Real Life

Looking for entertainment inspiration? We have 50 fun things to do at home!

Parents, grandparents, carers – or anyone looking for entertainment inspiration around your household – we’ve got you covered!

By As told to Take 5
With most of us being told to stay indoors, we've come up with 50 creative ways to keep young minds busy during.
So read on for all the boredom busters you and your family need!
Keep those young minds active. (Image: Getty)

1. Hold an ice-block treasure hunt

Fill a couple of plastic containers with around 5cm of water and three or four small, cheap toys then freeze.
When the first layer is solid, add in more water and toys. When it's frozen, find a surface that you don't mind getting wet and remove the ice cube from the container.
Give the kids some tools to excavate the ice, like spoons, plastic hammers and a bottle of water (for melting) and they'll spend hours digging for the objects! Make it even trickier by using a couple of containers, if you wish.

2. Try melted crayon art

Let the kids play Picasso by making art out of old or broken crayons.
Get them to help you break them into little pieces and arrange them in a silicon ice tray with star- or heart-shaped holes. Then bake them in the oven at 250C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, taking care not to let the hot wax spill.
Place the trays in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow them to harden, then pop out your pretty crayon creations!

3. Research your family roots

Get your kids to call or Skype your parents, or your grandparents if they're still around.
Give them a notebook and ask them to find out some fun facts about their grandparents that they never knew. What were their favourite toys as children? Did they watch TV? What games did they play? It's a great way for your kids to learn about the past and to stay connected with their family.
Connect with your family. (Image: Getty)

4. Play the beanbag ladder game

Label each rung of a ladder with points and then see who can score the highest by tossing a beanbag or small soft ball through the rungs.

5. Create a fairy garden

Use foil trays that ready-made meals come in, or old garden pots, and fill with soil. Stick rocks and twigs, painted pebbles and fairy figurines in there.
You could also use sand and make a beach scene.
Build a fairy garden. (Image: Getty)

6. Make salt dough jewellery

Did you know you can make colourful jewellery using items you probably already have in your pantry?
Get the kids to help make up the salt dough by mixing 1 cup of salt and 2 cups of plain flour in a large bowl. Slowly stir in 1 cup of water and add in some food colouring dye. Knead the coloured dough for at least 5 minutes, then separate dough and roll into beads, whatever size you like. Use a pencil to poke a hole in the middle for threading. Bake in the oven at 100C for 2 to 3 hours, then when cool and dry, thread the beads through a piece of string to make a necklace.

7. Try click, clap, boom

Tap, clap or click the rhythm of a well-known tune. It can be a nursery rhyme or a pop song, the theme song from a TV program, anything that everyone who is playing would know the tune to. Everyone else has to try to guess the tune.

8. Play Pooh sticks

This is cute little game named after Winnie-the-Pooh.
All you need are some sticks and a running stream with a bridge over it – assuming, of course, that you can safely get to the park. Throw your sticks over one side of the bridge and then rush to the other side to see whose stick comes through first. Simple and fun!

9. Make a mystery bag

Secretly gather some small items and place them in a bag. One person has a feel in the bag and picks an object, silently guessing what it is. Then they describe the object to the other players without saying what it is.
Those who guess correctly gain a point. The player feeling and describing also gets a point for every person who gets it right. Then the next person has a go. The winner is the person with the most points.

10. Take a virtual trip to a nursing home

Contact your local nursing home and ask if you can reach out to residents electronically to buoy their spirits.
The kids could make them some pretty e-cards, or even put on a concert and upload it either to social media for the residents or perhaps to the nursing home's own intranet.

11. Shake it off

Get your kids to channel their inner Taylor Swift by hosting your own karaoke contest. Download a karaoke app on your phone and get singing.

12. Play Who Am I?

Start with one player choosing a character known to the other players, like someone famous. Players have 20 questions between them to guess who you are and they can only ask yes or no questions.

13. Garden for free

Take some plant cuttings from your yard, or grow fruit and vegies from seeds. There's lots of plants that even a child can grow fairly easily!
If you don't have a garden, then a pot plant would be fine.
Go green. (Image: Getty)

14. Make a witch's cauldron

Send the kids out into the garden to collect leaves and pebbles for their 'potion'. Place them into a 'cauldron' – a big pot of water – and add two tablespoons of vinegar.
While you stir, add a tablespoon of baking soda and get them to join you in a witchy chant. Watch their looks of amazement as their concoction starts to bubble.

