(Originally seen on A Wife Like Me- https://awifelikeme.com/19-activities-for-children-to-stay-busy-and-happy-during-quarantine/)
One of my favorite memories as a teenager is from right after devastating tornadoes came through our state and left an aftermath of damage. We didn’t have power for five to seven day. To add to things, this happened during the winter and we were battling cold temperatures. My mom made that week fun by getting paint from a Walmart in a town nearby. We painted my room bright blue, green and purple. I loved it!
We have an opportunity to make these next few weeks (or months) a really special time for our kids. They can either reflect on these days and think about how nervous and afraid we were, or how fun and special each day felt. Honestly, some days might be a mixture of both emotions, but with a little work we can make it fun!
Looking for some fun ideas? Here are some things we are doing at our house!
Our kids love to paint. We are trying to play outside as much as possible. One activity we are adding to our daily schedule is rock hunting. The kids look for great rocks throughout the day, and each afternoon they paint them. It’s simple, but they are having fun with it!
Take long walks in the neighborhood
Make walks with your kids a fun adventure. Are there ant beds where you live? Help kids notice, and explain ant life. Do you have pretty flowers on your street? Take pics and go home and learn about the flowers. Make it fun and help kids use their imagination.
Ride bikes (or learn to ride bikes)
Have you been looking for a good time to teach your kids to ride that bike you bought for Christmas? Now is the perfect time!
Have diary time each day- Anne Franks style
Help your kids journal what they did each day, even if the highlight was going outside for five minutes or eating a popsicle. This will be a major history event their kids will learn about. How fun will it be for them to show their kids what this event was like in their eyes. Our kids are drawing their favorite activity we did each day, and we are going to make it a small book for them to keep.
Fun dance videos on YouTube.
There are so many fun dance videos to enjoy with your kids. We love the Gummy Bear song and What Does the Fox Say. There are lots of fun ones out there!
That pancake mix or cookie recipe you never have time for? This is the perfect chance to do these things with your kids! Being distraction free and not in a hurry makes it more fun!
It’s a great time to read together. Reading together is so special, no matter what age. Do your older kids have favorite chapter books they might want to go back and read with you? Do your toddler kids have favorite books you can read over and over together?
Write a book
My kids love to write and illustrate small books. Their stories are simple, but the pictures they draw really bring it to life! We are keeping all these stories they write and illustrate. Some are really great!
Do a puzzle
Is it cold and rainy where you live? Puzzles are a great indoor options!
I struggle to get down on the floor and play with my kids, but I can play with legos for hours. When kids have lots of time and space, it’s amazing what they can come up with while playing legos! You will be surprised how relaxing it is to get lost in it as well!
Make fun art with magazines lying around
Do you have lots of old magazines lying around? Give kids a theme and let them cut certain things out and glue them to things. Maybe your theme is favorite flowers, favorite outfits, or favorite room decor. They can cut things out and glue them to paper or posters you might have.
Remember hangman? It’s a great way to continue working on spelling words with your kids. They won’t even realize they are learning!
Lunch Doodles with Mo Williams
Do you have kids who love Piggy and Gerald books? The author and illustrator, Mo Williams, is hosting fun doodle time everyday on youtube. New videos are posted at 1pm each day. We are loving them so far!
Have a drawing contest (you verses your kids)
We love drawing at our house. I’m not great at drawing, but I still enjoy it. After you read those books, draw the characters. It’s a fun way to interact and bring the books to life.
Play games outside
Soccer, jump rope, hotch scotch. These activities are just a few of the fun things you can encourage your kids to do.
Do you have a stash of board games somewhere? Wipe the dust off and play together!
We love panting nails. Since we are social distancing, this is a perfect time to let your kids paint your nails, and keep it on for a while!
Play Hair Salon or Spa Day (consider being a paying customer!)
Get those hairbrushes and bows out! Let them get creative and give you the perfect style. One of our kids is a little entrepreneur, so we pretend we are arriving at her actual salon. She adds special pampering options, candy treats, water and more. Her goal is to make her customers feel comfortable (her words). Since she goes all out, we have turned into paying customers. Growing our kids gifts and passions for having a growing business is one dollar well spent.
Do your kids love movie nights? Make movie nights fun. Have a floor picnic, and let kids take turns choosing movies.
This is a special time in history. Let’s make the best of it together!