How much time do you have?
Make smoothie pops!
Make easy cheesy spaghetti
Make super sammies or toast
Make some bubble magic!
Find cloudy creatures
Have a no-plates picnic
Make sandy drawings
Have some sprinkler fun
Just a minute
Play copy cat
Feed the ducks
Play sock puppets
Make arty cards
Make chalk paint
Have a sing along
Have a boogie
Make up a story
Play dress ups
Have some scrunchy crunchy fun
Just a minute
How to play the love game
Just a minute
Give some flowers
Make an egg carton caterpillar
See the world in a new way
Play tidy kiwi
Make some tasty tiny toasties
Just a minute
A world of thanks
Fun with milk bottle tops
Enjoy a mini massage
Make some egg-cellent eggs
Make A Shaker
Play little big band
Have some leafy fun
Make your own bird feeder!
Go on a treasure hunt
Play Shop, or caf'e
Get jiggy with it
Just a minute
Bouncing balloony fun
Just a minute
List for fun
You’ll need: 2 cups frozen berries, 1 medium banana, 1 cup low-fat strawberry or vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup fruit juice, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- Place berries, banana, yogurt, juice and maple syrup in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Divide the smoothie among ice-block molds or small cups.
You’ll need: 340g of spaghetti pasta and your favourite tasty extras... see below!
- Cook and drain your spaghetti. Follow the instructions on the packet.
- Add your favourite extras! Tasty tomato: Add a can of plain or flavoured tomatoes to your drained pasta. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add some fresh basil (optional). Veggie hide and seek: Pan fry and add 1-2 cups of finely chopped/grated veggies. We love onion, carrot and courgette. Vegemite treat: Stir a little butter, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 teaspoons of vegemite (or marmite) into your drained pasta.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve. ￼￼￼Yum yum!
You’ll need: Your favourite bread, spreads or fillings, and biscuit cutters or a knife
- Make your toast or sandwiches as you normally would.
- Choose the biscuit cutter shapes you’d like to use.
- Use your cutters (or knife) to cut your toast or sammies into cool shapes. And ta-da! Super sammies and toast! Enjoy.
You’ll need: One cup of water, 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid, 2 teaspoons of corn syrup (optional), a clean container, and a pipe cleaner or some bendy wire
- Bubble mix: Gently stir the water, dishwash and syrup together, then pour the mix into your container.
- Bend one end of your wire so that it forms a small circle. Or find something with a closed circle, like scissor and whisk handles, or a tea strainer
- Dip the wand into your bubble mix. Can you see some in your circle?!
- If so, gently blow through the circle… bubble magic!
Easy option: Buy your first bubble mix and just top it up when you run out.
You’ll need: Eyes, the sky, clouds, a great imagination
- Get outside and find a seat or a nice patch of grass.
- Get comfy and look up at the sky. (But don’t look at the sun!)
- What are the clouds like? Can you see any shapes?
- How many cloud creatures can you find?
You’ll need: Food you can eat without plates – like little sandwiches, sliced apples, raisins and yoghurt pottles. Drink bottles, a large blanket, sun cream and your favourite friends or teddies
- Decide on a picnic spot. It could be your back yard!
- When you arrive, spread out your blanket and unpack your food.
- Make sure everyone’s comfy, then enjoy!
Extra: If it’s wet, have the picnic inside, in a hut made of blankets!
You’ll need: Some soft sand (or dirt) and large sticks
- Go to the beach! Find a flat patch of sand near the water.
- If you can, write your name or special messages.
- Use your sticks to draw pictures.
- Share what you like about each other’s then watch them wash away.
You’ll need: A hot day, a patch of lawn, a sprinkler and your togs
- Easy fun: Set up the sprinkler and run through it!
- Water Olympics: Have baton relays, jump the sprinkler or play catch!
- Play freeze: Run and dance around the lawn and through the sprinkler, until the leader yells ‘Freeze!’3
- Car wash: Pretend you are cars zooming through the water to get clean!
You’ll need: Two or more people
- Find some space indoors or outdoors.
