Activities for families in self-isolation

A mega list of (mostly!) screen free activities for families in self-isolation

To make this more fun, print and cut these suggestions up onto strips, then lucky dip an activity.

I don’t know why this makes it more fun but my kids love it when I lucky dip things! Doing this will also allow you to edit out any activities you definately do not want taking place in your home or don't have the supplies for :)

  1. Write a letter to your local nursing home. Do a drawing, send good wishes to those stuck in self-isolation, just generally aim to put a smile on someone's face on the receiving end :)

  2. Treasure hunt (with clues, hide a favourite toy somewhere in the house)

  3. Make a batch of play dough. I like this recipe

  4. Tint shaving cream with food colouring, paint the windows or glass doors (or the inside of the shower glass) then rinse it off

  5. Go through clothing from previous seasons, try on and cull things that are too small

  6. Play dress ups in mum and dad’s clothes- do a photoshoot

  7. Graffiti the garden fence with chalk

  8. Make a small bowl, plate, egg cup or statue from air dry clay

  9. Day spa- do a Mani/Pedi/foot soak/face mask

  10. Go through old photos and videos, and old craft and paintings

  11. Have a Living Room disco- play freeze, musical chairs, have a dance off

  12. Go through recipe books together and have a bake off challenge

  13. Do a backyard scavenger hunt

  14. Make Origami animals or paper ninja stars (check youtube for instructions)

  15. Gardening- pull weeds, trim bushes, collect flowers for a vase

  16. Make a mud kitchen in the garden, make different coloured rock paint

  17. Practice hammering nails into a plank of wood

  18. Organise the books on your shelf into a rainbow

  19. String up a sheet tent in the backyard

  20. Find three toys to give to charity

  21. Using lego characters or other small toys, make a stop motion movie (download the app Stop Motion to your phone or ipad)

  22. Organise your lego and then have a building challenge (who can build the best house, hotel or shop?)

  23. Write notes of love, compliments or doodles and hide them around the house for family to find

  24. Do a marshmallow toothpick engineering challenge

  25. Do a yoga class together

  26. Create an “god’s eye” weaving using sticks and wool

  27. Build a teepee fairy house

  28. Try shadow drawing, leaf rubbings, painting bark or stones

  29. Build a bug hotel

  30. Try leaf threading and make a nature chandelier

  31. Look into a mirror and draw a self portrait

  32. Create an alfoil river in the garden and float things down it

  33. Learn to braid hair

  34. Create an obstacle course

  35. Build a fort using the couch and every cushion/ pillow you can find

  36. Thread pasta into jewellery

  37. Make 3D paper rainbows

  38. Make your own bubble blower

  39. Put goggles and swimmers on and swim in the bath

  40. Go through your board/ card games and challenge yourself to play them all. Design your own game

  41. Make greeting cards for the stationery cupboard to be used for birthdays and other occasions

  42. Paint a family portrait to be framed and hung

  43. Choose a picture book each and read aloud to each other in the biggest bed in your house

  44. Have a handball tournament

  45. Write a short story or poem that includes a dog, an umbrella and some sushi

  46. Find 10 different shaped leaves in the garden

  47. Create a paper crown for a member of your family and decorate it

  48. Make a paper chain to hang up in the dining room

  49. Try the travelling water experiment

  50. Fill a small spray bottle with water & aromatherapy oil and then spray and wipe the house

  51. Fold paper and cut out paper snowflakes

  52. Make pom poms out of wool

  53. Play drawing games like simon says drawing

Mr Squiggle drawing http://www.creatifulkids.com/squiggle-drawing-for-kids/

Or blindfolded drawing

  1. Put on a puppet show using toys behind the couch

  2. Make DIY rain clouds in a jar

  3. Do the magic milk experiment

  4. Create a sensory shaker bottle using an old bottle, glitter and water (and whatever else you’d like to put in there!)

  5. Outdoor games like egg and spoon race, tag team races, three legged races, or play stuck in the mud

  6. Fold paper planes and see how far they will fly

  7. Build the highest block tower you can

  8. Learn how to bake bread

  9. Make a lego zip line

  10. Keep a balloon in the air as long as possible

  11. Build a house with a deck of cards

  12. String up the Christmas lights in your living room

  13. Play cinema- make tickets, popcorn, give your guests a rug and watch a movie together

  14. Play hotels using your bedrooms as “hotel rooms” or restaurants by setting up the dining room like a restaurant with menus (or hospitals , vets, banks etc)

  15. Make up a workout and do it together (eg- 25 star jumps, 20 squats, 15 crunches, hop like a bunny around the lounge room, frog leap your partner)

  16. Choose an inspirational quote and create a poster for your room

  17. Change the bedsheets and build a sheet city in your bedroom before they get washed!

  18. Press flowers within a few heavy books

  19. Play the gummy bear game (using dice and 5 gummies each. Roll a 1 you eat one in your pile, a 2 you pass one bear to your left, a 3 you pass to your right, a 4 you keep it, a 5 you eat it, a 6 you keep it- keep playing till the gummies are gone!)

