12 Fun Things to Do with Kids During the Coronavirus Pandemic!
This is a challenging time for everyone, but we especially feel for those of you who are stuck at home with your kids. While the extra time to spend together is certainly something to embrace and enjoy, we can all admit that it is difficult to fill each day with new, fun things to do with kids, and educational activities.
If you are running short on ideas and possibly on patience (we don’t blame you!) know that you aren’t alone. Everyone is doing the best that they can. Give yourself a break! We will all get through this together.
We are also going to share some of our top picks for fun things to do with your children during the Coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, this list will give you some new ideas to test out with your kids over the next few weeks. And hey, we hope you have some fun with the activities as well!
From fun ways to burn off some energy to games for increasing creativity and imagination, to more educational (but fun) things for kids to do, we wanted to put together a wide range of options for you. And as a quick note, before we dive into these activities, we wanted to let you know that we are including both indoor and outdoor activities.
Staying home is clearly the most important thing you can do right now to stay safe – so be sure you are doing these outdoor activities only if you have a backyard or other outdoor space that you can go to without being around other people. If not, no worries, just stick to the indoor activities! In some cases you can also adapt the outdoor activities to be indoor. There is plenty of fun to be had no matter what your situation is!
12 Fun Things to Do with Kids at Home
1. Cook a Meal or Bake a Dessert
You might not think that the kitchen is the safest place to go with your kids, but it really can be! While you should handle dangerous things like the stove or oven, there is plenty that your kids can safely help you with. The result? Having some fun that is also practical – you’ll end up with a meal prepared or a dessert to enjoy!
We also feel that introducing your children to cooking and baking is a great life skill that they will carry with them into adulthood. Get them familiar with cooking now and you won’t be worried about them when they go off to college. Imagine how great it will feel to know that your child will be eating more than just ramen noodles while away at school!
Have your kids help you round up the ingredients needed for a certain recipe (sort of like a scavenger hunt – which we’ll actually talk about next!) and have them help you measure everything out. This adds a nice math lesson without feeling like it. It’s much more fun to measure chocolate chips, wouldn’t you say? Your kids can also help mix up ingredients or roll out dough. There’s a lot they will be able to help you with!
Don’t forget about setting the table and clean up as well! By making the entire cooking process from start to finish into a fun activity, it will feel less like a chore, and more like fun. Give everyone a special task to complete and watch it all come together. You’ll also be working on skills like teamwork while you’re at it!
2. Create Your Own Scavenger Hunt
We used to love going on scavenger hunts as kids, and the good news is, all these years later, kids still find it incredibly fun! This is perfect if you have a large backyard area that you can explore. But, even if you don’t, you can still adapt it for the space that you do have!
We recommend planning this activity in advance – maybe while your kids are down for a nap or tucked into bed for the night. Think about various items in your house or backyard that your children will likely be able to find on their hunt. Assign different point values, and most importantly, decide on a prize! After all, that’s what makes scavenger hunts so much fun!
Most of the time scavenger hunts involve splitting into teams – but depending on how many people are at home during the pandemic, you might need to get a little creative. That’s okay! If you have two children they can compete against each other, or maybe you can split up into teams of parents vs. children!
This is a great way to have some fun and get some physical activity. Be sure to set a time limit, and let the fun begin! The team, or player, with the most points at the end of the hunt, gets the prize!
One final thing – some people use the terms scavenger hunt and treasure hunt interchangeably, but they are actually different fun activities to do with kids! Scavenger hunts are definitely easier to put together, but if you are up for the challenge, consider putting together a treasure hunt.
Figure out what your treasure will be, hide it somewhere in your house or backyard, and then come up with a series of clues and riddles that will lead your kids to the prize. Just make sure your clues can be solved and you remember their order in case your kids get stuck.
3. Enjoy Putting Together a Puzzle
Puzzles used to be incredibly popular, and we have a feeling that during this time, they are going to have a major resurgence. A puzzle is the perfect at-home activity that can easily take up several hours, if not several days!
