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Keeping kids busy at home

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July 18, 2021

It’s hard trying to juggle work while keeping the kids busy over the school holidays! Luckily with remote working models now commonplace, many of us are able to work from home while minding the kids, but even so, days can feel monotonous and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut.

So if you’re looking for ways to freshen up your kids’ daily holiday activities – we’ve come up with a wide range of at-home ideas, each with links for added inspiration.


  1. VISIT AQUARIUMS – enter a magical underwater world with tours at aquariums from around the globe.
  2. EXPLORE THE LOUVRE – take the family to Paris and enjoy a virtual tour of one of the world’s most famous museums.
  3. WALK THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA – you don’t need to leave your home to explore some of the wonders of the world, including The Great Wall of China.
  4. GO ON A SAFARI – watch wild animals live in the beautiful African bush. Elephants, lions, leopards and many more make appearances every day in one of Africa’s remotest locations.
  5. FLY A GLIDER – soar above five USA terrains while learning about different types of land and water features.
  6. GO DOWN THE FARM – take a look around Canadian farms – find out what they produce and what goes into to making them run smoothly.

Learn something new

  1. SAY ‘HOLA!’ – learn to speak a new language with fun, bitesize online lessons in Spanish, French, Italian and more.             
  2. BE A VIDEO WHIZ – teach kids how to edit their videos with stop motion animation and other online tools.
  3. GET SCIENTIFIC – for kindergarten age up, this site has some great at-home experiments you can do with your budding scientists.
  4. PLAY US A TUNE – take up a new instrument or improve your playing with online music classes and tutorials.

 Make more of the garden

  1.  HUNT FOR TREASURE – treasure hunts are easy to set up and will keep the kids occupied for a while. Hide 10 to 20 items around the garden – but try to remember where you’ve put everything!
  2.  EXCITE THEIR SENSES – fill a sensory bin with anything and everything; the simplest things can keep toddlers happy.
  3.  NICE ICE FUN – fill ice cream containers with water and add plastic animals or leaves or flowers - then freeze overnight and watch the block melt outside the next day.
  4.  GO BACKYARD CAMPING – get the camping gear out of the garage and go for a camping holiday in your own garden.
  5.  USE YOUR GREEN FINGERS – create vege patches with a difference by using plant pots, gumboots, wheelbarrows, buckets or any improvised containers.
  6.  PAINT MASSIVE MASTERPIECES – let their creativity run wild by sticking large sheets of paper on the fence and painting a mural with full-size paint brushes.

Get busy in the kitchen

  1. OPEN YOUR OWN PIZZERIA – create the dough, kneed it, flatten it, and then add some tasty toppings for your own custom-made pizzas.
  2. BECOME A SOAP STAR – now that we’re all experts at handwashing, we can also learn how to make our own soap.
  3. MAKE A RACKET –  get out the pots, pans and wooden spoons (and ear plugs!) – and encourage your little ones to let off steam by making as much noise as they can!
  4. BUBBLES AND SQUEAKS– a make a bubble solution and have fun blowing ginormous bubbles through a home-made wand.
  5. PLAY DOUGH & SAVE DOUGH – save money and keep the kids entertained by making your own play dough.
  6. MEX-IMISE TEA-TIME FUN– roll activity time and tea-time into one, by getting your kids to help you make fajitas.

Do some keep fit

  1. GO ON A BEAR HUNT - make family walks more fun by hunting for bears in your area.
  2. GET PHYSICAL – every weekday at 3pm on TVNZ 2, children can take part in a Les Mills workout designed especially for kids.
  3. BUILDING CONFIDENCE – kids love creating obstacle courses – it’s a great way to challenge their imagination and co-ordination.  
  4. "AND BREATHE…” – yoga for kids is a great way to calm them down before home schooling or bedtime.
  5. FUN WITH THEIR BEST FRIEND – our dogs love having us at home, so here are some great ideas for activities the kids can do with their pooch.
  6. HOP, SKIP & JUMP – turn your garden into a sports arena with all these games ideas.  

Winding down to bedtime

  1. STELLAR STORYTIME –  treat your kids to a bedtime story read by a NASA astronaut while they float around their space ship.
  2. VISIT THE DR – dig out those Dr Seuss books and take a look around Suessville – it has games, videos and background information to all your favourites.
  3. “WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN?” – a kid-friendly podcast series answering many of the questions that children love to ask including explaining Coronavirus.
  4. DOWNLOAD A FREE CHILDREN’S BOOK – download classic kids’ books with a month's free trial including Harry Potter and stories from David Walliams and Roald Dahl.
  5. LISTEN TO A PODCAST – enter a world of sound, music and stories with podcast adventures from some of your kids’ favourite characters.
  6. FAIRY TALES TO DOZE OFF TO – snuggle down and listen to all the classic fairy tales including Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel and more.

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