Working from home with kids? Here are some ideas…

via GIPHY

We know lots of people are working from home this week, maybe with kids stuck inside in the bad weather, with some schools and kindys still closed. To make your working life a little easier, and provide some much needed distraction for the kids so you can get things done, here are some kids’ craft ideas. Some are tricker than others, but many don’t need too much effort to get them started – we love the lego marble maze idea! So many endless permutations!

We also have kids’ craft books & audiobooks on Overdrive, as well as books that read themselves aloud to your kids on Tumblebooks (‘Readalongs’), and we’ve included a selection of these too — all you need are headphones and they’ll be captivated (quietly!).

Update:
We’ve gone ahead and created a Pinterest board with these and many more ideas — have a browse!


So, here we go:

  1. Have Lego and marbles at home? Build a Lego marble run! There are lots of complicated tutorials out there, but this one looks nice and easy, and you just tilt the board to run the marble through. Then rearrange and try again.
    Lego marble run
  2. Free colouring in pages — there are so many linked here. If your kids are school age, these could be quite good
  3. Here are some neat shoebox craft ideas. Many of these are quite complicated, and kids would need help, but the last one is a mailbox – we think this could be great! Not too much work to set up, and then kids could write and draw cards and letters back and forth. Also pictured below, make a stage! Would require some help to start, but once cut and coloured in, can be used to stage elaborate plays with all manner of toys. We think covering or gluing with wrapping paper would be a good (easy) option instead of decorating with paint
    Mailbox vl-curtain-shape
  4. Holiday cards – these could be fun to make and write?
    Here are some printable Christmas ones to colour in, but there are lots of ideas out there for all holidays — here’s a page with all the site’s printables listed by holiday — Hanukkah is coming up soon too!
  5. Blanket forts! This tutorial is actually aimed at adults, but details blanket fort construction very well, and we think would work for kids, minus perhaps the safety pins (you could substitute clothes pegs instead?). Also includes such important topics as stockpiling snacks inside your blanket fort, and the important step of giving your blanket fort a name, and creating a sign for outside it!
  6. Tumblebooks – read aloud (and other) eBooks for kids
    Give these a go. The ‘read along’ titles will read themselves aloud on any screen, and you don’t need to download them or set up with any other kind of technology — all you’ll need to do is log in with your card. Some of our picks for ‘read along’ titles are: The Paper Bag Princess and All Aboard the Dinotrain. You can also read regular chapter books (that aren’t read along titles), like Neil Gaiman’s Remember the Milk! Because they can’t be checked out to any one borrower, they’re always available online too
  7. Kids’ audiobooks on Overdrive. Many of these you can also listen to online in a browser, if you don’t have time to set up the app on your phone or device! (If you want to do this, choose the ‘advanced search’, and then filter by ‘Overdrive Listen’). Here are a few titles for kids to get you started, but have a browse! Overdrive even has some read-along eBooks too

Overdrive cover The Black Circle, (Audiobook)
“Governments were toppled and rulers were killed during the last attempt to find the lost treasure Amy and Dan Cahill are searching for—do they even stand a chance?” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Anna’s Birthday Surprise, (Read-along eBook)
“Read along with Disney! It’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Dirty Beasts, (Audiobook)
“In Dirty Beasts we meet a ghastly menagerie of wonderfully comic animals that can only have been invented by Roald Dahl. There is the toad that jumps to France—at his own peril; the pig who ponders the meaning of life; the anteater who gets the wrong end of the stick; and many more. Snigger, titter and laugh at their antics in this collection of irreverent and absurdly comic verse!” (Overdrive description)