Without a doubt, many parents are faced with bored kids during this movement control order (MCO) period. You can’t leave the house, and for those who live in high-rise buildings with no garden areas, it’s going to be harder to entertain the kiddos. To all parents out there, we hear you and we’re here for you. We’ve compiled some of the easiest activities that can occupy your kids while you reply to those work emails. Bonus: You can use items lying around the house!
Disclaimer: All activities should be supervised by an adult.
Treasure the Tag
Bread is a staple in every household and you may have stocked up on some during this MCO period. Be sure to keep the tags that come with the bags as you can create many interesting games while practicing one of the 3Rs (reuse!). Some ideas to keep you going:
- Separate the tags according to colors.
- Arrange the tags according to month or year.
- Arrange the tags according to rainbow colors.
Be creative and you can create anything you like!
Find the shapes
Who doesn’t love a search game? The hunt, the find, the excitement! This activity is simple but will keep your kids entertained for at least 20 minutes.
You will need:
- A4 paper. The bigger, the better.
- Marker pen.
- Crayons or pencil colors.
Step 1: Take the activity to another level and tape the paper on the wall to let your kid work on a vertical surface. It’s good for their muscle development.
Step 2: Draw simple shapes — squares, circles, triangles. You can also include some diamonds (rhombuses) or pentagons for fun!
Step 3: Talk about the shapes and their attributes. For example, a square has four sides and four points. A triangle has three sides and three points.
Step 4: Color the same shapes with the same color. For example, color all the squares purple.
Tip: Vary the size of the shapes so they can learn to recognize the shapes in different sizes.
Paper bead accessories
Remember your kiddie art class in the 90s? This will bring back childhood memories. The best part is, your kids can accessorize with these paper bead necklaces or bracelets!
You will need:
- Old magazines
- Twine (but any kind of string would do)
Step 1: Cut strips of papers. The more colorful, the better!
Step 2: Roll the paper strips, leaving a small hole in the middle and glue the tip.
Step 3: Push the string into the hole.
Step 4: Continue until you reach the desired length.
Step 5: Double knot the ends.
Don’t just stop with paper beads. You can also include other beads or buttons — let the kids go to town!
Make a sensory bin
This activity is perfect for kids aged 10 months to four years old. Fill a bin with rice (other items such as beans, sand or water also work) and small toys. You can also have a theme — bugs, dinosaurs, toy food and other things that your kids are into. Use a scoop so kids can scoop the rice or dig through to find the treasures. Just be warned that you’ll probably have to do a lot of vacuuming after.
Find the alphabet
This activity is super simple and effective. It’s perfect if your kid is learning the alphabet. You only need:
- A4 paper
- Sticker labels
Step 1: Write the alphabet on a piece of paper. Tip: Include capital and small letters.
Step 2: Write the same letters on the sticker labels.
Step 3: Ask your kid to match the alphabet letters by sticking the sticker on the paper. Easy peasy!
Make salt art
This one’s for the older kids. Salt painting is a fun activity to do and the result can be beautiful. It’s fun to watch the watercolor run along the salt as you paint! TBH, even adults can enjoy this.
You will need:
- White thick cardstock
- Liquid watercolors
- Salt (any kind will do)
- White glue
Step 1: Print or draw a template on the paper. It can be anything! Snowflakes, airplanes, dinosaurs — be creative!
Step 2: Trace the template with glue. Make sure to use a small nozzle as larger bottles with a bigger nozzle will let out more glue and make your template too large.
Step 3: Sprinkle salt on the template. Make sure to coat the glue entirely. Shake excess salt off.
Step 4: Dip your paintbrush in the watercolor and paint your template however you like.
Tip: Dip your paintbrush gently into your liquid watercolors to get only a little bit of watercolor at a time. If you have too much water on the brush when you’re painting, the water will spill over and get your paper very wet.
Here’s something that doesn’t need any props. Choose some of your kids’ favorite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in — even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures. Toddlers in particular love this game.
If you’re an adult and reading this article, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you. Check out the 6 fun things to do at home when you’re under the Movement Control Order!