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Kids at Home? Here are 32 Fun Ideas to Keep Them Busy

With schools closed and families self isolating in order to help eliminate the spread of the novel Coronavirus, kids can get a little stir crazy.  Here are 32 ideas of things you can do at home or in your yard to keep them busy and hold onto your sanity.

  1. Legos! Legos are one of the best inventions for kids and there are endless things you can do with them. Lego challenges are a fun way to get creative. Start with making a deserted island and then add challenges like a flood, volcano erupting, zombie invasion, animal enclosure, trap to catch food, etc.
  2. Get outside and get dirty. You can even make a fairy garden! Whether in your yard or in a pot, plant some small succulent clippings, place small toy animals, dinos or fairies, maybe toss in some glitter, and bam! A fairy will be moving in anytime now.
  3. Use nature as art. The possibilities are endless when it comes to nature.  Go on a walk and collect flowers, leaves, and sticks.  You can use the items as paint brushes, make a nature wreath, paint pinecones, make nature bookmarks or mosaic images using the bits of flowers and leaves.
  4. Get your body moving. Just because there’s no PE, doesn’t mean we can’t get our bodies moving.  You can set up different workout stations with jump rope, push ups, sit ups, and yoga, jumping jacks. Blast some music and get active!
  5. Salt & Flour Creations. Salt, flour and water can make an assortment of cool things after it is baked. Salt dough is a great way to make holiday ornaments or nature imprints, or dino fossils that you can bury and then excavate.
  6. Make a fort. Use pillows on the couch, tape boxes together or drape tablecloths over the dining room table. Use walkie talkies to talk between forts, hang up lights, bring in some books, and let your imagination run wild.
  7. Fingerprint/Handprint Art. You can literally make anything with your own finger, hand or foot! Look on Pinterest for fun ideas like turning your hand into a goldfish, your fingerprint as leaves on a tree or your foot into a flying superhero.  What else can you create?
  8. Jewelry making. Put on a fashion show of your kid’s homemade jewelry.  Use items like beads, string, dyed pasta, pipe cleaners, and anything else you can find lying around the house.
  9. Drive in movie. Use a cardboard box and turn it into a car to host your own drive in movie.  Use paper plates as wheels, cups as headlights and don’t forget a pillow so they are nice and comfy during the movie.
  10. Magazine collages. Pull out your old magazines and let the kids clip away.  You can make vision boards or make funny Picasso-like faces using different clippings of eyes, ears, noses, and mouths.
  11. Do some baking. Given that you got some ingredients before the stores went barren, this is a great time to get in the kitchen and teach some baking basics.  You can teach them about measuring spoons and cups, temperature, and how great cookies taste right out of the oven.
  12. Play some board games. You can play your regular board games or you can add a little twist.  Make a chalk twister board outside, make a giant tic tac toe out of tape and paper plate, or add fun questions to your Jenga blocks.
  13. Toilet Paper Roll Crafts. Everyone is stocked up on toilet paper, so everyone will have tons of toilet paper rolls. Recycle them into crafts like binoculars.  Check Pinterest for hundreds of ideas you can do to reuse those cardboard rolls.
  14. Imaginative Play. Become pirates searching for buried treasure, an animal rescue vet saving one stuffed animal at a time, or a kid chef serving up the best local food.
  15. Science Experiments. Again you can check Pinterest for easy and simple experiments to do at home like an egg drop, the skittles experiment or the milk and soap experiment. You can always resort to the oldest experiment in the book: vinegar and baking soda.
  16. Scavenger Hunt. Host a nature scavenger hunt outside in the neighborhood, a color scavenger hunt, or and indoor hunt.  You can keep them searching for hours.
  17. Glow stick fun. If you need to get some energy out before bed, you can use glow sticks for some added fun.  Put glow sticks in Easter eggs and hide them around the yard for a night time glow hunt, or put them in the bath for a glowing bubble bath they will never forget.
  18. Virtual Field Trip. With schools closed bring the field trip to your home with virtual field trips offered by local farms, museums and zoos.
  19. Art Studio. Sometimes organized crafts are great, but sometimes it’s nice to just let them create on their own. Put together your own art studio with anything you have including paint, egg cartons, paper, beads, felt, glue, stickers, toilet paper rolls, Q-tips, cotton balls, cardboard, markers, scissors and anything else you want to get rid of.
  20. Scooter/Bike Play. Get outside and go for a ride around the block, or use chalk to make driving lanes, stores, parking spots, stop signs and more. Have fun in your own little chalk city.
  21. Chalk play. Chalk might be the second best invention after legos. Possibilities are endless! Draw hopscotch, an obstacle course, practice sight words, draw pictures, a checkers board, self portraits, and so much more. Another great time to check Pinterest
  22. Fun with bugs! Go on a bug hunt! Look under rocks, planters and wood and try to identify the bugs you spot. Draw pictures of them and see if they are arachnids or insects.  You can even adopt caterpillars from the Kidpsace Children’s Museum and watch them become butterflies or release some ladybugs into your garden.
  23. Mud Kitchen. Not for the faint of heart. If you are not afraid of a little dirt then a mud kitchen is super fun.  Use some old pots and pans, cupcake trays, spoons and spatulas and explore the culinary arts of mud!
  24. Sensory Play. Explore the senses with sensory bins, making sensory bottles or sensory testing games.  Blindfold the kids have them touch or smell and object to identify them.
  25. Water play. Hoping that it gets a little warmer out, there are lots of things to do with water. Fill a water table to make an ocean adventure, set up a toy car wash, or animal cleaning station.
  26. Make slime. I know we are ALL over the slime thing, but if you have the materials this isa good time to make slime, ooblek or moon dough.
  27. At Home Carnival. Create your own indoor carnival with games like ring toss, knock the cans, or toss the ball in the cup. You can create these games using things you can find around the house.
  28. Beauty Parlor. You’ve got nowhere to be and no one to see so let your kids have fun putting makeup on you and doing your hair.  Who knows, you might just find a whole new look you love. If you have a face paint kit, this would also be fun to bring out for imaginative play.
  29. Have a Dance Party. Pull out some glow sticks, blast some music and dance the night away. Try freeze dance, a dance competition, and you can even add some karaoke or a lip sync battle to it.
  30. Bird Watching. Take those toilet roll binoculars and head outside to see what birds you can see or hear.  Watch and study their behaviors and try to identify which species it is.
  31. Paint Rocks. Paint rocks and hide them in your neighborhood, make story rocks, or paint tic tac toe rocks.
  32. Create Your Own Story. Staple together pieces of paper to have your kids write and illustrate their own story book or print out blank comic book sheets available on Pinterest.

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