When we’re constantly on the go it can be a challenge to keep our little ones entertained. As busy parents, we often don’t have time to come up with fun and exciting ideas that can use up the constant flow of energy our toddlers have.
When your kids aren’t at playgroup, nursery, kids club, there’s plenty of ways to keep them busy and learning with lots of fun educational activities.
If you have children under the age of 5, here are some ideas to keep them entertained:
Window collage – Get creative with your toddler and help them create a collage on a window or glass door. All you need to do is tape some clear contact (sticky side out) to the glass and give your child lots of colourful paper shapes and pictures that they can stick to the contact. They’ll have a lot of fun creating a picture and you can leave it up as long as you’d like.
Face painting- Paint your kid’s faces with their favourite animals and dress them up in funny outfits!
Treasure hunt – Hide a treasure for your kids and draw a simple map of your home with an X to mark the spot. Make it easy to follow but give them clues along the way. You could hide a pot of chocolate coins at the end for them to find.
Colouring-in – Print some of their favourite book or tv characters and let them colour in with pencils, felt tips and crayons.
Self-portrait – Stick together pieces of paper and lay on the floor and draw around each other. You can then let them colour it in or turn it into a biology lesson and label body parts like the heart, brain, fingers and toes.
Rainbow rice – This is great for sensory play when the kids are past the phase of putting everything in their mouth. Take a cup of rice and put it in a sandwich bag with a few drops of food colouring and a little squeeze of hand sanitiser. Shake it all around, leave it to dry and it will be ready to play with. You can pour all the bags together in a tray and allow them to mix them up and enjoy the rainbow rice.
Camp outdoors – Camping doesn’t have to be at a campsite, use your back garden or family members’ back garden and enjoy a cosy night in a tent.
Obstacle course – Use things you already have in your garden like a slide, swing set, stepping stones and chairs to create a fun course for your kids to try and get around.
Gardening – Teach kids about different plants, flowers and vegetables and show them how to plant their own. You could even create a compost heap.
Blow bubbles – See who can blog the biggest bubble!
Make a flower head wreath – All you need is some string, a wire craft circle ring and fresh or fake flowers. Lay the flowers around the wire circle and wind the stems of the flowers around the wire. Keep them in place by twisting a piece of string around the stems.
Set up a snail race – If you’ve got lots of snails in your back garden, set them up for a race by putting them all in the same place and drawing a chalk circle around them. The first snail to leave the circle wins. Make sure the snails get put back where you found them.
Make a mud creation – There are lots of things you can make with mud and you can find it almost anywhere! Make a mud cake and serve it on a plate, garnished with sticks and leaves. Create a piece of art. Or turn it into a seed bomb!
Go geocaching – Going geocaching means you’re a part of the world’s biggest treasure hunt. All you need to do is sign up for an account, find geocaches near you and head out on the hunt. Once you’ve found one you can add your name to the log and put the geocache back where you found it.
Go welly wondering – Even if it’s raining, it doesn’t mean you can’t get outside. Chuck your wellies and waterproofs on and have fun splashing in puddles, soaking up all the watery fun.
Go on a wintery adventure – There are so many places you can explore, even in your neighbourhood. You can always venture further and find woodlands or outdoor play areas.
Climb a big hill – Find a huge hill nearby and take a walk. It may seem tiring but once the kids have reached the top it will be worth it. Just think how much fun they’ll have coming down!
Visit a museum – Museums are full of fun activities to keep your kids busy all day. You can even enjoy lunch in the cafe. Many museums are also free, a great way to spend a day.
Explore the wonders of a rock pool or pond – There’s plenty of wildlife to marvel at in ponds and rock pools. Scoop out some of the murky pond water into a tub and see what you can find. Or take a net and go rock-pooling if you live near the ocean.
Cook on a campfire – Find a safe place to set up a campfire and let your kids enjoy the experience of cooking over an open fire. Keep it simple with hot dogs and burgers and finish off by toasting marshmallows for s’mores.
Head to your local play park and make use of the outdoor play areas. You could do the following activities:
Jump rope – Take a skipping rope with you to the park and let your kids have fun with the endless games they can play.
Tag – If you go to the park at the same time as your friends, you’ll have plenty of kids to play tag or stuck in the mud.
Park bingo – Create a bingo board with things you might expect to see at the park and let your kids cross them off as soon as they see something. This could include flowers, a swing set, a bench, a snail and a dog.
Fly a kite – Flying a kite is a great activity and you could even make one before you head to the park.
Feed the ducks – If there’s a nearby pond, take some food that’s good for ducks. Ducks love sweetcorn, lettuce, oats and seeds!
A new town
Go on a hike
Visit someone lonely
Go ten pin bowling
Catch a train
Catch a ferry
Movie marathon – Make it themed to Christmas, Halloween or their favourite movies. Supply them with popcorn and a drink and they’ll feel like they’re at the cinema.
Board Game day – See how many board games you can play in one day.
PJ day – Stay in PJs all day. It would even be funny to take the kids on a walk to the shops in their pyjamas.
Picnic in the garden – Make lunchtime more fun and set up a picnic outside with lots of their favourite films. They may even enjoy preparing the food with you and you could bake a cake to make it even more special.
If you have to go to work while your child is off school, a great option is to take them to a kids club. These clubs always run during the school holidays so your child can go along for the day and take part in lots of fun activities with other children. It can be difficult to find childcare all year round but that’s why kids holiday clubs exist. Contact your local nursery or playgroup to see what clubs they offer.
Are you looking for a caring and secure nursery in Hedge End or Eastleigh? Little Acorns Day Nursery is the ideal environment to cultivate the growth and development of your little one. We provide personal care to every child with key people assigned to monitor and guide each baby or child. We offer childcare for kids from birth to 5 years old as well as a kids holiday club for children 5 and up. We aim to lighten your load as a parent and help your baby develop independence. For more information, get in touch with our friendly team.