“I’m boooored!” “I’m boooored!” As parents and carers, how many time are we likely to hear our child say this over the next few weeks?! At the moment, we are all advised to socially distance ourselves from our friends and extended families. But social distancing doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom! There are lots of fun filled ways of playing in and around the home to keep children happy and entertained. Here are our top 35 ideas for playing at home: “Egg” and spoon races (no real eggs needed – a ping pong style ball works fine). Act out a story from a book, like Fun in the Dungeon Blindfold (hoodies on back to front) pillow fights Candle decorating Cat’s cradle Catch the fairy (use a torch and shine it in a dark room) Clapping games Cork fights … like food fights but less messy Drawing pictures and colouring in Dressing up Eye spy Fashion show Hide and seek Hopscotch – made with tape Junk modelling with smaller household items Kitchen disco Making cars, castles or spaceships with cardboard boxes Making dens Making paper planes Making small worlds with dinosaurs, toy cars, toy animals Musical chairs Obstacle course – using sofa cushions, chairs, Ping pong or volleyball with a balloon Playing school, café, offices, shops, hairdressers Putting on a performance Rock/paper/scissors Saucepan drums Simon says Skipping or French skipping (elastics). Sock puppets Stair toboganning in cardboard boxes and pillows Steppingstones with cushions Tea party/indoor picnic The floor is lava Treasure hunt. How many can your family complete? More play ideas We also have some ideas for messy play: Painting Make gloop or slime Making and playing with play dough Blowing bubbles with straws Making mud pies, potions and perfume. Being messy is a natural part of childhood but if you have any concerns read our tips on dealing with messy play! Why play matters Playing – indoors and outdoors – is good for children. When children choose what to play, who to play with, and how to organise their play, they have more fun. Children also develop and learn in all sorts of ways while playing. Playing helps children develop: self-esteem, imagination, creativity, co-ordination, confidence, concentration communication skills, balance … but most of all playing is fun! Get involved We are preparing for when parents and children may need to stay at home. If you’d like to get involved and help other families at this tricky time, send us a video of you and your family sharing your top indoor play ideas or if you’d like more info email us. Also, share your play ideas with us – tag us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – and use #ProjectPlay! 35 indoor play ideas can be printed and shared.