Article by Vita Cafnik, teacher at Cherry Tree, English speaking preschool in the heart of Vinohrady.
We are all going through, what is quite possibly, one of the strangest times of our lives. The pandemic has uprooted, halted, and completely jumbled up our day-to-day.
Everything, from work to leisure, has changed, and our lives started revolving around “pandemic-friendly” activities. We, adults, are undoubtedly facing all kinds of new challenges, and I am sure everyone’s sanity has been put to a test, or maybe more like a triathlon, in quite a few occasions in the past year or so.
And if that is not tricky enough, adding the strain of pandemic on our children’s lives, might just move the situation out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Kids have been affected by pandemic just as much, if not more, as adults have. Schools have closed their doors, changing not only the course of their education but completely halting other essential aspects of children’s lives, like socializing with peers, and all the informal learning and growth that goes along with it.
Adding the cancellation of the majority of extracurricular activities, and we have an indoor tornado on our hands, sightings of which have been more and more common in the past year.
If you are looking for some ideas for indoor activities with children, here are 5 fun, low-budget, minimum-mess, suggestions that won’t raise your stress-levels (too much):
1. An indoor scavenger hunt
There are endless possibilities when it comes to scavenger hunts. Indoor finding games are exciting for all ages, and the topic can be adjusted to pretty much anything you can think of, from looking for common household objects to a treasure hunt involving clues and a sweet prize at the end.
You could even include an obstacle course, puzzle-solving, and many other tasks to accomplish while playing. Who knows, maybe you could even get your kids to tidy up your home for once instead of wrecking it. Finding activities will have kids moving around the house, with their thinking caps on, motivated to win the game. What better way to combine fun and learning.
To make it even easier for you, there are countless premade scavenger/treasure hunts online, which you can use for inspiration.
2. Cooking and baking with kids
Children usually love cooking and baking projects, especially when they are trusted with important tasks, and involved in the whole process. They get a real sense of accomplishment after creating a delicious masterpiece, and sampling the ingredients throughout the whole procedure makes the mission all that tastier.
Whether you are baking cookies or making a homemade pizza, little chefs will have fun with it every step of the way.
3. Indoor camping
Stuck at home? Why not bring the outdoor fun inside. Let little explorers pitch a tent in your home by using sheets, blankets, pillows, or real tents, and let their imagination do the rest. Recreate a day of camping by telling campfire stories, playing camping games, reading books, and having a snack that reminds you of the outdoors.
A day or two of camping will bring some wonderful outdoor magic to your home.
4. Easy home-made science experiments
There is an endless amount of fun you can create with a couple of basic household products. Vinegar + baking soda will make you an erupting volcano, oil + water + food coloring will make you a sensory bottle, leaving an egg in a cup filled with vinegar will dissolve the shell, corn starch + dish soap will turn into playdough, and tasting food with your eyes and noses closed will make guessing what it is quite difficult.
There is no better way of learning than by trying it out, hands-on, and the wonder of science experiments will leave your kids excited for the world of discovery and knowledge.
5. Putting on an art show
Try out different art forms like drawing, sculpting, and decorating, experiment with diverse painting techniques, make collages, tie-dye old shirts, make homemade stamps or salt dough ornaments. Create numerous art projects, and put on an exhibition at the end of the week. You can even make some special artwork gifts for holidays or birthdays.