15. Play story starters

Let your imagination run wild by creating a few of the most over-the-top opening lines to a story. Then get your kids to take it in turns to add a sentence at a time, folding the paper over so the previous person can't see what you've written.
Once you've filled a page, read the story out. The results will be hilarious.

16. Try button basketball

Have the kids decorate a paper cup, using crayons, textas or stickers. Then, make a small hole near the edge of the cup.
Tie one end of a piece of string to a button and thread the other end through the hole in the cup. Get the kids to hold the cup and try to swing the button up into it.

17. Learn to knit

If the hipsters can do it, so can you – and your kids. It's a great way to get kids involved in arts and craft.
You can buy kits online designed for children, so they won't hurt themselves with the needles, and the pattern will be easier to follow

18. Go on a scavenger hunt

Come up with a list of odd and fun items for your kids to find, like a straw, a pebble, a dead leaf, a toothpick.
And then get your kids to find them around the house and garden, and cross the items off the list.

19. Board game swap meet

Most families can get a bit sick of the same old games – especially at the moment! – but buying them new is tricky right now.
Instead, hold an online board game swap meet with neighbours or the kids' school friends' by getting everyone to suggest their favourite free downloadable games.

20. Play spies

Download the dots and dashes code from the internet and create some 'secret messages' for your kids.
Place them around the house and get the kids to find them, using their decoder (the print out of Morse code). One clue could be, 'Under the stairs', the next 'Behind the TV', etc. The final clue could lead to a treasure of lollies.

21. Hold your own mini Olympics

Host your own backyard games event by using whatever you can find around the house.
Maybe you could hold a sack race using old pillowcases, or a tug-o-war with a dressing gown belt.
Host your own mini Olympics. (Image: Getty)

22. Enjoy some library fun

Create your own library story-time session at home.
Get the kids to pick a favourite book and based on that, the kids (and you!) can create costumes, make food from the tale and even decorate their story nook accordingly. Then they can settle in to listen to you read.
Have story time. (Image: Getty)

23. Do some graffiti art

Using whatever chalk you have at home, encourage your kids to transform the pavements outside your house into works of art, or you can even help them write happy, positive messages.

24. Make a sandpit tent

Transform a kids' tent into a sandbox by filling it with sand.
It will be much cheaper than buying a sandbox and it will keep the kids entertained indoors for hours.

25. Put on a play

Find a box of dress-up clothes and get your kids to create their own play.
Help them with a few ideas to get them started – like a princess who's fighting a dragon or a boy on a deserted island. Create a makeshift stage and enjoy their performance.
Plan a performance. (Image: Getty)

26. Create your own bowling alley

Line up some empty plastic bottles and use a soft ball as a bowling ball. Hey presto, you have a bowling alley in your own home or backyard.

27. Start a newspaper

For the budding journalists out there, you could keep them busy by encouraging them to start a local paper.
Get them to talk to their friends online and divide roles – you could have photographers writers, and editors. Then let them do online research, and write it up on your computer. You can use free websites like Canva to design the pages, and then email copies to friends and neighbours.
Start a newspaper. (Image: Getty)

28. Make next-level paper planes

Use up all that scrap paper destined for the recycling bin and build a fleet of paper planes, getting tips from the net (YouTube has some great tutorials!).
Then you can launch them in a race in the garden. Try different designs to see which ones fly furthest.
Make paper planes. (Image: Getty)

29. Host a disco

Download some of your kids' favourite music and have a disco online with their friends using sites like Google Hangouts Meet, or an app like Zoom.
If you've got glow sticks, drinks and snacks they'll all feel like they're really at a disco party.

30. Dip-dyeing

Buy cheap clothing dye from the supermarket and get your kids to jazz up some of their old clothes.
Mix the dye in a washing bowl, then dip three-quarters of the damp fabric into the dye and leave for 10 minutes. Pull it out a few centimetres and leave it for another 10 minutes.
Keep doing it, pulling it out a little every 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and leave to dry.

31. Go indoor camping

Give your kids the camping experience from the comfort of your own home.
Drape a large sheet over four chairs to create a tent and bring in pillows and sleeping bags. Give them some torches and lollies and encourage them to share 'campfire' stories and songs.
Camp inside. (Image: Getty)

32. Make a wormery

Cut the top off an old water bottle and poke some holes along the bottom.
Then, get the kids to fill it with layers of sand, soil, shredded newspaper and leaf litter. Give them small spades and send them out to find some worms! Feed the worms your food scraps and you can use the compost they produce in your garden.
Play with worms. (Image: Getty)

33. Become a model maker

Get some modelling clay, a plastic knife and get your kids moulding.
You can even buy self-hardening clay if you want their creations to last.

