Your home is a great place to play, especially when the weather is stormy or it’s too dark to be outside. Your child will make creative use of the available space – even the corner of a room – if they have a few toys, other bits and pieces, and the freedom to play.

Lots of fun ideas don’t need much room, including old favourites like hide and seek, and building a den out of cushions and blankets. All sorts of things around the home can be used for play – cushions can be stepping stones, a blanket over a table can become an instant den, and empty cardboard boxes can be made into cars, castles or spaceships.

Dealing with noise and mess

It’s normal for children to be noisy and messy when they’re playing.

Noise is a good sign that children are communicating and interacting. If their noise is a real problem, suggest they go somewhere else where they will have more freedom to be themselves without needing to be quiet such as their bedroom.  You might want to suggest some quieter activities, for example ‘I spy with my little eye’.

Mess doesn’t have to be a problem. Try to ignore it while children are playing, and then make tidying up into a game.