Play time ideas at home

Note: Beverly Burgess is a mum of two boys and the blogger behind family blog, “Beverly’s adventures." LEGO Singapore provided the toys she discusses in this story.

There is a wide range of fun outdoor activities for kids around Singapore, but what happens when you inadvertently end up stuck at home—be it because someone's sick, the day's a washout because of rain, or the haze PSI is simply too high to risk going outdoors?

There are a couple of fun activities and games to do on hand that we can whip out at a moment's notice and are sure to keep the kids occupied for a good period of time. And they don’t involve resorting to turning on the TV or iPad! Read on for a couple of tips.

1) Re-discover the simple pleasures of sitting curled up on the couch, reading a favourite book. Read to your child, or have him or her read to you if they're able to. Act out bits of the story together. Who ever said reading was dull?! Tip: do a mini excursion to your local library and pick out a few books together. Singapore is blessed with excellent libraries jam-packed with wonderful children’s books!

2) It's phonics time! Write a letter on a big sheet of paper on the floor, and get the kids to find objects around the house that begin with that letter, then place the object on it. Considering you can do this 26 times, it actually is a great time killer! Pssstt... it's also a great energy-burner, because my kids do laps up and down the house looking for the objects. It's a rainy day alternative to a run around the park.

3) Ask your kid to be creative and draw from their imagination, or play "I Spy" and have them have to draw or paint (instead of saying) the object they think you're looking at. Cut a starfruit, apple, cucumber, or any other fruit or vegetable, and use them as stampers. Dip the cut half into some paint and go nuts on a big piece of butcher paper.
4) Cooking is a great hands-on activity for tactile learning. Kids can learn about measuring, weights, and will have a blast stirring the ingredients in the bowl. They'll love to sample their creations afterwards too! How to make it extra fun? My kids love to dig through (and toss) some plain flour, or use cute cookie cutters to cut the dough.

5) Boost hand-to-eye coordination through play by doing jigsaw puzzles together, or building something fantastic with LEGO bricks--the muscles that manipulate LEGO bricks are the same ones that are used in writing, so keep those fingers moving!

The new LEGO City range boasts moving parts and exciting vehicles that captures my kids' attention and imagination for hours indoors. They love to put together the helicopter's blades (again and again), then spin them and pretend it's flying through the sky. It's a great lesson in how things work, and it helps them practise their fine motor skills joining the bricks together. We also like to use to cute LEGO money bricks to practise our counting and addition—it's much more fun to learn this way!

All ‘activitied’ out and need to cool off? Pop the kids into the bath tub and throw in some measuring cups and spoons. It's a great way to cool off after a day's play!