Cheap and easy home activities for kids

If there’s a positive to this whole corona virus outbreak and lockdown life it’s that it’s made us more resourceful. I’ve made a list of my favourite easy home activities for kids… Using what we have in the house! Take a look…

Easy Home Activities

I’ll keep adding to the list as and when we do more activities (and I remember to take pictures of them!) I’ve listed them by age appropriate, what you need and how. I hope this makes it easy to follow!

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Cheap, easy and fun activities with kids

3 Ingredient no bake salt dough

  • Age – 0+
  • What you need – All purpose flour, fine salt, water, grease proof paper. 
  • What to do – Add 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of water into a bowl and mix. Combine until you get a soft non-sticky doughy texture. If it’s too dry and crumbly add a drop of water or if it’s sticky add some flour. Kids love to work the dough, create shapes, handprints and figures etc… Let their imagination take over, the possibilities are endless!! This activity for babies and younger ones is great to make keepsakes and decorations with handprints. Place your creations on grease proof paper. Most people bake their creations, but there’s really no need. Pop them outside in the sun for a few hours to air dry or inside on a window sill. If you really want to bake them then I would recommend a low heat of about 50 for approximately 2 hours. Once they’re dry/baked they can be decorated. This is one of our favourite easy home activities for kids to make and keep!
No bake salt dough
No bake salt dough

We made some Easter egg shapes to hang on trees, using a straw to pierce a hole for the ribbon after. You can use paint, stickers, crayons, markers… whatever you have at your disposable. We didn’t have paints but made our own non-toxic paint… click here to see how! The paint is also suitable for babies 6 months plus!

Easter-Activities
Homemade Easter Fun

2 Ingredient fluffy, non-sticky play dough

  • Age – 1 plus
  • What you need – Corn flour and conditioner
  • What to do – Mix 2 parts corn flour with 1 part conditioner. It’s really that easy. Combine until it’s a soft dough! You can add food colouring too. To stop it drying out pop it into a ziplock bag when you’re not using it. If it dries slightly during play add a tiny bit of conditioner as needed to bind it back together. Brilliant sensory and motor skill activity. For older ones you can use the food colouring to mix colours and see which colours they can create. This is one of my favourite easy home activities for kids… mostly because I love to play with it too… It’s so therapeutic!
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2 ingredient play dough

2 Ingredient magic sand

  • Age – 1 plus
  • What you need – Plain/all purpose flour and baby oil
  • What to do – Mix 8 parts flour and 1 part baby oil. I recommend using a fork to stir it. Add a little extra baby oil if the sand doesn’t hold when you squeeze it together. Super quick and easy… and it’s smells amazing. Watch the kids build and knock down, dig for hidden treasures, make a kingdom for their figure toys. The possibilities are endless! We played this outside. Ideally on a tuff tray but we don’t have one so I used a large plastic box lid that we use for outdoor toy storage. Once we’d finished I put the magic sand in a container ready to use again! So much fun and a great sensory experience. 
magic sand recipe
2 ingredient magic sand

Ice block archeologist

  • Age – 1 plus
  • What you need – A plastic container, tap water, plastic/rubber figures and garden tools, toy tools, spades etc.
  • What to do – Fill the plastic container 3/4 full with water. Then place in some figures. You can theme them if you want, i.e. dinosaurs, bones, under the sea, jungle etc. Get the kids to help too. Then pop the container into the freezer. The next day, once frozen, take it out of the freezer and remove the ice block from the container. Place it outside and let the kids chisel away to find/free the figures! If the ice is taking some time to melt you can help them along by pouring some hot water over it, making sure the kids stand back ☺️. Such a fun activity and brilliant for play dates to keep them entertained, engaged and working as a team! 

Homemade non-toxic paint

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Sensory gloop

  • Age – 1.5 plus
  • What you needcorn flour, water, food colouring.
  • What to do – No measuring needed, just add a little water and food colouring to some corn flour to get a workable texture. It will seem watery but dig in and you’ll fell a hard texture. Grab it, mould it and work it, then when released it dissolves back into gloop. I found it’s easier for kids to use utensils too. This activity can get a little messy so we play it outside.

Bubble Worms

  • Age – 2.5/3 plus
  • What you need – empty plastic bottles, scissors or knife, medium/large bowl, socks, washing up liquid and water.
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Bubble worms


  • What to do – Cut the bottom off of your water bottle. I find that using a knife works better than scissors. Stretch a sock over the cut end. Undo and dispose of the lid. In a bowl add washing up liquid and water. Do this activity outside… trust me! Dip the sock end of the bottle into the bowl, remove from the bowl and then blow through the top of the bottle through the mouth piece. Watch as long foamy bubbles appear. Great for gross motor skills and breathing control. See who can make the longest bubble worm! This is one of our favourite easy home activities for kids simply because you don’t need much and it’s so much fun. Mason absolutely loves it!
Cheap activities with kids
Bubble worms

 

Rice mark making

  • Age – 3 plus
  • What you need – Raw rice, flat tray. food colouring (optional), stick, rod or pencil (optional)
  • What to do – If you’re using food colouring then you’ll need to prepare this the night before. Add food colouring to raw rice. Stir to cover the grains evenly and allow to dry over night. Once your rice is dry, lay it flat onto a tray. Kids can either use their finger or a prop like a stick or flat end of a pencil to mark make. You can use flash cards with numbers, letters or shapes on them for kids to copy or for older ones play Pictionary. Great fun, good for motor skills, pen control and a brilliant sensory exercise.
mark making exercise
Rice Mark Making

Rainbow Hunt

  • Age 1 plus
  • What you need – Paper, sticky tape, colouring pens/crayons/stickers/coloured paper. 
  • What to do – Since Covid-19 burst into our lives most of the world has been in self isolation. Parks, pools and public areas all closed. Lots of communities have agreed to put a rainbow on their door or window so that when children are out on walks they can spot them. Get in touch with members of your community and get involved. They’re easy and cheap to make and they don’t have to be perfect. Let their imagination go wild. Have fun on your rainbow hunt (remembering social distancing) and see how many you can find. Mason loves doing this on his daily scoot and as you can see below he’s super proud of his rainbow that he made! 
rainbow hunt
Rainbow hunt

Bullseye

  • Age – 2 plus
  • What you need – Paper, colouring pens, string or tape and a ball, nerf gun, bow and arrow or anything to aim and throw. 
  • What to do – We made our own target by taping together 4 pieces of paper, drawing the circles and colouring it in. We strung it up outside. You can attach it anywhere you want, stair banister, doorway, garden fence or wall, etc. Then aim for bullseye with whatever you’re throwing. For those little ones counting you can number the circles in your target like we did and count points. Really good fun, brilliant for gross motor skills and maths, if counting.  

 

More Activities

I’ll keep updating this list with more fun and easy home activities for kids. If you’ve tried any of these or have any other ideas please let me know in the leave a reply box below. Corona virus won’t last forever but memories of this time will so I’m hoping to make this time as stressless and fun for Mason as possible. Ellis of course is non-the-wiser at the innocent age of 9 months old but Mason is very much aware that something isn’t quite right. Lots of these activities can be incorporated into homeschooling too. i.e. the rice mark making, the play dough to make into counters for maths etc. Sending lots of love to everyone during this uncertain time and I really hope that some of these activities help to keep your little ones entertained. 

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