Activities

What to buy to keep your kids entertained during self-isolation

Whoever thought we would be stuck at home for this long?

Is everybody having fun? As families across the globe head into yet another week of self isolation, it’s probably fair to say we’re all running out of ideas for things to do at home. And while we appreciate the online storytimes, educational activities, virtual field trips and unprecedented amount of time to actually play with our kids, the idea of just buying something that we know they’ll love (and maybe even play with independently) is very appealing.

If you’re already making a shopping list—whether it’s for an online retailer that will deliver or your local toy store (for curbside pickup), here are a few things to consider adding to your list:

  • baking soda and vinegar: volcanoes and other fun science experiments await!
  • food colouring kit
  • baking kits: check the (virtual) clearance aisles at the grocery store for things like gingerbread house-making kits or Easter egg decorating kits.
  • magnetic tiles or building toys
  • wooden toys: these claim to foster creativity and encourage independent play—we love this wooden bowling set or the Kinderboard.
  • floor puzzles: Melissa and Doug has some great options.
  • board games
  • sidewalk chalk
  • painters tape: transform your dining room floor into a track for their toy trains and cars.
  • hula hoop
  • craft kits
  • craft supplies: construction paper, googley eyes, washi tape, pom poms, glitter (if you dare!), markers, paint.
  • Popsicle-making set
  • seed packets and soil: even if you don’t have a green thumb, kids will love checking in on their seeds and watching them grow. Tomatoes and sunflowers are great plants to grow with little ones.
  • science kits
  • bubbles
  • beads
  • water toys
  • trampoline*
  • backyard climbing structure*
  • swing set*
  • a tablet or video game console
  • outdoor camping gear
  • jump rope
  • the Pikler triangle
  • toy basketball net
  • bike or scooter or skateboard: ideally, these are best practiced on your own property, such as a back or front yard. If you need to take to the street or sidewalk, ensure you keep a safe distance of at least six feet (or two metres).
  • nostalgic toys, like the Skip-it, Pogo-it or Return ball.

*Editor’s note: In an effort to avoid any trips to the hospital, parents should be mindful of kids being involved in risky play. When using things like trampolines, bikes and climbing structures, kids should be supervised at all times.