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Affordable Stay-at-Home Activities for Your Kids To Keep Them Occupied and Not Bother You

profileXue Miao

“Wow, what a peaceful day of working from home today!”

Said no working parent ever.

As a regular millennial with no parental duties, I already find myself occasionally getting distracted by snacks and funny memes while working from home.

I cannot imagine how parents can juggle between an active child and work responsibilities…

They truly have 100% of my respect.

And with children mostly be based at home these days (holidays and home-based learning), parents might be fumbling to look for activities for them to do.

Since raising a kid is already expensive business, why not take a look at some affordable options to keep them occupied while they are home?


TL;DR: Affordable (or Free) Stay-at-Home Activity Ideas and Resources for Children To Enjoy and Learn From

CategoryActivityByPrice
Art & CraftColouring Sheets, interactive online music seriesSingapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO)Free
Virtual storytelling on classic music$20
Giant colouring posterScribolo$32
OrigamiCanonFree
Science & TechChallenge Cards featuring science experimentsJames Dyson FoundationFree
Science Kits (Follows MOE Science Curriculum)Science Kits SGFrom $4.90
Science CratesKiwicoFrom $20.64 for 12-month subscription
Coding, Robotics, Entrepreneurship WorkshopsSmarter MeFrom $20
GardeningGrow your own microgreensKidz Treehouse$12.90
Grow your own microgreensEverything GreenFrom $4
Hydroponics Kit SystemEco City HydroponicsFrom $35
Virtual BabysittingVirtual interactive sessionsVirtual Babysitters Club (VBC)From US$18/hour
BabysitsFrom S$12/hour
Online Platforms & Educational ResourcesOnline learningVarious platforms Free
Online activities
Virtual field trips and excursions

Hone Your Child’s Art & Craft Skills

Source: Tenor

We all know how beneficial art is for kids, encouraging creativity and self-expression.

If you’re interested to get your child to develop their skills while having fun, here are a couple of activity ideas!

Learning Resources from Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Source: Epigram Books

Besides offering colouring sheets that showcase different details of Victoria Concert Hall, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) also has other learning resources such as an interactive online series called Musical Soundbites.

There is also an ongoing virtual storytelling session which will introduce children to classical music.

Time to discover your child’s hidden musical talent!

Price: $20 for the virtual storytelling session, free for all other activities

Giant Colour Poster

Source: Scribolo

Wanna learn about Singapore’s landscape while having some colouring fun?

Scribolo offers huge (like, huuuuuge) colouring posters which showcase different iconic locations of our country, with lengths spanning longer than the heights of some kids.

If you’re one who wishes to keep your child away from digital screens, this might be the perfect item to purchase.

While the price isn’t the cheapest, such a colouring sheet can probably last for days, meaning the cost per use is… effectively lower.

Get to enjoy some peace and quiet while your child colours away for hours on end.

Price: $32

Make Some Origami

Source: Canon

If you’re looking to create some adorable animals out of paper, Canon is offering free origami templates for families to enjoy.

Get your child to develop some motor skills while working on these crafts as well!

Choose from a huge selection of animals, ranging from red pandas, otters, sloths, cats, dogs to birds and more…

To be very honest, this is something I feel even adults can do.

They look so flippin’ cute and seem to be a great addition to our work-from-home desks.

Price: Free, need a printer to print out templates


Spark That Inner Scientist With These Science & Tech Activities

Source: Giphy

I love science.

I’ve always had fond memories of science experiments, and don’t even get me started on the number of times I’ve been wowed by them.

Science is AMAZING.

If this is an area you want your kids to explore, there are many activity ideas to encourage your child’s curiosity in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).

He/She could be the next Bill Nye!

James Dyson Challenge Cards

Source: James Dyson Foundation

Dyson is providing downloadable challenge cards curated specially for children.

These challenges are designed by Dyson engineers to get them excited about engineering.

While this won’t be a fully hands-off project for parents since you might be cleaning up broken spaghetti bridges or raw eggs…

If you’re someone who wishes to get your child interested in science while playing, these materials are a great start to interesting science experiments!

