Schools are closed to try and contain the Coronavirus. Parents are suddenyl juggling keeping the kids entertained, doing home school work and trying to work from home. And these small people need feeding at regular intervals. It’s a lot.
My enthusiasm at the beginning of the week was high. Now I find myself purging the internet for ideas and help and ways to make things ‘fun’, because the stuff that I thought would last two weeks we finished on day one!
So here are 40 ideas of things you can do with kids at home to keep the boredom at bay and try and contain any “Heeerreeeee’s Johnny” moments.
You may have already done 39 of them!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase any item by clicking on the link I receive a very small percentage.
40 Things to Do With The Kids At Home
1 Get out in the garden
Whatever the weather, get out in the garden and get them burning off some energy. If they are bouncing on a trampline, they are not bounding on your sofa. If they are jumping up and down in muddy puddles they are not jumping up and down on the bed!
Yep, Surviving the next four weeks means you are going to have to get crafty. Ignore the mess and get the paints out. Finding ingenious places to put all their master pieces to dry should keep them occupied for a while!
3 Indoor obstacle course
Create the mini olympics in your living room. Do some circuit training. Let them be inventive and come up with some obstacles and activities of their own.
4 Junk modelling
If you stock piles loo rolls now is the time to put them to use! Get that recycling out and build robots and marble runs.
5 Board Games
Every family has their favourites. Ours are:
Snakes and ladders – Classic!
Find and Go Seek – get the kids to run round the house whilst you sit on the sofa!
Game of Life – Takes a bit of time
Pig Goes Pop
Charades – Always interesting with Little who refuses to use the cards and makes up his own!
Just please don’t make me play top trumps. Nothing in this world makes me want to fall asleep on the spot faster than top trumps!
6 Movie Afternoons
Close the curtains, get out the blankets, and grab the popcorn for a movie afternoon. Whether its a family favourite or a new release it will kill some time and it’s a great bribe for good behaviour!
Screen time will be kept to a limit in out house because quite frankly my kids are horrible when they have too much. There are however some great apps out there. A firm favourite in our house is the Nampa apps. They encourage creativity and are completely non violent.
8 Den building
Get all the blankets and duvets and create a den where all meals will be consumed.
9 Sort bedrooms
Use the time you have to get those jobs done that you have been putting off. Give the bedrooms an overhaul and get rid of any unwanted toys. Of course doing this with the kids around may mean you don’t actually get rid of anything as they proclaim the toy you found under their bed that hasn’t been played with for 6 months their absolute favourite.
10 Make a library
I have high hopes of this one keeping the kids busy. With visions of one being the librarian whilst the other check out a book to read, then returns it and they swap roles. I still have books from my childhood with numbers on from playing this game. Of course in reality this is likely to end in a fight over a book, or a tantrum over wanting a book we don’t have. But we can live in hope.
Bake all the cakes. Decorate biscuits. Create fantastical pizza toppings. Use that random pack of jelly that has been in the cupboard for two years. Make milkshakes with random leftovers from the treat jar. Assuming we don’t reach full on apocolyptic level and you an still have your shopping delivered, get stuff that they can get involved with making. Pitta pizzas are a favourite here.
12 Kims game
Or as I have always called it before knowing it had an official name “That game where you put stuff on a tray and have to remember it”. My kids also love playing a game where you hide an object and they have to find it. Grab a blindfold and to taste tests or touching objects to guess what they are.
13 Write a story
If your kids are old enough get them to write a book. I have drawfulls of ‘books’ that my eldest has written over the years. They may not be JK Rowling, but I get to drink a hot cup of tea in relative peace whilst they do it!
14 Make a home movie
I have an old phone that I keep purely for the kids to make videos on. They love it. Just be prepared that you will have to watch every second they have filmed of random objects and proclaim it brilliant even through Gerard Butler was no where in sight.
15 Stop motion films
My eldest loves making animation movies, using anything from stikbots, to Lego figures, to clay models. It keeps him entertained for ages.
16 Daytime bath
There’s something very novel to my kids about having a bath in the middle of the day. They’ve been known to don swim shorts and goggles for the occasion. It may sound like a ridiculous idea but desperate times people.
