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A Different Sort of Playdate: How To Entertain Kids At Home
By Sago Mini
Many families with small children are at home a lot more than usual at the moment. And if you’ve ever been stuck in a house with a preschooler for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s no easy task to keep them entertained.
Boredom can come quickly to small children, especially when they’re missing the social interaction of seeing their friends and extended family, and they’re unable to do the things they normally would outside. Just because they’re in isolation it doesn’t mean that your preschoolers are going to give you a free pass, either! They’re going to be looking to you for fun and guidance during this tricky time.
If you’re wondering how to entertain kids at home, we’ve put together a handful of fun activities for kids at home to help pass the time:
1. Make-and-play with Sago Mini Boxes
We’re a bit biased, but we think the Sago Mini Box is a pretty excellent way to pass the time with little kiddos. It’s full of activities for kids at home: things to do with your preschoolers that are fun, creative and will feature a bit of early learning too.
Each box is packed with make-and-play activities that teach modern skills like empathy and creative problem solving through play, plus collectible figurines and sweet letters from the Sago Mini characters. It’s delivered right to your door each month, especially helpful when stepping outside said door isn’t in the cards.
Kids lead the way through the play-and-learning process (with a bit of parental help!), creating their own crafts and toys, which are designed to withstand repeat play sessions and provide hours of fun, all without a trip to the craft or toy store.
2. A scavenger hunt
There’s just something about a raucous scavenger hunt — the building excitement while you’re searching for your hidden treasures, and the sheer jubilation when you strike gold!
A few tips for a successful scavenger hunt with what you’ve got on hand:
-For smaller kids, hide their favourite treats (like small candies, stickers, craft supplies or figurines) around the house. You can supply them with a collecting basket or bucket to make it easier!
-To weave in a bit of learning, structure your hunt around a theme — ask them to hunt for as many “yellow” items as possible, or anything they can find that starts with the letter “B”.
-For slightly older kids, you can write out clues or draw pictures to help guide them to hidden treasure. If you’re able to go on a short, socially-distanced walk, draft up a scavenger hunt that uses clues found in your neighbourhood! (For example: “Find the house with the red mailbox”).
3. Make a cozy fort
Kids are picking up on a lot of anxiety these days, whether it’s from the adults in their lives or what they overhear on the news — that’s why there’s no better time for a little self-soothing care of a snuggly blanket fort. (Hi, mom and dad: this goes for you, too!)
Let your little one lead the way when it comes to making their cozy den, but be on hand for structural engineering assistance (hint: clothes pegs are a great way of attaching a blanket or sheet to your couch or table to make a roof). Ask them to fill it with stuffed animals, photos, blankets and favourite toys that bring them comfort!
Once you’ve got their special space sorted out, make sure it’s a safe haven for them to read a fave book, have some quiet time or snuggle with M&D.
Looking to infuse some giggles into their playtime? Sago Mini World is perfect for preschoolers to play on their own, at their preferred pace. They can settle down in their den to be a virtual zookeeper looking after animals, build their own robot, explore space and much more — all from the cozy comfort of their secret space.
4. Splash Zone
Little ones love splashing around in the water, and you don’t have to wait until bathtime for the fun to begin!
There are plenty of ways you can introduce fun with water to your child’s day. If the weather is nice and you’re out in the backyard, you could fill up a paddling pool to splash around in and pop in some waterproof toys. And, if you don’t have a pool on hand, toddlers tend to be pretty happy with even a simple kitchen bowl or bucket.
If you’re inside, you just need to fill up the kitchen sink for your preschoolers to play: they can “wash” their toys while you wash veggies for lunch, or set up a mini sailing regatta with all their fave floatables.
Gardening is a fun way to get your preschoolers outside in the fresh air and excited about nature, especially now that we’re in spring and the weather is warming up. They can bring their own watering can along and water the plants, or help with weeding and digging holes. (Who doesn’t love digging holes?!)
Growing their own plants from scratch can teach your kids all about nature. It’s easy to buy seeds online, which your child can then plant and tend to — and it’s pretty amazing to see their eyes light up each day when they check their plant to see how much it’s grown. Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden: you can do this in small pots and put on your window sill. Having a hard time sourcing seeds right now? Try regrowing food scraps! Green onions are a cinch — all you need is a glass of water and some sunlight.
You can also create your own mini science project for kids at home by putting their plant pots in different places to see where they grow best (such as in direct sunlight and shade, or inside and outside) and measuring their growth. You can then ask your kid which plants are growing best and why they think that is.
Carving out some time in your day to read to your little ones is wonderfully therapeutic (both for them, and for you!) and will help grow their vocabulary and stimulate their imagination.
Settling down with one of their favourite books is a great pre-nap afternoon activity, or perfect for bedtime: it’s something they’ll love doing with you, but it will also wind them down and help them relax.
If you want to make your reading session more lively, then you could always use your child’s toys as props for the story. You could even dress up and act out the plot as a play together — saving your “big” performance for siblings or their other parent, or even putting on a show for grandparents on Zoom!
7. Let them “help” you
Juggling small children and your normal household chores can be tricky (okay, let’s be real, impossible).
Letting your little ones join in will help them to feel involved and close to you while you’re ticking things off your to-do list.
You could help them collect their toys from the floor and put them back in their playbox, or put dirty laundry in the basket. They could also help to water plants around the house (maybe with a bit of supervision).
Kids love getting involved in the kitchen too, so you could ask them to help you prepare food — give them an important task like washing vegetables in the sink. You could also follow some simple, kid-friendly recipes and make something fun together.
For more fun ideas and tips on how to entertain kids at home, visit our blog here.