Family Isolation Activities

‘Family Fun In A Tin’

I have been busy putting together some fabulous, easy activities for families to try at home to promote learning and support all areas of development.

Below is a list of activities to promote family engagement and well being.. so much learning will emerge as you play these games and shared physical experiences (pro-social behaviour) release dopamine and serotonin.  Enjoy!


  • Print off the sheet and cut out each activity, fold them in half and place them in a special tin.
  • Every day choose 3 or 4 fun activities as a family.
  • Watch the videos here or on YouTube to find out more!
  • Further resources on each of the activities is available below.

Welcome – an introduction to the concept

Activities covered in this video:
Sorting socks – Great for mathematical concepts.
Make a shaker – Find a bottle or tub and fill with rice or dried beans to make a musical instrument.
Hide and Seek – Great for social bonding and fun to play in the garden.

Part 2 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Disco Day
Torch Dancing
Paper Ball

Part 3 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Simon Says
Egg and Spoon

Part 4 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Gym Time Sock
Catch the Bubbles

Part 5 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Wind Chimes

Part 6 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Hot and Cold
Family Yoga

Part 7 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Cleaning Time
Fortune Telling
Junk Modelling

Part 8 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Cat’s Cradle
Family Reflections
Tape Shape

Part 9 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Family Band
What’s Outside
Ball Skills

Part 10 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Dressing Up
Blow the Ball
Indoor Den Building

Part 11 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Board Games
Floor is Lava
Can you find?

Part 12 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Balloon Lava
Baking Fun

Part 13 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Dinner Party
Den Building

Part 14 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Obstacle Course
Target Practice
What’s Inside

Part 15 – Family isolation activities

Activities covered:
Pots and Pans
Chair Dance

Further Resources on Activities

Further resources that may help to assist you with the activitives mentioned in the videos are listed below:

Choose a leader and play the game, watch the video to find out how to play.  Introduce some tricky age-appropriate skills; balance on one leg….jump up and down 10 times etc. Skills: Listening, attention, body mapping, leadership, interaction, co-ordination, prosocial behaviour, communication, language.

A useful video resource for Simon says

Make a fortune teller, use the video below to show you how.  On the descriptions add some physical skills; balance a book on your head and walk, do 2 press ups etc. Skills: Dexterity, counting, creativity, physical skills, language skills.

If you have access to a garden spend time outside, notice the beauty you see. Identify some plants or wildlife. If you don’t have a garden, look out of the window/door.

Skills: Well being and mindfulness, listening, observation, identification, communication, language.

Ask everyone to leave the room and hide an item, the other person/people must try and locate it… far away=cold, near=hot.
Skills: Language, listening skills, vestibular sense.

Some children love a structured routine. Make one or two times a week ‘games night/afternoon/morning’ …many skills are learnt when playing board games..language, maths, counting, turn-taking, prediction, vocabulary.

Try and do this activity every day as a family, perhaps before mealtimes. Use the choreography on my video to inspire you to create your own.
Skills: Physical Skills, co-ordination, control, musicality, balance, rhythm, shared experiences.

Empty your cupboards and place all the pots and pans (no breakables) on the floor with wooden spoons, spatulas, whisks etc and create your own ‘drum and base’…

Skills: manipulative skills, rhythm, musicality, stamina, control, co-ordination, self-efficacy, pro-social behaviour.

Lots of websites have simple fun recipes to follow.  Encourage children to eat healthily and having an awareness of cooking skills will assist with healthy eating.

Skills: dexterity, measuring, mathematical, upper body strength, knowledge of the world, curiosity, stamina, creativity.

Using masking tape or chalk mark out simple shapes on the floor and encourage the children to walk along them.  Try making algae grid and play human PacMan! This simple activity will help to make maths tangible for children

Skills: Balance, control, coordination, mathematical concepts.

