Saturday, June 27, 2020

30 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained ~ Through Lockdown and Beyond!

We’re now 3 months into travel restrictions and I’m sure you like me are
sometimes struggling to come up with something else to keep your children
entertained. As a Mam of 7 children ranging in age from newborn to 13 years old I pretty much have a child at every developmental stage so I have to be
resourceful and cater for all their needs.

As an addition to my recent NUK Baby Talk on Instagram I’ve decided to put together this list of 30 things to help keep your children entertained. I’m conscious like me some of you don’t have the time, energy or funds to be constantly buying or organising things to do so hopefully these ideas will help.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Recycling Truck!

I have a load of boxes from home deliveries I’ve received recently so we decided
to put them to good use.

1. Make a Boat:

Not just any boat you can have a theme or rules like it must hold a certain
weight. This activity can be as hands on as you wish, you can build it with
them or you could give them the supplies and let them build their boat
while you have 5 minutes to make that call or grab (reheat) some tea.
You could even race them across your paddling pool if you have one.

2. Car Park:

My lad Lorcan (5) is mad about Hot Wheels so he’s nabbed a few boxes,
some toilet roll inserts, tape and a children’s scissors and got to work, it
kept him busy for the 2 days it took to complete his garage.

3. Truck:

We needed a new microwave so we had a large box, when my daughter
Orla saw it she immediately asked for it to make Lorcan a truck. It took
her 3 days of designing, cutting and sticking to make Lorcan an amazing
truck that he can wear!

4. Bug Hotel:

This is perhaps one of the easiest to make, cut a large plastic bottle into
two cylinders and stuff with twigs, small pieces of wood, pine cones etc.
Tie a piece of twine around them and hang from a fence or branch of a
tree. You’re now open for guests!

5. Can you hear me?!

Sometimes some of the old ideas are the best, string two empty tins
together to make a tin can telephone. Make sure to keep the string taut
so it’ll work.

6. You’re on TV! 

Using an old cardboard box make a TV and have the kids present their
favourite show, tell jokes or read their news from your house that week.

Let's Get Reading!

Story Time

7. If you have older children ask them to write a short story on a topic of
your choice or using a list of 10 crazy words and ask them to read it to

8. A great easy family activity is to sit in a circle and each member of the
family makes up a line of a story. Start with the youngest and go in a
clockwise direction. My 8 year old has some outlandish lines!

9. For children aged 5 and over give them the title of a book, it can be a
completely made up book and ask them to design a cover.

10. Look up your local library online HERE, a lot of them have social media pages. I know my local library has story time every day for kids. If you can’t find anything for your local library check out neighbouring counties.

11. Libraries also have wonderful craft ideas for kids such as Harry Potter
Potions or Wands.

12. Get them reading from an early age, sign up to your local library online
and you can borrow books digitally using Borrow Box HERE.

13. J.K. Rowling is releasing her new fairy tale online free of charge, New
chapters will be released every day from May 26th to July 10th HERE

Young Kids Online Activities
Online Fun for Everyone!

Online Activities

14. If you have YouTube on your TV look up Karaoke and let the kids belt out
their favourite songs. Don’t be shy join in for some great belly laughs.

15. Over 2,000 museums around the world are currently offering free virtual
tours you can also visit famous landmarks without having to leave the
comfort of your couch. Some of my kid’s favourites are the Imperial War
Museums in The UK, the American Museum of Natural History where they
filmed the Night at the Museum movies, the Smithsonian Air and Space
Museum and NASA in the US. Check out

16. Watch beluga whales live and learn more about them on

17. Watch animal webcams live from zoos around the world, our favourites
are Dublin Zoo CLICK HERE and Smithsonian’s National Zoo CLICK HERE.

There’s lots of educational activities listed on their websites too, plenty to
keep your little one entertained.

18. is packed full of free videos, games and activities.

19. You’ll also find lots of fun facts, information and quizzes on

20. Minding their young minds, there’s an abundance of kid’s yoga and kid’s
meditation videos available free on

21. Water Safety Ireland has their PAWS lesson plans free online for parents.
The Primary Aquatics Water Safety course has lesson books, puzzles and
games, everything you need for your little one to become a PAWS Hero.

Seamus made Bob's Party Boat that can float with 500g weight!

Offline Activities

22. Treasure Hunt! It can be around the house or in the garden, there’s
plenty of ways you can change it up such as letting the younger kids
collect their toy cars or dolls and have a prize for who finds the most. You
can also set up a hunt with clues for the older kids or just have them find
a list of things around the house such as something purple etc. and have
the older kids write down what it was and where they found it.

23. Cook up a storm; it really doesn’t have to be the most elaborate meal.
Especially because I have younger children I take a lot of mess and fuss
out of baking by buying ready-made pastry and cake fillings such as
apples or rhubarb in a jar and let them make their own. Similarly making
pizza and pasta pesto is a favourite activity for my younger kids. You could even nab some menu ideas from our Hungry Mums on the Run group HERE

Character Cupcakes are SO Simple to do ~ Great Fun for Little Fingers & Litte Bellies Too!

24. Last summer when I had the time I taught my older kids how to make
their favourite dish from scratch, since we’ve been in isolation they’ve
increased their menu selection and cooking skills. I found they are more
willing to learn if it’s their favourite foods.

25. Make an obstacle course in the garden, get the kids to help plan and
design your course using items you already have to hand, making up
some fun mini games along the way.

26. A good old fashioned sports day, think along the lines of egg and spoon
race, wheelbarrow race, sack race, three legged race etc. make sure the
grown-ups join in too!

27. Get crafty; there are lovely ideas on Pinterest for making pictures/cards
using your children’s hands, feet or fingerprints. These would be a
beautiful way to send greetings to grandparents or family.

28. Disco Fever! Have a disco for the kids and dress up in the craziest outfits
you can think of for an added bit of craic.

29. Learn a TikTok dance, much as I tried to avoid this I eventually gave in
and we had some belly laughs along the way. Thankfully for all our sake's
there’s no footage left!

30. Make a list of the places you want to visit when travel restrictions are
lifted. We have a huge list of places to visit around Ireland in our Mums on
the Run Facebook Group. We're 24 thousand(!) women strong now. Come on over and join us!

Camping at Stone Gardens - with Snaaaaaaaacks!!
We’ll add a bonus activity of camping out in your garden overnight, we slept
on out trampoline and the kids loved it. We took a break for hot chocolate at
about 1am. I downloaded a stargazing app and a flight tracker app not that
there were many flights. We added battery operated fairy lights to the
trampoline so the kids had some light through the night,

There you have it 30 things to help keep the kids entertained, not once did I
mention slime or messy play at all as it gives me the gawks!

While my NUK talk was a
Collab, this post is not; I thought 
it helpful to have a searchable resource 
following the influx of messages in 
response to my talk*


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The article provides a variety of activities for children to engage during lockdown and beyond. It suggests organizing the list into age groups for easier access. It suggests adding tips on adapting activities to different settings or constraints. The article also suggests providing links to additional resources for each activity, personal anecdotes from parents, safety considerations for certain activities, and encouraging readers to share their experiences in the comments section. The aim is to make the advice more practical and relatable, while also ensuring the well-being of children.

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