Are you tired of being stuck at home? Yeah, me too. By now, you’ve probably been there since March and have run out of ideas to keep the kids busy – especially now that they don’t have their schoolwork to distract them.
It can be hard to keep kids entertained under normal circumstances, much less when they can’t see their friends or hang out at the local pool. I feel your pain. So, I did some research…and put together a list of 15 simple things you can do today to keep your kids busy.
Make Your Own DIY Puffy Chalk Paint
A new spin on an old activity – puffy chalk paint is super easy to make and clean up. All you need is flour, water, dish soap, and sidewalk chalk (now you can finally get rid of those bits and pieces of old chalk laying around that have been sitting in the bottom of your outdoor fun box. You know you have them – don’t lie.)
You’ll want to put the mixture into a squeeze bottle, but if you don’t have one, a plastic bag will do - just cut a hole on the bottom corner.
When you’re ready to clean up, rinse off the sidewalk with a high-pressure water hose. Be careful with leaving it out for too long – it can stain the driveway.
You will also need to use the mixture the day of since it spoils quickly.
Create a Dance Routine and Perform It
You don’t need any extra materials for this activity – just your phone to record the finished product and for some music! This is a great activity to keep your kids active while allowing them flex their creative muscles. It will keep them busy all day as they make up a routine and practice it. Then they can perform it before family dinner, which will give them something to look forward to and will break up their normal routine.
Write Your Own Story or Book
This is a great way to get your kids to build important skills while having fun. Give them some guidelines like, “write as if you were a superhero,” or “set your story in space.” Sometimes it can be tough to start up a creative project without guidelines. Writing a long story is likely to keep your kids occupied for a while and keep them quiet!
And this isn’t just for the younger kids either – even teenagers can participate if you can pry them out of their rooms.
Play This Fun Version of I-Spy
This modern twist on a family favorite is perfect for your littles. Incorporating 2D and 3D shapes, you must guess the object from mathematical descriptions. For example, if your object is a stop sign, you would describe it as having 8 straight sides. It’s a great way to keep kids’ math skills sharp during summer break!
Make a Fort
A classic! Making a fort can transform the simplest of activities like ready a book or coloring into an afternoon of entertainment. Grab your popcorn and favorite pillow and make a cozy family movie night!
Go on a Scavenger Hunt Around the House
A simple way to keep kids busy if you’re stuck inside on a rainy day. Make a list of lost items or old toys. Create a list of riddles to direct them on what they’re looking for. You can even make a themed scavenger hunt to add some more fun.
Make a Collage Using Magazine, Newspaper, or Picture Cutouts
If you have to work from home, this is something that can keep kids occupied while sitting right next to you. Just find some old magazines, construction paper, glue, tape, and scissors, then you’ll be ready to go! Ask them to create their dream house or their dream birthday party on a vision board.
Create Your Own Board or Card Game
Another twist on an old classic. There really are no rules or guidelines here. They’ll have the most fun and stay busiest when they can make their own rules.
Give them some cardboard and construction paper for the board and find random objects around the house that they could use for playing pieces. Let their imagination run wild with this activity.
You can play their new game at your next family game night!
This activity will keep kids of any age busy. I did this with both of my older daughters (24 and 14) and my toddler. They were all busy! Find some chalk, paint, markers, or paint pens if you have them and use the smoothest rocks you can find. Then sit outside and enjoy the sun while you paint.
DIY Escape Room
This is a great activity if you’re stuck inside and is an easy way to build their critical thinking skills. Though it will require some planning on your end, it’ll be worth it. Your kids will have so much fun with this!
Make an Obstacle Course
A DIY backyard obstacle course will get your kids out of the house and break up their routine a bit. Help them build an obstacle course with the most random objects you can find. Create a family competition out of it, and let the winner choose what’s for dinner. You’ll get out of the house while providing some physical activity.
Make DIY Bubbles
Making your own bubbles is super easy! All you need is dish soap, water, corn syrup and a container to put the final product in. Use a bubble wand if you have it, or a straw will work. Just mix the ingredients together and you’re ready to go! For better bubbles, let the mixture sit overnight.
Make Your Own Instruments
Don’t worry – these instruments don’t actually have to make noise. You can make your own using old cardboard boxes, shoelaces for guitar strings, or paper towel tubes. It’s a chance for kids to be super creative and to think outside of the box. Bonus points if they come up with a totally new instrument!
Make DIY Moon Sand
What is moon sand you ask? Moldable sand that makes for the activity when you need to get work done! You’ll want to set a tarp or sheet on the ground to keep spills contained - moon sand can get a bit messy. All you need is flour and oil (this recipe calls for baby oil.) Moon sand is a great alternative to regular sand because it’s homemade, making it cost effective and is easily whipped up in the kitchen.
We use moon sand at home, and our toddler is *magically* occupied - for as long as toddlers can be of course.
Create a Painting Using Random Objects
This is a funny art project to fight off boredom. Challenge them to paint a picture using anything but a paint brush. Give them 10 seconds to find an object around the house and a time limit to create their masterpiece. There are so many ways you can get creative here!
Hopefully, you haven’t gone crazy cooped up at home yet! It’s a difficult time, but we can either complain about the boredom this time brings or choose to have joy in the new experiences we get to have with our kids. It won’t last forever, but let’s make the most of what we got until it’s over.
Stay happy and healthy out there!