Introduce a skipping rope and encourage your child to skip; start with it on the floor and ask them to jump over, then to partner skipping and eventually lead to solo skipping.

Skills: coordination, balance, dexterity, language, self-efficacy, determination, perseverance, stamina.

Select some funky tunes and create a disco, sensory light dance to the music using torches. Ensure the space is suitable for movement
Skills: expressive arts, creativity, stamina, physical skills, self-efficacy, language, rhythm, musicality.
Blow up some balloons and don’t let them touch the floor, keep hitting them up in the air.

Skills: Stamina, physical skills, coordination, language, competition, control.

Ensure you have a suitable space for these activities. Try some of the activities on the video, only try the ones you feel comfortable doing at first.
Skills: Body mapping, body Management, control, coordination, balance, listening, attention., flexibility, wellness.

Draw/mark a target on the wall and encourage other family members to throw items, (paper balls, sponges, ping elastic bands).  Create a simple scoring system to keep tally of the success.

Skills: Coordination, mathematical concepts, control, precision, hand/eye coordination, competition, self-control.

Choose an evening to create a dinner party with your family, candles, napkins, cutlery, best crockery. You may even wish to dress up in your finery! Play some background classical music to add to the ambience.
Skills: Personal and health care, school readiness, dexterity, self-efficacy.

Make one or two evenings in the week a Disco evening…create a playlist of everyone’s favourite songs (use radio edits where necessary)…no rules just dance…add equipment.  Learn a routine together as a family. Skills: physical skills, musicality, rhythm, co-ordiantion, creativity,  balance, control, release of endorphins.

If you have access to an outdoor space, create a den using twigs, branches, cloths etc.. you may wish to have a picnic there too.
Skills: Problem Solving, outdoor play, creativity, language, adaptability, coordination, physical skills.

Try singing some songs together, you may wish to introduce a round, one person sings Londons Burning, on the ‘fetch the engine’ the next person starts… it often ends with a giggle!
Skills: shared experience/pro-social behaviour, language, vocabulary, communication, rhythm, musicality.

One person covers their eyes and counts to 20, the others hide… the seeker then goes on the hunt for the missing people… the first person to be found becomes the seeker next time.
Skills: Spatial awareness, vestibular and proprioceptive sense, shared experiences, being still, taking turns, anticipation.

If you have some instruments around the home, use them otherwise make/create your own, see the video for inspiration. Start with copying each other, repeat your child’s sounds, then introduce a rhythm or singing.
Skills: Musicality, rhythm, language, dexterity, listening skills, problem-solving, mathematical concepts.

My friend Olly… try Body percussion:

Use washing powder with a little water and whisk the bubbles until they become as high as you..(place a towel on the floor, as the floor may become slippery)

Skills: Manipulation skills, dexterity, coordination, language, control, stamina, endurance.

This game has been played for decades and is a family favourite.  Chalk or masking tape out the number grid, choose your potatoes and follow the instructions in the video.

Skills: Control, precision, coordination, balance, stamina, counting, language, endurance, vestibular sense.

Use a basket or mark a circle on the floor… using a timer, (egg timer/phone) challenge the other members of the family to find as many items in 1 minute as possible; yellow objects, something which smells, something with stripes. something which begins with S etc

Skills: listening, language, vocabulary, competition, coordination, observation, engagement.

Ensure your egg is fake or hard-boiled first!  Have a family egg and spoon race by balancing an egg onto a spoon, with the other hand behind your back.

Skills: Coordination, balance, control, language, competition, determination.

Using ping pong balls (you may also use straws), set a course to encourage the family to blow the balls through the course, or through each other’s legs, under a chair, around a chair etc.
Skills: Deep breathing, upper body control, competition, physical skills, endurance, stamina, language.

Imagine the floor is lava and throughout the day anyone of you can say “The floor is lava” and you must (safely) remove your feet and body from the floor.

Skills: Listening, attention, problem-solving, physical skills, balance, coordination.

