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Indoor lockdown activity ideas for the kids - Leigh Rose

 

Cabin fever

So it finally happened, March 18th 2020 at 5:15pm the Prime Minister announced that all the schools in England would close until further notice........and the parents went into panic mode; well some of them did. I have no idea how our country is going to keep running over the next few months, I don’t think even the highest level of power have any idea how this is going to work, but work it must! 

We’re now all facing weeks, possibly months of being at home, practicing social distancing and self isolation in a bid to evade a total collapse of our health service and country as a whole. 


So what do you do when you have small humans with limited space and public areas are off limits?! Throw the little ones some snacks, give them some screen time, make yourself a brew and read on for some fun indoor activities that will keep your little people busy, encourage learning, give them an energy release and above all else are super fun!


Tuff trays: 

These shallow plastic trays are AMAZING honestly the variety of play that can be achieved with one of these is limitless. Sand play, slime, mixing, sorting, building, small world, water play, it can all happen on a tuff tray! You can find them on Amazon for around £15. Here’s our favourite......

 

Edible dino world:

Buy or bake a sponge cake or two (if you bake them with the little ones the day before that’s another activity to do!) Crumble the cakes, big bits, small bits, squish and smash them, get the kids to join in, its so much fun just remember  to wash everybody's hands first 😉 spread or pile up your smashed cake on the tuff tray, grab a handful of plastic dinosaurs from the toy box, a few cabbage leaves, broccoli, fresh or soaked beans and pulses if you like that kind of thing, if your feeling really adventurous make a little well in the crumbs and pour in some chocolate pudding for a “tar pit" use the veggies to create a lost world and play dinosaurs for hours, you can incorporate learning by talking about dinosaurs facts , have a little quiz with a prize at the end etc the best part is this is safe play for all ages, if younger kids take a bite it’s all good as long as it’s not the plastic dinosaurs. You can switch dinos for ponies or farm animals, Peppa pig even whatever your little is into. At the end of play give the veg a rinse and toss it in a pan for dinner, then enjoy smashed cake and ice cream for desert.

 


Here’s a few other ideas but you can find lots of inspiration on Pinterest:


Pompom sorting: multi coloured and sized pompoms on the tray, a few plastic bowls around the room, asign a colour to each bowl and get kids to sort them, make it a little harder for older ones by using tweezers or chop sticks to pick up the fluffy pompoms. Mix in some tinsel from the Xmas box for an extra challenge.


Potato printing: cut a potato in half, cut a shape into the flat surface, spread some paper onto the tuff tray, squirt some paint onto paper plates and stamp away. Pro tip: press a cookie cutter into the flat surface of the potato then use a knife to take a slice off the potato all the way round the cutter, when you pull the cutter away you’ll have a raised shape to stamp with. If you have the trays stand it can double as a tent, simply throw a sheet or blanket over your tray while it’s on the stand, take in a pillow and some snacks, perfect den!

 

Paper machè masks:
This is a great 2 day activity which can then lead to additional imaginative play. You’ll need newspapers, wallpaper paste (or a pva glue and water mix but this can be harder to paint later), balloons and paints. We’ve all done this one at some point I'm sure but if it’s been a while here’s a recap.
Mix the wallpaper paste in a bucket or bowl, tear up the newspapers into strips, or just rough pieces. Blow up a balloon and tie it closed. Dip the newspaper into the paste and lay it across the balloon. Build up a few layers and set aside to dry. Once dry pop your balloon, cut the hollow shell that's left in half and then paint your masks. Don’t forget to cut some eye holes so you can see where your going! 
Use wool, string, elastic etc to secure your mask and let your imagination run wild you can be a tiger in the jungle, a cow on the farm, a favourite tv character or even a Picasso.

 

Body sock yoga:
This one gives an awesome energy burn as well as providing sensory input!
Firstly what is a body sock? It’s a lycra sack with a hole to climb into it. That’s the easiest way to explain it (see photo). So you buy a body sock. Get your small person to climb in. Now run away and eat biscuits 🤣 I’m joking of course! Now it’s yoga time! 
There are lots of free tutorial videos on YouTube but we love Cosmic kids yoga you can find it on YouTube or there’s an app that works with most smart devices including phones, tablets and tv’s. Yoga is great on its own but when you add in the resistance of a body sock it gives  an extra workout and amazing sensory input. So climb inside, put a hand and foot in each corner and see who can achieve the best downward facing dog. 
If you’d like to buy a body sock that’s been handmade with love and will support a small business mama stop on by my etsy store and use the discount code ParentChum10 for a 10% saving on any product. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SENstory?ref=search_shop_redirect

 

 


Teddy bear picnic:
Again this one can be stretched out over a couple of days, you can spend a day baking, cupcakes, jam tarts whatever you like, do it together and pass on some life skills! Make some sandwiches, juice, chop up some fruit. If the weather is feeling kind and you have a garden take out a blanket and some favourite bears, if it’s not so warm or you have no outdoor space, set up in the living room.  Enjoy your picnic, sing songs, go on a bear hunt/ make a treasure map and hunt down chocolate coins, pretend it’s a summers day and play eye spy. 
Make your teddy bears picnic extra special with a build your own bear kit from www.SENstoryBears.com and get an extra saving when you use the code PCpicnic at checkout! 

 

Mission impossible: 
Grab that ball of wool and start unravelling it! Use push pins, selotape or wrap it around furniture to create a woollen web but leave some space between sections, pop a prize in the middle/on the other side and challenge the kids to make it to the treat without touching the "laser beams" be sure to put the pets away first or you'll all end up in a giant yarn ball of doom 🙈

 

Bath time fun:
Never underestimate the power of a bath tub! I’m not talking bubble baths and candles for you to unwind at the end of a long day. I’m talking about slim baths, gellie, ORBEEZE - yes those strange little coloured balls that get EVERYWHERE.
We love all things sensory in our house but sensory play isn’t just for babies and additional needs, almost everybody loves sensory play regardless of age, my son loves an orbeeze bath, he'll play in there for hours! One night I was too tired to scoop them all out of the tub bit my back was really tense and I needed a soak so I filled the bath up anyway and climbed in, it felt strange at first, but at the same time relaxing! It’s now my guilty pleasure to have an orbeeze bath 😍


Another favourite here are the gellie barff and slime barff range, these fantastic little sachets make bath time super fun just sprinkle a packet in and mix with warm water, we find the best mix is approx ¼ of a bath of water to 1 sachet. If your on a budget you can often find these on poundtoy.com for a little as 10p a sachet! Or you can get multi buy boxes on Amazon which work out good value. These can also make great tuff tray activities we use them for small world play building igloos and pyramids while learning a few facts about them at the same time. 

 

 

I hope these ideas give you a little inspiration over the coming weeks and that it leads to hours of fun.

 

Keep an eye on my social media and the blog section of www.SENstoryBears.com to follow our adventures and find more ideas as we work our way through this chaotic time together ~ Leigh, mum of 2 crazy humans living at the end of the rainbow in the eye of the storm.