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Keeping kids entertained at home

Things to make, learn and play.

Mother and daughter doing some gardening in the sunshine.

Arts and crafts

Let your little ones express their creativity with something arty - the perfect rainy afternoon activity.

A toddler playing with the Tomy Aquadoodle classic in pink, drawing with water.

Mess-free creativity

Painting is fun but can get a little messy. To help contain their creativity, set up an easy-clean art station with lots of old newspaper to protect your floor. There are lots of art kits that are designed to stay tidy too, from paint sticks to water doodle mats.

Create your own art gallery

If you've got a collection of masterpieces from the last few weeks, why not create a DIY art gallery? Peg up paintings and display in mini exhibits around the home. Have extra fun making entrance tickets and pretending to be tour guides. Why not invite family to virtually take a tour?

Plan a bedroom makeover.

Plan a bedroom makeover

Have they outgrown their bedroom? Get them involved with planning a makeover. If you're not willing to pick up a paintbrush, keep the new look simple by just switching up a few accessories.

DIY dolls house.

DIY dolls house

Use our Mia bookcase or recycle a cardboard box to create a new home for their action figures, teddies and dolls. Design furniture and cut out patterns from magazines to decorate each room.

Start a new craft project

Start a new craft project

They may take a little patience, but things like Hama beads are great for focusing kids' attention for a while. Budding builders will love designing creations with bricks, and activities like sewing or model building are good choices for teens.

Learning at home

If your child is of school age, they may have already been sent exercises and worksheets to complete from home. Need some more inspiration to fill up the day? Here are some fun ideas that that are easy to set up at home.

Make music.

Make music

A great hobby to pick up at any age, learning an instrument helps develop reading, coordination and memory skills to name but a few. There are lots of free video tutorials online, and you can get inventive when it comes to instruments - pots and pans will do.

Growing veg at home.

Grow your own experiment

Don't have any seeds? There are lots of things that you can grow from kitchen waste with some sunshine and a little TLC, like potatoes from sprouting potato peelings or peppers from pepper seeds. Get them to research the stages of growth and follow along with your own little crop.

Bake something.

Bake something

Baking isn't just a tasty exercise - it tests important skills like following instructions, weighing ingredients and getting creative with decorations. Give older teens more responsibility by setting them the challenge of cooking an easy dinner for the family.

Explore STEM.

Explore STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - there are lots of toys and activities designed to help develop skills in these four important subjects. Whether it's counting, programming or experimenting, kids of all ages can learn from a range of cool activities.

Shop play tables and desks.

Set up a study station

Create a little pocket of productivity with a play table for kids, or a more grown-up desk area for teens. Having a distraction-free zone might help them focus on any homework, and can be used for drawing, colouring and other crafty projects once lessons are over.

Top tips for learning at home

Try creating a timetable

Need a little routine? Make a plan for the week and stick it on the fridge- it will add some structure to each day, encourage regular breaks, and help you get a good mix of activities across the week.

What do they want to learn?

Use the time away from school lesson plans to let them research a topic of their choice - can they make a poster or presentation about it? It's much easier to get motivated if it's a topic they're interested in.

Helpful resources:

Alongside resources from their school, take a look at BBC Bitesize for activities and interactive lessons for every age group. If you're looking for something arty, Tu have partnered up with Anorak magazine to create a fun and free pack you can download here.

Getting active

However much space you have at home, there are lots of ways to encourage kids to keep fit and burn off some of that energy.

Young boy running outside with kite, with autumn trees in the background.

3 fun ideas you can set up in the garden

 

  • Garden Olympics: Get the whole house involved with different challenges and keep a tally of the scores. Running races, long jump, shot putt... these are all really easy to set up and a great way to keep active outside. Have fun making medals out of tin foil or sweetie wrappers and hold your own closing ceremony.
  • Football tournamentIf it's 1-on-1 opt for a penalty shoot-out, or do a mini-match if you've got more family members in your line-up. If not everyone in the group is a footie fan, include other activities like 'Best goal celebration' or dressing up as mascots.
  • School-style sports day: Set up a circuit of different activities - sack (or pillowcase) sprints, egg and spoon races, tug of war... pick a sunny afternoon and bring the fun of the school sports day to your back garden.
Father and son playing basketball.

Short on space?

If you've not got much outdoor space, or none at all, you need options that are space savvy, like a basketball hoop or Swingball. For smaller tots, space hoppers and mini trampolines are great energy burners and can be used indoors too.

Family playing with games console indoors.

Need something indoors?

Got a games console? Video games are not just for sitting down you know.  From dancing games to tennis tournaments, there are lots of games that get you up from the sofa for some full on family fitness.

Two people doing some stretches.

Helpful resources

A quick search on YouTube or Instagram and you'll find lots of free workout videos for kids. Whether it's a Joe Wicks P.E. lesson or a Disney themed workout - get the whole family involved!

In the garden

If it's bright and dry outdoors, it's a good idea to get some fresh air with these fun activities.

Young boy in blue & white striped top, wearing a grey hat with the peak to the side, looking through magnifying glass at the camera.

Set up a backyard treasure trail

A great way to get kids to explore the garden (or inside on a rainy day), there are two ways to set this game up. The easiest is to cut out shapes in coloured paper and hide them around the garden for them to find. If you want to set more of a challenge, write clues that lead your little ones onto the next.

Boy planting seeds in a seed tray.

Green-fingered fun

Most tots love nothing more than getting messy, so why not get them to help out in the garden? Even if you've not got much outdoor space, you can plant seeds and encourage your little ones to tend to them over the next few weeks as they grow.

Young girl and her father running around in the garden, shooting each other with water pistols.

Water fights

Definitely more suited to warmer weather, water fights and water slides are a great way for children (and adults!) to have loads of fun, and burn lots of energy doing it. So whether you're 5 or 50, grab your water gun and get involved. Everyone loves a good water fight!

Father and son under blanket in a tent, reading a book together in torchlight.

How about a garden getaway?

Set up camp in your backyard for a makeshift mini-break. A cosy tent filled with snuggly blankets and cushions is the perfect set up for a night out under the stars - or just a day den for playtime and picnics.

Shop garden camp out

If it's a bit too cold for camping outside, why not bring the camping in, by creating your own fort! Every successful fort needs a sturdy support to keep the sheets up. Try using a table or chairs to drape the sheets, and then keep the sheets in place by using some pegs. Just make sure there's enough space inside to make it cosy with cushions and blankets.

Shop build a fort

More ideas

Ideas by age

Stumped for ideas? Here are some toys and activities grouped by age.