Living life in the time of a global pandemic has not been a walk in the park, even though walking in parks was about the only thing any of us could do outside.
We became good at improvising, doing what we could in our own space and making the most of the time at home.
But as lockdown restrictions lift and as spirits begin to do the same, there is a movement to make sure the best parts of isolation – the togetherness, the inspired creativity and fun with the family – are not forgotten as we all creep back to normality.
The biggest memories can come from the entertainment generated from within the household. Making family time less of a juggle and helping with plenty of new ideas is Big W’s Entertaining the Kids At Home hub, where there’s colouring and puzzles alongside curated videos to help make the most of a slower pace this winter.
We’ve combined some of these free activities with our favourite affordable kids’ items from BIG W – and there’s A LOT of good stuff.
1. A little hoopla doopla.
We’ve all tried every exercise under the sun to try and keep moving during iso – and one thing we learned is that if it’s fun, it doesn’t feel like hard work. Trickier tasks like hula hooping are not something everyone can master, so it guarantees lots of giggles as mum or dad makes a fool of themselves trying to make it look easy. The Wahu Kess Hula Hoop ($14) is a great one for learning and working on your fitness without realising it’s good for you.
2. Bring your favourite stories to life in masks or puppets.
This is one you can do with just some supplies from around the house, and a bit of imagination.
Colour in and decorate a sheep mask like this one, inspired by the storybook in everyone’s home library, Where Is The Green Sheep?, by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek.
Or, print out this mask or finger puppets based on Julia Donaldson’s classic tale The Gruffalo.
3. Dance (and wiggle) it out.
There is a lot to be said for being able to dance at home. No one is watching, so you and the kids can join one of The Wiggles’ Wiggly World of Dance live classes on Facebook without fear of missing a step. Dance in the lounge room and learn some new moves, expertly led by the ‘bowtiful’ dance instructor Emma Wiggle. It’s free, and they have new classes dropping each week.
4. Pimp out your pet’s wardrobe.
Host a fashion parade with a difference by kitting out your dog in Tails Knit Pet Jacket ($9) and letting them have a run around the block in a get-up perfect for lots of attention. With a diamond knit and high neckline, it’s the ultimate in winter style for doggies – don’t forget the home renos for your fur baby’s bedroom and treat them to extra pats on their own Max and Mittens Round Pet Bed ($5).
5. Grow some ‘grass hair’.
It grows fast and requires regular care and attention so a Boutique Garden Grass Kit ($5.50) is the ultimate little lesson in responsibility. Ryegrass is very easy to grow and after a week the prince or princess on the pot will have sprouts of grass ‘hair’ that will be ready for cutting and styling once it reaches 5cm tall.
6. Be a LEGO Master.
BIG W has one of the biggest ranges of LEGO you’ll see locally, which is just what we want to hear after watching LEGO Masters.