KidsJason Koppel

With schools around the UK closing for the foreseeable future due to the Coronavirus pandemic, families are wondering how on earth they’re going to keep children entertained and stimulated at home. We know that this will be a concern for a lot of our customers so, with that in mind, we wanted to share some activities to do at home with children that are free or cheap. 

1. Make Playdough 

Good old fashioned playdough is a go-to for many parents, and there’s a reason for that… kids love it! It’s brilliant for sensory play and encourages them to use their imagination. Give them cookie cutters and plastic cutlery for making shapes, and let them get stuck in. There are really easy Playdough recipes online, and you can also make 2 ingredient Playdough with 2 parts cornflour and 1 part hair conditioner plus food colouring. Watch they don’t try to eat this one though!

2. Learn a language together 

Young children who are learning to talk have an incredible capacity to pick up new languages. Learning the basics of a new language as a family is a fun way to spend time together and mentally stimulating for children. Use an app or a book geared towards young children to learn the basics, and try to practice together every day.

3. Keep active

Do home workouts together outside in the garden, or in the home. YouTube has thousands of them, and Joe Wicks does family-friendly workouts on his channel. He has announced that he will be doing workout classes every morning at 9 am on his YouTube channel while the schools are closed. You could also set up obstacle courses in the garden to challenge little ones. 

4. Cook together as a family 

Get the kids involved in preparing the dinner such as chopping the salad or veggies (with plastic knives), giving things a stir and taste testing. It will make them much more excited to eat it if they’ve been involved in preparing it, and it’s a nice way for them to feel helpful during this time.

5. Read together 

Read, read, read with your children. Don’t fret if the homeschooling isn’t going to plan. Reading to your children and having them read to you (if they’re able) for an hour a day is going to help them greatly. There’s no better time to get stuck into that novel series with older children, and many children’s authors around the world are reading their stories live on Instagram at the moment. 

6. Party 

Undoubtedly, children are intuitive and pick up on more than we realise. There’s a lot we as parents can do to reassure them, such as not having the news on while they’re in the room, keeping newspapers with scary headlines out of sight, and carrying on ‘as normal’ as much as possible. To lighten the mood, why not turn on some music, dance, play games and have a mini party at home? Bake some cakes together, froth up some milk, put on fancy dress outfits and have a mad-hatters tea party. Have a weekly family games night where you play a board game together and eat their favourite snacks. You’ll find loads of games and puzzles for all ages available on the TJ Hughes website. Your children may look back at this time as being the best time ever!

7. Connection 

Keeping in touch with friends and family is really important for our emotional well-being, and that’s, of course, true for children too. Try to arrange for them to have regular video calls with their friends, grandparents, cousins and other loved ones. They will miss hanging out with their friends and with technology allowing us to connect more than ever, we really can make this as easy as possible with a little organisation. Be mindful that as much as we grown-ups may be missing the routine of school and childcare, they too will get fed up of being around the same adults the whole time. Remember to give them space when they need it. 

Make sure you are following TJ Hughes on Instagram where we will be sharing ideas for keeping children entertained, cheap meal ideas, organisation tips and our best deals on homeware, beauty and cleaning products. 

Take care,

Team TJ’s x