5 ultimate distractions for families at home

These expert play ideas are the ultimate distraction for families at home right now.

Feels like a snow day, but not as fun? We’ve got you covered. Whatever age, it can be difficult to constantly feel like you need to entertain your children.

Keeping them away from screens, asking them to self-entertain so you can grab a few minutes of alone time and constantly needing eyes in the back of your head is about to become a daily reality for quite a few parents.Yet it doesn’t always need to be you figuring things out.

Let them be bored, it’s something I’ve always stood by as being excellent for children’s creative minds and independence! Quiet time can also help to nurture their contentment with just being, not constantly stimulated by toys, games and technology.

We tapped into the creative brains behind playHOORAY, founded by Claire Russell an Early Years Specialist and children’s play coach, who has shared her 5 top tips for days indoors. Claire is also currently hosting Instagram live at 10am every weekday, where parents and children can play along with her.


Create a theme for your activities- Playing around a theme can be really effective for young children and can bring all your activities together. Themes such as foods, shapes, colours and space not only help children to get excited but can also encourage you to think outside of the box. That’s not only with toys etc. but also the things you talk about, read and watch.

Take inspiration from anywhere- It’s amazing what can inspire small minds, from walking past a muddy puddle to spotting a ladybird in the kitchen, use everyday items or situations to inspire your play and go with what they are interested in. If your young child is showing an interest by observing and asking questions, why not bring it into your play? If there’s nothing particularly sparking their attention, grab a book or watch an interesting programme that might just get them thinking. Bringing any of those well-known characters into the mix can be really inviting for children to want to play.

Extended activities - If you are investing your time (and energy!) into setting up an activity, then use it wisely. For those play invitations that will only keep them for a short period of time, flick the kettle on, keep it simple and let them play. However, other activities such as pretend role play are worth investing your energy in. Once they are set up, they are often those that children return to over period of time. For example, a shop, where children can develop lots of different lines of play, will often be played with over a couple of weeks so set it up and leave it out. If it’s not being played with, just tweak it slightly - change it from a food shop to a pet shop with soft toys!

Always have something up your sleeve - Have in the back of your mind ‘Okay, after this, what’s next?’ Have a little plan of activities you can do - something quick, simple, and easy to grab and set up. And as always if you’re stuck, grab a book! It can save you and your little ones getting stressed when there is little to do.

Think novelty - Kids love novelty, something new can be super exciting, so let them play somewhere they’ve never played before. Under the dining table, behind the sofa, in the hallway, in the sink, in an empty bath, in your bed, anywhere! Bring outdoor toys inside, take indoor toys out. Add plastic toys to bath time. Move toys from downstairs upstairs, and vice versa. Trust me, it can add a lease of life to old or ignored toys!

Claire continues to share her play ideas through her blog, YouTube channel and social media platforms, including Instagram lives where parents and children can play along with her. For those who can’t always join her online, Claire also launched a range of activity cards called playPROMPTS, which are available for a wide range of interests and ages from new-born to Key Stage 1. Claire and playHOORAY! prove that you don’t need a houseful of expensive toys to keep kids entertained, you have everything you need at home or on your doorstep that can be sourced easily and on a budget.




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