- Take turns to choose an action for everyone to copy.
- You might do five hops, ten star jumps or a fancy dance move!
- What happens to your heart beat? Can you feel it?
Extra: Talk about heart rate and why being active is good for us!
You’ll need: Stale bread and crusts, some hungry local ducks!
- Is there a river or pond you could walk to?
- When you arrive, find some ducks and share out your bread.
- Break bite-size pieces off each slice, and throw them to the ducks.
- Try to get some to the ducks who are missing out!
Extra: See how far you can throw each piece.
Or break off lots of little pieces then throw them all in.
A bread scramble!
You’ll need: A sock for each person, a pen, stickers, or buttons and glue (optional)
- Use your sock like a glove, putting your thumb in the heel and fingers in the toe.
- Music: Have your puppets sing a song!
- Story: Get your puppets to act out a story.
- Chat: Use your puppets to chat about your favourite things.
Extra: Give your puppet a name?
Draw, sew or glue on some eyes and hair
You’ll need: Cardboard, paper, crayons, pencils, glue, leaves, glitter – whatever you have!
- Fold your paper in half.
- Decorate the front with a special design, collage or picture
- Write a message on the inside (get help if you need it).
- Give your card to someone special!
Extra: Talk about other (free!) ways you can show people you care.
You’ll need: 1 cup of cornflour, 1 cup of water, a muffin tin, food colouring and paintbrushes
- Mix the cornflour and water together then split the mixture among your muffin cups.
- Add a few drops of different food colouring to each cup.
- Then use your paint brushes to decorate your driveway or footpath.
- You could draw each other, blue puddles to jump in, or the letters of your names.
Short on time? Normal chalk is great too!
You could have a sing along… in the car, in the bath, before or after meals, in bed, when the ads are on. When else?
- Songs with actions: Incy Wincy Spider, The Hokey Tokey, The Wheels on the Bus, Row Row Row Your Boat
- Other well known songs: Twinkle Twinkle, Old McDonald, Baa-Baa Black Sheep, Six in a Bed, How Much is That Doggy in the Window?
- Make up songs: Pick a tune and sing about your day! E.g. “Today I woke up and it was sunny! Then we ate some cereal and it was yummy!”
- What other songs can you sing along to?
You’ll need: Music and your dancing shoes!
- Bop to the beat: See if you can tap, clap, high five, or march to the beat!
- Teach a new move: Copy each other’s spins, twists, turns and shakes then put your moves together!
- Play zoo guess who: Take turns dancing as your favourite animals
You’ll need: Your imaginations!
- The adult starts. E.g. “I would like to go to the zoo…”
- Then the child adds something: “…to see a zebra!”
- The adult repeats: “I would like to go to the zoo to see a zebra…”
- And the child adds: “that is black and white!”
- Continue until someone forgets!
Extra: Add funny voices!
You can use: Funny clothes, glasses, hats, hairstyles, makeup
- Get dressed: Take turns choosing clothing for each other.
- Style your hair with a hat, hair gel, or hair ties.
- Add funny makeup, a scar, freckles or a moustache!
Extras: Choose a new name. Talk in funny voices. Make a dress up box!
You’ll need: Autumn leaves and your walking shoes or gummies.
- Head out for a walk, get outside, or visit one of your favourite parks.
- Scrunch and crunch your way through the autumn leaves.
- Throw the leaves into the air then watch them float to the ground.
Great idea: If you take a change of clothes getting wet won’t matter at all!
Taking turns, use the starters below to talk about the things you love.
- “I love remembering when we…”
- “I love your…”
- “I love it when we…”
- “I love it when you…”
- “I love this photo because…”
Getting tired? Turn a daily routine into a fun tiny adventure!
You could have a jokey journey when you’re going to the supermarket, getting into the car, or nearly home from a big walk
- Take turns choosing fun actions to do along the way.
- You might: Hop, hop, HOP five steps…
- Then: Skip, skip, SKIP five steps…
- Then: Kick, kick, KICK five steps…
You’ll need: Flowers, scissors, a rubber band, some ribbon (optional)
- Pick a selection of flowers from your garden.
