There are a lot of people right now who are stuck at home with their kids due to global health concerns. Because of this, I decided to write a post to try to help those who may be struggling to keep their kids busy at home without everyone losing their minds! Here are some creative ideas you may not have thought of before.
1. Have a newspaper fashion show
This is a great activity to get your kids’ creative juices flowing! All you do is take a stack of newspaper (or paper bags, printer paper, or any other type of paper you have) and have the kids use scissors and tape to create clothing and accessories.
They can make things such as hats, purses, ties, dresses… whatever their little hearts desire! When they’re all finished, have them show off the items by putting on a fashion show for you. It will be a fantastic photo opportunity and a great way to make family memories!
2. Living room camping
My kids love to camp in the living room! We have a small tent that they use, but if you don’t have a tent, no worries!!! You can take a few chairs and throw a blanket over them to create your own tent for “camping.”
This is an activity that we do during the day. The kids don’t necessarily have to sleep in their “tent.” Our kids like to load it up with pillows and blankets and watch a movie while they “camp.”
You could also do camp-style activities, such as roasting marshmallows (which can be done over the stove if you can’t have a fire outside) and telling stories around the imaginary “campfire” that they can create out of any materials you have available. You can even have them draw pictures of food that they can pretend to cook over their fire.
3. Create your own comic book or short story
If you have kids who like to write or draw, this could keep them busy for days!!! Have them create their own comic book or short story, complete with pictures to go along with the plot. It will be such a cherished memory when the kids get older!
4. Write a play and perform it for parents or stream it online to other friends and family
Have your kids write their own play and act it out for you when it’s done. They can even perform it for other friends and family who you can connect to by video online!
5. Have an olympic games competition
If you have active children who need an outlet for all of that extra energy, having an olympic competition is a way for them to expend a lot of it without totally wrecking your house! Here are some ideas for different events in which they can compete.
NOTE: If you have multiple kids, they can compete against each other. If you have one child, he or she can try to beat their personal best each time.
- UPSIDE DOWN BICYCLE RACE: Have your kids lie on their backs on the ground and circle their legs in the air above them, as if they are riding a bike. See how many revolutions they can do in a 30 or 60 second time frame.
- PUSH UP CONTEST: See how many push ups can be done in a row.
- SIT UP CONTEST: See how many sit ups can be done in a row.
- LAUNDRY SORTING BASKETBALL CONTEST: This one is extra great, because you can totally trick your kids into doing the laundry without them knowing it! 😂 What you do is put out several laundry baskets on the floor (one for each load- i.e.- towels, darks, whites, etc.) The kids get points for every item that they get into the correct basket from some distance away, but they lose points for any item that gets put into the wrong basket.
- MATCHING UP SOCKS CONTEST: Once your laundry is clean, put all of the loose socks in a basket, and see who can match the most pairs (or see how fast one child can match all of them.) Again, they’re totally doing your chores without realizing it! It’s all in how you sell it! 😊
6. Come up with new smoothie flavors to make
Now is a great time to get creative in the kitchen! Plus, making smoothies is a very tasty way to add more nutrition to your kids’ diets! Let’s face it, boosting our immune systems is one of the best things we can all be doing right now to keep ourselves and our families safe! So bust out that blender, and let’s make it happen!
7. Make popsicles
For a special treat, make your own homemade popsicles! You can make them out of almost anything, really! You can use pop (or soda, if you’re not from western PA ☺️), pudding, juice from the store, fruits and simple syrup (which is just a combination of equal parts sugar and water, melted over the stove to combine), or you can even add in some mint or other herbs to give them a more unique flavor. Get creative, and maybe even let the kids come up with their own crazy combos!
8. Have the kids clean up the flower beds outside
If you have an outdoor space that is in need of some attention, put the kids to work pulling those weeds and getting the flower beds or garden ready for summer! Bonus: it will help to tire them out, too!
9. Have the kids clean and organize their rooms/toy rooms
Life is usually so busy that finding the time to clean the kids’ rooms or toy rooms is not your first priority. Now, however, with a lot of people being quarantined due to global health concerns, we have nothing BUT time to get those chores done!
No matter how old your child may be, there is no reason they can’t clean up their own mess! If they are capable of taking out their toys, they are capable of putting them back where they found them. Put them to work!
10. Make a vision board with goals for the future
Get a large piece of cardboard or posterboard (or just use multiple pieces of paper if you don’t have access to those things) and have your kids set goal for the future. Maybe they can choose occupations that they might want to have, the type of house or car they want, etc. Have them draw pictures of their dream life and post them on the board. Not only will it keep them busy for a while, but it may actually inspire them to go after their dreams!
11. Teach the kids how to cook
Everyone needs to eat, and one day, your kids will need to make their own food, so why not start teaching them now? Today, my kids made their own grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. If your kids are too young to use the stove, start with teaching them how to make their own sandwich or pour their own cereal, etc. Maybe they can make their own snacks of cheese and crackers or something simple like that. Whatever you decide to teach them, it will help them to become more responsible and give them the confidence to try new things.
12. Teach them how to write in cursive
This is a dying art in most schools nowadays! Cursive writing may not be used too frequently in modern culture, but it is important for the younger generation to be able to sign their names, or… oh, I don’t know… maybe actually be able to read the Constitution of the United States or other important historical documents, which are written in cursive! Just saying.
13. Teach them how to write a check/balance a checkbook
This is another life skill that your somewhat older kids can learn during their time at home. Learning how to balance a checkbook, write a check, fill out a job application, etc. Anything that they might be doing someday as an adult is fair game! They’re going to have to learn it sometime, and since we all remember things better when we learn it younger, why not start now?
14. Ask them to make a list of creative games they could play
Running out of ideas? Let your kids wrack their own brains to come up with something creative to do! If it’s their idea, they’re not going to complain about doing it, so at least you won’t have any trouble there! Also, kids’ minds work so differently from ours that they could imagine things we would have never dreamt of! Give them the chance, and see what they come up with!
15. Play a board game
Most people have a stack of board games lying around that don’t get used too often. Now is a great time to bust those out! Our kids are 13, 11 and 8, and they love to play Monopoly. It’s a wonderful game for learning how to count money, learning about property ownership, and learning about how mortgages work. It’s full of great, useful real life values, such as spending your money wisely, etc. Find a board game that is appropriate for your kids’ ages and have fun with it!
16. Make a no-sew quilt with fabric squares
If you have some extra fabric laying around, have the kids cut it into squares of equal size to make no-sew quilts. If you don’t have any fabric at home, but would still like to do this project, you can purchase some fabric online from Walmart or Amazon. Here is a video showing how to make them.
No matter how you choose to pass the time, be sure to count your blessings each day and enjoy the gift of outside obligations being cancelled so that you can spend more time with your families. Stay safe out there, everyone, and God bless!
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