Have Hatchimals invaded your house too? All three of my younger girls love these cute little creatures.
They come in a cute little egg and you get to hatch it out. That’s a good part of the fun. But, it doesn’t end there.
Once you have a Hatchimal or two, you can use them for free play. These toys also make an appearance during our Family Writing Time.
If you’re looking for some quiet activities for your kids, here are seven different ideas that all use Hatchimals. Each is a fun way to keep them engaged, and also offer some educational value.
So bring out the Hatchimals collection, and encourage your kids to play while you get some work done.
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Hatchimal Activity #1: Create a Habitat
Animals, and Hatchimals, need a place to live. Ask your kids to each create their own habitat for their collection.
Set out some basic supplies:
- A shoebox
- Construction paper
- Index cards
- File folder
And let them get creative. WIll they add a tree? Or a paper waterfall? It’s fun to see what kids can create when they’re free to use their imagination.
You can have your child sketch out their design first on paper, or just jump right in. If they tend to get frustrated if things don’t go right, sketching first is probably a good idea. If they’re more go with the flow and fix it as I go, they’re probably good to just start building.
Encourage your child to have a Hatchimal nearby for sizing purposes. They don’t want to create the perfect Hatchimal bed only to discover the Hatchimal doesn’t fit. We’ve also had some fun using toy boats and things for Hatchimal play. Here’s a picture showing how the kids using a large toy boat to take their Hatchimals on a pretend seaside adventure.
Hatchimal Activity #2: Hatchimal Draw
Do your kids enjoy drawing? Ask them to draw and color a couple of their favorite Hatchimals.
They can also create their own unique Hatchimal. They can use these questions for planning:
- What is the base animal?
- What’s the main color?
- Are the eyes opened or closed? (Or one eye open and one eye closed)
- What shape is the belly?
- Does this creature have a horn?
- What color are the wings?
- Is the mouth opened or closed?
- Are there any spots or stripes?
That should give your child a pretty good idea of what their unique Hatchimal should look like. Then they can try to bring it to life through a drawing.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind your child watching a how-to video during Family Writing Time, you can have them follow this step-by-step drawing video. We use Art Hub for Kids videos quite frequently, and have always had fun with them. (We have a subscription, and definitely enjoy it!)
Hatchimal Activity #3: Write Their Story
Where did the Hatchimals come from? How did they get into these colorful eggs? Why do they all have wings?
Let your child use his voice to write a story about Hatchimals. They can write a short story, a poem, a comic book, or anything else that gets their ideas out on paper.
Need some more ideas for what they can write?
5 story starters about Hatchimals..
- I pulled the egg apart and gasped! It wasn’t a Hatchimal inside, it was a ____________.
- One day, I woke up to my Hatchimals jumping on my head. They were alive!
- I couldn’t believe it, I was now a Hatchimal!
- My dog started digging like crazy. I ran over to see what he found. It was a Hatchimal egg.
- When I put my Hatchimals into their case, strange things started to happen.
Once the story is complete, have your child illustrate it. This project could take a couple of days to work on, and that’s okay!
Hatchimal Activity #4: Hatchimal Sort
This one works really well for younger kids. You can grab a large muffin tin, and put a circle of different colored construction paper in the bottom of each of the wells.
Then your child can sit and sort the Hatchimals by color. It’s a fun way for them to practice distinguishing different shades of each color.
Older kids can look for different ways to sort their collection. You can write the following prompts on Popsicle sticks and store them in a jar. Your child can pull out one, sort them accordingly, and then mix them all up again. They can continue sorting and mixing until the timer beeps.
- Type of animal
- Eyes open vs Eyes closed vs One eye opened/One eye closed
- Stripes/spots vs No markings
- Real animal vs Make believe/mythological creature
- Glittery vs not glittery
- Tail style
- Texture (fuzzy vs not fuzzy)
- Wing color
- Nose style
You can also challenge them to think of their own method of sorting.
Hatchimal Activity #5: Create a Game
Hatchimals are the perfect size for board game pieces! Give your child a ruler, and a file folder, and let them create their own game.
They can brainstorm the purpose of their game. Are they trying to get the lost Hatchimals back to the nest? Are they on a mission to collect the most points possible? The sky is the limit!
The board could look like a giant egg, a tree, a Monopoly style board, a checkerboard, or anything they can think of. Just remind them that the “squares” need to be big enough for the Hatchimal to fit on.
If their games needs a spinner or cards, they can make their own. Index cards cut in half are a good size. For the spinner, cardstock and a bradcan be combined to create a simple one.
Encourage them to color their board when it’s all complete.
Then take time to play it when Family Writing Time is over.
Hatchimal Activity #6: Game Free Play
My kids love playing with the pieces to board games during Family Writing Time. Recently, the’ve started swapping out character pieces with Hatchimals.
They love using the peacock Hatchimal as Mrs. Peacock when they play with the Clue board.
They take out the Monopoly pieces and use Hatchimals instead.
When they solo play, they get to use the pieces however they want. There are no rules to follow, so they can use their imagination.
These are the games my kids most like playing solo with Hatchimals instead of (or in addition to) the pieces:
- Kingdomino (They typically use the domino pieces to build a really big map. They make it so they have different areas where the Hatchimals live)
- Candy Land
Hatchimal Activity #7: Make a Hatchimal Stop Motion
With a smartphone, a tripod, a free stop motion app, and some Hatchimals, your child can create their own Hatchimal stop motion film.
Before filming begins, there’s some behind the scenes work to do. They’ll need to decide what is going to happen in the film. Then they’ll have to create their own props and backgrounds.
Foam board makes a quick to set up backdrop. Just prop one piece against something like a step stool or a bucket, and put another one down on the table/floor for the bottom of the scene.
Once everything is ready, they snap their first picture. Then they move one thing slightly. And take another picture.
When the picture is done, they can save it to the camera roll and then import it into iMovie. There they can add sounds, and other effects. It’s a fun project for slightly older kiddos (I’d say 3rd or 4th grade on up.)
Wondering what stop motion apps to use? I used this article to compare/contrast. Since I wasn’t sure how much my kids would like it, I just went with a free one. I think I may upgrade at some point, if they continue wanting to make films.
When Family Quiet Time is over, make sure you take time so everyone can share what they worked on. You’ll want to see what your kids did with Hatchimals as their inspiration.
This time for sharing is an important component of Family Writing Time, so please don’t skip it. Kids love showing off their projects!
Know a mompreneur with kids who love Hatchimals? Please share this article with them, so they can have some new ways to engage their kids while they work. Note: This post originally appeared on my other blog, Lisa Tanner Writing, on February 13, 2019