Art table

At Home Activities

Hi all and welcome to where I would usually post art related updates. I wanted to share some creative activities for children five years and younger that you can do with materials you have lying around the house, while staying home during the corona virus (COVID-19) crisis.

Keep in mind:

  1. Be creative: save plastic containers, jars, egg cartons etc.
  2. Be patient: you may spend hours covering boxes with wrapping paper only to have your child rip them off (or worse, totally ignore your painstaking construct). This happens, so best not spend too much time assembling anything. Also, things may get messy, embrace it if it keeps your kid engaged.
  3. Rotate things out and have areas for different activities if you have the space.
  4. Be kind to yourself and do what you need to do to get through the day.

Lid Sorter: You need a plastic container with a lid & jar lids: cut a slit as large as the largest jar lid in the top of the plastic container. Use it as a sorter. Give your kid lids for their “bank.”

Confetti Fun: Empty your hole punch. It’s messy but easy to clean up! Makes a great sound.

Box Fort: Use large boxes to make a fort. Cut out holes that fit your child’s face and arms. Hang fabric across the entrance, fix with binder clips. Smaller boxes can be taped shut, covered in paper and used as building blocks. If you don’t have any large boxes see if anyone nearby you has some, maybe left over from a move. Decorate your boxes with collage: cut out all kinds of pictures let your child choose. You’ll do better if you put the glue on the box and guide your child to hit the area (rather than glue on the flimsy magazine image).

Kid-Safe Drawer: Set up one kitchen drawer or cupboard with safe things to explore: plastic containers, spices (in closed containers), soft and safe utensils. They can take these out and explore them. Bonus if you can teach your child to put them back!

Stairmaster: Walking up and down building stairs: this is a way to get exercise without going out on the street

Modeling clay: You can make your own modeling dough with flour, salt and water. Plenty of recipes online. Also look for Oobleck, a mixture of cornstarch and water which makes a very fun non-newtonian fluid. There’s a Dr. Seuss story that pairs well with it.

Sand exploration: use a flat tray and fill with sand (you can get a 10kg bag of quartz sand at the baumarkt, or you can liberate some from the all the closed playgrounds in Berlin). put things like rocks and leaves you find on your walks outside. 

Drying rack hiding place: Use your laundry rack draped with sheets and blankets to make a fort. Cardboard tubes from paper towel / TP rolls : put cotton in roll and blow out into your child’s face for a good giggle.

Have different areas for your child to explore. Switch things out, put away or display different objects to keep it engaging.

And of course there’s always child friendly content on YouTube or Netflix. These are exceptional times that are asking for so much from everyone and as parents we have the huge task of being responsible for the little person or persons in our care, do what you need to stay sane! I have strapped my daughter into her high chair with a time consuming snack so I could have enough time to do something really important and restorative like text my sister cat memes. This is not the time to aim for perfect parenting, just do the best you can. Feel free to get in touch if you would like more details.