17 Science experiments
There are lots of simple but fun experiments you can do with everyday household items. Plus you can feel smug that your kids are learning in the process. Science Fun has some great ideas from volcanoes, to drawing pictures that move.
Have 20 minutes of reading followed by hot chocolates. It all sounds deliciously hygge, and I know the reality won’t quite match my expectation, but I can dream.
19 Living Room Disco
A great way to burn off some energy and relieve stress. Turn it up and dance like there’s no one watching.
20 Put on a show
I think watching shows my kids put on is karma for the many many many performances my family had to endure from me!
21 Make a music video
Whack on their favourite song and film them lip syncing along. Little has his toy guitar permanently with him at home and his current favourite game is acting out George Ezra videos. It melts my heart.
22 Have a spa
Face masks and nail varnish at the ready. It may not be as relaxing as Nirvana but beggars can’t be choosers.
23 Face time friends
Set the tablet up and leave them to talk non sence with their friends for an hour! Gives you a chance to clear up all the craft crap!
24 Wash the cuddly toys
Get the kids to help hand the bunnies on the line. Plus you will be ridding the toys of any germs and doing your bit to rid the world of COVD-19!
25 Have a lego building competition
Whether you go freestyle or follow instructions, use your imagination, or take to the internet for inspiration, there’s hours of fun to be had. I also highly recoment these mats that mean you can pack away in seconds.
26 Bug hunt in the garden
Warning, this can result in a pet ladybird called Ralph.
27 Do the chores
Make use of the time to do those jobs we never normally have time for. Clean the windows, wash the curtains. Get the kids involved with helping. Little will quite happily wipe over his toys if he thinks he is ‘helping’. Not one to get the toddlers involved in. They tend to make things worse…
28 Silly Sandwiches
My kids love it if I declare it’s silly sandwiches day. I get all the sandwich fillings out, and chuck in a few random fillings such as wotsits, grapes, or bananas and let them fill their boots in creating their own sandwiches. Banana and ready salted crisps is a surprising taste sensation.
29 Create a photo book
I always have loads of photo books that I mean to create. Whether you do the online version or create an album it’s one the kids can get involved in.
30 Learn a new skill
There’s a you tube video to teach you how to do pretty much anything now. Why not use the time to learn a new skill. Juggling, a dance routine, saying a sentence in a different language. Hey, I didn’t say it had to be a useful skill.
31 Wooden train track
Get the Brio out. Now is the time for an epic track.
32 Alexa skills
If you are tired of being the entertainer, get Alexa to do it for you. She has loads of kids games and skills. Just try the following..
- Play musical statues
- Play Panda Rescue
- Ask Pikachu to talk
- Open Animal Workout
- Play The Sponge Bob Challenge
- Play Would You Rather Family
- Musical statues games
- Play Silly Things
- Open Sorting Game (For Harry Potter fans)
33 Decorate TShirts
This was a big hit with my kids in the Summer holidays and has saved my bacon on a dress up day. Fabric pens are an essential item in any parents tool kit.
34 Play doh / modelling clay
Why do my kids go mad for this stuff? How does it get everywhere? Why does it smell so weird? And why do they always try to eat it? Anything for half an hours peace.
35 Extra large pictures
Pretty much everyone I know has one of those huge rolls of paper from Ikea that they have no idea why they bought. Now is the time to unleash the roll. Draw round the kids, do footprints, make car tracks. Even better do it in the garden to minimise the mess!
Quixels, hama beads, aqua beads, there are loads of different types out there that can definately keep the kids entertained.
37 Indoor Treasure Hunt
Create a treasure hunt for the kids. Chances are after they have done it they will want to do another one, so you can set them the task of creating another one.
38 Make Greetings Cards
Mothers Day, Easter, birthdays. Use the time to create to hand made cards and avoid having to go to the shops. If like me you have trouble with craft ‘ideas’, Pinterest is your friend.
39 Do something silly
I would love for in years to come my kids to look back at the time the country ground to a standstill because of the Coronavirus as the time Mum let them bath in slime. Think outside the box and let the kids do something crazy.
40 Time capsule
Don’t forget to include a newspaper about the time we all had to stay at home because of a virus. I’m not sure I would believe it otherwise!
Good luck everyone