Thursday, 25 March 2021

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: 60 Activities to Keep Children Entertained at Home

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: 60 Activities to Keep Children Entertained at Home
After only three weeks back at school after lockdown in the UK and the Easter Holidays are already almost here! Inset the panic of how we're going to keep the children entertained at home once again. From the 29th March 2021 two households can meet outdoors, which means that small playdates can happen in gardens or at the park again. But other than that we are still mostly advised to stay local and typical school holiday days out (zoos, farms, theme parks etc.) are still all shut. As someone who likes to plan in advance and considers preparation as key I thought I'd put together a whole host of different activities that will keep children entertained over the school holidays, whether that be the upcoming Easter holidays or looking forward to the longer summer holidays.
I've tried to split these activities into themes, so that it is easier for you to find activities you think you're children will enjoy. I've also popped in some seasonal activities for good measure. 

Easter/Spring
  1. Nature Eggs - Cut some Easter egg shapes out of cardboard, go on a spring walk to find natures treasures (leaves, daisies, blossom, petals etc.) and fill your egg with your finds by sticking them on.
  2. Spring Walk Scavenger Hunt - Draw or print a checklist of spring finds (daffodils, daisies, lambs, tweeting birds, purple flowers, blossom, baby rabbits etc.), attach it to a clipboard and go for a walk in your local area or garden to see what you can find. 
  3. Easter Nests - An essential at this time of year. One of our favourite recipes is this one from Jane's Patisserie. 
  4. Salt Dough Easter Decorations - Make some salt dough (1 cup plain flour, 1/2 cup table salt and 1/2 cup of water mixed together), then get creative with cookie cutters. Make sure you cut a hole out (a straw works well for this) before baking them, so that you can hang your creations up.
  5. Potato Stamping Easter Eggs - Cut a potato in half, cut out a variety of different patterns and dip into paint before stamping onto paper. This activity also makes beautiful Easter cards to send to loved ones.
  6. Spring Play Doh - I like to use one of those party food dishes with multiple compartments, which you can then fill with pipe cleaners, lollipop sticks, beads, googly eyes, feathers, flowers etc. Using these crafty items children can make spring creations out of play doh.
  7. Filled Easter Eggs - Carefully split an Easter Egg in half and fill both sides with whatever you want to! Some ideas are: rocky road, broken up brownies, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, rice krispie cakes etc. 
  8. Easter Egg Hunt - Hide Easter Eggs and let your children find as many as they can. It always helps to know how many you've hidden, so you don't end up finding a partially melted one weeks down the line. 
  9. Bunny Mask - Either using a paper plate or cut out cardboard make a bunny mask to wear while doing your Easter Egg Hunt. 
  10. Spring Sports Day - Put together a selection of activities for your children to collect points on throughout the day, such as egg and spoon race, bunny ring toss game, pin the fluffy tail on the rabbit, egg rolling race by blowing a plastic egg from the start to finish, transferring plastic eggs from one bowl to another but by a spoon your holding in your mouth.
Messy
  1. Edible Slime - There are many recipes, some using condensed milk others using marshmallows. Here's a marshmallow slime recipe, but have fun finding your favourite. 
