Daily free ideas and activities for families at home
Stuck for ideas or overwhelmed by everything that's out there? We've got tried and tested daily (yes daily!) ideas for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and schoolchildren that are fun, educational and easy to do
Activities for (Day 46)
1. Today learn amazing beatboxing skills with Shlomo
World record breaking beatboxer, SK Shlomo - or Shlo as he likes to be called - would love you and your kids to join him in his new 6-week series of learning how to beatbox. Designed to suitable for children aged 4 to 14, the first episode of Beatbox Adventures will be broadcast live at 2pm today on Facebook and YouTube.
These tutorials are more than watch and repeat. Each week, you’ll find a mix of beatboxing performances, lots of exercises and warmups, vocal skills, and challenges to really get you into the mix.
Shlo's not only teaching your kids the ‘boots and cats’ skills of beatboxing. Families are invited to be part of Shlo's own home school anthem video, with all the melodies, beats and baselines, created by you families at home via video. As Shlo says, this is a global experiment in music and technology and you can be part of it.
Every week, Shlo opens up his Zoom Room to 50 families too, so if you want to be a part of the show in his digital theatre one week, you’ll need to register to be one of these families.
Another lovely spin on this free beatboxing course, is that this is all part of a fundraiser for NHS staff, volunteers, and patients. So all in one go, you’re learning new skills and helping to raise money for our NHS heroes. How cool would it be if your kids went back to school, being able to beatbox like a pro?
More like this
2. Create a fantastic colour sorter game for toddlers!
MadeForMums member and master crafter, Abi, along with her daughter Maisie, have created this brilliant colour sorting game. The colour sorter helps teach your child colours and develops their motor skills. Thank you for sharing Abi and Maisie, we love it.
Here’s what you need:
- 3 pieces of card
- 2 paper/plastic cups for stability
- Sticky tape
- Coloured pens
- Scissors (and help from a grown-up using them)
- Pom poms/coloured balls/marbles (just think colourful and round!)
And here' s what to do...
- Roll two pieces of card into tubes and secure with tape.
- Snip a slit halfway into each tube, about an inch from the top (this is where your 'bridge' will slot in). Then poke a hole in both cups so that the tubes can slot into them for support.
- You should now have two identical towers. Now cut a length of the last piece of card for the ‘bridge’ section that joins the towers together.
- Fold the length of card in half lengthways, then use something round like the end of a glue stick or a bottle lid to draw semi-circles on the folded side. Whilst it’s still folded, use the scissors to cut the circles out.
- You should now be left with four holes cut into your card.
- Colour the surround of each hole in your selected colour and then slot into your towers.
- Put the pot of pom poms beneath your ‘bridge’ and pass over to your toddler to do the rest…. Now relish in your 15 minutes of peace and quiet (fingers crossed).
3. Learn Mini First Aid designed for kids - free interactive class today!
Do your children want to learn first aid? Then join a live first aid course created specially for children by Mini First Aid today at 11am. The first session - about what to do if you find someone unconscious - proved very popular with siblings practising on each other. This week, Mini First Aid (who normally offer first aid classes for parents) will be teaching children how to deal with mild and severe bleeding, should they come across someone who is hurt. And guess what, yes, the session will feature tomato ketchup!
The engaging videos are really worth checking out, especially if you come prepared.
So, here’s what you’ll need to get involved in this week's class...
- Some jam, or ketchup or lipstick
- A clean towel
- A first aid kit, if you have one
- A machete (Just kidding! That would be insane)
You can see Mini First Aid Kids previous videos here, where there’s a guide to teaching kids about how to dial 999 if there’s an accident, and also the resuscitation position.
Activities for Day 45
1. Play these fun 'slot' games for babies and young toddlers - to develop fine motor skills!
Pop in the flowers game
Make use of all the gorgeous spring flowers that are around at the moment with this lovely activity shared with us by mayasmoonplay, perfect for developing your young toddler's fine motor skills.
All you need is a colander and some flowers from your garden or around your local area - dandelions or daisies work best as their stalks are thin enough to fit through the colander holes.
Place both in front of your toddler with the colander upside down, show them how to post a couple of flower stems throught the holes and then watch as they take over and love having a try.
Stick slot game
Grab a spare large container with a plastic lid and use scissors or a knife to carefully cut some small holes across the lid. Make the slits wide enough to fit a lolly stick.
2. Take part in a Harry Potter online escape room!
Young Harry Potter fans will love playing this free online Hogwarts escape room game, which you can play on your own or as a family group - and you can play it multiple times.