Fill shoeboxes with sensory items, for children to touch and feel (without seeing) to guess what’s inside. Vary the items, including the sense of smell
Skills: Sensory skills, spatial reasoning, memory, language, vocabulary, dexterity.

This is a wonderful activity and should be shared as often as possible.  Take time to look over old photographs, school books, memorabilia and reflect on the past and special times, you have shared together.

Skills: emotional development, wellness, listening, sharing, attention, concentration.

From your window, ideally with binoculars, spot and try to identify different birds you can see.  Use the chart to help you.  Listen to their calls.

Skills: conservation, wellness, attention, concentration, focus, eye tracking.

When sorting the washing, invite your children to help with sorting the pairs of socks.
Skills: mathematical concepts, observations, dexterity, ordering, patterns.
sorting socks

Create a challenging obstacle course in the home, including rolling, crawling, jumping, balancing, etc.

Skills: Physical skills, adaptability, problem-solving, competition, mathematical concepts, proprioceptive sense and vestibular sense (balance and control), language skills, positional vocabulary.

If you have indoor plants, ask your children to help you water them. Keep the seeds from any fruit and plant them in a tub, with some soil, once they start to sprout remove the lid and watch them grow; apples, oranges, tomatoes, avocado, pineapple. etc. If potatoes are starting to sprout, plant them in some soil 15 cm deep and wait…
Skills: Dexterity, language, vocabulary, knowledge of the world, curiosity. problem solving.

Using resources from around the home, create a den; sheets, pegs, blankets, etc… take a torch inside and make it a reading den.
Skills: dexterity, problem-solving, creativity, physical skills, communication, language, reading, listening, spatial awareness.

Have a sort through your drawers and accessories and have a dress-up together, you may wish to send photos to other family members.
Skills: physical skills, body mapping, language, vocabulary.

Watch the video with James Corden – play your child’s favourite music and try and copy their dance moves. Ensure the space is a safe space.

Household chores are always pretty dull, but when done together can become a tool for learning.  Ensure toxics and chemicals are out of reach. Encourage children to fold washing, polish, dust, vacuum, sort items..using music will help lift the mood.

Skills: School readiness, self-aware, mathematical concepts, physical skills, health and wellbeing.

Using elastic, wool or string cut a length of 50-60cm, tie it together, then follow the instructions on the video.

Skills: Manipulation skills, dexterity, control,  language, creativity, expression

Introduce some simple ball skills, rolling, dribbling, bouncing, etc

Skills: Balance, Physical Skills, control, coordination, language, listening, attention.

Using odd socks, tape, buttons, pens and glue make a sock puppet, give them a name and perform a play with your puppets
Skills: creativity, expression, dexterity, mathematical concepts, determination, engagement, language, vocabulary.

Blow some bubbles and encourage the children to pop them… try counting the bubbles as you pop them.
Introduce Camille Saen Saintes – aquarium to the activity

Skills: Creativity, dexterity, hand/eye coordination, counting, balance, control.

Use items from around the home; cutlery, old key’s, shells, etc, attach them to a coat hanger and let the wind do the rest!
Skills: Creativity, dexterity, engagement, language, vocabulary, manipulative skills.

using a piece of paper/magazine etc, everyone must scrunch it up into a ball, only using your hand, no shaking or using the rest of your body, then repeat with the other hand.
Skills: writing skills, dexterity, manipulative skills, language, fine motor movement.
Using recyclable items from around the home, create and build fabulous constructions together.  How tall can it be?  It looks like a..? Can we change it by adding..? Use questions to help children explore their creativity.

Skills: Creativity, dexterity, wellness, co-ordination, working together

Using items from around the home make some instruments.  Shakers are great and easy to make, use an empty plastic bottle, or tub and fill with rice/dried pulses, secure with tape or bands, and shake!

Skills: Dexterity, rhythm, musicality, pro-social behaviour, determination, language, wellness.