INSPIRATION • May 2020
Are you a parent who’s thoroughly out of ideas? Luckily, retailers across the British Airways Avios eStore are ready to open a world of adventure to enrapture your little ones. Mum and writer Rachel Truman combines boredom-busters from across the site with the stay-at-home ideas you’ll love
Fire up little imaginations by encouraging them to build a fairy village, knights’ camp, pirate island or superhero hideout, all using things they find in the garden, or bits and pieces from inside the house. See if they can cook up an alter-ego character to go with it. At Argos (1 Avios/£1), The Entertainer (3 Avios/£1) and John Lewis & Partners (2 Avios/£1), you’ll find animal figures and characters to help bring their ideas to life: the endlessly excellent Playmobil range has everything from pirate ships to fire engines, fearsome dragons to fantasy fortresses.
Do the kids still have energy to burn pre-bedtime? Have a kitchen disco. Don the fancy dress, dim the lights and turn on your Sonos wireless speakers (Sonos; 10 Avios/£1). Little ones will love playing musical statues or chairs, while budding band members will go crazy for a karaoke machine (Very; 2 Avios/£1). Or, take a look at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, which has a wealth of family dance workshops on its YouTube channel to keep you all moving in sync.
The appeal of the world-famous building brick knows no age limits. Create a LEGO (10 Avios/£1) zone in your house (you can lay out a blanket to ensure a quick tidy up afterwards) with boxes of assorted bricks and LEGO bits with which they can get to work. For something slightly more technical, architect firm and mastermind behind The Gherkin in London, Fosters + Partners, has dreamed up a series of at-home architecture challenges, and is sharing the attempts on its social media channels.
If all else fails, look to use the packaging any new games have come in. Nothing beats the simple joy of a brand-new cardboard box, whether it’s fashioned into a makeshift castle, robot head or giant drawing board. Waterstones (4 Avios/£1) has plenty of activity books to inspire little minds, such as The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas, while The Cartoon Museum has some fun step-by-step guides to crafting the perfect caricature. And budding designers might enjoy jewellery designer Hirsh’s downloadable colouring book – they can even share their dazzling designs online.
A teddy bears’ picnic is a perennial favourite. And you don’t even need to go down to the woods. Help little ones write invites for their favourite toys or new friends – Steiff’s classic bears (Selfridges & Co; 6 Avios/£1) will become cherished heirlooms. Older ones can help whip up a batch of scones (an easy recipe for budding bakers) – Bake It by Dorling Kindersley (Waterstones; 4 Avios/£1) has simple instructions for budding bakers. Set up a picnic blanket in the garden, bring out the picnic basket (Great Little Trading Company; 2 Avios/£1), and arm them with Soft Stuff tools and dough (Early Learning Centre; 3 Avios/£1), so they can make their own pretend picnic goodies – there’s even a cake and ice cream shop set.
Arm older children with jumbo chalks so they can set about marking out activity zones themselves (a star for star jumps, a hopscotch grid and so on) and stretch out a skipping rope for limbo. It could end with a running leap into the paddling pool or perfecting their pike jump on the trampoline (John Lewis; 2 Avios/£1) – the joys of trampolines are endless. Plus turning one into a giant day bed complete with cushions and blankets for an alfresco movie session on the iPad will earn you serious cool parent points.
Set up a snug reading area with cushions, rugs and bean bags where you can all curl up with a good book – you’ll find all the classics and latest must-reads at Waterstones (4 Avios/£1). You could start a mini book club to share your reviews or suggest they put on a show of their favourite scene. Still not sure how to keep them occupied inside? ‘The Great Indoors’ initiative by Scouts UK offers weeks worth of inspiring activities to keep the boredom at bay.
Is it your first time on the eStore? You can get 20 per cent bonus Avios on your first transaction when you shop online. To find out more, click here