In light of the recent initiatives by the government to combat the spread of Covid-19, Malaysians are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. While the adults can keep themselves occupied by working from home, or doing little side projects around the house, children need activities to keep them occupied.
Instead of letting them watch cartoons all day, why not engage your little ones with some fun family-oriented activities? Here are some suggestions to keep the family occupied and happy during these trying times.
1. Toy parachute
This activity is a hit with many children because it doubles as a fun introduction to physics and keeps them occupied for hours. Get the children excited by having them choose their favourite small toys for the task. Cut squares or circles out of cloths and plastic bags in different sizes. Once done, tie threads at the four corners of the square materials. Tie the other ends of the thread to each toy and let the children drop their toys from different heights. They’ll love experimenting to see which toy falls the fastest and slowest.
2. Mini lid banjos
This easy craft only requires rubber bands, container lids, jumbo ice cream sticks, washi tape and duct tape. Start by looping three to four rubber bands over the container lid. Tape the rubber bands that are looped on top of the lid with duct tape to hold them in place. Cut off the end of the jumbo stick and decorate the remaining stick using washi tape. Once done, tape the decorated stick to the top of the lid to finish the look of the banjo.
3. Origami frogs
All you need for this craft is just some spare pieces of paper. If you already know how to fold a basic frog, up the challenge by using different materials to fold the frog. Through this, children get to compare which material gives a better ‘bounce’ or ‘leap.’ Hold a frog race and have the children compete to see whose frogs reach the finish line first.
4. Paper planes flight school
Are you a master at folding paper planes? It’s time to pass down the knowledge to your children. After folding paper planes in different sizes, have the family compete to see whose planes fly better. An alternative is to cut holes of different sizes and heights on a piece of cardboard with scores assigned to each hole. See who can fly their plane through the holes, and keep score.
5. Thumbprint family tree
Younger children can create a host of beautiful artwork using just their fingerprints and paint. They can create images of flowers or caterpillars easily. For the older children, they can be roped in to create and decorate the family tree on a large art block paper.
6. Race track
Depending on how far you want to take it, you can easily help your children build a mini race track for their toys. Using just washi tape and some creative thinking, you can mark out lanes, roads, parking lots or buildings on the floor, or a large piece of cardboard.
Another fun science experiment for children is to make their volcanoes come to life. With simple ingredients such as baking soda, food colouring and vinegar, the children will have fun doing the experiment and watching the ‘lava’ ooze out over and over.
No bubble solution? Squirt a little bit of dish or bath soap into a cup of water and mix it up. Fashion bubble wands in different shapes using straws and let your children go wild with them.
The best arsenal to have at home is a box of paint that’s safe for children to use. Other than free painting, you can provide stamping tools such as bubble wrap, leaves or wooden blocks to keep things interesting.
10. Sponge water bombs
Instead of throwing water balloons, try making sponge water bombs. All you need to do is to cut up sponges into strips. Stack the sponge strips together and tie them in the centre with a rubber band until they fan into a round shape. Let the children soak the sponge bombs before throwing them at one another.