Learning through play

Parenting tips during COVID-19 outbreak

11 May 2020

Millions of children face school closure and isolation in their own home. This tip is about learning through play – something that can be fun for all ages!

Types of play

  • There are so many different types of play that can be both fun AND educational
  • Language, numbers, objects, drama, and music games give children opportunities to explore and express themselves in a safe and fun way

Movement games

  • Create a dance choreography to your children’s favorite songs. First person does a dance move and everyone else copies. Everyone takes turns being the leader
  • “Challenge” who can do the most toe touches – jumping jacks, windmill toe touches in a minute
  • “Mirror” each other – facial expressions, movements, sounds. One person can start as the leader and then switch. Try it with no leaders!
  • Freeze dance: Play music or someone sings a song, and everyone dances. When the music stops, everyone must freeze. Last person still dancing becomes the judge for the next round
  • Animal dance: Same as above but when the music stops, call out a name of an animal, and everyone has to become that animal

Telling stories

  • Tell your children a story from your own childhood
  • Ask your children to tell you a story
  • Make up a new story together starting with “Once upon a time…” Each person adds a new sentence to the story
  • Act out a favorite story or movie – older children can even direct younger ones while learning responsibility

Change the object!

  • Every day household items like brooms, mops, or scarfs can become fun props for games
  • Place an object in the center of the room and whenever someone has an idea, they jump in and show the rest what the object can be
  • For example, a broom might become a horse or a microphone or even a guitar!

Memory game

  • First person says, “When COVID-19 lockdown ends, I am going to… (e.g., go to the park)”
  • Second person adds to first person, “When COVID-19 lockdown ends, I am going to the park and… (e.g., visit my best friend)”
  • Each person adds to the previous trying to think of all of the fun things to do when COVID-19 lockdown ends


  • Singing songs to your baby help develop language
  • Play or sing a song, and the first one to guess it right becomes the next leader
  • Make up a song about handwashing or physical distancing. Add dance movements!

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