- Arrange the flowers so they sit together.
- Tie a rubber band around the bunch then trim the ends.
- Add a ribbon if you have one.
- Give your flowers to someone kind, or someone you care about.2
You’ll need: An empty egg carton, paints or felt pens and if you want, things to stick on.
- Turn your egg-carton upside-down and cut off the top and edge flap.
- Cut from one end to the other, to make two long caterpillar bodies.
- Paint and decorate your caterpillar, adding eyes and a smile.
Extra: Give your new friend a name and glue on wool for hair, or give him sticky up pipe-cleaner antennae.
You’ll need: A paper towel roll (or sellotape and a piece of paper), a torch, and good flexibility!
- Telescope time: Close one eye and look through a paper towel roll (or a rolled up piece of paper). What can you see? Play pirates and hunt for your favourite things.
- Night-time fun: Go on a torch walk or play flashlight hide and seek.
- Upside downies: Bend forwards and look through your legs or do a headstand!
You’ll need: A mess to tidy! A little goofiness and some friendly competition!
- Race the song: Put on a song and see if you can tidy up everything before the song ends!
- Play mission impossible: Put on some theme music and take turns choosing a mission. E.g. Our challenge is to put away anything that’s blue. Or all our shoes.
- Kids vs parents: Race each other – kids tidying one room, adults another! Eek – don’t let the kids win!
- You’ll need: A muffin tin, 12 slices of wholemeal bread (crusts removed), your favourite fillings (see below) and some grated cheese.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C, grease your tin and press in your bread slices.
Evenly spoon in your favourite fillings:
Spag-tom nom nom: Mix a chopped tomato and a can of spaghetti.
Eggy-licious: Beat 2 eggs with 1/2 a cup of milk, then add cooked veggies and maybe some ham.
Mince or beans: What a yummy way to use your leftovers!
- Top with grated cheese then bake for 15 minutes.
Tip: Cool for a few minutes before serving.
You’ll need: Great manners and the desire to say “thanks” in different languages. Try the word slowly, try it together, then see if you can say it on your own.
Country Word How to say it
Japanese Arigatou ardei-ga-toe
German Danke DAHN-keh
Samoan Fa’afetai Far-ah-FAY-tie
Spanish Gracias GRAH-see-iss
Māori Kia ora KEY-a-or-a
French Merci MER-see
Tongan Mālō Mah-loh
Portuguese Obrigado (male) ob-ree-GAH-doo
Portuguese Obrigada (female) ob-ree-GAH-dah
Fijian Vinaka Vin-AH-ca
Chinese Xiè xiè Shee shee
You’ll need: Lots of milk bottle tops along with an ice-cream container, a bowl and tongs, or a little picture / photo.
- Little ones – play posty: Cut a hole in an ice-cream lid then “post” your milk bottle tops through it. The smaller the space the harder it will be!
- Kindy kids – play nip-nip crabs: Put your milk bottle tops in a bowl then use kitchen tongs to “nip” them out one by one. Time yourself!
- Big kids – make a game piece: Use a milk bottle top to draw a circle on a picture or photo. Cut it out and glue it into your bottle top. Yay – no more forgetting which piece is yours!
You’ll need: Sore feet or shoulders, a cozy space and if you want, some moisturiser or massage oil.
- Make your room nice and cozy. Maybe light some candles and put on some relaxing music.
- Take turns giving a little foot, back or shoulder rub!
- Ask if it feels ok. Massage should be gentle and feel good.
You’ll need: Eggs (or flat stones with round edges), paints and if you want, things you can glue on.
- Boil your eggs for six minutes and let them cool, or give your stones a good wash.
- Draw a picture onto your egg stone, or decorate it with paint and glitter.
- Give your creation to someone you care about or use an egg cup to display it.
You’ll need: An empty plastic bottle, two yoghurt pottles, or a paper towel roll, some noisy fillings (such as stones, rice, dried beans or macaroni), and some decorations.
- Easy shakers: Find an empty plastic bottle or container, half fill it with noisy fillings, then add the cap/lid and shake, shake shake!
