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Activities to do at home with your child during the COVID-19 outbreak

There’s a lot you can do at home to support your child's learning and development. These are some examples of activities suitable for a children of various ages. Every child is different and develops at their own pace, so you can choose activities appropriate for your child.

Get active

  • Make an obstacle course with your child and explore it together
  • Play sports skill activities together e.g. throwing and catching a ball
  • Do exercises like Yoga, Zumba or Go Noodle
  • Try various kinds of races in your backyard like crabwalk or hopscotch
  • Indoor treasure hunts using your child’s favourite toys and clues
  • Fly a homemade kite
  • Build a crawl tunnel
  • Decorate the lawn
  • Dance together

Play

  • Games galore – play hopscotch, hide and seek, animal games e.g. jump like a kangaroo or walk slow like an elephant, or even make your own games up
  • Encourage your child’s thinking – let your child play using building blocks to create a car, train, house or whatever their imagination creates
  • Let your child blow bubbles in your backyard or balcony on a windy day and try to guess how high they will go
  • Encourage creativity by painting, drawing and writing stories
  • Play and interact with your baby during nappy change e.g. blow gently on their belly, play peek-a-boo, make happy sounds etc.
  • Create and play with cardboard and string
  • Play board games
  • Learn new card games with them
  • Teach your child to make paper planes and see how far they will fly

Work it out

  • Shadow play e.g. use a torch to make hand shadows on the wall with your child
  • It’s never too early for math games – get your child to help you count and measure things around the house
  • Make a marble run (not safe for children under 3 years)
  • If you have Googlehome running, play Google trivia
  • If you have Skype or Zoom, stay socially connected with friends and family
  • Run a few jigsaw challenges
  • Build things with lego (use big blocks for children between 2-5 years)

Word play

  • Read with your child and tell them stories
  • Play with sounds e.g. try to hear and name different sounds e.g. a phone ringing
  • Sing songs and dance together – play Karaoke
  • Encourage your child to be creative with sounds and words - play with rhymes and get your child to try to rhyme
  • Encourage your child to write a letter to a friend/family member, and email it to them
  • Listen to audio books together
  • Teach your child about planets and build a solar system together

Getting ready

  • If your child is still attending school or child care, get them to help pack their bag
  • Let your child get themselves ready in the morning e.g. brushing teeth, getting dressed
  • Let your school aged children write and decorate their daily schedules and menus
  • Splash time in the bath e.g. let them play with the water and watch how it moves.

Grow and create

  • Prepare food together – let your child help and explain in detail what you’re doing e.g. “now we’re tossing the salad items in the bowl”
  • Grow your own veggies and explain to your child the process and responsibilities e.g. watering them and leaving them to grow in the sun
  • Cook with them – make pancake batter together, let them help you squeeze orange juice
  • Be creative! Bake cupcakes and let your child decorate their own cupcake.
  • If you have plants, encourage your child to water them

The South Australia Department of Education website has more ideas for activities to do at home with children from birth to 5. Their interactive tool will help you choose indoor locations.

Some of the activity ideas have been sourced from the Paediatrics.Online website. Their entire list of activities can be found here.