Parenting saves – easy play ideas for kids



15 Creative Play Activities

We know that many parents are a bit nervous at the prospect of home schooling their children for an unspecified period of time, if Aussie schools close to manage the spread of COVID-19. Schools will be providing resources and we know, first hand, that many of you are madly searching for educational products – we’re trying to keep up with the Brilliant Box orders! We thought we’d also do our best to help you out over the coming weeks, by sharing some extra activities and ideas, to help you navigate this period of time. Remember, it doesn’t all have to be about boring workbooks . . . incorporating creative play into your day makes learning much more fun for everyone.

As parents, we all start the day with the best intentions: we won’t yell; we’ll read to the kids; we’ll be more patient, more kind, more creative. We’ll listen to ALL. THEIR. STORIES. And some days, we do. Other days, we get busy and tired and find it a bit trickier. We’re human! So, for those days when you don’t have time to create a Pinterest board of amazing play ideas for kids, we have  you covered! Here is a list of creative play ideas (that help them learn!):

  1. Tie up a length of string outside and fill the sink with warm soapy water. Let the kids ‘do the washing’ – doll clothes, tea towels, even their own clothes. Hand them a bag of pegs and let them hang it all up.
  2. Play shops.  Here’s ready made ‘Sunshine Collective Money’ for you to print off: Sunshine collective money . Let the kids cut it out and put price tags on household items for ‘selling’.
  3. A variation on ‘shops’ – play banks or post office. Ask the kids if they can design their own stamps. If you have a stack of old envelopes, ask them to write letters to put inside.
  4. Write a letter to their future self. Photograph it and email it to yourself, so you have it to show them when they turn 18.
  5. Ask them to collect a big pile of stones. Use a black sharpie to write the letters of the alphabet on the stones, then let them use these to create words.
  6. Get a tub of chalk and find some concrete (footpath, basketball court or a driveway). They might want to draw up hopscotch, or just draw pictures. Ask your child to lay down and you can draw around them – they can then draw on their features and clothes.
  7. Play homemade ‘celebrity head’. Clip a piece of paper with the word/person to guess, onto a headband. If you don’t have a headband, create one from a strip of paper or card, taped or stapled to fit around your child’s head.
  8. Buy a few packets of air-drying clay. I always have these on hand because my kids love it! They spend ages creating animals out of it. It dries within a day or two, then they can paint them. For older kids, ask them to research their animal and create a habitat for it to ‘live’ in.
  9. Create a story-telling basket. Go around the house and put a random collection of items (toys, kitchen implements, a hat, and so on) into a basket or bag. Ask your child to tell a story based on these items, pulling out one item at a time, to add to the story.
  10. Give your child a recipe book or magazine and ask them to choose something they want to try. Ask them to copy out the list of ingredients then take them to the supermarket to buy the items, then go home and help them cook it.
  11. For younger children who are learning colours and working on fine motor development: buy a box of fruit loops and give them a pair of small tongs. Ask them to separate out the colours into different cups or bowls.
  12. If your child is learning to read ‘sight words’, write or print out two sets of the words, shuffle them up and play a game of memory match.
  13. Write a book. Staple together folded, blank pages and ask your child to write and/or illustrate their own book.
  14. Make paper jewellery by colouring strips of paper, then twisting, stapling and/or tying onto string to create necklaces, bracelets, rings and tiaras.
  15. Threading. Thread yarn through tubular pasta; pipe cleaners through kitchen cooling racks; thread leaves onto string; beads onto pipe cleaners; ribbon through the holes in a colander.

There you have it! Print out this list and pop it on the fridge to have ready the next time you need some new play ideas! Of course, you could just buy a Brilliant Box and have 14 activities ready to go!


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