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Things to Do at Home - 75 Fun & Free Ways to Entertain The Kids

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Things to Do at Home

Looking for ideas for things to do in the house? Keeping the kids busy when you are stuck at home can be hard, particularly during a lockdown or long summer holidays, when money can be tight. 

 

activities to do at home for kids

 

So we have put together this amazing list of 50 free (or very low-cost) fun activities you can try out at home to keep the kids entertained - which won't break the bank!

THINGS TO DO AT HOME

 

 

 

1 - Chalk the Garden

Another firm favourite of the kids is chalking all over my garden, they think it's great they are allowed to freely draw all over the place, and the best part is it's easily washed off with the rain, a hose or their water guns. You can buy large packs of coloured chalks online for less than £3 delivered, for a large 12 pack. 

2 - Plane Spotting

Grab a blanket, lie on the grass, and see how many planes, helicopters, and UFOs you can spot in a certain period of time.  

3 - Nature Activities

Woodland Trust offers over 100 free activities on its website for outdoor and indoor fun with nature. Activities include downloadable guides for making bird feeders, nature detective hunts, colouring sheets, and more.

4 - Home Sports Day

When’s the last time you enjoyed a game of Frisbee? Rounders? Football? Make up a series of games and keep score.  You can make a trophy for the winner and rosettes for the runners up. 

5 - Camp in your Garden

You don’t have to trek to a far-off wilderness location to have any fun in nature. Use your own garden to pitch a tent, grab your torch and some books and games and snuggle down for the night. 

6 - Go on a Treasure Hunt

You can find loads of treasure hunt ideas online - or you can design and print off your own. Spend an afternoon deciphering the clues, and searching the house and garden to see who's hunting skills are the strongest.

7 - Join the Great Butterfly Hunt 

The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping assess the health of our environment. It takes place yearly from mid-July to mid-August. You can download an identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen, then record them on the free app.

8 - Photography Challenge

This is a great one for kids of all ages.  List down 10 items for them to find and photograph....then choose the best shot from each.

9 - Printable Activities

A quick search online will pull up hundreds of websites that offer free printable colouring sheets, activities, and more for children.  This is a great way to keep them entertained on a rainy day. 

10 - Crafting

Set up a table out in the garden and let the kids get creative.  Check out Pinterest for hundreds of craft ideas for kids.

11 - Build a Den

I miss the old days and the way we used to play, kids always seem to be stuck in front of a computer these days.  Get them to go old school and build a den in their bedroom, you can have hours of fun!

12 - Family Bake Off

Kids love baking cakes, why not make it into a little competition with yourself, siblings or friends.  Make a group on WhatsApp or Facebook to post your entry pics.  Get someone to judge the winners and print off a certificate for the winner. 

13 - Come Dine With Me

How about letting the kids cook tea tonight? You can make it a competition between members of the family, take turns each night – see this BBC guide for ideas on what kids can cook at different ages.

14 - Bring Books to Life

Reading charity Bookstart hosts thousands of free online literary activities for little ones including storytime with free online books and videos, games, book-themed quizzes, or you can even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters at booktrust.org.uk 

15 - Painted Rocks

Whenever you go to your local beach, pick up a few nice flat rocks.  Paint them with any paint, then cover in a layer of glue or varnish.  Next time you go to the beach hide the rocks to make a stranger smile when they find them. You can search for your local painted rocks group on Facebook to find the best areas to check. 

16 - Have a Water Fight

Grab a hose pipe, or some cups, or buy some cheap water guns and water balloons from your local pound shop and let the kids go wild in the garden!

free water fights

17 - Home Cinema Day

Keep your PJs on, grab a bowl of popcorn and your quilts, and spend an entire day on the sofa watching movies - perfect! 

18 - Junk Modelling

Save all your old (clean) boxes, tubs, toilet roll tubes, packaging, and material and let the kids spend the day making masterpieces. 

19 - Spa Day

The girls love this one! I buy some cheap face-masks from home bargains, I give them massages, paint their nails, let them have a bath bomb, plait their hair and let them drink non-alcoholic wine in a bubbly bath - this is one of their favourite days in.

20 - Obstacle Course

The course possibilities are endless with all the objects you have around the house and you can change it around each round, becoming more challenging as the players improve their skills.

21 - Flower Pressing

Pick some flowers when you're next out on a walk and place them between 2 sheets of paper in the middle of a big book. Put some more heavy books on top of it and leave for a few days. You can frame them and hang them up in the children's bedroom or playhouse. 

22 - Playdough

Did you know you can make playdough in next to no time from everyday ingredients found in your kitchen cupboards? The kids will not only have fun making it but have hours of fun playing with it afterwards.

