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Odyssey, The Global Preschool (Mont Kiara)

Stuck at Home: How to Keep Kids Engaged

by on 24/03/2020 11328

What a time it is. Malaysia has been put under a movement control order (MCO) due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Although our kids can’t go to preschool or playgroups for now, there are still ways to keep them learning and occupied.

Here are 9 activity ideas to keep those brains active:

1. Read Books

Speaking and reading are essential skills that preschools focus on.

Image: 123RF

Sit with your child and read story books together. If you need time to get some work done, put on storytelling videos on sites like YouTube. Taska Ceritamu also has daily story time videos for kids on their Facebook page.

Right now, Audible (the audiobooks service) is making their collection of kids’ stories free to stream online, as schools close around the world.

Reading teaches children phonics, expands vocabulary, and highlights important moral values. Just be sure to pick the right books!

2. Print Out Worksheets

Get some quality worksheets for your kids without forking out cash. All you have to do is go online to sites like or, and print out their age-appropriate materials. These worksheets develop areas such as early math and writing skills.

Image: 123rf

These local preschools are also providing learning materials for kids during this MCO:

3. Find Paid Online Classes

Since your child can’t go to class, bring class to him or her. If you’re looking for more structured teaching, paid online classes for kids are available. Here are a few preschools and enrichment centres you can contact:


4. Cook or Bake Together

Cooking and baking are not just fun; they engage a multitude of skills. Math, science and creativity are all used in a practical sense as children measure ingredients, watch batter turn into ready-to-eat cookies and place pizza toppings.

In addition, kids will learn to follow steps (as they work through recipes) and also pick up a bunch of new words! Try out these quick and easy recipes compiled by Puei Chee Kindergarten.

Oasis Place, KL, has a great pizza making activity guide on their Facebook page that supports kids with speech and occupational therapy goals. The page also suggests other home-bound activities for children with special needs. Find them here.

5. Experience Sensory Play

Image: 123rf

Kids can gain a lot from sensory play. To get started, find a tray or box, and fill it with varied textures (think coloured rice, sand, and ice). Don’t forget to make it look inviting! These sensory bins will stimulate your kids, develop hand-eye coordination and build new nerve connections in their brains.

Get some spoons, cups, and tongs out so they can practice their transferring skills too.

Besides sensory bins, you could have your child play with non-toxic playdough. You can make some at home using flour and food colouring. Check out this simple recipe:

For some messy fun, see this The children’s house post on how to make a DIY bubble blower. 

6. Play (Educational) Games

Who says screen-time is always unproductive? It just depends what your kid is watching or doing on the screen! There are plenty of websites and apps with free educational games for different age groups. Visit or for interactive games that teach about numbers, shapes, and the alphabet!

7. Experiment Like Scientists

The wonderful thing about natural science is that it’s all around us. Kids get to see, touch, smell and taste things –all while asking important questions about why it’s happening. Get them thinking and curious about the world, even at home.

Tadika KinderJoy is sharing daily science-related challenges during this MCO for kids to do with their parents. Check out their challenges and other free learning activities here.

8. Explore Like Artists

Now is an apt time to lay out those paints and palettes, don’t you think? Children can develop fine motor skills, learn to express themselves, and experience calmness through art-making. Be it drawing, creating crafts, or even playing music, the arts extend benefits that can apply to other areas of life.

For a very simple activity, try this symmetrical painting idea by Peter and Jane Kindergarten.

Image: 123rf

Rise N Shine Childcare Centre, SS2, has some neat art ideas such as string butterfly painting in their house activities holiday programme.

Head on over to and get in touch for more info.

If an online class might be more fitting for your child, Tone Color Academy has paid Skype lessons in the arts for kids. 

9. Clean and Tidy Things Up 

Cleaning is a life skill. We need it to maintain a healthy and safe environment. It also teaches us appreciation for what we have.

Try inviting your child to watch you do chores around the house and then slowly teach them how to do the basic motions. They could start with little things, like sorting coloured clothes for laundry or drying plates (maybe just the plastic ones for now). These activities get them moving, and can help with releasing pent-up energy!

You could also try peppering these cleaning sessions into your kids’ routine and give them responsibility over certain tasks. For example, you could make placing cutlery on the table for meals your child’s duty, while you arrange the plates and cups. This will allow you both to bond and get him feeling proud for doing things independently, while helping out the family.

For more ideas on practical life skill activities to do at home, do see this post by Odyssey.

Note that during times of change and uncertainty, keeping to a routine can provide our kids with a sense of comfort.