How to keep your kids entertained

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to entertain the kids at home, you’re in the right place. From cooking and crafts to games, quizzes and quality family time, we’ve got bags of easy and affordable ideas to keep everyone happy and active. And by the time you’ve done all these, we’ll have lots more for you to try, so keep popping back to see what’s new.

Helpful daily schedule

Trying to juggle your day while the kids are off school? Hopefully this helpful daily schedule will give you some much-needed inspiration. Download it if you like and stick it on the fridge. Or simply use it as a starting point for finding your new normal.

Get active

The best way to help them let off a little steam is by finding a whole heap of free and easy activities to do in your own backyard. Here’s a few ideas.

  • Transform your back garden into the ultimate play zone – make an obstacle course and bring out all those fab outdoor toys.
  • Even the smallest bucket of water will keep the kids happy, splashing, stirring and pouring for hours! And when the sun comes out… water fight!
  • From handstands and hula hoops to crawling under tables and chairs, build an indoor obstacle course and enjoy some free fun.
  • If they’ve got the moves, then let them go crazy to their favourite tunes or just pick one and make up a dance.

Get cooking

Encourage the kids to cook up some healthy, nutritious food. Our Get Set to Eat Fresh page is packed with lots of curriculum-linked healthy eating activities for pupils aged 5-14. And it’s all FREE!

Easy peasy pizza recipes

Pizzas are the perfect store cupboard recipe. The great value meal that will use up all your odds and ends. Plus, they’re super easy and fun to make with the kids. The best bit? You only need 3 ingredients to make your own dough. Amazing right? Find out how in our step-by-step guide below and get the kids to help make some of our yummy pizza recipes for dinner.

  • Mix it up

    Put 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and whisk. Gradually add ¾ cup of warm water and mix well.
  • Knead the dough

    Let the kids get hands on by kneading the gloopy dough until it’s smooth and elastic.

    Then cut it into 2.
  • Roll it out

    Roll out to half a cm thick. Place on a baking tray and top with whatever you have to hand - passata, grated cheese, meat and veg.
  • Bake your pizza

    Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 230°C until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese has melted.

Treats the kids can cook

Instagram influencer, teacher and Mummy @thelondonmommy shows us how to whip up some super cute, tasty treats with the kids.

“What’s great about these cakes is that little ones can basically do them by themselves. And baking is a great maths activity for older ones – measuring, numbers, doubling, halving, percentages… you can adapt the activity to suit your learning objective!”

  • You will need 225g/8oz plain or milk chocolate, broken into pieces, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 50g/2oz butter, 75g/3oz of rice puffs or cornflakes, 36 mini chocolate eggs and 12 fairy cake cases.
  • Separate the fairy cake cases on to a baking tray.

    Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in the microwave or place in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Mix the molten mixture, then stir in the breakfast cereal until it’s all covered in the chocolate. Then spoon the chocolatey mixture into the paper cases.
  • Press the chocolate eggs into the centre of each nest. If you don’t have any, they’ll still taste great or use an alternative you have to hand. Then place in the fridge to set. Enjoy!

My easy peasy pasta

Looking for a dish that is simple and delicious that the little ones will love? Instagram influencer and Mummy to Harry @Aimee__eyre shows you how to make an easy pasta dish made from all the ingredients you have in your cupboard and freezer. Delicious!

  • Let’s cook!
  • “All you need is 1 jar of pasta sauce and whatever veggies or meat you have in your freezer. Or use whatever’s already cooking. Just pop on extra pasta, chop the veggies and meat up, then mix together. Once cooked, add the sauce and serve.”
  • RECIPE INSPIRATION

Get crafty

'Why haven’t we done this before?’ That’s what you’ll all be thinking once you discover the world of crafting. Why not make time fly while you’re at home by turning your recycling into crafty projects like this Paper Roll Shark. And you’ll find lots more easy and affordable ideas like this in our Get Crafty guide.

  • Design

    Take a kitchen roll tube and mark out the mouth and tail of the shark.
  • Cut

    Get an adult to cut out the marked sections, then draw and cut 2 fins and a tail using cut-offs. Cut out 2 sets of teeth from white card.
  • Decorate

    Paint everything except the teeth and allow to dry. Glue pieces in place and add googly eyes!

Colour and craft at home

We’ve come up with lots of super-easy and affordable ideas for you and put them in to our handy downloadable crafty and colouring guides. Have fun!

All the colours of the rainbow

Looking for fun things to do with the kids? @kiddoadventures_ has just the thing.

“Here’s how to create the coolest pompom rainbow with your little ones. The steps are really easy!”

  • Here’s how to…
  • Get some pompoms and sort into colours. Get some glue and pick some card, paper or anything you like to stick them to. Start sticking them in rainbow colour order – we started with red. In a few minutes your rainbow will be complete. How exciting!

