Below are some stay at home activities which have helped Childminding Ireland staff make things more interesting for their families during lockdown. Let us know what has been working for you and your family so we can share.
Let children become inventive with themes where everyone in the family has to dress up for dinner and everyone has to guess who they are. For example, try a princess, Disney or superheroes theme – depending on what you have at home. You could even swap personalities in your house. Dress up in each others clothes and sit in the another persons usual place at the table. If your children are too small you could just swap hats, scarfs or bibs. This could prove very funny if your children are old enough to understand how to imitate the parents and of course, it’s fun for you too as you can imitate your children!
If your children are old enough to cook something simple, see if they will cook you dinner! Assign chefs and waiters if you can. Encourage them to write a menu for you to select from (even if it a choice of one!), take your order, cook the dinner and serve you. If you can stretch it so that they do the washing up too, you are on a win! Leave them a review and a tip! Make sure to tell some wider family members about it too, so they get some additional recognition.
Breakfast in Bed
Cook pancakes and serve them to someone in bed in your household at the weekend. A lovely treat!
Help an Older Neighbour or Family Member Learn How to Cook
Get your kids involved in teaching an older neighbour or family member to cook if they don’t know how to. The older person would need to be up for it and have video conferencing. Measure out all the ingredients and give them the cooking utensils if they don’t have them. Drop the items off at their door and arrange a suitable time to cook along with them and talk them through what to do. One of our children got her 77 year old Grandad to bake for the first time ever! Quite an achievement for both!
If you have more than one child and they are old enough, let each child bake something and see which is the tastiest, most creative or has the most chocolate in it.
Let your children swap rooms or beds if they are sharing with each other for 24 hours. Get them to pick their names out of a hat if you have more than two children.
Pitch that Tent
If you have a tent up in the attic gathering dust, its time to dig it out and pitch it in the back garden. Let your children sleep outside in this lovely fine weather.
Maybe your child would like to organise a virtual sleepover with his or her friends at the weekend. Get them to arrange a video call with each other and pick a movie which they can all watch at the same time. It calls for a midnight feast too!
Give each child a bag to collect the following items (from around the house) in. Child who collects them the quickest is the winner. Write out this list for each child and give to them.
• Something older than you
• Something that starts with Q
• Rubber band
• Tennis ball
• Something with the tag still on it
• I save a place in your book. (Answer is a book mark).
• We go hand in hand as a pair. You may use me to repair a tear. (Answer is a needle & thread)
• Green sock.
Turn on your favourite soap opera and put it on mute. Assign everyone in the house a character and get creative with the dialogue.
If you haven’t already taken the plunge on this yet, try it! Organise a video quiz with two or three groups of friends or family using a video conferencing (eg Zoom). Get each household to come up with 10 questions – if your children are old enough, get them to come up with the questions. While one family are asking the questions, the other families are texting the answers to someone in the family who is asking the questions. Get your children involved in asking the questions too. Assign somebody to keep score at the end of each round so that you know who the winner is.
Book Club Online
If you are in a Book Club, organise to virtual Book Club via video conference. If you’re not in one, why not set a virtual one up to stay in touch with friends or family. Click here to find out more about ebooks available.
We’ve Got Talent
Organise a ‘We’ve Got Talent’ online competition with a few families over video conference. Families could be invited to sing, play an instrument, dance, magic or whatever…..or on the flip side “We’ve NOT got talent! You could even organise an online vote using Kahoot!
Click here for some ideas on how to run an online video call and an online children's birthday party!
Celebrating Special Occasions with Group Cards Online
One idea that was a big success was Kudoboard - it is an online ‘Group Card’. A free version that allows 10 posts, or €5.00 and 100 friends and relatives can post messages, videos, GIFs, photos. The instructions are straight forward to set up the Board, and you then send the link to friends and family asking them to contribute. Set a deadline for contributions a few days before the birthday so that you can nudge anyone that might have forgotten. The link can be sent by email, Whatsapp, Messenger etc. The person then gets a surprise montage on their birthday with lots of people wishing them a Happy Birthday. It works well on mobile phones, tablets or laptops. A poster of all the contributors can also be downloaded which is nice.
Have fun and don't forget to tell us what has worked for you!