Best of all, this is something that can be enjoyed by the entire family at once, or by an individual. It is a flexible, fun activity that is perfect for these times. We highly recommend having a dedicated puzzle space that does not take up essential countertop space that you might need for cooking, eating dinner, working, or doing school work. Perhaps it is part of your dining room table that you don’t use, a spare end table, or maybe a coffee table that you can clear off for the time being.
The last thing you want to do is move the puzzle every day! That is likely to cause it to break or for pieces to get lost and trust us, there is no feeling more frustrating than getting to the end of a 1,000 piece puzzle only to realize that you’ve only got 999 pieces. Don’t let that happen to you and your family!
What we also love about puzzles is that there are so many different types of puzzles out there that you can easily find one that fits your family’s interests, as well as the age range for your children. Save the more advanced puzzles for the teenagers, and invest in some simpler puzzles for younger kids!
4. Tap Into Your Artistic Side
If there ever was a time for creating art, it’s right now! Even if you aren’t usually very artistic, don’t let that stop you. You don’t have to create the world’s next great masterpiece, but just allow yourself and your kids to get creative and see what happens!
If you have a driveway, getting outside with some sidewalk chalk is a great idea. Not only are you getting some fresh air, but you are also containing the mess your kids make outside. If you are worried about stains or spills, heading outside with chalk is perfect. Best of all, chalk washes off of just about everything with just water. It will also leave you with some wonderful artwork that not just your family can enjoy, but also your neighbors!
If you aren’t into chalk or don’t have a driveway, we still think getting outside for art time is a good idea if you are able to. Nature is one of the best sources of inspiration and can really spark your creative side! Whether you go with crayons and markers, paint, or even gel pens (remember those?), encourage your children to create whatever they want! Afterwards, be sure to display their creations to reinforce how proud you are of them.
Or, to take things to another level, turn it into a game of Pictionary! Everyone draws something and then it’s time to guess what each picture is! Consider having a theme each round to help the game go smoother and to help everyone think of an idea. Two kids activities for the price of one!
5. Make Time for Make Believe
Always having a set activity with set rules doesn’t allow for your children to be creative. While sticking to a schedule is one of the best things you can do during quarantine, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t budget some time for their imagination to run wild. Let them make up the rules to a game, create a story and act it out, or even run their own TV show!
The key here is to let them make everything up – that is where their creativity and imagination will come into play, and it is so important to make sure kids have time to flex that creative muscle!
Another great idea? Ask your kid what they want to be when they grow up, and let them act it out! Do they want to be a doctor? Let them play doctor, and you be the patient! Or, perhaps they want to be a teacher and you can be the student. You get the idea. Let them call the shots and watch their mind churn with ideas.
This is also a great activity to turn to when you feel like your kids are simply bored. Did you know that boredom can actually be a good thing? That is when the mind gets creative to come up with something to do! We are so used to turning to our phones, tablets, or the TV when we get bored, but that does nothing for our minds and creativity.
Instead, let your kids sit in that place of boredom and see what they come up with. You just might be surprised by what they create in their minds after just a few minutes!
6. Burn Off Some Energy with a Trampoline
Being stuck in the house all day can lead to a major influx of energy that kids simply don’t know what to do with. They are used to recess at school, after school activities, and running around at the park with friends. With all of those gone for right now, they need another outlet for burning off energy.
We personally love trampolines and think they are a great way to burn off energy. Large ones are great if you have a backyard, but those aren’t the only options! There are plenty of smaller trampolines that you can purchase that you can use inside or outside.
If you don’t have outdoor space for your kids, this may be one of the best toys to invest in so that they can still get some physical activity and burn off energy without having to be out in a public space. These smaller ones are also a lot safer if you are worried about things getting out of hand.
If you are tired of hearing your kids screaming and running through your house, we highly recommend investing in a small trampoline so that they can channel their energy into jumping around instead of running and screaming!
Speaking of physical activity – staying active during this pandemic is one of the best things for your children (and for you!). The impact that it has on both the body and the brain is major, so we definitely recommend trying to stay active as best you can. Whether that be an at-home workout, a trampoline jumping session, or even an at-home dance party, get everyone’s body moving!
