Sometimes, even a rainy weekend stuck at home is difficult for kids. Now, with schools closing due to COVID-19, children and parents everywhere are off-schedule, stressed and going stir-crazy. To help out, I made a list of activities for kids at home.
- Play Ball- Catch and kicking a ball around are always fun. Try using a laundry basket and see who can toss the ball into the basket from an increasing distance away. Or, use empty soda bottles to make bowling pins and play backyard bowling.
- Get Dirty- Playing in the mud or digging in the dirt is fun for littles. For something more structured, save seeds from fruits and vegetables to plant and see what sprouts or tend an existing garden.
- Picnic- On sunny days, take meals outside. If you don’t have an outdoor table, grab a tablecloth or bed sheet to spread on the ground and sit on.
- Explore Nature- Observe insects, compare plants and leaves. You could also download a plant identification app and use it to learn about plants growing in your yard.
- Sidewalk chalk- Patios, driveways, and sidewalks become canvases.
- Break Out the Art Supplies- Drawing, painting, cutting and pasting can be fun for all ages. If they need a little motivation, give a general theme and have awards for the most creative, detailed, colorful, etc.
- Think Outside the Box- Old magazines, newspapers, junk mail, cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, etc. make creative art supplies. Tubes become telescopes or binoculars. Cutout pictures and letters to make collages.
- Playdough- Use store-bought or make your own. I think it’s easier to clean up than slime, but of course, that’s an option, too.
- Go Big- If you have any large cardboard boxes, get creative with them. Rolls of butcher paper or the plain side of wrapping paper are great for large murals or full body tracing.
- Board games- Break out the ones you have, invest in a couple of classics like Candy Land or Monopoly (Amazon means not having to leave the house), or create your own.
- Charades– No pieces or props are needed to take turns acting out and guessing your favorite books, shows and movies.
- Pictionary– Similar to charades, all you need is something to draw on and draw with.
- Share Your Skills- Do you sew, knit, or crochet? Whatever your craft, think of a beginner lesson and teach it to your children.
- Learn Together- Do you have supplies for a project that never happened or a skill you never got around to learning? Look up tutorials or YouTube videos and learn it together.
In the Kitchen
- Make Cookies- Or cake, or brownies. Baking introduces basic cooking skills, reading instructions and fractions. Depending on what you’re making, all of the measuring and mixing can be done without needing the stove or oven until it’s time to bake.
- Let Them Help- Give them options and let them help with meal planning. Older kids and teens can be more hands on with meal prep. Even little ones can help with washing vegetables, setting the table, mixing and measuring.
Educational Screen Time
- Stream Documentaries- Netflix and other streaming services have tons of documentaries available. Pick a subject your child is passionate about, or look for something fun and quirky and watch it together.
- Khan Academy– This website has lessons on just about anything you want to learn for all ages.
- Preschoolers- PBS Kids has games and videos for all the PBS Kids shows. Starfall.com is a fun way for kids to learn ABC’s and reading basics.
- Google Sketchup– My kids enjoy playing around with this drafting program (website).
- Dress up- Look in the back of your closets for old clothing and accessories, or dig out old Halloween costumes. Or, make a super hero costume from an old t-shirt.
- Blanket forts- Use blankets, pillows, couch cushions, whatever you can think of to build a hideaway for the kiddos to hang out.
- Bath time- While not exactly a toy, playing in water is fun and calming for little ones, so if they’re getting a little stir-crazy, let them play in a bath. If older kiddos are feeling antsy or stressed, suggesting a bath or shower might help them, too.
- Break out old favorites- Keep a basket of books in a handy spot, like on a coffee table to make it easy to grab one and read.
- Read aloud- Adults can read to everyone or have older children read to younger ones. Beckett doesn’t always like listening to me or reading on his own, but he sometimes enjoys reading aloud to Thaddeus.
- Explore new books- Many public libraries give you the ability to checkout ebooks online. Project Gutenberg has over 60,000 books online for free. Or, try Kindle Unlimited to get unlimited access to tons of ebooks and audio books for a low monthly fee. Use this link to get your first month free.
- Write your own- Take turns making up stories or turn it into a project by folding paper books and adding illustrations. Pre-k and younger can draw pictures to tell their stories.
What at home activities do you like to do with your kids? Please share your activities for kids at home in the comments.
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Fun for you and the kiddos. Here you’ll find toys for them and craft supplies for your or your favorite crafter.