20 things to do with your kids at home now that schools have closed

Schools across Singapore have now been closed as part of Singapore’s latest circuit breaker measures. Now that your little ones are spending more time at home while you’re also working from home, you might be wondering what activities you can do with them that are both engaging and enriching without resorting to tablets or video games.

If you’re short on ideas, check out this list of 20 fun things to do with your kids to keep them entertained all day!

Arts & Craft

1. Colouring books

Recommended age: Seven months old and up. For infants, as long as they can sit up, you can guide them to colour

Colouring is a great way to keep a child occupied while If your kid is just starting to learn to write, this workbook where they can trace and colour letters, numbers and shapes will be a great option. If he or she is a huge Disney fan, they will love this Disney Princess Colouring Book.

Alternatively, you can look for free print-outs online – there are plenty available!

2. Fingerprint art

Recommended age: Seven months old and up. For infants, as long as they can sit up, you can guide them to do hand-printing

Fingerprint art is a simple (albeit messy) way to get your kid to play with colours and shapes to stimulate their imagination. You can show them some examples, or let them go wild with their imagination. You’ll be surprised at what they can come up with!

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples of art ideas you can create out of these colourful fingerprints.

Tip: Make sure to keep some wipes nearby so your kid doesn’t get paints all over your furniture.

3. Face painting

Recommended age: 12 months old and up. This is more fun for babies who can start appreciating their reflection in the mirror

Does your kid love playing dress-up? Turn them (and yourself) into their favourite animals or fictional characters using face paints. If you’re new to face painting, here are some ideas to get you started! you can start with some simple patterns or shapes like flowers around the eyes, before creating a full face design.

4. Nail polish marble art

Recommended age: 12 months old and up. This is more fun for babies who can appreciate the patterns and colours of the artwork

The thought of letting your kid be near nail polish may be scary, but if he or she is old enough, this nail polish marble art is a great idea for something a little different than simply painting on paper.

All you need is nail polish, water, watercolour paper and some toothpicks. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial that you and your kid can follow to create some stunning artworks you can decorate their room with.

5. Giant paintings

Recommended age: Seven months old and up. For infants, as long as they can sit up, you can guide them to do painting

There’s something about drawing or painting directly on the floor that’s just so much more fun that on paper, but of course that’s not an option unless you can afford to constantly scrub the floor off of paints. An easy solution would be to get some large-sized paper and create a giant painting on the floor.

For younger kids, you can draw some simple outlines for them to colour in. If yours is a little older, you can get them to draw their own outlines and go to town with their crayons and paint brushes.

6. Simple origami

Recommended age: 4 to 7 for simple designs, 8 and above for complex designs

For a straightforward, no-mess activity, origami or paper craft is your best bet. It also doesn’t need many materials – all you need is origami paper and occasionally, a pair of scissors. Depending on how old your kid is, you can teach them more simple or complex designs. There are a ton of tutorials online so you’ll never run out of origami ideas to keep your kid busy!

7. Paper bead jewellery

Recommended age: 4 to 7 for simple designs, 8 and above for complex designs

This is one of those tutorials that take way less effort than the end result looks like. It’s also a great way to use up the spare scrapbooking paper you have lying around the house.

The process is as simple as rolling up strips of scrapbooking paper, glueing down the tail and stringing them together, and voila, a super cute necklace or bracelet your kid can wear as accessory!

8. DIY playdough

Recommended age: Seven months old and up. Younger children will need more supervision, in case they consume the playdough

Parents would agree that playdough is one of the best things ever invented. It keeps the child engaged for hours while improving their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. But store-bought playdough can contain harmful ingredients, not to mention, it can be expensive.

Instead, you can get your child to help you make their own playdough using very simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s a quick 4-minute no-cook recipe, or you can also try this 2-ingredient edible playdough that looks just like ice cream!

Games

9. Child-friendly LEGO sets

Recommended age: Duplo sets are usually recommended for children 18 months and above, and there are Lego sets that are suitable from every age group (3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12+)

Fun, engaging and developmentally beneficial, LEGO is a staple in many kids’ toy box. It also often takes them hours to put together, which means parents can (finally) have some time to themselves.

