Kids love to pretend – they like to play as vets, doctors, shop keepers and more. Most of all, kids love to pretend to be grown-ups! Engage their imaginations with these fun activities.
You will need a string, two heavy chairs, a basket of clothes, handtowels or dolls clothes and pegs.
- Put the string between the two chairs and tie or secure them, so that they are around eye height for the kids
- Manipulating and pinching the pegs is great for fine motor skills and hand eye coordination
Here is a song to sing while hanging out the washing:
Wet washing hanging on the line,
Dries so very quickly when the weathers fine,
Along comes the wind and blows them all about
Flip, flap, flip, flap, blowing all about
Let the kids 'wash' the clothes or hand towels in a bucket of water and wring them out before they hang them to dry. When the washings dry, you can bring it inside and let the kids fold it up!
Post Office dramatic play
You will need some paper, pens and envelopes, stickers, cardboard boxes, and a flat surface.
If you do not have any envelopes, you can easily fold a piece of paper into a home-made envelope.
- Set up your cardboard box as a post box (decorate it as you like) and make an opening to put the letters through
- Draw little pictures and notes for your letters and place them in the envelopes, put on a 'stamp' and send it through the post box
Guess what animal I am?
How to play guess the animal:
- Ask your child to choose an animal
- Ask your child to think about the way the animal moves. Look at pictures in a book together, if your child is not sure
- Encourage your child to move like the animal they have chosen
- Try and guess what the animal is
- Take turns to move like different animals. You could crawl like a spider, hop like a hare, slither like a snake, or gallop like a horse
- Ask each other questions to help you guess. For example, ‘what noise does it make?’, ‘what does it eat?’, ‘is it fast or slow?’, ‘is it little or big?’ or ‘do I like it?’
Borrow a book from the library to help with animal identification:
- The Animal Awards by Martin Jenkins
- Animal Atlas by Anne Rooney
- Fauna: Australia’s most curious creatures by Tania McCartney
Find more animal books on the library catalogue.
The mystery bag is a simple game but very fun and mysterious for young children. It helps develop their stereo-gnostic senses (the ability to identify objects based on touch alone).
Grab a bag or a draw string pouch and fill it with 3 or 4 items that they are very familiar with and would be able to know just by touch. For example, a toy car or a shell. Then all they have to do is reach in and try and identify it by touch alone. A simple but effective game!
Pass the parcel with a twist
You will need a cardboard box (a shoe box or something with a lid), prizes, craft supplies and some music. This game is best with 3 to 4 players and children age 3+ years.
Pass the parcel can be tricky to navigate. From keeping things fair to keeping track of who has won and who has not. The twist is that there is only one prize and lots of guessing.
- Use old newspapers or recycled paper to wrap up several household items such as kitchen utensils, toys etc.
- These are placed in the shoe box with the lid on and becomes your parcel
- Pass the parcel around the circle. Each time it lands on someone, they have to pick an item and everyone tries to guess what it is
- Try to land on each child equally to give everyone a fair chance
- The child who guesses correctly (depending on how many items you use, and how many times you go around the circle) wins
- Make the prize about an experience rather than a sweet or a present – they can pick which movie to watch or what to have for dinner etc.
Tip: leave one prize in the box in case you need a tie breaker.
Create story stones
Get some round stones from the garden or a hardware store, some acrylic paint and your imagination. Paint a simple image or word on each stone – for example a sun, a flower, a happy face, a fish, or a cat.
Use these story stones as prompts for your children to create their own stories. Use them as 'and then…' tools. It sparks their creativity and you will be amazed at what stories they create.
Tip: make a variety of categories such as people, animals, places and objects.
Obstacle course with wool
You will need wool, painters tape (or other tape that will not damage walls) and scissors.
- Using a hallway or a clear space in your home, create a obstacle course by securing wool safely to surfaces (wall, stable chair etc.)
- Get down to child height to make sure it is appropriate and set the challenge of climbing over or under the wool without letting it touch them
- An easy to create challenge for kids big and small
Story time at home
Have a story time session at home; set up the teddy bears and dollies and gather the kids close to read these great picture books.
Enjoy some stories at home
Top ten picture book picks
- Animals brag about their bottoms by Maki Saito, translated by Brian Bergstrom
- Are these Hen's eggs? by Christina Booth
- Arlo: the lion who couldn't sleep by Catherine Rayner
- Avocado asks 'what am I?' by Momoko Abe
- The bear, the piano, and Little Bear's concert by David Litchfield
- Escape goat by Ann Patchett, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
- Forever by Beatrice Alemagna
- The giant and the sea by Trent Jamieson and Rovina Cai
- I am not an elephant by Karl Newson and Ross Collins
- Inch and Grub: a story about cavemen by Alastair Chisholm, illustrated by David Roberts
Rhyme time at home
Find great early literacy resources through the library website and create an at home rhyme time session.
Rhymes at home via Sunshine Coast Libraries.
Board books for little hands
- Cuddly Cow by Axel Scheffler
- Deep in the jungle: a colourful peek-through adventure illustrated by Laura Hambleton
- Five little monsters jumping on the bed by Bill Cotter.
- Follow me: fairy tales: finger mazes illustrated by Roisin Hahessy
- Hello, Mr Whale! A lift-the-flap book by Sam Boughton
Learn a new language together
Sunshine Coast Libraries offers free access to a resource called Transparent Language Online. It is a personalised language learning system that tracks your learning and practise progress. To join, sign up with your library card number and your details.
There are several kid friendly language tutorials including, French, Italian, German, Chinese and Spanish.
Other family activities
- Play a card game
- Go to the beach and practise sun safety together
- Go geocaching
- Go to the library
- Explore your hometown
- Start a herb garden
- Borrow a board game
- Play show and tell at home
- Make a cubby
- Go to a local market and get some fresh fruit
- Play with the hose or the sprinkler
- Do a puzzle together
- Bake a new recipe
- Have a family movie night at home
- Make craft out of just things from the recycling
- Go to a local museum
- Make a tie dye t-shirt
- Visit a national park
- Do a random act of kindness
- Make a collage from old magazines or a family picture collage
- Take a road trip
- Try origami
- Make a karaoke playlist together
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