The best challenges for kids that you can do at home during lockdown

This year is like no other. We can’t make the same kind of plans for family days out and occasions, but our children still need to be challenged.

Setting a challenge for children to achieve can be really motivational, but also really satisfying.

After all, we all love a goal to work towards.

We are starting the year in quite a unique position where clubs, hobbies, and schools aren’t running. Therefore, it’s even more important to challenge our children both mentally and physically for 2021.

The good news however, is that there are loads of ways that you can set challenges for kids that they can do at home.

Virtual events

Children always need a reason to burn off some energy. Whether you have a really active child who loves riding their bike and running round the park, or one who needs to be forced out the house, children need to stay active for their own mental and physical development.

That’s why virtual events are so much fun for kids. Virtual challenges set out an achievable goal for kids to track as they go. At the end of it, they receive a sparkly medal or certificate.

The good news is that there are lots of events that you can enter online and your own pace.

Race at Your Pace offers virtual events for children’s running, walking, cycling, and swimming activities. In other words, you pick your activity, and distance, and in return, receive a swanky medal. Throughout the challenge, children can track their effort and submit it online.

Another organisation set up and runs virtual challenges is Virtual Runner UK. Every race entry wins a medal, but also support charities with a donation of the fee.

Unicorn medal for kids running challenge

I’ve actually joined a few of these with my daughter, and she loved the quality of the medals that we received. Particularly the unicorn race!

Set your own fitness challenge

If you’d prefer to do something with no joining fee, why not set your own challenge? After all, the best things in life are free, right?

A daily exercise challenge can be something that they work on at any time. For instance, get your child to track the miles they cover whilst taking their daily exercise. Total it up at the end of the month and try to beat it next time. This could be mileage on their bike, scooter, or on foot.

Or perhaps, write out 31 different activities, and get them to pick a different one each day. You could have a list of activities, and another one of reps to make it new each time.

Fitness challenges for kids

Monthly challenges for children don’t just have to be about being active though.

Reading challenges for kids

For children who prefer to have the head stuck in a book, you could set a reading challenge.

And with a reading challenge, you can therefore adapt the tasks to suit your child or their interests.

Examples of reading challenges:

  • 52 books in 52 weeks
  • Books starting with A-Z
  • As many books by the same author
  • Classics
  • As many books as you can
  • Colour-coded books (look at the spines on the shelf, or front cover)
  • Books from different genres
  • 12 books in 12 months
  • Re-read all the books on your bookshelf
  • Books with a specific theme e.g. animals, nature, or magic
  • Reading bingo where your child can come up with their own challenges

Writing challenges for kids

For children who love to write, try a monthly writing challenge. This can also be adapted to suit personal tastes.

A writing challenge is a great way to help children develop their writing skills, but also show them how much they’ve progressed. Keep their works in a booklet or folder as a keepsake of their challenge.

After that, you could even print a photo book of their work.

Ideas for writing challenges:

  • A 30 day writing challenge – plan out a different task for each day and ask for children to pick
  • Keep a daily diary or journal
  • Write a poem each day
  • Practice handwriting each day
  • Learn a new word and write out its meaning each day
  • Write a short story each week
  • Come up with a new character each day
  • Write a page in a book each day

Children progress quickly with consistency, and daily writing tasks is a great way to support their learning. For keen writers, It’s also a great first portfolio.

You could even look for writing competitions to enter their work, such as the 500 Words contest.

Art challenge

A daily day drawing challenge is the perfect way to help children to develop their artistic skills.

Start by writing out a daily object or place to draw, and create a series of artwork throughout the month or year, whatever time period you pick.

You could even break it down into different artistic techniques per task. For example, watercolour, illustration, comic strips, sketch, oil based heart, colour, monochrome et cetera. The world is quite literally the oyster.

This would be a lovely series to to print into a photo book or frame to create a unique gallery.

Lego challenge

Lego is amazing to help children develop their STEM skills. It’s also a brilliant way to encourage quiet time to calm children down and focus on something they enjoy.

Lego asks your children to use their Imagination, and challenges their building skills. Creating something different each day keeps it fresh and fun and therefore interesting.

Just make sure you have enough generic Lego in different colours and shapes so that they can let their creativity run wild.

Kindness challenge

We are constantly telling children to be kind, but sometimes they might need a little help

Use a kindness calendar either a pre-printed one or come up with your own and ask them to carry out daily acts of kindness towards others

This could be a random act of kindness, or something as simple as saying thank you for meals or smiling at people you pass on a walk. Consequently, it is not only a great thing for your kids to do, but will also cheer someone else up too.

Whatever they are into, there is sure to be a challenge for them.