Let’s make monster tissue boxes

Instagram influencer @our.london.life shows you how to re-use household recyclables to keep the little ones busy at home.

“My little monster and I made these Monster Tissue Boxes! They were super-easy to make, and we had fun!”

  • Remove plastic lining from within the tissue box and paint the inside of the box with a colour of your choice.
  • Prime the box with paint to stop the design showing through, then paint the box with coloured paint.
  • Make teeth from foam sheet or card and stick to the inside.
  • Add googly eyes and funky tissue paper hair.

My super stick mobile

Instagram Influencer @ladybirdsadventures shows you how to make a homemade mobile with the kids.

“We love using nature in our crafts. So today I’m sharing my idea which is this cute pompom and wool wrapped stick mobile. To make this you will need sticks, wool, cardboard (an empty cereal box is perfect), pencil and scissors.”

  • Tie some wool to your stick and wrap it around tightly. To change colours tie the end of the new colour to the current colour. At the end, tie the wool off.
  • To make pompoms, draw a circular with a smaller circle inside. Cut out the larger circle, then cut a small slit into the centre to cut out the smaller circle.
  • Wrap your wool around the template, holding the end until you have wrapped over it. Continue until the inner circle is almost full. Using scissors cut the strands around the edge of the ring. Just don’t let the pieces fall off the ring.
  • Tie a length of wool around the middle of the pompom. Remove the template and shape. Repeat 5 times and tie to the stick. Use wool, on each send of the stick, to hang your mobile.

Our amazing juice carton bird feeder

Instagram influencer and Mum to Rupert, @leaahiggins, shows you how to repurpose household recycling and make a bird feeder for your garden!

“Now that we have so much time at home, it’s hard to find new things to entertain the kids. Rupert has been swiftly going through all his toys and enjoying spending time in the garden. We challenged ourselves to make a bird feeder out of everyday household rubbish that would otherwise be recycled. It was a really great afternoon activity that we both enjoyed.”

  • Using an empty juice carton, cut out a window.
  • Paint the carton using any colours you like
  • Decorate it with googly eyes and felt wings.
  • Thread string through the top to hang it from a tree. Add bird seeds ready for the birds to enjoy!

Get thinking

Keep their minds sharp by setting aside a few hours a day for fun or educational activities, journals and quizzes. It’s important to keep young minds ticking over, so let them choose what they want to do. Here’s a few handy downloads that might help.

How to make a volcano in your garden

Learn how to keep your children busy and active with a supervised science activity from Instagram influencer @aliceshealthylifestyle. Watch and be inspired, then download the step-by-step guide.

“I am super-excited to be working with Aldi for this activity. This is what I’d call an educational experiment and such a fun activity to do with your children. Remember to be safe – set it all up outside and wear safety goggles and gloves.”

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How to make colours

If the kids are having fun and learning at the same time, it’s a win-win. Influencer @thetaleofmummyhood has a few ideas.

“There are so many simple but fun activities you can do at home that will make life a million times easier. Check out this step-by-step guide that teaches kids all about colours. This is an activity my kids love and one that gets their minds working too! Do you have any tips to keep kids entertained during lockdown?”

  • You’ll need food colouring, clear pots, a pipette or even a small spoon.
  • Fill the clear pots with water, add a few drops of food colouring to each – primary colours if you have them!
  • Use a pipette/spoon to add different colours to a clear tray. Keep adding colours, mixing different ones together to see what other shades you can make.
  • Use the pipette/spoon to drop small amounts of the colours onto kitchen towels, hang them to dry and admire the amazing colours that you’ve made!

Game on

Do a puzzle or game every day. It’s a great way to get their brains all fired up and keep them entertained for hours, whether they’re 6 or 12. It’s also a pretty good way to spend some quality family time every day without spending a penny.

Family time

School’s out. So why not make the most of it and cuddle up on the sofa with your little ones, read or watch their favourite show? Just focus on family time.

  • There are so many amazing classic movies you can watch together. Watch this space for a list of our 100 must-watch movies.
  • Build that den in the garden. Clear out the garage. Paint the decking. You can get all those projects done if you’re at home. And the best bit? You can do it together!
  • It can’t all be fun and games. Get them to help with daily chores and earn rewards – washing, sweeping, looking after pets and plants, washing the car, etc.
  • Sit-down family meals every night might be the new norm. So, enjoy it. Try a few conversation starters, like ‘What’s your favourite song?’ or ‘If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?’

Once upon a time

Is it time for a bedtime story? There’s nothing better for having a little quality time with the kids and helping them calm down before having a really good sleep. Here’s a few lovely little bedtime stories you can enjoy together. Night night.

Remember to take a little me time

As well as keeping the kids entertained, it's important to take time to be good to ourselves - to keep fit, stay connected and be mindful. It's also a great opportunity to get inspired, learn new skills, enjoy new activities and get those creative juices flowing. See our new Lifestyle page for ideas on how to make the most of your downtime.