You start off as a first year student at Hogwarts and have to play through a series of clues which will put your wizarding knowledge to the test.
Some of the questions are quite tricky so this is better suited to children aged 7 or over. However there are some brilliantly helpful hints along the way in case you need to brush up on any facts.
Activities for Day 44
1. Turn loo rolls into flower art and baby sensory play!
One thing we’re all getting though a load of right now is loo roll. In our house, we have a 6-year-old who likes to visit the loo, approximately 15 times a day, so we have cardboard loo roll tubes aplenty. One way of using them up, is to create some dandelion loo roll art, as one of our mum’s, Sarah Cummins has shown us with her 5-year-old daughter Annabelle. Thank you for sharing Sarah and Annabelle!
Here’s what you need:
- Either loo roll or kitchen towel cardboard tubes
- Coloured paper
- Cotton bud or paint brush
- Scissors (and help from a grown-up using them)
What to do...
Please do monitor your child while they're using scissors, as there’s lots of snipping!
- Take your cardboard tube, and with a grown-up, cut inwards from the end of the tube to around a third of the way in, repeating all the way around. the thinner the strips on the cardboard, the better the result! Then, push the cardboard tube down to flatten out the strips a bit
- Dip your tube into some paint and then press and print on to your paper.
- Repeat this process, and try slightly rotating your tube as you press it down to make the dandelion effect.
- Use the cotton bud or paint brush, with the paint, to dab the centre of each dandelion. You can also dab around the dandelions to create a blowing-in-the-wind effect. Then paint in your dandelion stems with the cotton bud or a paintbrush and you're done!
Create a baby sensory toy - with just a loo roll and a pen!
Mum Sophie Jordan also shared her inspired little loo roll idea, which is simple and yet perfect entertainment for babies and little toddlers. Even better, it also helps hone their fine motor skills.
Sophie tells us, "I draw different faces on the loo rolls, then trim the top with scissors. My son loves to look at the different faces but also pull each piece off, so that acts as a sensory toy!' Thanks Sophie for sharing!
Activities for Day 43
1. Create an incredible painting - with marbles!
A fun and easy painting activity, which ends up with the mess in the tray and a very contented child! This was shared by mum, Crystal Lily, after we spotted it in the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group.
It's a simple idea - using marbles to create a colourful piece of artwork without brushes and spilt paint. And it doubles up as a game - trying to get marbles to go in certain directions.
- A baking tray with raised edges
- Different coloured paints
How to make the painting:
- Put your paper onto a baking tray
- Add a few blobs of different coloured paint and place the marbles on one side
- Gently shake and tilt the tray from side to side to move the marbles across the paint
This is a great activity if you don't have any paint brushes handy. And if you don't have marbles - one mum suggested using toy cars to go through the blobs of paint, so you can have tyre tracks rather than marbling.
2. Watch inspiring play ideas with your baby and young toddler!
It's Week 7 of lockdown and chances are you may be looking for some play inspiration for your baby or young toddler. Well, here's a great way to spend time playing with your baby and pick up new fun ideas. Mum of 2, Sophie Pickles, hosts daily play ideas on her Facebook page at 10am and a live baby class on Wednesdays at 11am.
Head over to Sophie's Facebook page at 10am today to catch the play session live or catch up later by watching the videos saved on Facebook.
Activities for Day 42
1. Make a brilliant touch sensory game for babies and toddlers!
It's the simple games that babies love the most! This fantastic activity, created by mum Amy, is easy to make and yet enables babies to explore different textures, movement and sounds - a ready-made sensory experience.
Amy's idea was tried out with great success by other families via the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group.
Amy tells us that her baby loved feeling the different objects inside each bag and listening to the different sounds they make. She used ziplock plastic bags and filled them with different coloured feathers, sequins, cereal and cotton wool balls, but you can use any textured objects or food you have around the house such as pasta, water with washing up liquid, grapes or orange segments.
Here's what you'll need:
- Ziplock bags
- Textured objects to fill the bags
How to make them:
- Fill the bags with your objects
- Get as much air out the bags as possible before tightly sealing them shut
- Tape the bags onto your floor or any outdoor space
2. Watch the London Fire Brigade explain the dramatic story of the Great Fire of London. Or play it on Minecraft instead!
