28 April, 2020

Trying to keep the kids entertained in self-isolation?

With schools, parks, and cinemas closed, many families are being forced to get creative with activities for kids stuck at home (there are only so many times you can watch Frozen II).

Keep the kids busy and your sanity intact with these quarantine activities for kids that can be enjoyed in the safety of your home and yard.


1. Exercise Dice

This is a great way to get kids moving and hold their attention for long enough to finish your coffee in peace. Just grab a die and assign an exercise or activity to each number, then get your children to take turns rolling it and performing the assigned action. Some exercise and activity ideas might include:

  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Hop on one leg
  • Air guitar
  • Pretend swimming
  • Penguin waddle.


2. Life-Size Drawings

Forget the A4 self-portrait and go big with life-size drawings! Get your child to lie down on butcher’s paper or several pieces of A4 paper stuck together and trace an outline of their body. Then they’re free to bring it to life by drawing their face and whatever outfit they wish.


3. Backyard Obstacle Course

Another great self-isolation activity for kids with energy to burn, a backyard obstacle course is sure to keep the whole family entertained. Add some friendly competition by making it a race against siblings or parents, or challenge your child to beat their best time. Some obstacle ideas might include:

  • Running through the rungs of a ladder flat on the ground
  • Jumping over laundry baskets
  • Weaving around buckets
  • Crawling under a broom balanced on chairs
  • Kicking a ball through DIY goalposts
  • Knocking over a tower of plastic cups
  • Balancing on a timber beam.


4. DIY T-Shirt Design

If you have a t-shirt, you have a canvas. T-shirt decorating is perfect for a couple of hours of creativity and imagination. Set your kids up with a plain t-shirt and some colourful fabric paints, pens, stencils and brushes, and watch as they express themselves.


5. Housebound Treasure Hunt

Make a basic map of your home and hide ‘treasures’ around it (e.g. chocolates or small toys), marking each piece of treasure on your map. For older kids who can read, make your treasure hunt a little harder and use written clues/riddles to help them. For example:

Clue: I have four legs but no feet. When you’re tired, take a seat.

Answer: Chair

This combination of quiz and hunt is a great way to keep young minds active and entertained.


6. Fashion Show Photoshoot

Kids will love rummaging through their closets and costume boxes to put together their favourite outfits to show off to the family. Put on some fun music and get your camera ready to capture their best poses on the catwalk.


7. Backyard Campout

While we may not be able to go camping at our favourite beach or bush campsites, the backyard is the next best thing. This is one of our favourite self-isolation activities for kids experiencing cabin fever and in need of a change of scenery. Pitch the tent and roll out the sleeping bags for a night under the stars in your own backyard. Don’t forget the marshmallows!


8. Rock Painting

All you need is some acrylic paint, small paint brushes, and some rocks, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon of creative fun. Give them a wipe over to remove any dirt, then let the kids let loose with their masterpieces.


9. Dance Recital

Mini movers and shakers will be in their element performing a dance routine for the family. Challenge your kids to come up with their own moves or learn choreography online, like this fun and easy dance to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justine Timberlake.


10. Cookie Decorating

You can’t beat cookie decorating for a quiet (and delicious!) indoor activity. Grab some plain biscuits or cookies (like Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot) or bake your own sugar cookies for the kids to decorate. You can make circular cookies or mix things up with cookie cutters in fun shapes. Just wait for them to dry and equip your kids with icing, icing pens, sprinkles, and premade edible icing decorations.

For more fun ideas, check out our list of ways for grandparents to stay connected with their grandkids from afar.


If you’re having a tough time and need someone to talk to, call us on 1300 364 277. Our telephone counsellors are available Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.