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15 Indoor Activities to do with kids during lockdown !

We are going through some really testing times and it's not easy for any of us and especially for the families who have young children at home. It is very challenging to keep them confined, constructively occupied and happy. However, it's not impossible and we can use easily available things at home and plan some activities basis the child's interest.

So, in this blog-post I am sharing some super simple activities for children; which you may resort to during this #LockDown time.

1. Draw/Doodle/Sketch/Colour/Paint

The most simple and easiest activity to begin with is, present the child with (pencils, crayons, paints, variety of papers) available at home. Let them explore either on their own or give them a guided activity. You may facilitate your child by helping them follow some steps to sketch/draw something specific. For this there are variety of  Blogs & YouTube Channels available once you search in Google. Rather my last post was on Doodling only.

You may like to read that BLOG-POST too  - Let's Doodle in Quarantine !

2. Play Dough 

Children love Play Dough, it's a wonderful Sensorial Exercise for them. In case you don't have Play Dough at home, you may prepare your own by following the recipe aforementioned. You may encourage children to mould various characters or use cookie cutters at home. You may explore various online tutorials too, for play dough modeling ideas for kids.

3. Lego / Blocks

Another activity which can have your child engaged for hours and work her/his brain is building/construction. For this you may use Lego or any type of blocks which you might have available at home. To make the activity more interesting you can also bring in some figurines for your child to work along with the blocks.

You may also use plastic bottles, bottle caps, show boxes, cartons, waste CD's, containers etc. for your child to create something.

4. Puzzles / Board Games

You may also indulge in some Puzzles & Board Games too with your child and have some family fun too. When we had moved to Japan I had bought some fun puzzles from the 100 YEN shop known as Diaso here, so those are coming super handy for us right now.

I also bought a Board Game called Othello and that too is great and you can have 4 players at a time and have endless fun. We also got some puzzles and games as gifts on Ms. A's Birthday, similarly you can dive in your child's resource room and dig out all the toys, puzzles & manipulative which your child might not have got time to enjoy during the routine days.

5. Dolls / Pretend Play & Traditional Toys 

You may also rummage your house for all the dolls, pretend play & traditional toys you have at hand. I am using the following traditional Japanese Toys which I purchased,  in one of my visit to Tokyo Toy Museum.
  • Kendama (けん玉, "sword [and] ball")which is a traditional Japanese skill toy. You may read more about this toy (HERE).
  • Wooden Spinner, which is a novel physical perspective classical toy.
  • Nesting Dolls, which are a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another.
  • Kokeshi Dolls, are dolls made in the Tohoku region in northeast Japan. There are about 10 styles, each with its own specific facial expression, hairstyle and body pattern.
I went bonkers with the toy collection at the museum and more than my daughter I was excited and wanted to shop everything on display but I managed to somehow control myself 😁. You may watch the video of this (Japan) Tokyo Toy Museum here 👇

6. Reading 

Reading is our most favourite engagement activity. Ms. A specifically enjoys History & Mythology so we are currently all heads in Amar Chitra Katha series. We have this little cozy corner for reading in Ms. A's play room and recently I adorned her Teepee with the lights I bought for our Christmas Tree , so she is super excited and using her Reading Space to the utmost.

You may use any corner in your house and create a little cozy Reading Corner by throwing in some cushions, pillows, soft toys. You can create tent using dupatta's, old sarees, bedcovers or bedsheets etc. Alongside, offer Books which interest to your child and indulge in some Read Along sessions and also encourage your child for independent reading. For independent reading I highly recommend that you invest in Phonic Books. Please read this Blog-Post of mine Why Phonic Reading is Important ?

7. Origami

Origami is very popular in Japan across all the age groups and children practice the same at school and home both. So, Origami can be another interesting activity to indulge in and you can keep increasing the challenge for your child as she/he progresses from simple ones to the difficult ones. One interesting website which I bumped into was this RED TED ART (CLICK HERE). You may refer this site and plan Origami and other Art activities for your child.

