It is a difficult time for everyone but for those of you who are stuck with your kids at home, we feel particular. Although the extra time spent together is something to welcome and appreciate, we can all admit that filling up with fresh, fun things to do with kids and educational experiences is hard every day.
If you run short of ideas, and probably patience (we don’t blame you!), you know you’re not alone. Everyone is doing their best possible. Give me a break! We’re all going to get through this together.
We wanted to bring together a wide variety of choices for you from fun ways to burn off some energy to games to improve creativity and imagination, to more interesting (but enjoyable) stuff for kids to do. Just as a brief note, we wanted to let you know that we are featuring both indoor and outdoor activities before we dive into those activities.
Staying at home is the most important thing you can do right now to stay safe – just make sure you only do these outdoor activities if you have a backyard or other outdoor area that you can reach without being around other people. If not, do not worry, just hold on to the indoor games! You may also in some cases adapt the outdoor activities to be indoor. No matter what your case is, there is plenty of fun to have!
12 Fun things to do at home with kids
1. Cook a cake or bake a meal
You might not think that the kitchen is the safest place to go with your kids, but it really can be! While you should handle dangerous things like the stove or oven, there is plenty that your kids can safely help you with. The result? Having some fun that is also practical – you’ll end up with a meal prepared or a dessert to enjoy!
We also feel that introducing your children to cooking and baking is a great life skill that they will carry with them into adulthood. Get them familiar with cooking now and you won’t be worried about them when they go off to college. Imagine how great it will feel to know that your child will be eating more than just ramen noodles while away at school!
Have your kids help you gather up the ingredients needed for a certain recipe (sort of like a scavenger hunt – which we’ll talk about next!) and have them help you measure everything out. This adds a nice math lesson without feeling like it. Measuring chocolate chips is way more fun, wouldn’t you say? Your children can also help to combine the ingredients or roll the dough out. There’s plenty they can support you with!
Don’t forget to set the table, and also clean it up! By turning the whole process of cooking into an enjoyable experience from start to finish, it will feel less like a chore, and more enjoyable. Giving each one a special mission to complete and see everything come together. You can also focus on qualities such as teamwork while you’re at it!
2. Build your Hunting Scavenger
We used to enjoy going on scavenger hunts as kids and all these years later the good news is that kids still find it incredibly fun! If you have a wide backyard area you can explore this is great. But, even if you don’t, you can always tailor it to the room you have!
We suggest that you schedule this activity ahead of time – maybe when your kids are down for a nap or tucked in bed for the night. Think of various things in your house or backyard that your kids will potentially find on their search. Assign various value points and settle, most importantly, on a winner! That’s what makes scavenger hunts so funny after all!
Most of the time scavenger hunts entail breaking into teams – but you may need to be a little creative depending on how many people are at home during the pandemic. That’s perfect! If you have two kids they can play against each other, or maybe you should break up into parents vs. kids teams!
This is a perfect way to have a bit of fun and some physical activity. Make sure you set a time limit and let the fun start! At the end of the game, the team, or player with the most points, gets the prize!
One last thing – some people interchangeably use the words scavenger hunting and treasure hunting, but they’re very separate fun things to do with children! Scavenger hunts are certainly easier to put together but try setting up a treasure hunt if you are up for the challenge.
Hide it somewhere in your house or backyard, find out what your reward will be, and then come up with a set of hints and riddles that will lead your kids to the prize. Just make sure you can solve the clues and recall their order in case the kids get lost.
3. Putting a puzzle together
Puzzles used to be extremely famous and we have a feeling they will have a huge revival during this period. A puzzle is an ideal activity at home which can easily take up to several hours, if not several days!
Best of all, that’s something that the whole family, or a person, can enjoy at once. It is a versatile, fun-filled activity suitable for these times. We highly recommend that you have a dedicated puzzle room that does not take up valuable countertop room you can need to cook, eat dinner, work or do school work. Perhaps it’s part of your dining room table that you don’t use, a spare end table or even a coffee table that you can clear off for now.