Price: Free, prepare your own ingredients

Science Kits

Science kits are a great way to experiment with different topics for different age groups.

With so many different types to choose from, here are some affordable ones to start with!

Science Kits SG

Source: Science Kits SG

Details: Materials are closely aligned to MOE Primary School’s Science curriculum

Price: From $4.90

Kiwico Subscription Boxes

Source: Kiwico

Kiwico is founded by a mother of 3 and has delivered over 25 million crates worldwide.

Details: Has science projects for children from age 0 onwards

Price: From S$20.64 for a 12-month subscription

Coding, Robotics or Entrepreneurship Online Classes

Source: Smarter Me

If you hope to take it a little further, there are now online workshops held by Smarter Me for children to develop skills in robotics, game development and entrepreneurship.

They even have personal finance workshops to educate kids about financial literacy.

Details: Recommended for ages 8 to 17

Price: From $20 onwards


Unleash That Inner Gardener With Simple Gardening Kits

Source: Ferns N Petals

While most of us don’t have huge gardening plots at our houses, indoor gardening kits have been all the rage these days.

We can now grow food easily out of small packages without needing a huge space!

Besides it being a fun activity, this will allow your child to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the origins of food too.

This is also perfect if you’d like to skip a few years ahead and get to taste food that’s made by your child.

Here are some affordable options that are available:

Grow Your Own Greens Busy-Kidz Box

Source: Kidz Treehouse

Price: $12.90

Contains:

  • Coco Peat x 2 bags
  • Perlite x 1 bag
  • Seeds x 1 bag
  • Pot x 2 pieces

Everything Green Starter Kits

Source: Everything Green

Price: From $4

Hydroponics Hobby Kit System

Source: Eco City Hydroponics

Price: From $35

Contains:

  • One Nutrient Solution Tank One Planting Board/Tank Lid (4-6 holes)
  • One Slab of Seed Germination Sponge
  • One Packet of LECA balls to support plants in the pot
  • One Packet of Hydro Pots (5-7 units)
  • One Packet of Sample Seeds
  • One Package LUSHGro-HYDRO Nutrient Solution A/B Formulation 250 ml set

If you have slightly more budget to spare, there are more garden kits and smart gardens to explore!


Virtual Babysitting

If you are a parent looking for a fuss-free time with zero assembling of kits or clearing of science experiments, there is now an option to hire a virtual babysitter.

And if you’re wondering:

“Huh? Not even here how to babysit my kid?”

As imagined, virtual babysitting is done via a video call where the babysitter keeps the child engaged through various activities.

In fact, this is something that has been gaining popularity around the world as children can learn through interactive sessions instead of just staring at digital screens.

Nevertheless, it is usually recommended for children above 4 years old because there might be difficult keeping a child on his/her seat for any ages that are younger.

Virtual Babysitters Club (VBC)

Souce: Virtual Babysitters Club (VBC)

Virtual Babysitters Club (VBC) seems to be one more the more established agencies out there, hiring professional performers to provide activities for children.

They have performed on Broadway, toured internationally or have ivy league degrees in theatre.

Parents can sign their children up for different sessions, from one-to-one sessions to public group sessions (think dance parties, puppet shows etc.).

Price: From US$18 for 1 hour

Babysits

Source: Asiaone

If you’re looking for one closer to home, Babysits has over 500 babysitters in Singapore who offer virtual babysitting.

Just like online dating, you choose a babysitter based on their profile and can zoom into the region they are based at as well.

Babysitters would typically come up with activities suitable for your child to keep him or her engaged during the session.

Price: From $12/hour


Free Online Platforms & Educational Resources

To entertain and educate your kid at the same time, there are tons of free educational content that is available online.

We have compiled a few of them based on their categories, namely:

  • Online Learning
  • Online Activities
  • Virtual Field Trips & Excursions

And the best part is… they are all FREE!

However, do remember to regulate their screen time to prevent screen fatigue!


Other Methods To Lower Your Expenses as a Parent

Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

We know that raising a child can be really expensive.

If you’re looking for ways to lower your expenses as a parent, here are some hacks you must not miss:

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About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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