Working from home

Keeping kids busy at home

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April 28, 2020

With a slight lifting of lockdown, it feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a challenging time for parents and children alike, though there’s going to be at least a few more weeks of us all living closely within our bubbles.

Understandably, 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 activities – we’ve come up with a wide range of at-home ideas, each with links for added inspiration.


Go for virtual days out

 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. MEET THE CRITTERS – an online club run by Irwins and Australian Zoo is a fun way to learn about conservation, with virtual zoo tours, activities and education all in one.

 2. SAY ‘HOLA!’ – learn to speak a new language with fun, bitesize online lessons in Spanish, French, Italian and more.             

 3. BE A VIDEO WHIZ – teach kids how to edit their videos with stop motion animation and other online tools.

 4. GET SCIENTIFIC – for kindergarten age up, this site has some great at-home experiments you can do with your budding scientists.

 5. PLAY US A TUNE – take up a new instrument or improve your playing with online music classes and tutorials.

 6. GET ARTY & CRAFTY – enjoy free daily arts and crafts lessons on Facebook Live – visit the website to see what you’ll need for each project.


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 BREATH…” – 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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