With staying home and social distancing being the new normal, parents are looking after their children 24/7 instead of the usual after-school hours and weekends. This can daunt, especially if they are pre-schoolers and toddlers. On the bright side, parents are also enjoying more time with the little ones and be there every step of the way as they grow up. With that said, here are some fun hands-on smartphone-free activities to keep your children entertained during the MCO.
Almost every household has a bucket full of Legos. Now, this is a super fun way to get your children engaged in a smartphone-free activity at home. Encourage your children to use their imagination to build whatever they want. You can build bridges, houses, streets, cars and so much more with just the basic classic Lego bricks. The possibilities are endless!
Get your children interested in learning about their extended family, smartphone-free of course! Create your family tree with coloured pencils or paint, paper and all types of craft materials. Print and customise your family tree to allow your children to stick photos of family members, or simply create a hand-drawn family tree. Here the LINK for more ideas.
Animal walk is an imaginative play where children get to pretend to be their favourite animals, while exercising at the same time. Some animal walks to get your children moving and laughing are frog hop, penguin waddle, crab walk and kangaroo jump. You can also ask the children what animal walks they would like to do. And remember, keep it smartphone-free. You can also improvise this game by asking your children ‘Who am I?’ when doing the animal moves and sounds.
Children love painting with different materials – dried flowers, celery stalks or wet sponges. All you need to do is dip these materials into paint before your children can start creating their masterpiece on an art paper and then repeat the process until the artwork is done. Another great smartphone-free activity for you and your children.
Tip: Have an extra paper ready to stamp off the excess paint before stamping onto your art paper or canvas. Here the LINK for more ideas.
This classic game is a clever smartphone-free trick to get your children to listen to your instructions. The rules are simple: Designate one person to be Simon, in this case one of the parents.
The players must only obey commands with words preceded with “Simon says”. For example, if you say “Simon says stand up”, all the players must all stand up. But, if “Simon says sit down”, the players who do sit down are out of the game.
This game is much more enjoyable with lots of players in it. Plus, you can always use this ‘Simon says’ game whenever you want your children to behave or help you with the chores. Here the LINK for more ideas.
Children love water and go crazy over bubbles. Ideally this is an outdoor activity whereby children blow bubbles from bubble wands. It’s fun to see toddlers jumping and chasing the bubbles to try and pop them. To make bubble play even fun, get your children to count how many bubbles there are floating in the air. Here the LINK for more ideas.
Costing only a few Sen, this activity is pure fun, and not to mention smartphone-free. Children will have a blast making paper planes, and there are several activities revolving around paper planes. Children can experiment with different paper plane folds, and have paper plane races to see how high, or how far their paper planes can fly. Here the LINK for more ideas.
Children love exploring and discovering new things. Treasure hunt need not be something difficult when it comes to children. It can be as simple as hiding small toys like dolls, dinosaurs and figurines. You can even have a themed treasure hunt with maps and riddles if you want to go all out.
There are also lots of templates for kid-friendly treasure hunt activities online.
How low can you go? This game has been around for ages and will bring you and your children joy as they try to go lower and lower, without bending their knees as they do the limbo. All you need is a rope, or a broomstick held at both ends by two grown-ups. Hold it lower each time your children pass under it. It will eliminate those who fall or whose hands touch the ground. Here the LINK for more ideas.