The past month in level 4 lockdown has been an interesting experience, to say the least. With home becoming the new office, school and pre-school, it’s fair to say that Kiwi parents have had to think on their feet for new ways to keep kids entertained within the restrictions of isolation.
But with level 4 behind us, the arrival of level 3 comes with the ability to source a few extra things your little ones may need in this next phase of lockdown.
Education, but make it fun
OK, so you may think kids won’t jump up and down at the thought of educational toys, but with over 4,000 listings in this category onsite there’s something to suit every interest. Get your little one’s brain whirring with toys and activities that challenge them to think, create and learn.
Dive into the basics of physics with solar-powered model kits and build robots or space rovers that magically move with the help of the sun. Take the first steps into chemistry with a kit to grow your own crystal geodes or this kid’s first science lab. If you have a tech-obsessed child, why not get them interested in engineering with this computerless coding kit or this device which turns a smartphone into a science lab?
Cookie cutter characters
Do your kids get attached to fictional characters? If they’ve been spending a little extra time glued to their screens over the past few weeks, why not encourage them to get busy in the kitchen and bring their favourite cartoon friends to life in cookie form?
Take a basic biscuit recipe like this one and take them to the next level with special cookie cutters in the shape of Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse and all the loveable characters from Winnie the Pooh and Paw Patrol. Mix up some coloured icing and give your little ones creative reign with the piping bag. And for a little bit of magic, why not add a finishing touch of edible glitter?
Being able to venture outside and get some fresh air has been a saving grace for many during the lockdown – especially parents with restless children! Take inspiration from nature for activities that encourage the kids to go outdoors and get their hands dirty.
For an easy craft idea, go on a flower foraging adventure and use a flower press back at home for beautiful artwork that uses only pressed flowers, paper and glue! If your wee one has more of a green thumb than an arty one, encourage them to be your little gardening assistant with these tot-sized tools and task them to pull out weeds and search for pesky slugs and snails.
Living sustainably may have been harder for some over the last few weeks,, with recycling halting in most areas and supermarkets pre-packaging many items. So, if you’re keen to find a couple of eco-friendly play options for your little ones, we’ve got you covered.
Let your kiddies get their craft on with this non-toxic and earth-friendly powdered paint – add a little water for creamy, tempera texture or splash in a bit more for whimsical watercolours. If face painting sounds like fun, there’s a natural option for that too.
For noisy outdoor fun, replace single-use water balloons with these soft and squishy reusable ones. Just soak them in a bucket of water and choose a target! For quiet play, take a look at these adorable crochet soft toys, handmade in Auckland.
Do you have a creative child who’s bored of the usual paints and pens? Modelling clay is a great way to bring artwork into the third dimension with plenty of room for imagination.
For budding potters in the family, this kid-friendly pottery wheel is the perfect rainy day activity for busy little hands. Create a bowl or mug, and use this unique technique to create realistic speckled pottery using only black pepper.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, why not keep the kids busy with this tutorial for a beautiful, handmade ring dish for mum? You’ll need various colours of oven-bake clay like du-kit, metallic paint and plenty of creativity!