For small toddlers, you can opt for the LEGO Duplo sets with bigger pieces that are easier to handle and are less likely to cause choking.

If you don’t currently own any Duplo or LEGO blocks, they are available for delivery from Toys “R” Us.

10. Board games

Recommended age: Different age ranges, depending on type of games

Board games are a great way for the family to spend some quality time together. Depending on how old your child is, there is a host of board games you can teach them to play, such as Scrabble, Clue Junior, or Monopoly.

11. Jigsaw puzzles

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Recommended age: Different age ranges, depending on type of puzzles

Another game that you can leave your kid to play on their own and buy yourself some free time is jigsaw puzzles. If you have a young toddler, choose simpler pictures with big pieces. For older kids, you can get them more complex pictures from their favourite movies or comics such as Disney princesses or Spider-Man.

12. Indoor scavenger hunt

Recommended age: Different age ranges (starting from around 3), depending on complexity of tasks

On the weekend, you can organise a scavenger hunt indoor for your kid to take part in. It does take a little more effort than other activities on this list to prepare the clues. That’s why you should reserve it for when you have more free time, but we’re telling you it’s definitely worth it.

Need some inspiration? Here are some fun scavenger hunt ideas you can check out!

13. Blanket and pillow fort

Recommended age: 18 months and above

Adults or kids, forts made out of blankets and pillows are universally loved. Gather your sofas, chairs, cushions, pillows and blankets, and having fun building an epic fort with your kid.

And the fun doesn’t stop at building the fort. Normal things your kid does on a regular basis like eating or watching movies become so much more fun when done inside the fort, and you will probably have a hard time getting them to leave the fort at all.

Here‘s a simple tutorial on how you can put together a cosy fort out of blankets, pillows and a few other items you can find around the house.

14. Washi tape race track

Recommended age: 3 years and above

If your kid loves playing with toy cars, you can make the race that much more fun for them by “building” a race track with washi tape. Simply stick strips of washi tape of various colours on the floor to create a proper track for your kid to race their little cars on.

Movies

15. Movie night with their favourite snacks

Recommended age: 2 years and above

Too lazy to prepare for games? Just put on your kid’s favourite movie (that they have watched a hundred times!) and bring out their favourite snacks (or homemade popcorns!) for some quality family time that doesn’t take any effort to organise.

Food

16. Easy baking recipes

Recommended age: 2 years and above, depending on complexity of recipes

If your kid is old enough to be in the kitchen, you can get them to help with some easy baking recipes such as these cake pops or chocolate chips muffins. Be careful not to let them enjoy too much of their own creations, or they will be bouncing off the walls from sugar high!

17. Decorate cupcakes

Recommended age: 2 years and above, depending on complexity of recipes

Decorating cupcakes is another easy way to get your kids involved in baking that is way less messy than actual baking. Set up a simple decorating station with icing and food colourings and let your kids go to town with the decoration.

18. 5-minute ice cream

Recommended age: 2 years and above, depending on complexity of recipes

Every kid loves ice cream, but ice cream that they can make themselves within five minutes? Even better!

All you need is a few simple ingredients, ice, two ziplock bags, and five minutes of non-stop shaking the bag. You can also add in flavouring extracts for endless possibilities of flavour combinations. Here‘s the tutorial, now go get your kid and make some ice cream!

Easy science experiments

19. Mini volcanoes

Recommended age: 3 years and above, depending on complexity of experiments

Baking soda and vinegar aren’t just useful as cleaning agents. Add in food colourings and glitters and your kid can create their own mini volcanoes spewing lava from little plastic cups. Keep the cups in a deep baking dish to contain the mess.

20. DIY Rock candy

Recommended age: 2 years and above, depending on complexity of recipes

Get your kid to learn about crystallisation in the most delicious way with this DIY rock candy tutorial. Prepare a concentrated sugar solution by dissolving sugar in boiling water. Add in food colourings and flavourings or your choice.

Once the solution has cooled, get your kid to prepare wooden sticks for crystallisation by rolling them in granulated sugar. All that’s left to do is leave the sticks in a jar filled with the sugar solution for about two weeks. Make sure the jar is transparent so your kid can observe the crystallisation process.

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