Playing at home during the holidays

It’s important for your child to take a break from their normal routine, including school, every now and then. Having the time, space and opportunities to play happily enables children to relax, switch off from schoolwork and process their own thoughts and feelings…

The school holidays are a great time for children to unwind and have fun, but for parents the juggling of childcare and work or other tasks can be challenging. Working from home gives parents the flexibility to be with their children, yet sometimes it can feel like your child is left to occupy themselves for large parts of the day.

Don’t despair ­– allowing your child to play independently in a safe, secure environment is a good thing. In fact, independent play around the home gives children a chance to be creative and use their imagination. It gives them a sense of freedom where they can control their play rather than be adult-led and figure out what they enjoy.

It’s understandable to be concerned about mess or noise, particularly for parents who are working from home. Setting a few boundaries beforehand ­can reduce this stress – but remember that noisy and messy play are a natural part of childhood. It shows that your child is engaged and confident in their play.

If your child needs a little encouragement to play independently at home this half term, why not take inspiration from our ideas pages.

50 indoor play ideas

Lots of ideas for indoor play, including bubble printing and painting, musical statues and camping indoors or in the garden.

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Ideas for playing at home

Some fun, easy play ideas your child can enjoy at home during bathtime and mealtimes – as well as suggestions on how to involve your child in household tasks.

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How to deal with messy play

Why does my child like to make a mess? Benefits of messy play and how to deal with your concerns as a parent.

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Outdoor play ideas

Ideas for playing in outdoor spaces, such as in the garden.

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Top tips for dens at home

Making a den – and playing in it – is a favourite activity for children of all ages. Dens are really easy to make with things you have at home.

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Top tips for playing in and enjoying nature with children of all ages

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