Since early 2020, our lives have been full of unpredictability because of this pandemic. Parents have been stretched to their limit with managing the logistics of the seemingly ever-changing situation, from work and school switching between being home-based and on-site. On top of that, working from home with the kids there is no easy feat! As such, here are some quick-and-easy to prepare activities that can engage children for a bulk of time and help make life a little more manageable at home.

➡️ Related Read: 4 Simple And Fun Activities To Bond With Your Child At Home

1. Let’s Pretend

how to engage kids at home pretend play freepikKids photo created by wayhomestudio –

Children love the idea of dressing up and pretending. Moreover, pretend play enhances children’s language development and problem-solving skills and they act out scenarios they have observed or could possibly encounter.

children in the kitchen

Create a simple dramatic area at home by finding a box or a clothes rack and filling it with unused shoes, slippers, hats, coats, costumes, jewelry, watches and so on (make sure they are safe) for children to wear and pretend to be someone or something else. If you have the extra time, create a fort or house using old bedsheets and a very large box (like a fridge, washing machine or computer chair box) would be very exciting for the kids too!

2. Building a CityScape

how to engage kids at home building playPeople photo created by bearfotos –

Children are drawn to the idea of constructing things using Lego, blocks, magna-tiles and many other toys that you may have at home. For a cheaper alternative, collect recycled materials such as toilet rolls, cardboard boxes of varying sizes, milk cartons, bottles and so on with your child for them to create their cityscape with. These materials can be used to build ramps, roads and building structures. Plan the type of city they want to create with your child/children (cotton candy land, a futuristic city, underwater city) and provide a space that they can build it at so they can work on it over days or even weeks. You can then leave them to create as you work in peace!

You can buy Lego at a good price on their official store on Shopee.

3. Creating a Zoo

how to engage kids at home create zooPeople photo created by freepik –

Children can also use the recycled materials collected to create a zoo. Gather the materials you have and add any blocks or building materials they can use. Provide animal figurines for the children to create enclosures around.

4. Dough Play

Though it is considered “messy”, children really enjoy playdough and it enhances their fine-motor skills as well as creativity. There are many playdough recipes on the internet which are quick and economical to make. It is a versatile activity that can be used in many different ways. To reduce the mess, set boundaries like a playdough table in the kitchen or balcony so that children know where the dough area is. Here are some suggestions to enhance dough play:

▪ Cookie cutters – Providing cookie cutters, rollers and play dough scissors or cutters allow children to create different shapes with dough.

▪ Playdough mats – There are many printable pages of playdough mats which include the alphabet, words, lines, shapes, numbers and more. You can print and laminate them for your children to explore.

home activities playing with dough

▪ Animal figurines – Adding animal or people figurines to the dough play encourages imaginative play as children create stories revolving around the figures.

▪ Natural items – You can create a batch of play dough with scents and collected leaves, twigs, flowers (that have fallen onto the ground) in the parks near your house for children to dig out of the dough.

5. Drawing with Chalk

How to encourage children to draw

Chalk is usually a big no-no around the house because of the dust that it leaves behind. However, a good way is to allow children to use chalk in the corridor or balcony area outside your house. Mark out an area that your children should work within and allow them to draw on the floor with coloured chalk. After they are done, give them old paintbrushes and a container of water to paint all their chalk drawings so that they are washed away and you end up with a clean space!

By Isabel Yeo.

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