As you spend more time together at home as a family, keeping your kids entertained and educated can be a challenge. Whether you’re sitting at home in quarantine or just there during a holiday break, finding some fun stay at home activities for kids will help to keep everyone engaged. From arts and crafts to educational activities, there are plenty of things you can do together as a family, or have your children do on their own. Read on for some helpful tips and activity ideas that will ensure your quarantine period is pleasant for everyone.
Educational Tips & Stay at Home Activities for Kids
Some school districts are providing “virtual learning” through an Internet portal. Even if your specific school district is offering remote learning, there are other things you can do to be proactive about your child’s education during this difficult time. Have your kids practice their letters, numbers, and reading skills by looking at signs when you’re taking a walk through the neighborhood. Just make sure that everyone is following proper social distancing protocols. If math is a challenge for your kids, make it fun by using LEGO blocks. There are all kinds of LEGO-based activities online geared toward teaching kids a few important math skills.
When it comes to reading, you can make your children’s favorite books come to life. Gather a shoebox and some craft supplies and have them make a diorama based on a scene or page from their favorite book. When you’re done, ask them to recite a synopsis of the book and what they’ve learned. If the weather is nice where you live, an easy science lesson is to build a handmade birdhouse. Use leftover wood or building materials to create your birdhouse, then paint it in vibrant colors. Hang the birdhouse near a window so you can observe the different species of birds that live near you.
Spend Some Quality Time in the Garden
As the warm spring weather approaches, it’s the perfect time to practice some fun garden-based stay at home activities for kids. You can paint rocks or pinecones and place them in the garden for a decorative touch the kids will be proud of. Now is also an excellent time to plant a few seeds so you can watch them grow. Use seeds you harvest from fruit, or you can use kitchen scraps if you don’t have any seed packets at home. Look online to learn about some easy at-home gardening methods. Then, when your plants grow, enjoy the “fruits of your labor” by incorporating them into a meal or dessert. You can grow everything from lettuce and celery to potatoes using leftover kitchen scraps.
Arts and crafts are some of the most popular stay at home activities for kids of all ages. It doesn’t need to be Easter to have a little fun with some egg arts and crafts. Follow this technique to blow out an egg so you can decorate and enjoy it throughout the year. Once the egg is hollowed out, have your kids paint it in any color or design they choose. It’s a fun way to keep young minds occupied, and it gives them something they’ll love to display all year round.
Another fun art project is to have your kids create their very own bubble art using recycled plastic bottles. Simply cut off the bottom of the bottle and dip it in a mixture of water and dish soap. You can create colored “soap paint” using a few drops of food coloring. Next, have your child dip the bottom of the bottle into the soap, then gently blow bubbles onto a piece of paper to create a colorful work of art. To prevent messes, fill high-walled plastic food storage containers with the mixture instead of a shallow bowl or plate. Once you’re done, spend some time making DIY picture frames for their new artwork. You can make colorful frames using scraps of paper, then hang everything up to create a custom gallery wall.
Your kids (and you!) are probably going a little stir-crazy during the quarantine. Kids need to release pent-up energy, so spending time outside is crucial during this time. To make things interesting, consider setting up a fun backyard obstacle course. If your kids are competitive by nature, you can have them go through the course as you time them so they can try to beat their record or race each other. Just make sure you’re supervising your kids when they run through the course to make sure no one gets hurt.
To keep young minds stimulated and their bodies active, hold a backyard scavenger hunt. Come up with an awesome list of clues that involve things like shapes, colors, and letters of the alphabet. Once you create your clues, hide the items throughout the backyard and let your kids go wild. This is a great activity for your children to do with others using video calling software, so they feel connected to friends and family.
For older kids, backyard camping is always a fun activity. As the weather gets warmer, set up a tent and let your kids hang out under the stars. Not only is this a fun stay at home activity for kids, but you’ll probably enjoy a bit of alone time, too!
Being stuck at home is a perfect time to have your kids help get their rooms organized. Ask your kids to do a toy and clothing purge so they can get rid of items they no longer want or need. Create three separate piles and designate them as items to keep, items to donate, and items they may want to sell later at a yard sale or online. This simple activity is a great way to clear out clutter, and you’ll give them some time to do a little work.
Make sure you give your kids the freedom of choice and allow them to decide which items they want to get rid of. Once they’re done, have them fold and put clothes away, and store any toys they want to keep so they’re not scattered about the room. For younger kids, label a few bins and separate the toys by type such as “dolls” or “cars” for easy sorting.
Make Cooking Fun (And Scientific)
Now is an excellent opportunity for you to spend some time with your kids in the kitchen. No matter their age, cooking together is a bonding experience that can teach your kids some skills they will use for a lifetime. Come up with a few creative science experiments as you cook together. It’s the perfect way to blend the art of cooking with the educational experience of science.
Make sure you always supervise your children when they’re cooking or baking in the kitchen. Keep sharp knives away from little hands and make sure you teach them about proper oven safety. Whether it’s fresh-baked cookies or a delicious dinner, spending time together in the kitchen is a great way to teach your kids as you create a new family tradition. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to share some family recipes with your children.
Screen Time Tips for Parents
While these fun stay at home activities for kids will keep your little ones entertained as they learn, it’s inevitable that they’ll also be tempted to spend lots of time on their tablet or smartphone. Using these devices is perfectly fine, as long as it’s done in moderation. In fact, allowing some screen time can give you a break and it’s especially helpful if you need a bit of quiet time to get some work done at home. Encourage your kids to check out some educational YouTube channels that can supplement their classroom learning. Just be sure that the channels they watch are age-appropriate.
As a parent, remember to keep an eye on what your kids are watching. Install software that monitors your child’s Internet activity or that blocks content that could be harmful. Set limits on screen time so that your kids have healthy boundaries while they’re at home. If you need to, take their devices away and put them in a secure location until the approved screen time slot is available. During this difficult time, friends and family members can feel isolated and lonely. Use technology to your advantage and have your kids Facetime or use video calling to talk to loved ones who seem far away.
More Quick Tips: Stay At Home Activities For Kids & Families
From cooking and gardening to arts and crafts, there is plenty of incredible stay at home activities for kids to try. Here are a few more quick ideas:
- Hold a family board game night several times a week. Puzzles are great, too.
- Look for a few family-friendly movies you can all enjoy together.
- Find an old T-shirt and make something fun using puffy paint.
- Gather a few items and have your children make a time capsule they can bury in the backyard.
- Spend quality time with your pets and encourage your kids to brush them or take them for a walk around the block.
Even without the current stay at home quarantine orders, these activities are a great way to spend time with your children and give them skills they’ll be able to use for a lifetime.