The last thing you want to do every day is pushing the puzzle! That’s likely to cause it to break orbits to get lost and trust us, there’s no more frustrating feeling than getting to the end of a 1,000 piece puzzle just to know you’ve got just 999 bits. Let this not happen to you and your mates!
What we love about puzzles is that there are so many different kinds of puzzles out there that you can easily find one that fits the tastes of your family, as well as the age range for your kids. Save the teenagers’ more complex puzzles, and invest in some easier puzzles for younger children!
4. Tap The Creative Hand
If there was ever a time to make art, that’s right now! And though you’re typically not very creative, don’t let this stop you. You don’t have to create the next big masterpiece in the world but just let yourself be imaginative and see what’s going on!
When you have a driveway, it’s a smart idea to get out there with some sidewalk chalk. Not only can you get some fresh air, but you also absorb the mess your kids are making outside. When you’re concerned about spills or stains it’s good to go outside with chalk. Best of all, chalk washes away with water from just about all. It will also leave you with some beautiful artwork that not only your family but your neighbors too, will enjoy!
Whether you’re not in chalk, if you don’t have a driveway, we still think it’s a good idea to get out for art time if you can. Nature is one of the best inspirational sources, and can inspire your creative side! If you’re going with crayons and markers, drawing, or even gel pens (remember that?), inspire your kids to make whatever they want! Make sure to show their designs afterward to demonstrate how proud you are of them.
Alternatively, transform it into a Pictionary game, to take things to another level! Someone is drawing something and then it is time to guess what every picture is! Consider getting a theme every round to help make the game easier and help everyone think about an idea. Two children’s activities one on a date!
5. Create Time to Believe
Always having a set activity with set rules doesn’t allow for your children to be creative. While sticking to a schedule is one of the best things you can do during quarantine, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t budget some time for their imagination to run wild. Let them make up a game’s rules, build a plot, or even run their television show!
The idea here is to let them make up something – that’s where their creativity and imagination come into play and making sure that kids have opportunities to exercise that imaginative muscle is so crucial!
Another great idea? Tell your kid what they want to be when they grow up, and let them act it out! Need to become a Physician? Let them doctor play and you’re the patient! Or, maybe they want to be a teacher and maybe you’re the pupil. You get the picture. Let them call the shots and watch thoughts swirl through their heads.
This is also a great activity to turn to when you are always bored like your kids are. Did you know that boredom can be a good thing indeed? This is when the mind is imaginative in coming up with something to do! When we get bored, we’re so used to turning to our phones, tablets or TV, but that doesn’t do anything for our minds and imagination.
Then, let your children sit down in that place of frustration and see what they’re coming up with. You may just be shocked after a few minutes by what they build in their minds!
6. Burn out some strength with a trampoline
Being trapped in the house all day will lead to a strong energy inflow in which children simply don’t know what to do. Children are used to recess with peers at school, after school events, and playing around in the park. With all those gone, for now, they need a different way to burn off steam.
We love trampolines and think they are a great way to burn off energy. Large ones are great if you have a backyard, but those aren’t the only options! There are plenty of smaller trampolines that you can buy that you can use inside or outside.
If you don’t have outdoor space for your kids, this might be one of the better toys to invest in so they can still get some physical exercise and burn off energy without having to be out in a public place. Such smaller ones are also much better when you’re worried that things get out of hand.
If you’re sick of hearing your kids yelling and running around your building, we highly recommend investing in a small trampoline so that instead of running and yelling they can channel their energy to bounce around!
Speaking about physical activity-keeping healthy during this pandemic is one of the best things for your kids (and for you!). The effect it has on both the body and the brain is significant, so we certainly suggest trying to remain as healthy as possible. Whether it’s an at-home workout, a trampoline jumping session or even an at-home dance party, get the body going for everyone!
Going for a stroll is also something to remember in the wake of this pandemic, but be careful. If you find that there are lots of people filling the streets or local parks near your home, we suggest staying indoors. You still need to practice social distancing even within an open environment. If you can walk the sidewalks in your neighborhood or close to your home, fantastic! If there are too many people who have trouble keeping the distance, stay inside. Your protection is always the priority!