Who better to explain the story of the Great Fire of London than this important group of key workers - the London Fire Brigade? They've created this brilliant bitesized Great Fire of London history video, aimed at 5-7 year olds, explaining how the Great Fire actually led to the London Fire Brigade (LFB) being set up. Did you know that in 1666 when the fire started there was no organised fire brigade? You can watch the video on Facebook or YouTube.
Make your own fire brigade badge
The London Fire Brigade have created a special activity sheet that helps you make your own fire insurance mark. As Assistant Curator, Elena, explains in the video, these badges were used on the front of buildings to show that you'd paid money to your local fire brigade. No insurance, no fire brigade.
Play the story of the Great Fire in Minecraft
The Museum of London has teamed up with Minecraft to create a brilliantly immersive game to tell the story of the Great Fire.
There are 3 maps to explore, with objects to find and challenges to help players fight the fire and eventually rebuild London. The maps are free for all players of Minecraft: Java Edition on PC and Mac.
Great Fire of London game for younger children
The Museum of London also has a wonderful interactive Great Fire game where 5-7 year olds can follow the story through the eyes of two characters, making choices throughout the story.
Activities for Day 41
1. Awesome loo roll art! Make a brilliant car garage or a buzzing beehive
Created from loo rolls, cardboard tubes and a box, we LOVE this imaginative car garage for toddlers, which we spotted on Family Lockdown & Tips Facebook group. So we contacted mum Leanna Bannister to share how she did it.
Leanna tells us, "I simply turned a nappy wipe box inside out, collected different shaped cardboard rolls and taped them all together and slid them in! I sketched the sign on top and went over it with a felt tip pen."
It's proved a massive success. "My son Vinnie hasn’t left it alone since he’s had it! He loves pulling all the cars out, then working out which cars can fit in which tubes! So simple to make and hours of fun!"
Here’s what you'll need:
- A cardboard box
- Loo roll tubes
- Any other spare cardboard
- Sticky tape
- Lots of toy cars!
Create this incredible beehive!
Mum Laura Down and her son Jackson created this incredible loo roll beehive using a box, some loo rolls and PVA glue. If you have some egg boxes going spare as well, cut them out to make some delightful bees and ladybirds to decorate it.
2. Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber's star-studded Musical Celebration Show for free - only until Sunday!
If you love singing along to musical masterpieces, you’re in for a treat this weekend. Andrew LLoyd Webber has released - free to watch - his incredible 50th Birthday Andrew Lloyd Webber Celebration Show filmed at London's Albert Hall on his YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On. But you need to be quick as it's only available until 7pm this Sunday!
At over 2 hours in length, it's a masterful mix of favourites from Cats, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express and more. But it's the quality of guests and singers that's really stunning - you get the songs with the most A-list cast.
You can watch:
- The original 'Joseph' Donny Osmond - Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door
- Antonio Banderas with Sarah Brightman - All I Ask of You from Phantom
- Glenn Close - With One Look from Sunset Boulevard
- Elaine Paige - Don't Cry For Me Argentina from Evita and Memory from Cats
- Michael Ball - 4 songs from Jesus Christ Superstar and other musicals
- Bonnie Tyler and Boyzone - singing songs from Whistle Down The Wind
- Even opera superstar Kiri Te Kanawa - The Heart is Slow to Learn
It's filmed back in 1998 - and not surprisingly everyone looks very fresh faced. One heart-stopping moment comes when a 5-piece Boyzone run on stage with the cherubic-looking Stephen Gately taking lead vocals on No Matter What - reminding us it was recorded 11 years before Stephen's untimely death.
There are ads that interrupt every so often, but the release is raising funds for NHS Charities Covid-19 Appeal and other charities.
Are you warmed up and ready, here we go ... Don't Cry For Me Argentina!
Activities for Day 40
1. Join in some crazy science today with Paddy McGuinness!
Don't miss comedian, TV presenter and dad of 3 Paddy McGuinness doing a live silly science lesson today. Not necessarily known for his scientiifc prowess, Paddy can be counted on to put the fun into fearless experiments.
Part of Heart Radio's series of online family activities, the sessions last just a few minutes, are easy to follow and have colourful animations. Last week we saw Paddy make a fruit volcano using an apple - what more can you ask?
Just head over to Heart's Facebook video page at 3pm today.
Dance with Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts and cook with Kelly Brook
And there's more... Heart's Family Timetable also features quick dance lessons from dance lessons from Ashley Roberts and 'easy-peasy' cooking with Kelly Brook. Bacon, bean and sausage casserole, anyone?
5 ways to play with the Surge Blaster by Gelblaster
Advertisement feature with Currys