Activities to keep the kids busy while at home
The kids are home and you are looking for fun and innovative ways to keep them engaged. Try one of these “out of the box” fun activities for your kids based on their ages.
Create a Toy Car Wash. This can be modified for kids of all ages but is especially fun for our littlest children. Take a large bowl, empty Tupperware, or another container that you have lying around the house and fill it with warm soapy water. Lay a towel down on the floor and place the bucket on top (there are sure to be some spills). Grab all your extra sponges, scrubbers, and wash clothes and set them next to the soapy water. Find some toys that are water safe (and have lots of little fingerprints) and let them give their toys a bath! Once they are done splashing, dunking, and scrubbing the toys they can dry them with a towel, or you can help them dry the toys with a hair dryer. This simple but exciting job keeps my kiddos busy for up to an hour! This can be modified for older kids by making a toy car/truck wash. If its nice outside you can supersize this job and take it outside into a larger bin which makes for even more giggles and splashes.
Practice scooping, measuring, and music. Children ages two to five can tend to move on quickly from activity to activity. Their growing personalities and independence make this activity particularly fun. Round up some small sized household objects like beans, buttons, macaroni, rice, sand, mulch, or anything you can think of that is “scoopable.” Put each material in a separate bin and set up an empty bin as well. Give your child (or children) measuring cups, bowls, spoons, and other utensils that they can use to scoop the materials into the empty bins. Challenge them to put a certain amount of each material into the empty bin for example 12 tablespoons of rice or 4 spoonful’s of macaroni. Once they get tired of measuring and moving the materials around have them fill up a water bottle half way with materials, throw on some fun dancing music, and use your homemade maracas!
Build a recycling robot. Using this time at home to clean out your cabinets? Put the extra boxes and bottles in recycling to good use by building a robot from your recycling. Pull out some construction paper, tape, glue, markers, or paints and get to work. Allow your children to sketch out what they want their robot to look like this allows children to be creative in designing their robot before they even start making it. Grab the recycling and spread out the items on the floor and let them go to work gluing, taping, and cutting the items so that they fit together. Once the structure is complete they can decorate the robot with markets, paints, construction paper, or any other art materials that you have around the house. Make sure to snap a photo of your child and their robot and share the idea with their friends at school!
Indoor Olympics. Need to get some energy out? Set up the indoor Olympics. This is the perfect activity to keep kids engaged and busy in an active way and can work for siblings with age gaps or even for single children. One game you play could be balloon tennis blow up some balloons and make “paddles” out of paper plates. Try to pass the balloon back and forth without it hitting the floor or try to keep it in the air the longest. You can also take this game outside and use ping pong balls for a harder challenge. Throw the couch cushions on the ground and see who can do the best long jump mark a starting spot on the floor with tape and then jump as far as you can onto the pillows. Set up an indoor box toss using boxes or containers with different sized and shapes and use balled up socks as the ball. See how many of the containers you can get the sock “ball” into. Get creative and allow your child to think up their own indoor Olympic game, find the materials to make it, and then all play together! Think up fun prizes for the winner of each game.
Chef for the day. Tweens and early teens may be feeling especially stir-crazy during this time and may want some independence. Allow your child to plan out a meal that they would like to make. Allow them to set up the dining table with plates and silverware. (Have them look up fun designs that they can fold the napkins into for an extra bonus!). Allow them to take the lead on cooking and act as their sous chef for the night helping them chop veggies or get the supplies that they need. When dinner is ready a younger sibling or a family member can be the waiter and can fill the drinks for everyone and can introduce the esteemed chef for the night. This project will allow your child to feel independent, proud, and accomplished and may itch the scratch you have for a dinner out!
Adult for a day. The mini-adult living in your house needs activities to do too! Give your teen permission to be an “adult” for the day. Let them get dressed and pack a lunch for work and then plan out their dream workday. You can tailor activities toward the personality of your teen. If they are really into film allow them to direct a family movie in your home. Future detective on your hands? Play a family style of clue where one person commits a crime, drop some clues around the house and allow your teen to solve the mystery. Fashion designer in the making? Bring the runway to your home by allowing them to direct a fashion show in the living room. Future arborist? Go outside and re-design your outside space or plan the future spot for an herb garden. Help make the dreams of your teen come true for a day and let them explore the thing that they are most passionate about.