Whenever I say to my kids you can have some ‘quiet time’ they instantly think that is a signal they can have the Ipad (please don’t judge me!). I won’t lie the use of Ipads has increased during lockdown but we have also found lots of other activities they can do during quiet time and most of them don’t involve help from me!
Here are our Mumbler tried and tested 10 chill out activities for kids of all ages. We all need some moments of peace and quiet in our busy lives, and this helps both parents and children recharge.
1. Writing – Letters/Lists/Short Stories/ Play Scripts/ Thank You Cards
My daughter loves nothing better than writing play scripts that she then acts out with her brother! She has also been writing letters to her friends and family during lockdown and my son and his friend have been taking it in turns to write and illustrate a chapter each of a book they have created.
2. Reading/Audio Books
We have kept up with our reading in an evening during lockdown as this really helps to chill them out before bed. Early into lockdown we also found audiobooks (www.audible.co.uk have a 30 day free trial) and after lunch, they both have some ‘chill time’ and listen to an audiobook of their choice. Other ideas that have been suggested by fellow Mumblers is getting children to build a reading den they can read in or have daily storytime with grandparents.
3. Hold a Photo Session
Both mine have really shown an interest in taking photos during lockdown, whether that be out on our walks or of the pet rabbit (luckily he is very obliging!) They can use a toy camera or a mobile phone to take some snaps. I find it works best if I give them a brief like photograph your favourite toys or what nature can you see from the window.
This can be adapted for all ages, they could build a Lego model, mine have re-found the duplo and had challenges to make the largest tower, you could also do this with playing cards or something else for older children!
5. Colouring and Sketching
My two (and me!) have really found a love of colouring again and they have spent hours on various masterpieces. Whether it be colouring books we have had in the cupboards for years or the downloadable Thank You to our Key Worker sheets you can get here. They have also got more into sketching and I have challenged them to find a photograph or picture of a person, place or object and sketch it. The eldest especially has really enjoyed this and her confidence has come on loads over the last few weeks.
Jigsaws are brilliant for all ages, my two have challenged themselves to how many they can complete in half an hour! Wordsearches and Sudoku books have also been popular in our house during lockdown. We have a Mumbler puzzle sheet you can download HERE.
7. Calm Crafts
I know not all crafts can be classed as chill out activities but we have a few ideas that can be ‘calmer’ in nature. Examples of craft activities my kids enjoy are junk modelling, aqua/hama beads, playdough, making a puppet sock and creating their own secret code for each other to crack!
8. Get Outdoors
Spending time in nature is linked to positive physical and mental health and improved well-being. Doing a bug/mini beast hunt, a game of hide and seek and chalks on the pavement/drive have been favourites during lockdown along with making potions from grass / leaves / soil and water.
9. Imaginative Play
You are never too old for pretend play! Role play can be a great way to connect and chill out, during lockdown we have had vets, hairdressers, shops, building site, doctors, cafes and many more!
10. Yoga & Mindfulness
We have enjoyed Cosmic Kids Yoga during lockdown. It includes interactive adventures for children 3+ years which builds children’s strength, balance and confidence and get kids into yoga and mindfulness early in a fun way.