Welcome to Stay and Play

Fun activities to do at home

Unicef helps children keep playing and learning all over the world in times of crisis. We know lockdown isn’t easy, so we have a selection of free and fun Stay and Play activities to help your child learn and grow during their time at home.

Over the coming weeks, we will be sending you lots of tried and tested activities to help your children have fun, be creative and keep them laughing and playing wherever and whatever the circumstances.

Here are three activities to get you started and to unleash those young explorers, detectives, film-makers and artists.

We hope they help you and your children make the most of your time together.

Memory game

Children often have very good memories, sometimes better than their parents or carers! This DIY memory game is a simple memory game with cards and taking turns to remember pairs of items. Kids can make the cards themselves and play with each other, or you can join in yourself if you’re brave enough!

You will need:

  • Paper or card
  • Pens or pencils or crayons
  • Scissors

How to do it:

  1. Start with a piece of paper or card. Card is preferable so drawings don’t show through when they’re face down, but you can also stick sheets of paper together to make it less transparent.
  2. On the card, you’ll need to create a grid of squares. If you use A4 paper or card and place it portrait, you can create a grid of 3 squares across and 4 squares down. A ruler can give you equal measurement squares. If you don’t have a ruler, you can also try using a coaster to draw round and create templates to cut out.
  3. Once you have your grid or templates, you or your children can draw objects on the cards – each object should be drawn twice to create a pair. You can try food, animals, sports or whatever your children would like!
  4. Now cut out the cards. If you’ve used a grid of A4 to create 12 squares, you’ll have 12 cards which form 6 pairs. You can start with this, or add more cards to increase the difficulty.
  5. Shuffle the pack of cards and place them each face down on the floor.
  6. The game is played by each player taking a turn to turn over 2 cards.
  7. If the player reveals an identical pair on their turn, they can remove and keep this pair. If they do not locate a pair, the cards must be placed face down again.
  8. Keep playing until all pairs have been located and count them up at the end!

Print Painting – with utensils!

Print painting is a great way for kids to quickly get creative and explore patterns and colours. Instead of using specialist print items, why not try things from around the house? They’ll definitely need a clean before using again for their normal purpose, but plenty of fun can be had first!

You will need:

  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Household items you can spare!

How to do it:

  1. Decide what to use for printing. Potato mashers, spatulas, and other items can be used to create unusual and fun artistic prints.
  2. Use the items to press into the paint, and then print onto paper. You’ll want to protect the house from the mess, but your kids will be making masterpieces in no time!

Journal Writing

This is a strange time for us all. Journal or diary writing can be a great way to understand and express how we feel, improve our communication skills and be a way to look back and reflect later. Valuable for children and adults alike, this activity can be a great help during a difficult time.

You will need:

  • Writing materials
  • A writing book or pieces of paper

How to do it:

  1. Children can choose what they’d like to write about in their day. Or you can prompt their writing with questions they can respond to: perhaps write down what they experienced or did in the day, and how they felt about it.
  2. Many people find writing a diary or journal works best when done as part of a routine, often at a particular time of the day to build a habit.
  3. Keeping a diary or journal isn’t for everyone, but many children find it can be helpful. You can ask them questions about how they find writing about their experiences.


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