Parents: 15 Free Kid-Approved Things to Do While Stuck at Home With the Kids During Coronavirus Social Distancing by Kim Kusiciel
It feels like the whole world is shutting down, one country at a time. Yet, life still carries on. Babies are still born, groceries still need to be bought and kids still need to learn. Like many parents around the globe, you may find yourself at home and in need of things to do with your kids to pass the time. I've got you covered.
Here are some of my favorite kid-approved activities to to turn "I'm bored" into "That was fun!"
- Try out a new recipe a day. Take pictures and journal about what you made. Have kids rate the recipe! Pretend you are on a cooking show. They'll love it!
- Better yet, let your kids create your own recipe. Keep track of what ingredients you used and how you prepped and cooked it. How did it taste? Take a picture and then submit it to 30Seconds!
- Use toilet paper and paper towel tubes for craft projects. Check out this rainbow recycle art craft for one idea to get creative juices flowing.
- Write letters or emails to relatives or pen pals. We still need to socialize, so if you are healthy bring back letter writing with your kids.
- Engage in virtual playdates. Use services like FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Skype to keep your kids playing with friends.
- Go on a nature hunt. Use an egg carton and have your kids fill each section with a different item native to your area. (Some examples are leaves, sticks, moss, flowers, feathers, etc.)
- Go on a color hunt. Walk through your neighborhood (practicing social distancing, of course) and have your kids find items that match the rainbow. They can take a picture of each item and then together you can use an app like Pic-Collage to make a rainbow!
- Make sidewalk art. Use sidewalk chalk or sidewalk paint to leave inspirational messages and fun kid art for your neighbors and delivery drivers!
- Paint indoors with watercolors. Let them have complete freedom to make whatever they want or use a Sharpie and draw a picture for them to paint. Then reach out to a senior center to see if they are accepting letters and artwork. If they are, mail them to brighten a stranger's day!
- Try out some kitchen science. Go online and search for FREE kid-friendly options. There are a lot of options out there.
- Get messy with outside play. Let your kids turn over rocks, make mud and stone soup, splash in the rain, create a fairy garden and more. Allow their imagination to soar and just say yes!
- Make kindness rocks. Collect flat rocks from your yard and paint them with messages. Then go on a walk and drop them off at local parks or even on porches to bring a smile to your neighbors.
- Listen to author's reading books or artists giving lessons online. There are many author's that have recorded their books online or are livestreaming daily. Check out Mo Willems on YouTube for his daily lunch doodles video.
- Listen to famous actors reading books online. Your kids can listen to Josh Gadd, Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams and more reading their favorite children's books by searching #OperationStorytime on Twitter. You can also check out Storyline Online to find more!
A few things to keep in mind:
- Keep your activities simple.
- Allow for some boredom – it leads to creativity!
- Let your kids choose their activities.
- Create a Tic-Tac-Toe-style choice board to complete.
- Make it fun and positive!
- Keep your costs low. Reuse supplies or use what you already have.
- If you need to buy something then shop local if you can or go online if you can't.
- Try to make your activities something that you can replicate on another day.
- Promote independence and resourcefulness!
- You do not have to plan, gather supplies, execute and clean up your kids activities. They can be involved, too. Let them help!
Remember, you are bonding with your kids right now. Be resourceful and use what you have. Make memories and cherish this special time together.
What can you add to this list?
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