Losing your mind trying to work from home AND keep your kids entertained? Here are 20 fun indoor / outdoor activities to help pass the time, retain sanity, and enjoy bonding...seriously!
Invite your kids to cook meals with you.
Hire your children as your assistant chef while you prepare all the meals for the family while you are home. Allow your little one to feel great as they feel like they are contributing to the family. Your meals will be perfect with just a little love added in from your kids. Enjoy this time with your family.
Here's a few resources to get you started:
21 Fun and Delicious Recipes You Can Make with Your Kids
15 Easy Dinner Recipes You Can Cook with Your Kids
Embrace online learning.
While working from home, it's a must to keep your kids active but also continue to stay productive. Get your child enrolled and signed up for learning academies such as Adventure Academy, etc and allow your child to interact with educational computer games while you continue to stay busy and productive with your child staying busy as well. At this time, it is highly important to be your child's parent and teacher.
Make learning entertaining.
BrainPop offers highly educational content for children but also provides great entertainment such as movies, shows and games that keep them learning while they are out of school.
Have a picnic.
Nothing beats hitting the outdoors for some fresh air. Why not plan a picnic with your family, and get everyone involved in the planning. Even if your weather doesn't permit an outdoor adventure, switching up mealtime with a picnic in the living room with a favorite movie playing is an excellent alternative.
Go on a scavenger hunt.
Make a list of 10 – 20 things to discover either in your house or around your community, and launch a scavenger hunt! Whoever finishes first gets to decide what's for dinner!
At-home science experiments.
Give Bill Nye the Science Guy a run for his money with some fun (and safe) at-home science experiments. There are tons of online resources available to spark creativity and bring out the science geek in all of us.
A few of our favorites:
Spend 30-minutes a day exercising with your family. This can mean anything from a walk around the neighborhood, to a dance-off in the living room, or a streaming yoga session. The idea is to get moving, have fun and make it a part of every day.
Some fun home workouts that can be done with the fam:
Family Exercises at Home - YouTube
Family Workout Routine - YouTube
Encourage young creators.
STEM programs are very popular right now and foster creativity and ingenuity. The best part, you'll never view basic house-hold items the same again!
A few suggested starting spots:
Maker Spaces for Kids - Pinterest
Life is stressful, especially now. Children young and old are feeling stress...and worry...and anxiousness. Take time each day to set aside for collective meditation. It's amazing how taking even as little as 5-minutes to be quiet, take deep breaths, and just relax can make a lot of difference in your child's life...and yours.
Getting started with meditation resources:
Teaching Your Children How to Meditate - YouTube
3 Kid-Friendly Meditations Your Children with Love
5 Tips to Teach Children Mindfulness & Meditation
Bake goodies for friends & loved ones.
Help your children learn to read a recipe and bake some delicious goodies for friends, family, and neighbors. Leave your gifts by their front door with a homemade notecard. Not only is this a lot of fun, it also teaches the concept of being of service to others.
A couple of awesome recipes to get you started:
Top 14 All-Time Favorite Cookie Recipes
21 Baking Recipes that Warm You Up
The Best Brownies You'll Ever Eat - YouTube
43 Easy Baking Recipes - YouTube
Play a game.
Board games, card games, dice games...it doesn't matter! The idea is to spend time together challenging each other and learning how to be victorious winners and gracious losers.
Here are a couple board games that are all-time favorites:
Online Board Games - Multi-Player
Monopoly, Connect4, Pictionary, Sorry, The Game of Life, Scrabble, etc.
Classic Board Games Online
Read a book.
For young children, try to read a new book every day. For older children, create reading lists and challenge them to read as many books as possible. Keep a chart and mark off accomplishments. Discuss the stories and what made them interesting. And while you're at it, maybe pick up a book yourself!
Rather listen than read?
Here are some resources to get you started with audiobooks:
Audiobooks Available on Audible
Barnes and Noble Online Books
25 websites offering Free Ebooks
Make (beautiful) music together.
It's long been proven that music enhances the mind, and encouraging your children to make and enjoy music will benefit them their entire life. Don't think that formal training is necessary, or that you have to purchase a musical instrument. Have fun turning house-hold objects into musical instruments and get ready to rock it out with your family band (matching outfits optional).
Some inspirations to get you started:
19 DIY Instruments That Really Work
52 Homemade Musical Instruments to Make
Host a movie marathon.
Allow every member of the family to submit movies to the 'watch list', put on your jammies (even if it's 3pm in the afternoon!), pop some popcorn, and settle in for back-to-back entertainment.
Have a real conversation.
When was the last time you sat down and had a legitimate conversation with your child? What are their hopes, dreams, and fears? What about the quarantine worries them? Do they miss their friends and grandparents? What do they want to be when they grow up?
Put together a puzzle.
Children love a challenge, and a puzzle is a great way to spend time together, testing your mind...and your patience.
Here are some online resources if you don't have a physical puzzle:
Digipuzzle: Online Puzzles for Children
Online Jigsaw Puzzles
Build an indoor fort.
Pull the cushions off the furniture, lay chairs on their sides, and break out the extra sheets and blankets to craft an amazing indoor fort. Hand out flashlights for getting around. Warning - your kids will most likely want to camp out here for multiple nights!
Play hide and seek.
When was the last time YOU played hide and seek? It's a great way to burn off energy and keeps the giggles coming.
Encourage story writing, poetry, painting, chalk art, write a song...it doesn’t matter, as long as your are embracing and fostering creativity. Who knows, your child may discover a hidden talent!
A couple resources filled with home DIY projects:
50 Quick & Easy Arts & Craft Projects for Kids
6 Ways to Inspire Your Children