23 - Bug Hunt

You can easily build a simple bug box out of stuff that’s sitting around your house. Once you have that, it’s easy to find and collect insects for the box, from the garden. Get the children to write down the bugs they found and teach them an interesting fact about each one.

 

 

24 - Disney Day

Let them dress up as their favourite Disney character, print off some free Disney activities and coloring's and spend the day watching Disney films, you can even treat them to a prince or princesses tea party - Perfect!

25 - Gardening

Let them have fun being little gardeners while getting your gardening done for free!

26 - Sandpit

All you need is an old pool or something sturdy enough to pop some sand in, fill with some cheap play sand, give them their buckets and spades to enjoy digging in the garden.

27 - Grow Some Veg

Not only will this give the kids something to do every day (watering and tending to their patch) you will be getting free food, which is always welcomed.

28 - Cooking Lessons

Why not let them help out when you're preparing your tea - It's a great way to teach them about healthy eating too.

29 - Science Experiments

I used to LOVE doing this as a child, there are loads of safe experiments you can do with the kids that are super fun and educational too. Make a papier-mâché volcano and mix baking soda and vinegar for an explosive reaction!

30 - Create a Scrapbook

Take a snap of all your activities that you partake in, pop in your artwork, and write down all about your adventures in a scrapbook.

31 - Board Games

Put out a post on Facebook to see if any family or friends would like to participate in a book or game swap.  This way you get rid of your old board games and books you are bored of and get to try out new ones.

32 - Pool Party

There's not a child I know that doesn't love splashing about in a paddling pool during the hot weather, you can pick up pools really cheap towards the end of the season, so keep an eye out for bargains ready for next year.

33 - Baking

All kids love to do a bit of baking, let them bake your desserts which is cost-effective. You can also let them make some yummy homemade ice lollies to keep them cool in the sun. 

 

kids baking

 

34 - Throw a BBQ

When the weather is nice, I cook everything possible on the BBQ, and to be expensive, check out these 20 Ways to Save Money on Your Summer BBQs 

35 - Car Wash

Again another sneaky way to get your kids to do free chores! They love anything to do with water, so it's always a winner.

36 - Time Capsule

Create a time capsule with your kids and bury it in the back garden. Pop in some artwork, old toys, and photos.

37 - Teddybears Picnic

Get out the blankets and cushions, make and deliver some invitations to all your furry friends and meet in the garden. You can do this indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. 

38 - Crazy Golf

Create a crazy golf course in your garden with household objects. Things like pipes, trays, wood, and anything else you can get your hands on to make ramps.  Ask on Facebook if anyone has an old set of clubs lying around, or even use your sweeping brush to make it completely free. 

39 - Star Gazing

Grab a blanket, lie on the grass, and see what you can spot in the night's sky.  It's a fantastic opportunity to teach your children about the solar system.  

40 - Afternoon Tea

Tea, homemade scones, and some finger sandwiches - Perfect.  You can even get the kids to make some homemade doilies out of paper for the authentic afternoon tea vibe.  

41 - Magic Tricks

Kids love magic, so why not teach them some tricks! A quick search of Google will lead you to loads of websites and youtube tutorials to help them get started

42 - Write Letters

Missing your friends? Why not go old school and write them a letter? It's so exciting when the postman delivers you a letter and it will help them with their writing skills too.

43 - Make a Play

If your kids love drama or creative play, why not build them a stage and get them to write and direct their very own play, using their toys, teddies, and dolls.

44 - Family Games

If you don't have any board games or cards to hand, there are thousands of other games you can play with nothing more than your imagination.  A firm favourite in my house is around the world - Start with a letter and category (say Food beginning with H) then keep going around until someone says a double or can't think of any more until there is one person left. 

 

 

45 - Make Cards for the Elderly

Know some elderly people that might be feeling lonely?  Spend some time making cards to send to them! We’re currently making cards to deliver to our local nursing home.

47 - Hide & Seek

I don’t think this one ever gets old, you can play it inside or outside, or you can even change it up by hiding objects instead and then use the classic “hot” or “cold” method to help those looking for the object.

48 - Learn a new language

I am currently teaching my children (and myself) via youtube videos, the beautiful language of Makaton.  I think it's so important for all children to be able to communicate and I have loved learning this myself. 

49 - Learn a new skill

There are loads of skills to learn that you normally wouldn't have time for such as knitting, first aid, self-defence, fitness and more. Everything is available online, and youtube videos are the best way to visualise as you learn. 

50 - Learn to Draw

Even kids that aren’t super artistic will have fun learning how to draw with Art Hub for Kids which is a great free youtube channel that helps children develop their drawing skills.

