Like many of you we’ve found ourselves in a situation this week where we’ve had to isolate after being pinged by the Covid app. So if you find yourself in the same situation here are a load of ideas to help you occupy your toddler. I’ve tried to include lots that encourage independent play in case you are trying to juggle work as well as looking after the kids!
Google AR 3D animals
You can use this feature on Google to place animals within your own house. Open Safari or Google Chrome on your phone and search for an animal and somewhere on the page will be a Google information box that also has a “View in 3D” button. Click on it and follow the instructions on your phone and it will place the animal in the room (as long as your phone is compatible).
Click here for a full list of everything available in AR, along with instructions.
Playing with Dried Pasta
Grab some dried pasta and a couple of bowls and let your toddler move them from one bowl to another using whatever utensils you can get your hands on. Using tongs is a great way of developing fine motor skills.
She also made bowls of pasta for her toy animals and had a tea party and used her diggers to drive it around the room. Hours of fun!
Quick and easy, give your little ones some crayons and their favourite colouring book.
Show we a toddler that doesn’t like stickers! @4_things_and_me shared a great hack for sticker books. Peel off the paper surrounding the stickers so they can peel the stickers off easily by themselves.
An almost mess free way of letting them paint, winner! Set them up with a magic painting book, paintbrush and pot of water and let them reveal the colours on the page.
The Little People’s Book Club has a great selection of magic painting books.
If you’ve not come across it before, it’s like a magic sand that you can pull, shape and mold into shapes and never dries out. Ashley plays with this for days on end when I get it out. I normally set it up in a small play tray (like this one) with some dinosaurs or animals.
Click here to buy the kinetic sand that we have (aff link).
Set your little one up with a bowl of water, Ashley especially loves it with some soap and bubbles, and let them wash their toys. Or fill bottles with water and a bit of food colouring and let them make potions.
Reading Eggs is the online reading program that helps children aged 2-13 learn to read. The programme makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. It entertains Ashley for ages on our iPad and I can really see her learning from it too. A perfect isolation activity!
Click here for a free 30 day trial.
There’s a couple of playdough kits that Ashley has been sent which she’s loved and they entertain her for ages! One is from Child’s Play and the other is from LittlePlay.
Child’s Play have several themes including dinosaurs, unicorns and ice cream and have everything you need to make the playdough yourself (and it makes loads) and lots of fun bits to encourage imaginative play. Click here to view their Etsy shop
LittlePlay have a huge range of themes with everything from princesses to construction each with pots of scented playdough. Ashley’s had a couple of their kits and plays with them independently for over an hour sometimes! Click here to browse all of their kits and use code Bucks10 for 10% off.
My Busy Books
These books come with a story, a play mat and a load of small characters and can often be found at a bargain price. Ashley’s not that interested in the story or play mat but LOVES the characters and uses them throughout the day in all kinds of imaginative play scenarios. You’ll find them for loads of your little ones favourite films and TV programmes. Ashley has them for Frozen, Minnie Mouse and Peppa Pig. I always keep some of the characters in my bag for her to play with when we’re waiting for our meal in a restaurant, or if we go for a picnic.
Here’s a link to a few different ones (aff link).
Use some old cardboard boxes to set up a shop or café and put a load of toys, books, play food, etc on them to play at selling. It could be anything on the shelves really! Let them play shop keeper and sell you various items. Ashley particularly loves doing this as a café and making me all kinds of food.
We play all kinds of role play games, everything from doctors to hairdressers. Sometimes it involves props where we have them or we just make them up.
If you really want to step it up a notch then why not hire a role play kit from Pop Up Play Village. Click here to view their kits. Use the code ‘babyinbucks’ when ordering to get 10% off your hire.
Always a great activity to pass a bit of time! I discovered Little Brian paint sticks in the first lockdown and they are brilliant for a mess free painting session!
Click here to buy (aff link)
This is my go to activity with Ashley whenever I get stuck for something to do! It can be something as simple as a vanilla cupcake or we’ve done several baking kits which we’ve loved. The baking kits often come with the dry ingredients so you just add the wet ingredients like eggs and milk. These are really handy to have in the cupboard so you can whip them out when you’re stuck for an activity.
Nellies Bakes – if you are local to Flackwell Heath you can do the full subscription to their Summer Bake Camp which includes ingredients at the bargain price of £10 for 6 weeks or sign up to the email recipe subscription which is free!
You don’t need to make this difficult. It can be as simple as mixing some icing sugar and water together and decorating some rich tea biscuits with icing and sprinkles. Or you can buy a kit and decorate some really tasty biscuits. We’ve done this with fab kits from the Berkshire Collective (these are seasonal) and Teacups and Tandems.
I know mess isn’t for everyone but here’s a great kit to do messy play without making too much mess! This kit from Zimpli Kids comes with a brilliant blow up tray, gelli and characters to play with. Ashley loves having this set up alongside a bowl of water, as she likes to wash the characters that get messy in the gelli LOL!
Gelli Worlds Fantasy Pack from Zimpli Kids for unicorn lovers!
Gelli Worlds Dino Pack from Zimpli Kids for dinosaur fans!
For the quickest activity to set up ever I use the TrayMix set from LittlePlay which you just tip out onto a tray and you’re ready to play. Ashley has this bug one and we play hide and seek hiding the bugs in the rice and under the leaves. There are loads of different themes available.
Make lunch a bit more fun by creating your own afternoon tea or picnic at home. You could tie it in with baking and include some of the things you’ve baked. If you want to really treat yourself and give everyone something to look forward to then order in your own afternoon tea. Piglets Pantry do a really cute kids afternoon tea box, as well as seriously tasty adult ones. They often have good deals for them on GroupOn too.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden and a paddling pool this is always a great one for passing a lot of time when the weather is nice.
There are loads of fun online children’s classes that you can do and many will let you sign up for a one off class. Have a browse through the Club Hub website or app to find one that you’re interested in.
I hope you manage to find some activities that you enjoy here and the isolation period passes quickly for you!