Many of us are currently faced with an interesting reality: working at home… with kids. With searches for ‘stay at home kids activities’ up by 4055 percent on Pinterest, we compiled some of our favourite kids’ updates that will hopefully help keep them occupied and out of trouble.
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1. PURE FANTASY
Beata Heuman’s latest launch is Asteria’s Folly – a printed cotton fabric in Day and Night colourways depicting fantastical creatures bounding across starry skies.
Undoubtedly one for adults with vivid imaginations, too. After all, why should the kids have all the fun?
2. BUNKING UP
Kids love a bunk bed, and that’s a fact. Whether it’s used for sharing bedrooms or purely for sleepovers, or maybe the bottom bunk space could even be used as a reading spot, homework station or secret den.
An interactive bunk bed like the new Lifetime collection of beds for Cuckooland will make even bedtime an adventure, and help keep kids busy and entertained in their rooms through imaginative role play.
The Lifetime Play Tower kids bed incorporates a treehouse with ladder, look-out post and balcony, plus a blackboard for doodling on.
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The Lifetime Lake House is in the shape of a pretty house, with windows at all, perfect for those kids who love playing house.
3. MURAL MURAL ON THE WALL
You’ll have seen artist and designer Lucy Tiffney’s cheerful doodles adorn rugs, throws and blankets, wallpapers and recently a debut homeware range. Now she’s demonstrated how to get creative using Annie Sloan‘s Chalk Paint™ selection.
You might not be able to recreate the exact same effect, but we’re sure the kids will love having the freedom to doodle on their bedroom walls to their heart’s content. Just smother the walls in a black chalkboard paint and give them some erasable chalk pen markers. Kids in need of a little inspiration? Let them watch along Lucy Tiffney’s Instagram TV episodes to inspire creativity. Who knows, their room might turn out into quite the masterpiece.
Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, from £5.95 for 120ml
4. WALL MAGNETS
Kids too young to be left alone with marker pens? We love London-based Sian Zeng’s creative and interactive magnetic wallpapers, transforming walls into whimsical landscapes, while also making them fully magnetic – so you can easily pin up photos, cards, notes and drawings.
There’s also a range of matching whimsical magnetic illustrations, to help tell interactive stories.
It’s no wonder her designs have garnered so much attention – and actress Hilary Duff was one of her very first customers. The magnetic wallpaper design also won Sian Zeng the Esty Design Award last year.
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5. HIDE AND SEEK
The Little Green Sheep‘s extra roomy play tent is attractive enough to be as at home in the living room as it is in the play room. It’s easy to assemble, spacious enough for two, and the ideal little den to encourage reading (or more likely for sneaking in an episode of Peppa Pig on the iPad).
The Little Green Sheep Teepee Play Tent, £89.95
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6. PING PONG
Want to create the ultimate kids’ playroom but loathe the discarded toys they contain? The Art of Ping Pong offers tables that can be folded up and hung as works of art on the wall when not in use.
7. SCREEN TIME
Let’s face it, a little screen time here and there never hurt anybody, and even parents deserve a break – now more than ever. Good timing then, that Amazon have announced the next generation Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, with lots of kid-friendly content, all wrapped with easy-to-use parental controls – plus faster performance, a longer battery life and faster charging, to keep them engrossed for longer. Prone to mum guilt? Get them watching something educational. Win-win.
All-new Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, £199.99, from amazon.co.uk
8. WEIGHTED BLANKET
We’ve seen the benefits of a weighted blanket; proven to relieve insomnia, anxiety, and stress by essentially wrapping you in a giant hug, neutralising your nerves into a welcome submission. So why shouldn’t kids get in on the action too? Mela have just launched their new kids’ weighted blanket, perfect for children struggling with sleep or anxiety in the current times.
As well as being practical, it’s stylish to boot.
The Child Weighted Blanket, from £89.99, from melacomfort.co.uk
9. BATH TIME
Making bath time twice the fun, Cuddledry‘s soft bamboo hooded towels are super absorbent, while looking totally adorable. Perfect for enticing children out of the bath and getting them to hop straight to bed.
Hooded towels, from £29.99 from cuddledry.com
10. SCREEN FREE
Trying to peel kids away from the TV? Yoto is the screen-free audio platform for children; the Yoto Player brings an ever-growing library of curated audio – including books from Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan and more – for children to listen to at home and on the go.
The connected speaker gives children full control over listening, by entertaining and educating them and reducing screen-time.
Yoto Player, from £79.99 from yotoplay.com
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11. STORY TIME
Lunii’s My Fabulous Storyteller is an immersive and interactive story creator where the child is able to choose different elements to create their own story which is then told to them. Children can create their own personalised audio narrative by selecting from a range of characters, settings and objects with the easy-to-use wheel. The My Fabulous Storyteller then narrates a bespoke audio story, gives the child the opportunity to get creative and unleash their imagination.
There are 1,500 stories available on the Luniistore (160 of which are in English) and content is available in nine different languages. Aimed at children aged 3-8 years old, it’s easy for little hands to use, it’s compact and lightweight, and portable too.
12. ADVENTURE BEDDING
We love Sophie Allport‘s Safari Bedding design, featuring a range of Safari creatures from wildebeest and warthogs to elephants and giraffes. Sophie Allport’s Safari design was inspired by her childhood holidays to Africa visiting family and will bring the animal kingdom adventures to your bedtime stories. Ideal for little adventurers.
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13. MEMORY LANE
For tiny tots, introduce them to some good, old-fashioned, retro Fisher Price. Seeing the range now, just as it was when we were little, floods us with warm nostalgia. Introduced in 1961, The Chatter Telephone was the ultimate pretend play toy, and tots still gravitate to the design today.
14. WATER PLAY
Perfect for that tricky toddler stage, the Little Tikes‘ Fountain Factory Water Table keeps toddlers and young children completely engrossed – which is no easy feat. With interchangeable pipes, wheels and pumps, there’s lots of learning to do too. When they’ve had their fill, the table’s easy-drain plug makes for hassle-free tidying up time.
15. NEON GLOW
Ideal for adding vibrancy or for colour clashing, the renowned String Pocket Metal is now available in a beautifully bright NEON shade. Fun for kids, and cool for teens’ rooms too.
String pocket metal in neon, from £150, utilitydesign.co.uk
16. DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT
The realistic-looking moon wall light from brainstorm has 12 illuminated lunar phases, making it both educational and a funky room light – so they can dance, quite literally, in the moon light. The brand is known for incorporating science, technology, engineering and maths into toys, to encourage children to explore and develop a passion for these subjects. Their goal is to entertain children but also to inspire them to learn more about their environment. The wall light is really easy to set up and no mains electrics are required, as it’s powered by 4 x AA batteries.
My Very Own Moon, £19.99, available from John Lewis and Waterstones.