The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.
With everyone staying at home at the moment, there seems less to talk about at the end of the day. There are less funny stories to regal from our days at school or work so when there is nothing to discuss over dinner, why not try asking some of our silly questions?
Like, if your pet could talk, what would its voice sound like?
What is the weirdest food combination? You might be surprised ..... or have an alternative dinner option this week!
Feel free to right click the image below and print out to play with your children.
With easy access to the internet and a mobile phone that can provide tons of digital content easily, the question isn’t really if you can keep the kids entertained at home, but how you should do so.
Keeping that in mind, here’s 5 cool ways you can make that happen!
Cook their favorite food with them
Burgers, fries, pizza, whatever your little ones prefer can always be made in a healthier way by substituting ingredients with healthier ones. For instance, fries can be made with sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes to get a good amount of vitamin A. Furthermore, you can also have them help in cooking by doing some tasks that aren’t dangerous such as washing veggies or spreading sauce.
We have been doing lots of baking at the moment (like most of the nation) and it is a brilliant way to get the kids engaged. (especially those that like to lick the spoon after we are finished)
One thing to keep in mind, is that a mess is to be expected, which can be avoided by keeping a tablecloth underneath their ‘cooking station’.
The National Health Service recommends keeping your children active for at least 60 minutes a day. Lighter exercises or playing games that make you active (such as twister) should do the trick, and keep them busy for a good hour or two. If you prefer some other method of keeping them busy, try doing the chores together. Most common chores should be more than enough, and teach them a little responsibility too!
“An adult scientist is a kid, who never grew up”, this quote by Neil Degrasse Tyson couldn’t be more true. The innate curious nature of kids are an excellent way to keep them entertained by trying out a science experiment. Tornado in a bottle, instant ice, pasta rocket, no matter what you pick, it’s almost guaranteed to pique the interest of your little one and keep them busy for quite some time, while also teaching them about the important scientific concepts that they learn in school.
We tried a mix of milk, food colouring and washing up liquid in a cotton ball and this was the result .....
Another activity that demands the creative potential of your little one is making art. Whether they’re painting the pots of your garden plants or unleashing strokes of crayons on the paper, it’s a great way to get them to tap into their artistic side. Scientific studies have also proven that practicing art improves mental faculties in the brain associated with reasoning and higher thinking, especially in kids of the developing age!
There’s no reason gaming can’t be beneficial for your little one. While even regular video games have been associated with better reflex actions, you’d be better off with installing games that challenge their problem solving skills as well! Puzzles such as sudoku will improve memory, while crosswords increase their general knowledge. You could even have art-making apps installed if you don’t have the crayons or paints at home for the kids to draw and sketch.
There is no escaping that corona virus (or Covid-19) is the main topic in everyone's news feed at the moment and for all the negativity that surrounds it, there are definitely some positives to be found.
It has meant that there has been more family time as no one has to be anywhere but present at home. We were talking recently about family rituals and one of ours has been playing card games after our evening meal.
There are so many games out there, here are our top picks!
Pontoon ( or sometimes called Black Jack or 21)
The Aim - To hit a total of 21 (or as close as possible beneath it)
This is a game that all ages can play with a regular deck of cards and is quite a quick game. Each player is dealt 2 cards and the winner is the player that gets a total of 21 or the closest to it. If you hit 22 - you are out!
The Aim : To be the first player to score 500 points, achieved (usually over several rounds of play) by being the first to play all of one's own cards and scoring points for the cards still held by the other players.
To be honest, we don't ever play for points but to be the first person to get rid of all their cards. It is designed for children aged 7+ and can get quite competitive. It can also go on for a while!
Aim : The first player to get rid of all their cards and to reach 500 points.
This game is VERY similiar to UNO but can be played with a regular deck of cards. Each player is dealt 5 cards and they need to put down a playable card (same number or suit) until they have none left. The 8 card can be used as anything.
Aim : The first player to collect 3 complete Property Card sets in different colours to win.
The Monopoly Brand Deal Card Game is all the fun of the Monopoly game in a quick-playing card game and is a great game to play if you are short on time as you can play in just 15 minutes. Ideal for age 8+
Aim : The objective of the game is to continue to take cards, discarding pairs, until no more pairs can be made.
The player with the card that has no match is "stuck with the old maid" and loses. When playing with more than two players, the game is somewhat unusual in that it has one distinct loser rather than one distinct winner.
Aim - To be the person with the most sets of four at the end of the game.
Go Fish is a classic children’s card game that can be played with any deck of cards. While there are sets of cards that are specifically designed to play Go Fish – often with fewer cards and numbers than a standard deck of cards – in reality specialised card decks are not necessary to play this game.
Aim - To match the other players card and be the first to shout snap!
This game is the perfect introduction to cards for little children and even as an adult, there is nothing more satisfying than shouting SNAP!
Do you have any favourites that we haven't mentioned?
“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.”
This line from the recent poem by Kitty O’meara can have a profound impact, and encourages us to make the best out of a bad situation. Let’s be honest, we all neglect family time in the daily hustle bustle of our lives. If anything, we can use the lockdown to our advantage by revitalizing it. What better way to do it than with a family ritual? Here’s 6 ideas to get you started:
Smartphones, despite being supposed to keep us in touch with everyone, are taking us apart from the person right next to us. The importance of a family dinner sans cell phones, TV and any electronic device cannot be underestimated. Everyone can talk about their day, the important and not-so-important stuff. Certain people go as far as to claim that Family dinners have a therapeutic effect as you can reflect, observe and talk about everything that happened.
Memory Jars serve as a ritual that turns the nature of our abstract memories into something a bit more concrete. Memory Jars involve writing down memorable things that happened throughout the year on cards and putting them in a jar. This can also lead to another family ritual which could involve something along the lines of opening all of them on Christmas and voting the most funny one, the most exciting one, the best trip of the year... you get the gist.
Yearly Family Photo + Footprint Keepsakes
Why keep a proper family photo restricted to a time that was ages ago? Having one every year adds a super sweet memory, and can be started right away! You can also mix it up with a footprint keepsake to make it more interesting!
Following the concept of a swear jar, a commitment jar is made for an aspect of your family that all of you would want to change. Maybe you’d like yelling to stop, or maybe you’d want to stop people from checking phones during dinners. Whatever it is, a commitment jar can have people add a certain amount of money to the jar as a custom which can then be given to charity.
The Family TV Show
A good take on everyone being glued to watching TV shows can be watching a TV show that everyone likes, together. Discussing the same TV show during dinner can also be productive as you get to take a look at the different perspectives about the same show, and this also teaches the kids on being media critics.
Lastly, the best family rituals are sometimes the ones that have been tried and tested by everyone. Game nights are fun, allows you to bond with your kid much better and makes for some interesting Instagram stories!