After two months spent juggling the demands of home schooling and home working, even the most enthusiastic parents may be struggling to entertain their children. So here are a few more ideas for fun things to do with the kids that will help to keep them happy and keep you sane!
1. Go wild
Get off to a great start this June with The Wildlife Trusts' Random Acts of Wildness. Encourage your children to do one "wild" thing every day during the month and they can download lots of goodies including a wallchart, nature table, activity passport and more to keep them on track. Getting outside (following social distancing rules, of course) is great for kids' health and happiness, and it doesn't have to end on 30th June!
Encourage children to build a den or put up an old tent in the garden where they can weave their own tales of action and adventure. The Original Den Kit (pictured above) has everything little explorers need. Just add imagination and it doesn't matter how small your garden is. If you don't have any outdoor space at all, let them use some old sheets, chairs and cushions to create a cosy den indoors instead.
2. Get creative
Creative challenges abound online but we really like the Dyson Foundation's Challenge Cards which will keep older children busy for hours. The 44 Engineering and Science briefs range from building a compass to making a chair entirely from cardboard! Also check out 64 Million Artists' daily inspirational emails, which this week included making recycled portraits and finding beauty in a messy home (guaranteed to make all kids very happy!).
This is the perfect time to help your child find a new hobby. We all know how important creativity is to wellbeing and positive mental health. Art and craft activities can help to reduce anxiety when a situation is beyond our immediate control. Children will love to create a sparkly Teddy on the Moon Crystal Art picture while older ones can try the Puffin Needle Felting Kit (above) for relaxation. And don't forget our Boycraft bible - it's overflowing with creative inspiration for boys and girls!
3. Keep active
Kids need to burn off energy and take a break from screen time. Sport England's Join the Movement is guaranteed to get young and old alike up off the sofa - and you can share what you've achieved using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut. You've probably already encountered the ubiquitous Joe Wickes ... but if PE's not your thing, you're not alone. You may prefer to stage an impromptu kitchen disco and show off your best moves, but don't let your little horrors post them on TikTok!
Another way to (try to) wear kids out is by getting them to build their own obstacle course in the garden, using any play equipment and also adding boxes, makeshift crawling tunnels, an old tent, a large bowl of water and anything else that's safe at hand. Maybe combine this with an egg and spoon race to compensate for any Sports Day cancellation ... and you can't go wrong with a bouncy Happy Hopperz race (above) at the end of a fun filled day.
4. Make memories
Finally, why not encourage children to keep a "time capsule" diary recording this strange time in their lives, which they can look back on and maybe share with their own children one day? Make a memory box containing a diary, scrapbook, mood board, models, drawings, photos, etc - anything relating to their experiences and feeling. This can also be a therapeutic process if it helps children feel a little more in control.
It's important for them to understand this won't last for ever - and no matter how difficult it can be for everyone, it's also a great chance to spend a bit more family time together. Hopefully, by finding more fun things to do with the kids, it will mean that they - and you too - are making more happy memories to treasure in the future.
In the meantime, if you're looking for entertaining gift ideas for children, take a browse through four of our favourite collections: Craft & Creative, Games & Puzzles, Toys and In the Garden. Shop safely and keep smiling, everyone!