34. Play name that tune

Turn on the radio to a music station. Play a song for a few seconds and the first person to guess the name of the song that is playing is the winner.

35. Go on a bear hunt

Get your kids and their friends to partially hide a teddy bear in a cluttered room, leaving a little of the bear still visible.
Then take a picture and upload it to a social media platform, and invite their friends to find the bear. The first one to spot it is the winner.

36. Make a map

Take the kids on a walk, or a Google Street View walk, in your area and ask them to record landmarks, then get them to draw a map based on this.
They can cut out pictures from magazines to represent what they've seen.

37. Become a mini-astronomer

Do some research beforehand and then teach your kids the name of the stars above them at night.
Gazing up at a clear night sky can be an amazing experience and it's a great way to get your kids interested in outer space and planets.

38. Play the mime time game

Start by getting your kids to act out an animal WITHOUT sounds. The family will collapse in giggles at your child's attempts at acting out a koala or a crocodile.
Then step it up a notch by having them mime an action – like brushing teeth or reading a book – but doing it with a particular emotion in mind, like lovingly, lazily, angrily, etc. A guaranteed crack-up.

39. Rock on

Remember making your own paperweights in art class? Your kids can make them, too.
Find some decent rocks to paint – it's best if they're fairly smooth – wash them and then paint them in funky colours and designs. They're great for decorating desks.
Paint rocks. (Image: Getty)

40. Make mushroom art

Combine biology with craft by making prints with mushroom spores.
Help your kids to cut off the stems of some white button mushrooms, before placing them with the gill-side facing down on a sheet of white paper. Keep them in a space where they won't be moved overnight. The mushrooms will release millions of spores on the paper leaving a cool pattern by the morning.

41. Try a homemade memory game

Get a tray and place lots of different objects on it, like a key, a leaf, an apple, a dice, etc.
Ask the kids to look at it for one minute and then see if they can write down all the objects from memory.

42. Start your family tree

Help your kids research their heritage by asking them to build a family tree.
They can sketch their own and then speak to their grandparents to get the details. Or they could find a template online they could use. To make it more interesting, they could include birthdays and occupations and go back as many generations as possible.

43. Create a photo scrapbook

Print out the kids' favourite photos from over the years and get them to cut them out and stick them onto A4 paper.
They can decorate them with pictures and glitter, and then slot the pages into a display folder to keep forever.

44. Play consequences

Get an A4 piece of paper. Write down a boy's name then fold it over so the others can't see and hand to the next player who writes down a girl's name.
Hand to the next player to write down where they met, what he said to her, then what she said to him and finally what the consequence was.
The last person then reads out the whole script with hilarious results. Try to keep the characters and places relevant to what you've been up to and who you have seen over the school holidays to make it even funnier.

45. Get really arty

Buy the cheapest white butcher paper you can find. Roll it out across the floor and then let your kids paint whatever they want all over it.
They'll have a fantastic time painting the paper and themselves.
Get arty. (Image: Getty)

46. Host a movie night

Let a different person choose the movie each week, then put out pillows and blankets for a really cosy feel.
Get the kids to help make popcorn and sweet treats, then snuggle down for the night!

47.Recipe of the week

Let the kids each choose a recipe to make for dinner one night of the week.
Depending on their age, give them responsibility for listing the ingredients needed, shopping and helping with the cooking. If you're watching the budget, consider a prize for the most frugal favourite.
Cook up a storm. (Image: Getty)

48. Hold a scooter grand prix

If you can still get to the park, hold some scooter races (just remember helmets and knee-pads!).
Make sure you 'handicap' anyone participating who is bigger or older by starting them further back. You could create a black and white flag and bring chalk to create lanes. You could even make medals to award to the winners at the end.
Scoot it! (Image: Getty)

49. Bath the kids – and all their toys!

You've got to do it sometime, right? So you may as well make it fun and kill two birds with one stone.
Fill up your tub with bubble bath and let the kids take their favourite soft toys in with them. With any luck they'll be occupied for hours.
Have a good wash. (Image: Getty)

50. Have a greeting card-making session

The kids can draw pictures, use stickers or cut up old cards and have a marathon card- making session.
It will save you a fortune over the months as you can use them for all their friends' birthday cards. Virtual ones for nans and pops will be a treat.

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