Children may celebrate when school’s out but as a mum, you’re probably wondering how you can balance their day’s activities between guilty pleasures (hello screen time!) and wholesome activities. Whether your child is under the weather or you’re simply staying indoors, here are 4 mum-approved activities that feed your child’s inquiring mind, and are easy to do when you’re staying in.
Fine Motor Photo Fun
Here’s a fun way for your child to practise fine motor movements and scissor skills, while encouraging a young mind to think critically and engage in problem-solving.
Find a collection of photos from magazines or family snapshots or print images from your computer. Glue the photos to card stock or laminate them for extra durability. Help your child draw guide lines on the photos to divide them into two or more large pieces, depending on their age and skill level.
Lines can be drawn freehand or traced using stencils like those included in our Trace Ace Scissor Skills Set. The aim is to cut along the lines to make a puzzle pieces and these can be as simple or complicated as your child can manage. Have fun playing with your new puzzles. The more photos in your collection, the more of a challenge it will be to put each individual puzzle together.
Image: Learning Resources Trace Ace Scissor Skills Set picture by Lina Awshee
Letter Look and Learn
Reinforce letter recognition and sounds while building critical thinking skills with a letter scavenger hunt around the house. Plus, this activity will get them up and moving.
Give your child a set of letters from A-Z – try our Soft Foam Magnetic Letters, Letter Blocks, or make your own by writing each letter on a square of card. Send your child off on a mission of discovery to find items in your home that start with each letter of the alphabet and mark them with the corresponding letter. Have your child take you or another family member on a tour of their letter hunt as they collect up their letters from A to Z.
Other ways to play:
If you have more than one child to play, challenge them to complete their letter hunt first. Once an item has been marked with a letter, it can’t be used again, so they’ll have to find another item for that letter. To make the activity a little more challenging if your child is ready, have them carry a notebook and write out the name of the items they find to practice handwriting and spelling skills. Then, ask them to use each word to write a complete sentence or create a story using all the words.
Dual Dice Duel
If you have four dice around the house, you can have a maths duel.
Here’s how to play:
- Give each player two dice, or for extra fun, try using one Jumbo Dice in Dice per player instead.
- Depending on the player’s skill level, decide if you’ll be practicing number recognition/value, addition or multiplication.
- Each player rolls their dice.
- If playing for number recognition and value, each player calls out their number rolled from left to right. For example, if you roll a 4 and a 5, your number for that round is 45. The player with the higher number wins that round.
- If playing for addition or multiplication, add or multiply your two dice together. The player with the higher total wins that round.
- The first player to get 10 points wins.
Other ways to play:
Add more dice to the game to make it even more of a challenge. Try Polyhedral Dice with 8, 10 or more sides for more complex challenges.
Use multi-coloured dice and assign each colour a function. Add your red dice number, subtract your blue dice number, and so on, to get your total for the round.
While the kids are circling the kitchen for their fourth round of snacks, put them to work at the fridge with Soft Foam Magnetic Letters and a homemade worksheet.
- Using a blank sheet of construction paper, use a marker to write the letters of the alphabet. Create one sheet with the letters in order and on another, jumble them up. (You can also create and print this out on your computer.)
- Attach the paper to your fridge.
- Using magnetic letters, have your child match the letter to a magnet, covering the letter on the paper with the corresponding letter magnet.
Other ways to play:
Take the game to the next level by creating additional sheets spelling out short words or print out photos of words and have your child spell them in letter magnets.
Main image: DjordjeDjurdjevic/Getty Images