7. Virtually visit your favorite Aquarium or Museum
You can’t go to your or aquarium right now, it’s real, but this doesn’t mean you’re out of options! Some of these places put together incredible virtual tours you can take from the comfort of the sofa!
Use this as an opportunity to visit or branch out your favorite museum, and choose to ‘visit’ one you’ve never been to before! This is a perfect way to show new places to your family. This doubles as an educational experience as a bonus, without sounding like one. Your kids will learn about science, literature, history, and so much more, without having to turn to a textbook that is not at all important right now.
We know you’re probably spending a lot of time right now in front of a laptop but we wanted to add at least one thing you can do online that you don’t have to feel bad about. Moreover, this is an activity you’re sure to enjoy as much as your children, and it’s really important during this stressful period!
Ask your children what they’re interested in right now and google some quickly to see what choices are open. You will explore a lot of the world right from home, from science museums to art museums, historical shows, aquariums and more!
8. Make a little slime
That is just plain enjoyable operation. Why not mess around with some slime?? Slime is one of those things children enjoy. Squeezing, spinning, and molding is oozy, gooey, colorful, and so much fun. You can either buy a slime making kit, or you can DIY it!
If you want to make the slime yourself, there are, luckily, plenty of online tutorials that will guide you through the process. If you are looking for a time-consuming project, why not put on your DIY hat and make it yourself? Of course, include your children in the production process too, that’s half the fun!
As we said, there’s plenty of videos online that will support you with your slime making. In particular, here’s one that should help you through even if you’ve never attempted slime formation before:
As we said, there are plenty of videos online that will help you with your slime making. In particular, here is one that should help you though, even if you have never attempted slime formation before:
Once you have your slime you wonder what to do with it? Besides squeezing it between your fingers (which is pretty fun anyway) you have lots of choices. By asking your children to form letters with their slime, or having some more accessible fun creative time, you can make it more enjoyable and let them create whatever shapes they want.
We recommend that you put the slime in a plastic bag when you’re finished trying to maintain its elasticity. When it gets too hard you’re going to have to do some more- giving you another thing for another day!
9. Set up a Family Zoom Call
You may be trapped in the house, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be shutting off from everyone in your life! Especially your children may miss their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. A call to Zoom is a perfect way to (virtually) bring us together to catch up and connect! You can also do this for your mates who are probably missing a lot right now, for playing dates.
This is another situation where screen time is fine – yes, it is encouraged! We know you’d usually meet in person but staying healthy and communicating online is the best way to go during these times.
For this very reason, video messaging services like Zoom have grown in popularity and we have to admit that in times like these, we couldn’t be more grateful for technology. You may not be able to communicate physically but it is a good second best choice to be able to do so digitally. After the pandemic is over, we urge you to adhere to these calls from the Zoom for those family members who do not live near you. Space shouldn’t hold you apart!
When calling on your Zoom make sure you give your kids the chance to chat and share how they are doing. Talking to the camera may not make them feel comfortable, so make sure you inspire them to do so and give them the opportunity. They’re sure to enjoy the chance to talk to friends and relatives they didn’t get to see in a while. It is particularly important for younger children-during this period of loneliness, you don’t want them to forget their families! Even watching them on video will help them create enduring positive memories that will stick to them after the pandemic ends.
Should not let that deter you from enjoying your normal family activities if you have to spend a holiday, birthday or another special event away from family. If it’s sharing a meal, watching a special movie, or even just blowing candles on a birthday cake, you can surely find ways to make it all work even from afar. These days the zoom parties are all the rage!
10. Get Crafty!
We already discussed tapping into the artistic side when it comes to drawing, painting, and more. Yet what about paper crafts? Those are other awesome activities for kids to enjoy with kids, and the best of all is that there is usually less mess involved. If you’re scared by the thought of taking out the paint with your baby, go instead for some paper crafts!
