All day every day all I hear is “Come and play with me!!!!”  *repeat for eternity. Do you hear the same thing? Then you must be the parent of some small humans just like me.

All around the world families are spending more time at home and with longer periods of time in our homes playing with our common toys; our children have started to become restless.

Add to that the pressures of working and learning from home and time to play together has become reduced even more.

Here are my go to quick and simple activities. They take little to no time to set up, use resources we already have in our own home and are perfect for children big and small.

  • Create your own ball run

Cut empty toilet rolls or paper towel rolls in half. Tape them to a window or a wall in a downhill pattern. Roll some ping pong balls or pom poms down. Encourage your child to make as many different tracks as possible.

  • Colour Matching

This activity is perfect for little ones starting to learn their colours. Use an empty egg carton and colour the bottom of each section in different colours to match the items that you have. Demonstrate how to place the item into the section of the egg carton that has the same colour. For this activity you can use pom poms, small magnets, coloured pencils or printed coloured images.

  • 10 Book bowling

Set up board books in a diamond shape just like at bowling. Use a small ball and knock the books over.

For small babies who are on the move this might work best- Instead of using a ball to knock the books over you can always place the books in a row slightly spread out and encourage your baby to crawl to one book after another and knock them down.

  • Whisk away

Grab the whisk from the kitchen cupboard and fill it with small soft items- pom poms, baby socks and ribbons work perfect for this activity. Show your baby how to grab at the items stuck inside and see if they can get everything out.

  • Treasure Hunt

Literally the most simple of play activities.

  • Hide something 2. Tell them what item is missing 3. Get them to go and find it.

You can hide printed images, toys and other items found in your home or you can flip it and give them a visual list of common household items and get them to find them and bring them back to one central spot.

Indoors, outdoors, planned or spontaneou a treasure hunt is one simple activity that will never fail to impress.

  • All Wrapped Up

Select some smaller items from the toy box and wrap them in foil. Place all of these wrapped up objects into a bowl and let your littleone  sort through and select an item to unwrap. It is like Christmas day all over again!

  • Frozen  *this is the only activity that will require some preparation

Make your own ice blocks with hidden items inside- plastic animals, bath toys and plastic blocks work best. Once frozen, remove it from the freezer and use some kitchen instruments or even a small hammer to try and break the hidden items free before the block melts.

  • Build it up- Knock it down

Build towers with paper or plastic cups. How tall can you make your tower. How long? Once you have built it you can use a small ball or even a scrunched up ball of foil to attempt to knock it down.

  • Picnic Time

Eat a meal somewhere different. Breakfast outside, dinner at the park or lunch in a cubby house. Invite and set up some space for some teddies and dolls to join in the fun as well.

  • Disappearing drawings

Use some chalk to draw images or even write letters and numbers on to the foot path. Have a paint brush and water close by and ‘paint’ over these chalk images. Watch them change or even disappear.


Erica is a teacher, mum of two and now a published author. Her business Chronicles of Play was founded in 2020 and came to life in 2021 when she published her first book 365 Ways to Play.

During the lockdowns of 2020 Erica was living in a tiny Air BnB, pregnant and attempting to entertain an extremely active 2 year old. So, she wrote a list of things to do- one for every day between then and the day bub was due.

This list grew to become a book and her passion for simple easy and honest ways to play grew to become Chronicles of Play. It is a place to share simple ideas and activities for children of all ages, a place to educate parents around how to use play to support their child’s learning and development and a place for Erica to share her many tips and tricks around play and learning.