Our month-long survival guide for parents with children at home: tips for tips for ages five to 12

Posted by / Monday 23 March 2020 / Parenting Tips Activities
Children Playing Chess

At home with the family? Our parenting coach, Joanna Miskin, suggests 23 things you can do with the children (ages five to 12) at home.


1. Karaoke is a good way to keep yourself up to date with what your child is listening to as well as being a fun activity. Download a karaoke app on your phone to get you started.

2. Outdoor foot painting is a good excuse to get everyone outside – lay out a long sheet of paper and put some paper plates with paint on at one end, a towel and a bowl of water at the other and get stomping!

3. Ask to play a computer game with them – this will show them that you’re taking an interest in the stuff that interests them, as well as giving you an insight into how and what they play.

4. Make a book together. Depending on their age this could be a picture book cut out from magazines and newspapers or ask them to make up their own story and illustrate it themselves before sharing it with the rest of the family.

5. Ready, steady LEGO! Set a Lego challenge where you can see who can build a rocket/car/castle the fastest. With older children, spend some time sketching out various designs on a piece of paper before folding it up and taking it in turns to pick out an idea that you then have to build together.

6. Collect some rocks and stones either from the garden or your local park that you can then bring home for some creative activities. Maybe use paint to create a new ornament for the garden?



7. Turn your home into a cinema. Instead of just putting a film on, make the room dark and give your child a blanket to cuddle up underneath. Let them choose the film too (age appropriate of course!) to make sure they’re really engaged with it

8. Sports Day. This can be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather but set up your own mini racetrack, have an egg and spoon race or use cushions for hurdles.

9. Get them to help out with dinner – from choosing the menu to prepping ingredients or just setting the table, even quite young children can get involved with mealtimes.

10. Food tasting sessions. This is particularly good if you have children that are fussy eaters as it will encourage them to try new things.

11. Have a go at hide and seek either indoors or out, another activity that the whole family can join in with.

12. For older children organise a Nerf or water gun battle – this will get them running around outside to burn off some energy.

13. Take care of yourself and each other and have a spa day. Use washing up bowls for a foot soak before you give each other pedicures and make scrubs and facemasks from ingredients you can find in the kitchen such as olive oil, sugar and honey.

14. Learn a language! BBC Bitesize is a useful place to start as it has short lessons in all sort of skills.

15. Make a word search – you can theme it to a hobby or interest that you know your child has.

16. Get your child to choose a book and then help them bring it to life by putting on a play. You can write a script, decide on who is playing which character and then act it out.

17. Create your own science day. Head to Science Fun for some great tips on experiments you can do at home.

18. Come up with a concept for your own board game that you can then design and make.

19. Card games can be a good way to sneak in some learning while your children are having fun. Uno, Snap and Top Trumps can all help sharpen maths and language skills as well as promote good emotional wellbeing by spending time together.

20. Use this time to research your family tree. Dig out photos of relatives that your child can use to stick in a family tree album.

21. If the sky is clear, wrap up warm at night and get older children out of the house for some stargazing. The Sky at Night website has some tips on what you can look out for!

22. Make your own time capsule that you can then bury in the garden – WikiHow is a good place to start for ideas.

23. Keep connected by FaceTiming friends and relatives together so that they can see how everyone is doing.

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