We’re going to admit that paperwork is not always easy. Yeah, even folding a paper airplane can sometimes be difficult, but practice makes it good, as with any skill. Begin with a few simpler crafts and watch your children become masters of origami before this pandemic ends!
Woodcrafts are a fantastic practice based on all sorts of skills such as imagination, dexterity, and patience. It’s a great idea to do all together and to break out at almost any moment.
You may need different sizes of paper, depending on the craft you’re making. Feel free to use standard printer paper and simply cut it to the sizes you need – for example, many ask for square pieces of paper. Based on the age of your children we recommend that you do the cutting to ensure that no one gets injured!
Once all of your creations have been put together, be sure to show them somewhere for the whole family to see and enjoy. Take photos of your first craft versus your last one, and calculate your improvement. May you just pinch yourself!
11. Invest in some fun family group games
Are you already arranged the family game nights regularly? We think that’s a smart idea no matter what the situation is, but during this pandemic, it’s much more critical. Bring the family together and simply have a little fun. It is a difficult time for us and sometimes fun is the best treatment, as they say!
There are plenty of family-friendly party games out there, in which you can completely invest. This is a perfect way to make the whole family bond and have fun together. It may even feel like everybody is doing their own thing separately during this pandemic, and while that’s great at times, it’s also good to come together and have fun as a whole family.
Besides more popular party sports, do not neglect the classics like Charades or Pictionary! They are enjoyable games that can be played by people of all ages, meaning that the whole family can join in and have a blast.
12. Build a Nook to Read
It could feel like a daunting task to get your children interested in reading, particularly during this pandemic. We do! We do! The trick here is making it fun and exciting. What are you doing? There are a few ways to go, but one approach we particularly love is to build a reading nook. Every one of your kids will build its own!
Getting a reading nook offers a designated place for your child to go when they want to read. They can decorate this as they want, and make sure that when they want to settle in, it is nice and cozy. Squishy pillows, cozy sheets, maybe some lighting for moods? Let your children get creative!
Creating the nook is a fun task in and of itself which will set them up to read in the days ahead. It will also last long beyond the pandemic- it nook is there any time they want to read from now on!
The advantages of reading are so important. This helps children grow their creativity, vocabulary and even the ability to write. Getting them interested in reading is worth the time, and the rewards will pay off for the rest of their lives!
When your children are especially stubborn about reading, you can also gamify the reading process. Maybe the child who reads the longest gets a reward, or when they finish a book, consider asking your child. We are getting a reward if we complete the quiz! Sometimes you just have to be a little imaginative to get the results you want.
And there you have it! Believe it or not, during this Coronavirus pandemic, there’s still plenty to do at home. While we all enjoy a good session with Netflix, the reality is you should do your hardest to minimize screen time and incorporate some other fun and informative activities. Protect the screen time for a Zoom lesson or meetings with family and friends! Occasionally, Netflix is fantastic but save it every once and a while for a movie night with the kids.
From fun outdoor activities for children, such as scavenger hunts or sidewalk chalk painting, to indoor activities for children, such as putting together puzzles, cooking together or making your slime, you can easily spend your days with a wide variety of activities.
We recommend that you set up a schedule and prepare these or any other activities you can think of! We gave you 12 of our favorite fun things to do with babies, but hopefully, those ideas sparked you up with even more! From day one, don’t blast through all 12 things, but map them out over a series of days or weeks so you know you’re going to have to do it every day. Without a strategy, it’s easy to feel nervous or confused about what to do. Such activities for children are just one way to help keep you focused, happy and ready to have fun with your kids!
If this pandemic of Coronavirus has taught us something, it is that we all have to take a deep breath, calm down and spend this time reconnecting with our loved ones. Take it one day at a time and we hope you’ll get it done!
If you’re trying some of these children’s games, let us know how they’re going and what your kids (and you) enjoy most! And don’t always forget-have fun.
Your attitude and mindset will positively affect your children. When you’re nervous or feeling down, they do. Take time for yourself if needed but do your best to remain optimistic while you’re around your children. We are all united in this!