Going for a walk is also something to consider during this pandemic, but you have to be careful. If you notice that the streets or local parks near your house are filled with a lot of people, we recommend staying inside. Even in an open area you still need to practice social distancing. If you can do that walking the sidewalks in your neighborhood or near your house, great! If there are too many people that it is difficult to keep that distance, stay inside. Your safety is always the most important!
7. Virtually Visit Your Favorite Museum or Aquarium
It’s true, you can’t go to your favorite museum or aquarium right now, but that doesn’t mean you are out of options! A lot of these places are putting together awesome virtual tours that you can take from the comfort of the couch!
Use this as an opportunity to visit your favorite museum, or branch out and choose to ‘visit’ one you have never been to before! This is a great way to introduce your children to new places. As an added bonus, this doubles as an educational activity without feeling like one. Your children can learn about science, art, history, and so much more, without having to turn to a textbook that probably doesn’t seem interesting at all right now.
We know that you are likely spending a lot of time in front of a screen right now, but we wanted to include at least one activity that you can do online that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Plus, this is an activity that you are sure to enjoy as much as your kids, and that is very important during this stressful time!
Ask your kids what they are interested in right now and do some quick Googling to see what options are available. From science museums to art museums, history exhibits, aquariums, and more, you can discover a lot of the world right from home!
8. Make Some Slime
This activity is just plain fun. Why not make some slime to play around with?? Slime is one of those items that kids just love. It’s oozy, gooey, colorful, and so much fun to squeeze, twist, and mold. Best of all, you can either purchase a slime making kit, or you can totally DIY it!
If you do decide to make slime on your own, thankfully there are plenty of online tutorials that will walk you through the process. If you are really looking for an activity that will take up a lot of time, why not put on your DIY hat and make it yourself? Involve your kids in the creation process too of course, that’s half of the fun!
There are plenty of videos online like we said that will help you with your slime creation. Here’s one in particular that should guide you through even if you’ve never attempted slime creation before:
Once you’ve got your slime, wondering what to do with it? You’ve got tons of options besides just squeezing it between your fingers (which is pretty fun anyways). You can make it more educational by asking your kids to form letters with their slime or have some more open fun creative time and let them form whatever shapes they want to.
We recommend storing the slime in a plastic bag when you are finished to try and preserve its elasticity. Once it gets too hard you’ll have to make some more- giving you another activity to do for another day!
Set up a Zoom Call with Family
You might be stuck in the house, but that doesn’t mean you should shut yourself off from everyone in your life! Your kids in particular might really be missing their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. A Zoom call is a great way to get everyone (virtually) together to catch up and connect! You can also do this for play dates with their friends who they are probably missing a lot right now.
This is another case where screen time is totally okay – in fact, it’s encouraged! We know that usually, you would gather in person, but during these times, staying safe and connecting online is the best way to go.
Video chatting services like Zoom have exploded in popularity for this very reason, and we have to admit, we could not be more thankful for technology during times like these. You may not physically be able to connect, but to be able to do so virtually is a nice second best option. Once the pandemic is over we encourage you to stick to these Zoom calls for those family members who don’t live close to you. Distance doesn’t have to keep you apart!
While on your Zoom call make sure you give your kids the opportunity to speak and share how they are doing. It might not feel natural for them to talk to the camera, so make sure you encourage them to do so and give them the time. They are sure to love the chance to speak with friends and family that they haven’t gotten to see in a while. This is especially important for younger kids – you don’t want them to forget their family during this time of isolation! Even just seeing them on camera can help them form lasting positive memories that will stick with them once the pandemic is over.
If you have to spend a holiday, birthday, or other special occasion apart from family, don’t let that stop you from enjoying your usual family traditions. Whether that is enjoying a meal together, watching a special movie, or even just blowing out candles on a birthday cake, you can certainly find ways to make it all work even from a distance. Zoom parties are all the rage these days!
10. Get Crafty!
We already discussed tapping into your creative side when it comes to drawing, painting, and more. But what about paper crafts? Those are other awesome kids activities to enjoy with kids, and best of all, there’s typically less mess involved. If the thought of bringing out paint with your kids scares you, go for some paper crafts instead!
