball inside.
It’s a great, creative task that’s a bit more exciting than regular colouring.
MOST of us have a pack of playing cards hidden away in a drawer at home.
Little ones will enjoy a simple game of snap, and you can look up harder and more complicated games for older children.
Children can also use the cards for other activities such as building towers or making patterns.
- Anita’s book The Work/Parent Switch: How To Parent Smarter Not Harder is out now (£14.99)
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