  2. Mud Painting - Mix mud with a little water to create a 'paint' consistency and then use a paintbrush and a piece of paper to create your muddy masterpiece. 
  3. 'Muddy' Farm - Mix cocoa powder with water to create a thick paste; pour into a tuff tray or similar. Simply add some farm animals, tractors, fences etc. and you're done. 
  4. Frozen Flowers - Freeze little flowers in an ice cube tray with water overnight and then discover how they melt. You can also do this with toys like animals, cars etc. and try and break them free. 
  5. Oobleck - Cornflour and water mixed together makes for the most interesting and fascinating consistency. My children will play for hours with it, simply transferring it from one container to another using spoons, scoops, spatulas etc. 
  6. Exploding Fizzing Volcano - There are a few different methods for this, some of which are shared here
  7. Bubble Foam - Add a splash of water, squirt of paint and some bubble bath into a large bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth foam. Provide spoons, scoops, bowls, cupcake trays, beakers etc. (anything you have really!) to have fun with the bubble foam. 
  8. Moon Sand - Mix 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil to create a soft sand like texture. This can be used to create a beach scene for figures like Barbie or used like sand with a bucket, spade and sand moulds. 
  9. Nail Salon - On a large piece of cardboard draw some hands and then either using paint or nail varnish paint the hands nails. 
  10. Shaving Foam Dig - Colour shaving foam with food colouring and bury toys/shapes within it. Dig to discover what is hidden. 
Summer
  1. Barefoot Walk - Create your own barefoot walk by making little areas (you could use trays or bigger containers) with different textures in, such as stones, water, jelly, sand, shaving foam, mud etc. 
  2. Painting with Feet - Roll out a large strip of paper or the back of some unwanted wallpaper, squirt a variety of different coloured paints all over it and start walking around to create your own masterpiece. 
  3. Painting with Ice - Add water to an ice cube tray, add a few drops of food colouring and a lollipop stick before popping it into the freezer overnight. In the morning you'll have homemade ice paint sticks to paint with.
  4. Bubble Wands - Make your own bubble wands using pipe cleaners and beads for the handle. Dip into bubble solution and see what fun shapes can be made. 
  5. Shadow Drawing - On a sunny day place some toy figures out on a piece of paper in the sunshine to create a shadow. Draw around their shadow on the paper to create your own shadow drawing. You could do this at different times of the day to discover how the position of the sun impacts the size/shape of the shadow. 
  6. Flower Arranging - Set out a small vase or milk bottle, some flowers, scissors, water etc. and let your children create their own bouquet of flowers to proudly display. This is one for slightly older children and adult supervision with the scissors. 
  7. Puppet Show - Either using puppets you already own or by making your own out of socks; create a puppet show just like you were at the beach.
  8. Potion Making - Set out dried flower petals, water coloured with food colouring, pipettes, environmentally safe glitter, beakers, plastic bottles, etc. and let their potion making imagination go wild!
  9. Nature's Paintbrushes - Tie grass, flowers, leaves, petals etc. to sticks to create your own nature's paintbrushes. 
  10. Solar Oven - Make your own s'mores solar oven using only a few items and of course a sunny day.