We’ll admit, paper crafts aren’t always easy. Hey, even folding a paper airplane can sometimes be difficult, but like with any skill, practice makes perfect. Start out with some easier crafts and watch your kids turn into origami masters by the end of this pandemic!
Paper crafts are a great activity that focus on all sorts of skills like creativity, dexterity, and patience. It’s a wonderful activity to do all together and simple enough to bust out at almost any time.
Depending on the craft you are making, you might need different sizes of paper. Feel free to use regular printer paper and simply cut it into the sizes you need – many call for square pieces of paper for example. Depending on your kids’ age, we recommend you handle the cutting to make sure no one gets hurt!
Once you have all put together your creations, be sure to display them somewhere for the whole family to see and enjoy them. Take pictures of your first craft vs. your last one and measure your improvement. You just might surprise yourself!
11. Invest in Some Family Friendly Party Games
Do you already have regularly scheduled family game nights? We think that is a great idea no matter what the situation is, but it is even more important during this pandemic. Get the family together and just have some fun. This is a stressful time for everyone and sometimes, as they say, laughter is the best medicine!
There are plenty of family-friendly party games out there that you absolutely should invest in. This is a great way to bring the entire family together to connect and have fun. Even during this pandemic, it might feel like everyone is doing their own thing separately, and while that is fine sometimes, it is also good to come together and have fun as a whole family.
In addition to more modern party games, don’t forget about the classics like charades or Pictionary! These are fun games that people of all ages can enjoy, ensuring your entire family can join in and have a blast.
12. Create a Reading Nook
Getting your kids interested in reading might feel like an impossible task, especially during this pandemic. We get it! The key here is to make it fun and exciting. How do you do that? There are a few ways, but one method that we particularly love is creating a reading nook. Each of your children should create their own!
Having a reading nook gives your child a dedicated space to go when they want to read. They can decorate this how they want and make sure it is nice and cozy for them when they want to settle in. Squishy pillows, soft blankets, maybe some mood lighting? Let your kids get creative!
Creating the nook is a fun activity in and of itself that will then set them up for reading in the days to come. This will also last well past the pandemic- this nook is there’s from now on whenever they want to read!
The benefits of reading are so important. It helps kids develop their imagination, vocabulary, and even their writing skills. It is worth the energy to get them interested in reading and the benefits will pay off for the rest of their lives!
You can also gamify the reading process if your kids are particularly stubborn about reading. Perhaps the child who reads the longest gets a prize, or consider quizzing your child after they finish a book. If they pass the quiz, they get a prize! Sometimes all you have to do is get a little creative in order to get the results you want.
So there you have it! Believe it or not, there really are plenty of things to do at home during this Coronavirus pandemic. While we all love a good Netflix session, the truth is that you should try your best to limit screen time and introduce some other fun and educational activities. Save the screen time for Zoom class or meetings with friends and family! Netflix is great occasionally, but save it for a movie night with the family every once in a while.
From fun outdoor kids activities like scavenger hunts or drawing with sidewalk chalk to indoor activities for kids like putting together puzzles, cooking together, or making your own slime, you can easily occupy your days with a wide variety of activities.
We recommend setting up a schedule and planning out these, or any other activities, that you can think of! We’ve given you 12 of our favorite fun things to do with kids, but hopefully, these ideas have sparked you to come up with even more! Don’t blow through all 12 things on day one, instead, plan them out over a series of days or weeks so that you know you will have something to do each day. Without a plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or anxious worrying about what to do. These kids activities are just one way to help keep you organized, calm, and ready to have fun with your kids!
If this Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything it is that we need to all take a deep breath, slow down, and spend this time reconnecting with our loved ones. Take things one day at a time and we promise you will make it through!
If you do try out any of these activities for kids let us know how they go and which your kids (and you) love the most! And always don’t forget – have fun.
Your attitude and outlook will have a positive impact on your kids. If you are feeling down or worried, so will they. Take time for yourself as needed but when you are around your kids, try your best to stay positive. We are all in this together!