  20. Make sidewalk paint

  21. Make a magic potion using aromatherapy oils, glitter, water, petals

  22. Take some garden clippings and see which ones you can get to grow roots for replanting

  23. Use masking tape to make a race track. Race matchbox cars. Or use the inside of your bathtub as a ramp for racing

  24. Listen to a kids podcast or audio book. Check out our suggestions on the screen time activities page

  25. With some old clothes, cut and create clothes for your toys

  26. Take everyone’s height measurement on a door frame

  27. Using butchers paper trace a partners whole body. Now try to include as many body parts and organs as you can

  28. Give someone a back, foot or head massage

  29. Try sharpie tie dye using a sharpie and rubbing alcohol

  30. Take some artistic photos in black and white. Play around with filters and see what you can create. You could use a phone or learn how to use the proper camera (if you have one)

  31. Water play- buckets, scoopers, whisk, pouring jugs, straws, bubbles!

  32. Have a picnic lunch outside. Take books and toys with you

  33. Sort through all your crafts and art supplies. See if something inspires you. Organise and sharpen all your pencils and test all your markers

  34. Make a bottle rocket

  35. Make rainbow paper

  36. Make a stained glass window using clear contact & cellophane

  37. Make a marble run

  38. Create a street library (this is a neighbourhood book/ magazine swap box)

  39. Paint a stick gnome for the garden

  40. Make a rainbow stick

  41. Jump rope- can you get to 100 without stopping?

  42. Take apart an old appliance. Can you put it back together?

  43. Research your family tree- see how far back you can go

  44. Make a time capsule of this time to be opened in ten years

  45. Get swimmers on and wash the car or your bike!

  46. Set up camp in the garden and play inside the tent

  47. Write a letter to a friend, relative or teacher to mail

  48. Lie on a rug in the garden and spot cloud shapes. Make up a story about what you see.

  49. Work together to create a family emblem, motto or song. Include elements that are important to you and your family

  50. Learn to finger knit, french knit or braid wool into friendship bracelets

  51. Sketch your dream red carpet look!

  52. Try Michaelangelo drawing under the table

  53. Make a pretty lantern using an old jar, tissue paper and glue

  54. Make an infinite paper flipper!

  55. Make frozen dinosaur eggs (or you could use fairies, or Ooshies etc)

  56. Make a paper cut out family

  57. Make a paper plate whale

  58. Try dying some old plain fabric using natural dyes

  59. Do a chalk photo shoot

  60. Interview the members of your family

  61. Make a popsicle stick catapult

  62. Can you draw or paint with your feet?

  63. Lip-sync battle! You could even do this virtually with friends

  64. Line up all your legos in colour formation. Which line is the longest?

  65. Grab a tape measure and check- does your height match your outstretched arms (it should!)

  66. Using a tape measure, measure the perimeter of a room in your house and create a to-scale floorplan drawing

  67. Using an old shoe box, create a diorama of a castle, a forest, an alien's home (or whatever place you would like!)

  68. Create a washi or masking tape resist painting of your name for your bedroom door

  69. Design a paper bookmark and wrap it in clear contact so it lasts

  70. Go through digital family photos and choose a favourite to have printed and framed for your room

  71. Make a heap of natural confetti using leaves and a holepunch. How many different colours can you make?

  72. Try watercolour painting on paper towels

  73. Learn all the words to a favourite song or rap

  74. A clean and tidy camp is a happy camp! It's camp inspection time- who has the cleanest room? Quick, you have 20 mins on the clock to get it ready for inspection!

  75. Learn how to put a load of washing on, put the dishwasher on, hang a bath towel up, shine a pair of shoes, change a toilet roll (ha!)

  76. Choose a favourite famous painting and recreate it!

  77. Play some kids Minute to win it games

  78. Decorate your driveway with a message of hope for passers by. Use colourful chalk, do a drawing, write something happy, sweet or uplifting!



What you'll need:

For playdoh:

● Cream of tartar

● Table salt

● All purpose flour

● Food colourings

● Vegetable oil

General: A lot of this you will already have. But maybe do a check and buy what you need if you still can!

● Chalk

● Shaving cream

● Food colouring

● Paper- coloured and white

● Air dry clay

● glitter

● Cornstarch

● Mini marshmallows

● Toothpicks

● Wool

● Acrylic paints

● Watercolour paints

● Crayons

● Shaving cream

● Balloons

● Sharpie

● Rubbing alcohol

● Butchers paper or a large paper table cloth

● Baking soda

● Vinegar

● Duct tape/ Masking tape

● An empty plastic bottle

● Black paper

Clear nail polish

● Tissue paper

● PVA glue

● An old jar

● Sticky tape

● A marble

Popsicle sticks

A tape measure

An old shoe box

Washi tape/ masking tape

Clear contact

Paper towels

Hole punch

Stamps, things to write letters


Click here for: Interactive activities that involve screens