COVID-19-related school closures are becoming more and more prevalent throughout our communities, and while the safety of all citizens is of the utmost importance, these closures are leaving a lot of parents in the lurch—many trying to work at home while their kids are now around.
We checked in with you all on Instagram and in The Everymom Tribe Facebook group to gather some ideas on how to keep kids occupied while at home for these next few weeks. While we work on more stories to support you through this unknown period, we hope these ideas get you through the next few days! Solidarity, moms.
Some fresh ideas:
“Today, we took all the kids’ books from their bedrooms and moved them to a shelf in a different area of our home. We set it up like a library! We made a sign-out sheet on a small desk and set up comfy reading spaces. With all of the books in one place, arranged differently, the kids rediscovered stories they hadn’t read in a while or books that had been in one another’s room. It was so fun!” -Jennifer T.
“My 2.5 year old boy is OBSESSED with kinetic sand! We put different cars/truck toys in it, make shapes, dig, etc.” -Alex P.
“I’m a SAHM on a budget, so this is where I shine, y’all! 😄I made my 3-year-old a fishing game using fish I cut out of construction paper. I taped a paper clip to the back, made rods using chopsticks, ribbon, and a magnet at the end. Then, I made a little lake out of a diaper box that we both colored blue, and then we went fishing. I switch out the fish with letters, numbers, colors & words to kind of mix it up. He loves it!
We have tile floors, so I made a hopscotch pattern on the floor with painter’s tape and made little bean bags with old socks and beans. We also use the bean bags for a homemade cornhole that I made with another diaper box.
Also, you can never go wrong with a fort! Blankets, pillows, and chairs are all you need. I include some Christmas lights to make it a little more special sometimes. He loves having his own special retreat, and honestly, I have such a blast creating his little space, trying to come up with different configurations.” -Darline M-A
“Rainbow 🌈rice in a sensory bin! Can be made with stuff around the home.” -Christine M.
“Boardgames for kids 6-18 work well. For toddlers and kids, ages 2-5: flashcards, puzzles, pop-up books, and sensory toys (like rice or beans in bins and with shapes, spoons, bowls, cups in them for them to scoop and play).
For babies: small thick-paged books and different types of toys (water mat, large shape wooden puzzles, stuffed animals, cause and effect toys, musical instruments, etc.) in the outer layer of an octagonal playpen for independent playtime.” -Tina L.
A collection of classic at-home activities:
- Drawing and coloring—change it up with different crayons, markers, paints, etc.
- Read, focusing on counting specific items or act out motions + sounds
- Big foam blocks, sticker-based activities, anything messy
- Uno! or other card games
- Dancing to get some exercise in
- Indoor chalk (on craft paper or painting a chalk wall)
- Puzzles, coloring books, building blocks, reading books, cartoons
- Box forts
- Pick an animal and have them go around the room acting like that animal
- TV time with no guilt
- Nature walks
- Impromptu midday bath time (good for toddlers)
- Kitchen play
- Have a fashion show with adult clothes—they love it
- Clean their playroom—all of a sudden they’ll want to play with everything
- Obstacle course, painting with random objects (sponges, etc.), baking
- Hide and seek, helping water the plants, feed the fish, sort toys
- Kid Olympics: jumping jacks, summersaults, running, balancing on one foot
- Chalk drawing in the driveway
- Nature scavenger hunt in the backyard
- Have a ”car wash” for plastic toys, obstacle course, at-home bowling, baking, bath painting
- Watch Glee YouTube videos and dance all around the house
- “Help” with laundry and other chores around the house
- Make bubbles in the sink, throw and catch a softball, and lots of Sesame Street
- Cook in the play kitchen and have a picnic on the floor
- Shaving cream in the bathtub, fingerpaints in the bathtub
- Couch building, yoga, Simon Says, PlayDoh
- Rotate out toys—“old” toys become new again
- Help them write and illustrate their own picture book
- Small tub of water and bath toys on the kitchen floor
- Play in the shower with toys
- For apartment dwellers: bring small bikes and toys with wheels in the hallways
- Keep a diary of daily happenings
- Make popsicles and smoothies, start a garden
- Have a puppet show
- Play “Target”—push their grocery cart around and check out with a play cash register
- Keep delivery boxes and let them color, sticker, and paint them and then build different structures
- Crafts from egg cartons and toilet paper rolls
- Water play in the kitchen sink: step stool, plastic cups, bowls
- Do sensory play with dry oatmeal and scoops in a bin
- Tear off a big piece of easel paper and draw a town. Drive cars all over town
- Directed hallway races (ex: do three jumps, skip three times, hop once then run)
- Ride bikes in the unfinished basement
- Put books in alphabetical order in a big tower
- Do book reports: summary, characters, genre, point of view, theme/main idea
- Sorting small objects (buttons, coins, pompoms, LEGO) by color shape size
- ABC hunt around the house: hide Post-It notes labeled A-Z
- Make volcanoes—baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring
- Bake healthy treats
- Plant spring flowers in the yard
- Free yoga/dance videos online for kids
- Indoor sand = 2 cups flour + ¼ cup oil
- Give them old junk mail to cut up and make into a collage
- Put Post-It notes on the wall and have a little baby take them down
- Play “Can you find what I’m thinking of?” Describe household items and have them find them