51 - Watch Live Animals

You can watch your favourite animals, from the comfort of your own sofa via live animal cameras. It's a great way for animal lovers to learn all about these magnificent beasts - you can watch them play, eat, and see what they are up to in real-time.

52 - Educational Activities

It's really important to keep up with your schoolwork, even when you are not in school.  These free educational websites are a great resource for children.

53 - Explore the Earth

Visit and learn about other countries with Google Earth!  Explore a city, observe the culture and landscapes and see what wonders of the world can discover.  You can even take it to another level by playing the GeoGuessr game.

54 - Create a Band

One of my favourite pastimes as a child! Don't worry if you haven't got any instruments, you can use household objects such as pots and pans, spoons and graters to make beautiful music (sorry about this one in advance)

55 - Sock Puppets

I start off by getting the kids to join in with pairing the sock drawer (mean I know) then any odd ones we have leftover, we make sock puppets out of. It's super easy and there are loads of free patterns to try out over on Pinterest. 

56 - Shadow Drawing

Who doesn't like watching the birds feed in the garden, and you can make a bird box out of pretty much anything. People have been using recycled milk bottles and decorating them - They look great! 

 

shadow drawing

 

57 - Make a Bucket List

While you're stuck in, why not make a list of all the things you want to do as a family when you are out. It's a great way to get excited and have a family chat about things you want to do in life.

58 - Fashion Show

Grab your favourite clothes, dress-ups or even mummy's clothes out and strike a pose.  Create a catwalk and get someone to take pictures, and score your efforts.

59 - Potato Printing

Don't throw out any bad potatoes, keep them for making art! Carve a shape into it and use as a paint stamp.

60 - Make a Bird Box

Who doesn't like watching the birds feed in the garden, and you can make a bird box out of pretty much anything. People have been using recycled milk bottles and decorating them - They look great! 

61 - Mum's Restaurant

The kids and I LOVE doing this.  I dress up as a chef, the kids and dad put on their Gladrags and come down for a meal at mum's restaurant.  I usually make it a theme, so Italian night means Italian music and food.  I pop on an eyeliner moustache, light a candle and print them off a 3-course menu which has 2 choices on each course. 

62 - Make a Robot

Keep all of your toilet roll holders, cardboard boxes and cereal boxes - cover them with tinfoil and bring them to life with crafts, then you will have your very own RBFF.

63 - Make Slime

Homemade slime is hugely popular with kids - you can find guides to making your own online, or you can pick up a slime making kit, which comes with everything you need inside.

64 - Make Bath Bombs

Kids don't want bubble bath these days, it's all about the bath bombs. If you have the ingredients needed, you can make them easily, using this handy BBC goodfood guide.

65 - Make a Bird Feeder

These are so simple to make using ingredients from your cupboards and some basic crafting supplies. The RSPCA website will show you how to easily make a bird feeder.

66 - Throw a Party

Let the kids choose a playlist, party games, get a buffet on the go, let them make some decorations, and have a good old fashioned shin-dig. 

67 - Yoga

Cosmic Kids Yoga is a free youtube channel that teaches children yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.

68 - Bird Watching

Getting kids interested in bird watching is a great way of introducing them to wildlife and teaching them about the environment and the importance of nature So grab your binoculars (or craft some out of toilet rolls) and print off a bird watching sheet from the RSPCA website.

69 - Family Tree

Get a large sheet of old wallpaper, or sellotape together a few sheets of A4 and construct your own family tree. It a great way to teach the kids about their heritage. 

70 - Fashion Design

Let them decorate an old pair of jeans or tye-dye a white T-shit to bring out the fashion designer in them. 

71 - Dinosaur Hunt

Print off some pictures of dinosaurs and hide them around the house, every time they find a dino, sit them down and let them colour it in while you teach them facts about it.

72 - Go Hawaiian

Create a limbo game, make some tropical cocktails, fruit kebabs and dress up in your brightest clothes and have a Hawaiian party in your garden - Don't forget the Hawaiian music and the pool. 

 

 

73 - Fun with Flags

Choose a different country every day and recreate their nation's flag.  This is a good way to brush up on their geography skills. 

74 - Create a Fairy Garden

You could create a small fairy garden or turn your entire back garden into a fairy wonderland. Crafting fairy doors out of cardboard and adding them all around the garden will keep the kids busy for hours. 

75 - Make TikTok Videos

The latest craze to hit is TikTok! The videos are easy to make and all the family can get involved.

 

As always, if you know of any other great activities that families can do at home during lockdown, that we can add to our list, please let us know in the comments below...

 

 

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