Electronic devices have become the go-to method for keeping children entertained and busy over school breaks. Understandably, due to the pandemic, screen-time is at an all time high. A controlled amount of screen-time utilised for education or entertainment purposes can be very beneficial for children. However, sometimes electronic devices can become overused. Therefore, ways to minimise screen-time are particularly important. Here are some suggestions to keep your children entertained with and without the screens this easter.
Although difficult to plan in the UK, hopefully, we get some dry days over the easter break! Sports days have been few and far between over the past few years, so have one at home instead! Activities for small children include an egg and spoon race (with hard-boiled eggs or a small potato), keep the balloon up, the floor is lava and ball catch and throw without dropping competitions. Other ideas include: “tightrope walking” (some tape on the ground- carrying something, balancing a soft toy on their head), bean-bag toss using a bucket as the target, a three-legged race or long jump, an obstacle course. Or the whole family can get involved on a hike or day out. Choose a spot (within your limit), pack a picnic and enjoy.
Easter can be a good time to break out those board games that have been sitting in the cupboard since Christmas. This can also be a perfect opportunity to help your child learn a new skill – so if you have a chess or backgammon set, get it out and teach your children how to play. Card games are one of my favourites and they can be a great way to pass a few hours and involve everyone of all ages.
Children of all ages love making things and creating a mess, and many “old-fashioned” craft activities are still relevant today. So, if you have a limited supply of paint, crayons, paper and glue in the house, now is the time stock up. Drawing and painting pictures are always fun. However, you can spice things up by painting old shoes, filling them with soil and planting some seeds. Old T-shirts can be painted or tie-dyed, while cardboard boxes can be transformed into vehicles, buildings or even spaceships. The options are unlimited! Here is a link with some craft ideas to get the creative juices flowing!
For slightly older children- it is good to instil an interest in learning how to do things themselves. There are numerous skills we take for granted as adults, not remembering that someone had to take the time to teach us how to knit, bake, change a window wiper, change a fuse in a plug etc. Years ago, some of these life skills were part of the curriculum. However, unless your child is studying a specific subject, most kids these days will have no experience of these skills – so you could teach them a useful skill. Even if you don’t know how to do these things yourself, you can both learn together with the aid of handy YouTube videos.
It’s the Easter break after all, so a treasure hunt is a must and will keep the younger children amused for as long as there is one more egg to find! Hide objects around the house or garden or ask them to search for various things using a list (draw pictures if they are not at reading age). Outdoors they could look for sticks, stones, particular flowers or leaves (helping them learn about the nature around them). The list can be as long as your arm – and you could pack them a snack for their “treasure hunt break”. Children can be kept busy while you have a cup of tea or make an important phone call.
Online entertainment is an important tool in modern society that provides children and adults some much-needed downtime. There are numerous ways to use this in an advantageous way ranging from fun online tuition which we provide at Primary Tutor Project to educational videos on yoga, dance, drama etc. found on YouTube. There are also plenty of free apps for small children including Paint Sparkles, Lego Juniors Create & Cruise, Kids Piano Lite, Pirate Treasure Hunt and Endless Wordplay. There is something educational that will suit your child or teenager. If video games are popular in the house, perhaps they could be used to encourage children to get fitter. For example, Wii fit or Nintendo Switch are consoles created to entice users to get up off the couch and become more active.
Keeping you child entertained in a meaningful way throughout the Easter break can be a challenge, so don’t be hard on your self if for some days you rely on Netflix or the television. Try your best to bring some variation in, as your child will love it and you’ll feel better for it! If you’re struggling for ideas or feel your child could do with a educational boost after the Easter break, feel free to reach out to us at Primary Tutor Project.