8. Carrom Board 

Carrom is one of the most popular games in the Asia-Pacific region and it's played regularly in homes across all ages. This game is similar to billiards and has some elements of shuffle-board to it as well. Using a disk called a 'striker', you flick it with a finger toward other disks to drive them towards one of four pockets.

In case you have Carrom Board at home, then you can get onto it along with your child and revisit your childhood days. Unfortunately, I do not have one with me here in Japan. however, I have played Carrom so much with my younger sister and cousins that I am short of words to express the good times we had.

9. Snakes & Ladders / Ludo / Uno

In India, these games are very common and popular and almost every house has one set of this. In case you too have this handy with you in current situation then it's a great way to keep children engaged.

Sharing here some information on each game from Wikipedia.

Snakes and Ladders, known originally as Moksha Patam, is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic. It is played between two or more players on a gameboard having numbered, gridded squares. A number of "ladders" and "snakes" are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate one's game piece, according to die rolls, from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by ladders and snakes, respectively. (Source: Wikipedia)

Ludo (from Latin ludo, meaning 'I play') is a strategy board game for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to the rolls of a single die. Like other cross and circle games, Ludo is derived from the Indian game Pachisi, but simpler. The game and its variations are popular in many countries and under various names. (Source: Wikipedia)

Uno (from Italian and Spanish for 'one'; stylized as UNO) is an American shedding-type card game that is played with a specially printed deck. The game's general principles put it into the Crazy Eights family of card games, and it is similar to the traditional European game Mau-Mau.
(Source: Wikipedia)

10. Ayatori

String Game or Ayatori is a very popular game in Japan and for the first when I saw a Japanese Lady playing the game, I was very surprised. Since, I grew up playing this string game with my neighborhood friends. However, I never knew that this game is so popular and I really can't recall what we used to call it in India. In case you remember do share in comments please.

Here is how WIKIPEDIA defines AYATORI 👇 and fortunately I found some videos too on YouTube, sharing one here. So, what are you waiting for ? All you need is a string and trust me it's a great Cognitive & Fine Motor Exercise for you and your child both.

A string figure is a design formed by manipulating string on, around, and using one's fingers or sometimes between the fingers of multiple people. String figures may also involve the use of the mouth, wrist, and feet. They may consist of singular images or be created and altered as a game, known as a string game, or as part of a story involving various figures made in sequence (string story). (Source: Wikipedia)

11. Measure - Draw - Label

Another activity which could be exciting & will have learning objective can be this one. You may have your child measure each family member's Height & Weight and later do the following:

A. Draw picture of each member and label PS: please do not go by measurements in the picture below 😆 these are absolutely arbitrary and I used the image just to draw reference to the activity I am suggesting.

B. Then plot the measurements on a graph do comparison and also observe in which category each family member falls in. You may also use this site to calculate BMI (Click Here)

12. Yoga for children

Introducing your children to yoga at an early age can help them learn healthy lifestyle habits and set the foundation for a fit future. It can be a great way of family bonding and practicing healthy habits. Yoga can benefit your child immensely and most importantly help calm their active minds, feel comfortable bout their bodies and build self-confidence. I highly recommend incorporating Yoga in your routine, especially in the current scenario where we need to have healthy bodies & calm mind.

I had bumped into this YOGA book in a pre-loved book sale and promptly bought it. It has beautiful compilation of some children friendly Yoga Poses along with poetry to get children attention. Watch REVIEW of this book here 👇

13. Gratitude Cards 

You may also encourage your children to put some Gratitude Cards together, incorporating the various reasons we should be thankful for things we have and also thanking our near & dear ones.

I didn't know our card would turn out like this (ha!ha!ha!)

14. Learn a new language

How about considering to learn a new language with your child. You may choose any new language and get the resources online and kick-start with your child. In the beginning you can focus on the following and later progress if your child takes interest:

(Image Source: FamilyMinded)

  • Daily Greetings
  • Conversation starters
  • Numbers
  • Days of the week
  • Time
  • Money

15. Household Chores

Last but not the least you can involve children in day-to-day household chores. Children need to be given responsibilities and assigning them age appropriate household chores is a great way of teaching them responsibility and hard work.