LEGO Bricks
  1. Bridge - Draw a river on a large piece of paper and then challenge your child to make a bridge to go over the river.
  2. Marble Maze - Make a maze for a marble using only LEGO.
  3. Balloon-Powered Car - Make a car out of LEGO, attach a blown up balloon and see it jet off!
  4. Sundial - Build a tower of LEGO in the middle of a board and add LEGO bricks around the outside at each hour of the day.
  5. Shelter - You are trapped on a desert island and need to make a shelter to survive!
  6. Space Shuttle - You're travelling to Mars and need to create your own space shuttle to go in. 
  7. Name - Build your name in LEGO brick.
  8. Moving - Build something with moving parts.
  9. Colours - Make something with 7 blue, 7 red and 7 yellow LEGO bricks. 
  10. Animal - Create a LEGO animal that is bigger than your hand. 
Challenges
  1. Memory Game - Lay out a variety of objects on a tray, ask everyone to look at what's there, cover with a tea towel. Remove on object secretly and see if anyone can work out what is missing?
  2. Catapult - Can you make a catapult using only lollipop sticks, elastic bands and a milk bottle top?
  3. Cocktail Stick House - Can you build a model of a house using only cocktail sticks/toothpicks and mini marshmallows?
  4. Sugar Cube Igloo - Can you build an igloo using only sugar cubes?
  5. Build a Parachute - Can you make a parachute using a piece of material, toy figure and string?
  6. Tower Building - Can you make the tallest tower using only disposable cup and lollipop sticks?
  7. Floating Boat - Can you make a boat that floats and can hold 20 1p's using only tin foil?
  8. Paper Plate Maze - Can you make a marble maze using cut up straws or play doh, a paper plate and glue?
  9. Paper Chains - Can you make the longest paper chain using only one sheet of paper?
  10. Racing Car - Can you build a racing car using only milk bottle tops, an elastic band, cocktail sticks and straws?
Themed Days
  1. Chocolate Day - Chocolate tasting, cocoa 'muddy' farm activity, make your own chocolate mud cake, edible chocolate play doh, chocolate slime, hot chocolate cloud dough, watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, chocolate puffy paint, make your own hot chocolate bombs using Kinder eggs or small hollow Easter eggs etc.
  2. Spa Day - Face masks, foot masks, bath with fruit platter and smoothie, afternoon tea served at lunch time, nail painting, foot spa, wear dressing gowns all day etc. 
  3. Pirates - Pirate dress up, treasure hunt, talk like a pirate, read books with pirates in, make a sundial, write a message in a bottle, make a treasure chest, make a paper pirate ship, walk the plank (balance activity), hook toss game etc.
  4. Under the Sea - Learn about different ocean fish, watch Finding Nemo, saltwater density activity, make ocean zones in a bottle, ocean slime, make paper plate jellyfish, do handprint crabs, make a fish mobile, watch The Little Mermaid etc.
  5. Dinosaur - Dog for dinosaur fossils, make fizzy dinosaur eggs, make salt clay dinosaur fossils, create paper late dinosaurs, watch The Good Dinosaur, find out about different dinosaurs, watch Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs etc.
  6. Space - Search for stars, find out what an astronaut does, paint moon rocks, make a toilet roll space rocket, make galaxy slime, walk and jump like an astronaut on the moon, astronaut training (jump rope, obstacles course, push-ups, planks etc.), make a model solar system, snack on moon phases made from oreo biscuits, order space food to try etc.
  7. Disney - Have a Disney song karaoke session, dress up as your favourite Disney character, read Disney story books, make Snow White inspired Toffee Apples, make Mickey shaped pancakes, make Olaf inspired marshmallow pops, Frozen Cosmic Yoga, watch Beauty and the Beast or your favourite Disney film.
  8. Super Hero - Draw a super hero comic, make super hero masks and cuffs, design a super hero shield, design a cape, watch The Incredibles, play super hero themed pictionary, make a super hero hideout from cardboard boxes, super hero themed treasure hunt, watch The Lego Batman Movie etc. 
  9. Olympics - Learn about the history of the Olympics, do Olympic themed wordsearches, make an Olympic torch, hold your own Olympics in your garden or at a local park, make Olympic medals, make paper plate tennis props etc. 
  10. Transport - Make paper aeroplanes, make aeroplanes out of a peg and lollipop sticks, do a ramps science experiment, build a LEGO bridge, watch Cars film, make cloud dough to create a diggerland, sort different transportation into land/water/air etc. 
There you have it - 60 ideas to hopefully keep your children busy throughout the school holidays. Personally, I like to choose a theme for each day or week depending on the length of the school holidays because it gives me that focus for activities and allows the children to get immersed too. 

Happy school holidays!

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x
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9 comments

  1. This is super useful and coming at just the right time. I'm going to Pin this now so I can come back to it over the Easter hols thank you!

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  2. Wow, I love this amazing list. Like you, I would have usually planned lots of days out so using these ideas will be so helpful.

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  3. Absolutely no way I will run out of ideas after reading this post. What an incredible list of activities, thank you so much for sharing x

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  4. What an amazing selection of suggestions. We've been making salt dough decorations to hang on our Easter Tree. I just need to mod podge them now.

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  5. What an amazing roundup on holiday activities for kids, we now have a load of legos to make so that will keep us busy for a while.

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  6. This is a great list! We've done a few of these before, but plenty there to try out in the upcoming Easter holidays.

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  7. What aamaxing list of things to do, this is going to be so helpful for parents

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  8. What aamaxing list of things to do, this is going to be so helpful for parents

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    ReplyDelete

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