With community cases of the pandemic on the rise, you may feel safer keeping your family away from crowds for the time being. That’s a great idea, but you may also be wondering how to keep your child entertained on weekends – the days that usually signify “going out time” and “playtime”.
Well, if going outside isn’t the solution, what about bringing “outdoor fun” into the home? One amazing way you can do this is by transforming your home into a fun-filled carnival – packed with games, activities and challenges that your child will love! These are five carnival activities that you can play from the comfort (and safety) of home.
#1 – Whack-A-Mole
Every carnival needs a Whack-a-Mole station. After all, it’s a staple at fun fairs and carnivals everywhere! The good news is, this activity is really simple to set up. All you’ll need is this list of common household items.
What you’ll need
- Cereal boxes (2 to 3)
- Disposable chopsticks
- Masking tape
- Double-sided tape
- Glue gun (optional)
- Cutting board (optional)
Watch this short video as our teacher demonstrates how to build your very own customised Whack-a-Mole station!
How to build a “Whack-a-Mole” game
Whack-a-Mole is a fantastic activity for developing your child’s hand-eye coordination, reaction speed and overall motor skills. And it’s also a whole lot of fun for both children and parents!
#2 - “Tilt & Roll” Maze
The “Tilt & Roll” maze is another carnival and arcade favourite that’s challenging yet highly rewarding – your child will definitely get a thrill from completing all the deviously twisted mazes you set up for them! (Or mazes that you create together.)
What you’ll need
- Toilet rolls (kitchen towel rolls are good too)
- Box cover (a shoebox cover works well)
- Ping pong ball
Make your own DIY “Tilt & Roll” maze with a little help from this video.
Guide to creating your DIY “Tilt & Roll” maze
For extra fun, get your child involved with the process of making the maze, which will help to develop their creative skills. By playing this game, your child also gets to improve their problem-solving skills as they figure out efficient ways to navigate the maze.
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#3 – Miniature Bowling
Whether you’re a child or adult, bowling is simply one of those “must-play” games at every carnival – it’s just that much fun! And don’t worry about the space requirements – this easy-to-make, miniaturised version of bowling fits perfect into any (and every) household.
What you’ll need
- Toilet rolls or cups (these will be the bowling pins)
- Newspaper (this will be the bowling ball)
- Craft papers (to decorate your bowling pins)
View our step-by-step guide on crafting a miniature bowling game for your homemade carnival!
Learn to make a miniature bowling game
One of the best things about playing this game at home is that you can create the rules. Ask your child to arrange the bowling pins like regular pins or stack them up for a different variation of the game. You can also challenge your child to use different types of throwing methods (i.e., rolling the ball or throwing it).
With every variation, your child gets to see what works best for the situation – while also learning how to adapt their choice of throwing technique to best suit the task at hand. All this develops their coordination and cognitive abilities, and promotes an “I can do it!” attitude where your child tries and tries again, until they succeed!
#4 – Obstacle Course Race
This activity is perfect for the living room, corridor or anywhere you have an empty space. The space will be helpful for placing two sets obstacles on the ground – where you and your child can compete in an adrenaline-packed obstacle race!
Not enough room for a head-to-head race? Take turns and use a stopwatch to time each other and see who’s the fastest racer in the family!
What you’ll need
You can use anything to create obstacles for you and your child to race with. For example, hula hoops, paper cups, rolled up newspapers, etc. Ask your child to share their ideas on how to create fun and unique obstacle courses. You can even create multiple difficulty levels – from easy to difficult – and progress through each level sequentially, like a video game!
Once you’ve designed your obstacle course(s), place the obstacles on the ground and let your child know the rules. For instance, hop inside the hula hoop circle, jump over the paper cups, and dash to the finish line. Now, get to your starting points and race!
Watch as our teachers explain how to create and play this thrilling “Obstacle Race” game with your child.
While the obstacle race is usually an outdoor activity, it can be adapted for indoor play. At My First Skool, outdoor play (like obstacle races, among many other activities) is a very enjoyable part of our curriculum as children have lots of fun developing gross motor skills.
But learning activities are always adaptable, and this indoor version of the popular obstacle course is great for accelerating your child’s motor skills development – especially in the areas of balance and speed. Plus, they’ll get a great workout as they have fun, which will be especially useful as everyone will be spending more time indoors over the coming month.
#5 – Food and Snacks!
What’s a carnival without a yummy food and snacks corner? In your home carnival though, thisattraction will come with a healthy and educational twist – your child will get involved with making the snacks that will be “sold” at the carnival.
Learn how to make tasty and healthy snacks by watching these cooking tutorials, prepared by My First Skool’s in-house chefs. Our chefs are in-charge of preparing all the healthy menus that our children enjoy at school – with food that fills their tummies and nurtures healthy brain development.
Keen on learning more healthy recipes? Check out our “Recipes with Love” cookbook here.
Another fun thing you can do here is role-playing with your child. You could play the role of the food vendor, while they could be the hungry carnival customer. You can prepare “play money” for your child to use while “buying food” from you, or just use actual notes and coins.
And if your child is able to add and subtract well enough, you can change roles and have them play the role of food vendor. After receiving money from you, they’ll have to calculate the amount of change needed.
Role-playing is a popular activity in our learning environments, and especially at our innovative dramatic learning corners. The activity is excellent for developing communications skills, teamwork and imagination in children – making this activity a fantastic addition to your homemade carnival.
Joy in Learning Matters at NTUC First Campus' My First Skool
At My First Skool, we genuinely believe that children learn best when they’re happy and having fun. That’s why our curriculum incorporates elements of fun, engagement and education – and that’s why our children grow up to be happy and enthusiastic learners!
Interested in knowing more about our fun-filled, engaging curriculum? Connect with us on social media, or register your child for our upcoming intakes.
* Childcare fees after working mother's subsidy and before GST.