- Yogi shakers: Wash then decorate two empty yoghurt pottles, then fill one with noisy fillings, before taping the pottles together, top-to-top.
- Skinny shakers: Decorate an empty paper towel roll, then tape a piece of paper over one end. Half fill the roll with a noisy filling, then tape paper over the other end too.
Extra fun: Can you shake and sing? See our Little Big-Band card for more ideas.
You’ll need: Knees to slap, hands to clap, drums to tap, or your own hand-made shakers (see our Make A Shaker card).
- Choose your instruments. Perhaps you could swap half way?
- Get tapping and clapping, clicking and shaking.
- Maybe put on one of your favourite songs and play along!
Extra for experts: Can you think of a name for your band? Who could you perform a waiata for?
You’ll need: Sharp eyes, leaves, paper, and paints, crayons or glue.
- The leaf game: See who can find the biggest, smallest, brightest, brownest, yellowest or reddest leaf… then hunt again.
- Leafy tracing: Put different leaves under a piece of paper then rub a crayon over the top. Ta daaa!
- Leaf stamps: Paint leaves then carefully stamp them on your paper.
Extra for experts: Draw a tree trunk then glue leaves on as branches.
You’ll need: A bagel or apple, peanut butter, bird seed (or cornflakes / popcorn) and string.
- Put your bird seed, or crushed cornflakes / popcorn in a bowl.
- Cut your bagel in half - or carefully core your apple.
- Put lots of peanut butter on your bagel or the outside of your apple.
- Then dip it into your bird seed and press firmly so it sticks.
- Tie your string through the bagel or core hole, then hang your feeder outside and keep watch for any birds who come to nibble!
You’ll need: Things to hide (such as stickers, I love you notes, photos, recipe ingredients, or special treats), and some helpful clues.
- Take turns hiding things and giving clues…
- When the person goes the wrong way say “cold, colder…” and when they go the right way say “warm, warmer, very very hot!”
- Hide your things then give the hunters their first hand-drawn (or written) clue.
- This clue will lead to the first treat and the next clue, until all treats are found!
Extra for experts
Have a night-time hunt with torches or have two teams racing to find what’s hidden.
You’ll need: Paper and felts to make ‘play money’ (or Monopoly money), and different things to buy and sell.
- Make your money and decide on your store location.
- Find, make or bake some items to sell, then make little price labels.
- Hand out your money and keep some yourself so you can give people change.
- When all the items are sold have a race to tidy up!
Extra: Give your store a name and make a shop-sign or a poster to advertise it.
You’ll need: Some cardboard (e.g. the back of a cereal box), a big picture or photo, glue, a pencil and some scissors.
- Glue your picture or photo to the coloured side of your cardboard.
- On the back, draw straight or curvy lines for cutting along. The more you do the harder your puzzle will be.
- When the glue’s dry, cut along the lines, then muddle up the pieces.
- Make your puzzle! How fast can you make it?
You’ll need: A few balloons, a felt pen, a fly swat or paper plate, strong lungs and quick hands.
- Flying balloon: Blow up your balloons, then when they are nearly full let them go!
- Balloony doodles: Draw a picture on your balloon then blow it up and watch it change size.
- Bats and swats: Grab a fly swat (or make a balloon bat by taping a stick to a paper plate), then try hitting your balloon with it.
- Volley-balloon: Blow up your balloon then tap it to each other without letting it touch the floor. Can you keep two balloons in the air?
Blow up your balloon then tap it to each other without letting it touch the floor. Can you keep two balloons in the air?
You’ll need: A clock with a second hand (or an egg-timer) and your imagination...
- Take turns choosing list ideas and watching the clock.
- You could make a one minute list of…
• Fruit and veggies
• All the people you know
• Your favourite places
• The things you like to eat
• The places you’d like to go
• Animals or sea creatures
• Anything you like!
Extra for older kids: If you can, write your answers down and see who can come up with the most.
Stuck for something to do with kids?
The Tiny Adventures app has lots of simple, fun, ideas.
It only takes a minute to make a memory...