Tips on how to keep your pre-school children busy (and happy) at home while isolating.

Under-fives have energy to burn, and if you are struggling for activities, distractions, or fulfilling pursuits for your children whilst isolating, our experienced childcare team have some ideas to help make isolating, at home, a positive experience.

1.) Blow up some balloons

  • Hand your child an empty paper towel roll and see if they can bat the balloon into a laundry basket. Alternatively, forget the bat and see if they can kick it from a start line to a finish line.

2.) Read a book (slightly differently)

  • To make storytime more active, choose a book that has a lot of repetition, like The Magic Beach by Alison Lester or Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. Settle on a magic word (one that’s repeated a lot in the story, like beach or green) and challenge your child to stand up and sit down every time they hear the word!

3.) Get physical

  • Invent some silly walks and runs with your child. You could play guess the animal game, where you run like a monkey, jump like a bunny, flap like a bird and so on and get them to do the same.

4.) Get creative

  • Gather up all your broken crayons. Get a silicone cube container (any shape will do) and place the different groups of colours into each hole. Melt them in the microwave for 1 minute. Allow the crayons to fully dry. Once dried take out of the moulding. You can mix and match the coloured crayons or keep the same colours together.

5.) Sensory play – Rainbow spaghetti

  • Rainbow spaghetti is such a good material to use for sensory play!
  1. Cook the spaghetti following the instructions on the pack. Drain and rinse the spaghetti.
  2. Put the spaghetti into ziplock bags. You will need one zip lock bag per colour. Add food colouring and a few drops of water to each bag.
  3. Zip the ziplock bags up and mix the spaghetti and food colouring together. Squash it, squeeze it, throw it in the air, just keep moving the colour around the bag until all of the spaghetti is totally covered. Repeat with each colour.
  4. Once all of the spaghetti is covered in food colouring put each colour into your colander and rinse the spaghetti under the tap. This step is really important, if you miss it out your child will end up covered in food dye!
  5. Put the rainbow coloured spaghetti into a container or tub and it is ready to be played with.

6.) Bubble Art

  • 1 TablespoonDish Soap
  • 3 Tablespoons Water
  • Water Soluble Food Coloring (10 drops)
  • Straws
  • Cardstock Paper(You can use computer paper or construction paper but they disintegrate more when wet).

Mix water and soap with the food coloring. Blow into the solution until bubbles form. Gently lay your cardstock over the bubbles. As the bubbles pop they will leave an imprint on the paper.

7.) Cardboard boxes

  • Make a plane or a car. Use paper plates for wheels and steering wheels. Cut off the box flaps and stick them back on as the wings and tail of a plane. Let your child draw or paste markings and racing stripes. Or make a robot costume. Cut out a head hole and armholes and let your child decorate the box with foil and coloured markers.

Send them on a mini scavenger hunt

  • Send kids to find something big, something small, something red, something blue, something you wear when it rains, or something to colour with etc.

8.) No Cook Playdough

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 drops liquid food colouring


  • Combine plain flour and salt.
  • Add water, food colouring and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined.

There are lots of cheap, cheerful and uncomplicated ways to keep young children busy whilst making quarantine a positive experience.

The Yarraville Community Centre offers high quality, affordable childcare in a happy, safe and healthy environment for children aged from 6 months to 5 years and are currently taking enrolments for 2022.

Book a tour or find out more about our childcare services here

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