Without a doubt, your kids are going to be home for a while, and eventually you’ll likely hear the words “I’m bored.” We have ideas! To start with here are some fun, educational websites for kids. And since so many of us around the world are at home, many children’s performers, artists and authors are putting on virtual events for kids. But, at some point, it will be in everyone’s best interest for kids to take part in some non-screen activities, and that’s where this list comes in.
None of these activities require any unusual material. Most of the stuff you need will be around your house already. And, after we think about it, a bunch of these activities are perfect for the “young-at-heart”. So shhhh, we won’t tattle if grown-ups enjoy them, too.
60+ Activities for Kids (and Childish Adults) Stuck at Home
♦ Look through old family photo albums, either from when the kids were younger, or from before they were born. Let them laugh at your haircut.
♦ Make a homemade jigsaw puzzle by cutting up the front of a cereal box or a greeting card.
♦ Try some origami. It’s easy to find instructions online and you can use any kind of paper, in a crunch.
♦ Do stamp art with vegetables — preferably the ones you don’t intend to eat. Just cut them in half, dry them well, and dip them in paint.
♦ Make puppets from paper lunch bags if you have any around. No lunch bags? Try socks.
♦ Make a blanket fort.
♦ If you have wax paper, scavenge for some leaves or flowers, put them between two pieces of wax paper. Add very small bits of crayons, or yarn, or pretty much any almost-flat object. Then put a piece of newspaper over the top sheet of wax paper and have an adult iron the two pieces of wax paper together.
♦ Make play dough. Add 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and some food coloring into a pot. Cook over a low heat, and keep stirring until it’s no longer sticky. Take it off the heat and let it cool for 30 minutes.
♦ Make a memory jar and have everyone write down a memory (or dictate one) that they don’t want to forget. Make this a family tradition.
♦ If you have non-carpeted floors, have the kids put socks on their feet and hands and play “dogs on ice.”
♦ Make a board game. Use any piece of cardboard for the game board, using markers to draw up the board navigation. Use pieces from other games or any small objects you have around the house, as the game pieces.
♦ Prepare a picnic. Lay out a sheet or blanket on the floor, or outside if you have a yard, and eat some fun picnic food.
♦ Create a treasure hunt. First hide the prize, which can be anything. It doesn’t have to be something new. Then hide a clue to the hiding spot of the prize somewhere else. And work backwards until you have 10 or so clues.
♦ Grab some papers that you haven’t recycled or shredded yet, crumple them up into “snowballs” and let the battle begin.
♦ Yarn bomb a piece of furniture.
♦ If you have a dog, teach the dog a new trick. If you don’t have a dog, have the kids teach each other new tricks.
♦ Teach your kids your favorite song from when you were a teenager. Find it on Spotify.
♦ Play 20 questions.
♦ Play Marco Polo in a room without a lot of trippable obstacles. Blindfold one kid and have him or her find you or the other kids.
♦ Make a collaborative drawing. One person draws a shape, and then the next, and the next, taking turns until the picture is “done.”
♦ Or make a collaborative story the same way. Each person tells one line of the story, letting it go in unexpected directions.
♦ Facetime with grandparents or other relatives. (OK, this one does involve a screen.)
♦ Better yet, write actual letters to relatives!
♦ Play classic games like “Follow the leader,” “Red Light, Green Light,” “Simon Says,” and “Leap Frog.”
♦ Teach your kids classic card games.
♦ If you’re lucky enough to have bubble wrap around, put it on the ground and let the kids stomp on it.
♦ If you have balloons around, blow them up and challenge the kids to keep them up in the air.
♦ Learn Morse Code.
♦ Create an indoor obstacle course, or an outdoor one if you have a yard.
♦ Put on your fanciest clothes and have a tea party.
♦ Have a scavenger hunt.
♦ Camp out in the living room (or the backyard if you have one) in sleeping bags.
♦ Play charades.
♦ Create a race track for toy cars on the floor with painter’s tape.
♦ Use painter’s tape to create a “web” in a doorway. Have your kids crumple up paper and try to throw it through the web.
♦ Make a collage by cutting up pictures from a magazine. Or cut up really small pieces from the pictures and make a mosaic.
♦ Make string art by “drawing” a design on paper with glue, and then putting yarn on the glue.
♦ Play the quiet game, seeing how long they can be quiet. Just kidding. That’s a mean game.
♦ Make decorated bookmarks out of cardboard.
♦ Play I-Spy, looking for objects that a certain color or that start with a certain letter.
♦ Play restaurant, where the kids are the wait staff. Have them bring you play food. Send it back, saying that it’s not cooked right. (Trust me on this one. It makes it more interesting.)
♦ Play this memory game. Say a name. Then the next person says that a new name and the name you said. Each person adds on a new name, trying to remember the whole sequence.
♦ Trace your kids’ hands and have them color them in, turning them into something other than hands.
♦ Create a town out of cardboard boxes if you have any around.
♦ Turn off the lights, get out a flashlight and make shadow puppets, either with your hands, or by drawing animals on cardboard and cutting them out.
♦ Give the kids five objects and have them make up a play or story, using each object.
♦ Make paper airplanes.
♦ Make a family magazine by writing stories and drawing pictures about shared experiences. Include an advice column, where your child is the advice-giver.
♦ Have a contest to see how high they can build a LEGO tower.
♦ Make a flip book. Remember those? Draw a picture in the corner of each page of a drawing pad, changing the picture just a little bit from page to page, so it looks like the figure is moving.
♦ Paint your kids’ faces. Or let them paint yours.
We added an extra item because the quiet game one was just a joke.