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7 days of ISOLATION – Fun and connection with your child

As winter ramps up and we start to see the next wave of the dreaded lurgy (Covid-19) roll through, more households will be finding themselves doing a stint in isolation or stuck at home recovering from other common flu and viruses. You might be wondering how you can help your children keep entertained with fun learning to pass the time, or you might be searching for beautiful ways to connect with your child through their play in those slower-paced moments of ISO.

So, we have put together 7 amazing and creative ideas with common household items that can be done together with your child without having to leave your home. Any missing items needed in these activities can easily be ordered online for delivery or in your groceries too.

Ice Eggs

If you have some eggs that are near the end of their life span – turn them into hours of exploration. This simple process from start to finish is bound to keep your child curious!

You will need,

  1. Eggs and their carton
  2. Nature treasures from your backyard
  3. Food colouring
  4. A container filled with cold water

Start with a nature treasure hunt around your backyard! Gather up any small and interesting nature treasures such as flowers, weeds, sticks, leaves etc. Next, gently break off the top of the eggshell and drain the egg and give it a gentle rinse out. We are yet to meet a child who hasn’t shown any interest in cracking egg shells, there is just something about it they find full of wonderment (don’t forget to make a yummy omelette together for lunch with the drained egg).

Begin to place the nature treasures inside the empty clean shell before dipping the eggshell into the container of water to fill it up. Next drop in some food colouring. We used old eye droppers but teaspoons or fingers will also do the trick! Once this is done put the eggs back into the carton and place them in the freezer! Overnight is best.

Once frozen peel the eggshell off (if they don’t peel easily, just run the eggshell under a bit of warm water briefly) Now they are ready for play and exploring. They are fun to melt to retrieve the natural treasures too.

Image of an empty egg shell cracked at the top and sat in an egg container
Screen Shot 2022-07-07 at 10.01.51 AM
Foam art
colourful foam art
messy hands foam art

SHAVE FOAM MESSY PLAY/ART

This simple tactile experience is bound to indulge your Child’s senses!

You will need:

  1. Shave foam
  2. Large container
  3. Food colouring
  4. Droppers
  5. Paper and or cardboard
  6. Optional, paint brushes or sponges.

Start by squirting generous amounts of shave foam into your container then using the dropper (or teaspoon if you don’t have a dropper) one by one slowly add small drops of different coloured food colouring all around the top of the shaving foam. Then your child can get to work using their hands, sponges and paint brushes to get messy and create their masterpiece.

One of our personal favourites is to gently press a small piece of cardboard straight onto the top of the food coloured, spotted shave foam and watch what develops when it transfers onto the cardboard!

EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY!

Apart from the fact that there is just so much learning involved in this activity – if you are sick your body will also thank you for doing this too!

You will need:

  1. Lemons
  2. Knives for cutting
  3. Large jug and juicer
  4. Smaller jug, or gravy boat for pouring.
  5. Ice cube trays
  6. Water, Sparkling water is also nice.
  7. Optional – Honey, ginger, thyme.

Get your children to wash, slice and learn the technique of juicing the lemons into the large jug. Remember to fish out the lemon pips after you have finished your juicing as nobody wants a chunk of pip down the throat if it is sore!

Once all the lemons are juiced transfer the juice into a smaller jug to make pouring into the ice cube tray lighter and easier for little hands. You can either put it straight into the freezer now, or you could go a little fancy and get your children to sprinkle some ginger and thyme over the juice, or add blobs of honey for a sweeter taste and then into the freezer.

Once frozen add your lemon juice ice cubes into a glass of water, or sparkling water, or gently heat them up with a cup of warm water to drink as a tasty throat soother and vitamin C kick. You could get really creative and turn some into some healthy iceblocks too!

slicing lemons
Squeezing lemons
pouring lemon juice
soap foam fun
soap foam hands
soap foam marble

SOAP FOAM 

Children just LOVE to make a mess and what a fun way to do this. Messy play is so important for a childs development. This basic activity inspires their curiosity, allows them to explore the world around them and enhances their learning, language and creativity. Children learn through experimentation and discovery and messy play encourages children to explore new textures and manipulate different materials through their sense of touch. 

You will need:

  1. A large bowl of warm water
  2. 1 cup of Dishwashing liquid
  3. A large container
  4. Food colouring
  5. An electric stick blender is best, you can use a hand beater but be prepared to keep on beatin’ for a long time!
  6. Utensils and different items like spoons, scoops etc for playing with the foam.

 

In the bowl whizz up the warm water, dishwashing liquid and food colouring until frothy. This process takes approx 5-10 minutes then transfer the foam to the container for play and it is ready for play.

If you want to do a couple of different colours for further exploration do up a second batch and mix the foam together for a marbled effect. 

BLOCK PLAY WITH A TWIST

Hours of entertainment in this quiet and calming activity. It doubles as creative art and puzzle and problem solving.

You will need:

  1. Double-sided tape
  2. Duplo, Lego, wooden blocks.

Create an outline of an image on the floor with the double-sided tape (Only peel the side of the tape that is going to make contact with the floor) – As you can see, we choose a simple tree outline, mainly as the children have many ways in which they could select to fill in or outline the tree with the Duplo and we could use it for scene play with the toy animals afterwards!

You could get really creative with this. Let the children work their own magic and imaginations for how they want to navigate this play.

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RAINBOW PASTA

Endless opportunity for play with coloured pasta – Don’t throw it away when you have finished. It lasts for months if kept in a sealed container to re-use for play over and over again.

You will need:

  1. Pasta
  2. Food colouring
  3. Sealable snaplock bags
  4. Accessories and utensils for pretend play – compartment containers for sorting colours etc.

To make, put uncooked pasta into snaplock bags, 1 bag for each food colour you have. Drip a few drops of food colouring into the bag, seal and shake until all of the colours have been absorbed by the pasta and it looks evenly coloured. Tip out onto a tray and let air dry for approximately 2-3 hours then it is ready for play. 

HAVE AN AT HOME “MUSIC SESSION”

This is probably our favourite at-home activity for Children. Where one can turn sticks from the backyard into Rakau sticks to play alongside some waiata, or some dishwashing liquid into bubbles which is a perfect match to have alongside Kath Bee’s “Blowing Bubbles” hit.

Bits of lycra or sheets from the cupboard that can be used as parachutes to pop “popcorn/coloured balls” or jiggle around a plastic bug to “my lovely lizard” on. All of these children’s songs can be found on the likes of Spotify or YouTube.

Children discover language, rhythm and tone through exposure to music and a fun way to explore this is by using props around the home or moving their bodies alongside favourite songs. Fingers can easily turn into speckled frogs and children love to use their bodies to hop along to “Mrs Bunny” – the ideas are endless. 

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