13 Apr, 2020 Last updated: 12 Mar, 2021

Activity ideas for parents who want to help their kids thrive while staying at home to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Author: VicHealth spoke to the team from Kids Thrive, a children’s development organisation in Victoria 

Any coronavirus information mentioned is accurate at the time this article was first published (13 April 2020). For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus restrictions, please visit the source: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

 

The best thing everyone can and must do right now is stay at home. 

This means some parents may belooking for new ideas on activities for restless kids stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. 

If that’s you, and you not only want to keep your kids busy, but also support their creative development and learning –then this is for you.

If you’re more interested in getting some perspective on where your hands-on role ends and your child’s creative play begins, check out our blog on this topic here.

 

Activity ideas for kids staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic [from a children’s development organisation in Victoria]

We spoke to Andrea Rieniets, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Kids Thrive, one of Victoria’s leading arts and community development groups committed to child-led social change.

Andrea has worked with young children for over 30 years, so she knows a thing or two about what activities can help them build great life skills.

Andrea and her team put a list of ideas together for activities – “for creativity and curiosity” – that parents can use to keep their kids busy while supporting their development.

 

Activity ideas for primary school kids and their grown-ups to try at home [from Andrea Rieniets and the team at Kids Thrive]

Physical activity ideas for kids at home:

  • Dance Classes
    Pick one dance and watch, learn and practice for the whole week. Have a Friday night concert in the lounge room. Remember to keep working at the same dance to get it really smooth!

Mental health and wellbeing activity ideas for kids at home:

  • 21 days of mindfulness boot camp

    Learn to develop your calm superpowers.
    Do each lesson for one whole week to build mastery

  • Your secret treehouse meditation
    Take a moment each afternoon to be a good friend to yourself.
    Let your eyes have a holiday. And follow the instructions to take a magical trip in your imagination.
  • Kids taking it off the streets and taking it to heart (note to reader: this is an idea for a kids’ game, there's no link)
    Invite creative suggestions to turn a virus into an opportunity for care and kindness - to yourself and others. How can you be kind and caring right now?

Getting involved with healthy eating – activities for kids to help with food at home:

  • Kids can be the boss of the kitchen (note to reader: this is an idea for a kids’ game, there’s no link)
  • Make your stay at home time like running your own hotel or restaurant. Help others around you feel cared for and supported.
  • How to set a table - be a better host at home. Learn and practise how to set a table to make mealtime a little more special.   
  • How to stack a dishwasher - cleaning up is still part of eating at home. Learn and practise how to put things into the dishwasher the best way to make everything come out sparkly and clean.

These are just some ideas to get you started. Andrea also included some general information for parents looking for tips on how to support their kids to thrive at home.

 

Tips for parents looking for new ways to include their kids in day-to-day activities around the home [from Andrea Rieniets and the team at Kids Thrive]

  • Joyfully include kids in household care as a valuable team member. Kids love to care for others and shoulder a little responsibility, and they enjoy having a purpose.

  • Have a family brainstorm of tasks that are needed. No scolding or ‘shoulds’. Use your adventure voice!

  • Ask for volunteers for a job, agree on the timing and make them the boss of that job for the day or the week.

  • Celebrate at the end of each day with a round of  ‘I am grateful for…’.  Each person finds one thing they loved about today and shares it.

  • Other resources:

Of course, in these new and unfamiliar circumstances, the best way to help your kids is to simply keep managing things as best you can. And with the coronavirus pandemic keeping kids at home, the ideas above could help shape some new activities to help keep them busy.

We hope these tips from the Kids Thrive team are a useful help to any parents navigating their ‘new normal’.

For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.