The coronavirus home quarantine has proven to be challenging for many families across the globe. To prevent self-isolation from turning into cabin fever, we have to find creative and crafty family activities at home.
Your kids are probably tired of being cooped up inside, and chances are it’s also harder for you to get some work done. To help you out, we’ve listed ideas for stay at home kid activities that are original, fun, and educational.
We’ve divided them into age groups:
1. Design and print clothes with kids’ drawings
Kids of all ages love drawing, painting, and expressing their creativity in a variety of ways. It’s a pity when that meaningful artwork piles up in a drawer or gets lost. Here’s an idea on how to turn your child’s drawings into beautiful souvenirs that last – and all that without having to leave your house.
HappyDress offers to print clothes or accessories with your kids’ art – be it drawings, paintings, photo collages or other techniques. The kiddos will love to wear the items they designed! You can choose to print dresses, t-shirts, bags, tablecloths and napkins.
How does it work?
- Download the HappyDress template
- Print it and design it your way or use a phone or tablet to make a drawing
- Take a photo of the drawing you want to use and upload it at www.happydress.eu
- Make the order and up to 20 business days later, it will arrive at your address.
Thanks to high-quality sublimation printing, the drawings are carefully embedded in the fabric and stay just as vivid as the originals. Every product is hand-made, and the cotton-like fabric is comfy, breathable, easy to wash, and long-lasting.
The work of your little fashion designer is also one of the best quarantine birthday ideas you can possibly find. Design it and send it to your gran’s address for her birthday!
2. Grow plants together
Children will be delighted to see how the seeds they plant sprout into plants. Even better if you can eventually use them for cooking!
If you have a garden or a backyard, choose plants that are simple to grow and then order them online.
If you live in a flat, there are plenty of indoor plants you can grow. Some examples are herbs like basil, rosemary and parsley or flowers like marigolds, coleus, and zinnia.
3. Build a blanket tent or fort
How to build an imaginary world without any special materials or tools? Gather up the blankets and sheets and build a pillow or blanket fort. You’ll see that children will have hours of fun developing storylines and releasing energy into this activity. To make it even more fun and cozy for the whole family, build a movie blanket tent together.
4. Provide a project of the Day
Productivity expert Tonya Dalton suggests an idea for busy parents who want to get some work done with kids at home during the coronavirus quarantine: “Provide your kids with a ‘Quiz of the Day’ or ‘Drawing of the Day’ for them to complete.
“If they’re distracting you when you’re trying to get work done, you can direct them back to the daily project. Not to mention, the entire family can discuss what was accomplished and learned that day when you’re together at night.”
5. Make felt accessories
Felt is one of the handiest crafting materials – it’s like a cross between a fabric and construction paper. Pieces of felt can be easily cut, glued, sewn, and even stapled for some activities. There are many felt crafts that are easy and fun to do for children. If you are willing to help your little artisan, you can even make very intricate felt accessories together.
6. Use this time to educate your kids about viruses
The coronavirus home quarantine can be overwhelming and scary for children. One of the best things you can do is turn this time into a teachable moment: reassure your kids that they are safe at home, explain why social distancing is crucial now, and teach them about the general precautions for virus prevention, like washing hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, covering our faces when we sneeze or cough, etc. Viewing an educational video for kids can equally be helpful.
7. Make a family memory book
We will likely remember this coronavirus home quarantine time for many years to come. In order to recall exactly how you spent this time, initiate a family memory book – ask your children to take pictures throughout the week to record family activities at home.
How are the parents working and brothers or sisters studying? How do you spend the evenings and weekends? If you have a printer, kids can print the photos out and glue them in a journal with added comments. Or make a slideshow to share at the end of the day or week.
Things to do with kids who are 1 to 3 years old
8. Paint their toys
Giving their favorite toys a makeover will be super fun, and even better if you use plastic toys and water-based colors that’ll rinse right off in water. Use a large storage container or a washable mat to contain all the mess.
9. Play hairdressers with a Grass Head
A Grass Head is a funny toy with growing grass hair with different personalities to choose from. Kids will see the hair grow more every day and play hairdressers when the hair is long and thick enough.
10. Bathe their toys
All you need is a plastic container or a baby tub, some plastic toys, maybe some bubbly soap, and something to cover your floor to prevent it from getting wet. If you do want to prevent any water mess, make this a bath time activity.
11. Try Montessori activities
In times when we cannot just go to the store to buy new toys, at-home Montessori activities for children come in handy. Tailored for babies and younger kids, all these activities help your child’s physical and psychological development and are simple to do in the home environment.
12. Cook together
One of the easiest and most engaging ways to cook together with a toddler is by placing him or her on a kitchen helper stool or a learning tower. There are countless models available online, but a simple and cost-effective way is to build one yourself out of the classic Ikea BEKVÄM stool. Here’s also a video tutorial on how to do it.
13. Set up a color bath
A color bath is a wonderful way to have fun while also learning the names of colors! All you need is food coloring and random objects of the same color.
14. Choose educational printables
Coloring, numbers, letters, stories – you name it. This list of free printable materials will help you find meaningful things to do with little kids at home.
15. Make bubble foam
You can make bubble foam in seconds, but your toddler will have loads of fun with it. It’s one of the simplest things to do with little kids at home that’s also calming and enhances their sensory development.
Things to do with kids who are 4 to 6 years old
16. Play a game of talking
Little Talk Deck helps you discuss unusual and meaningful topics with children without awkward pauses and shyness. 150 prompt cards encourage sharing life lessons, insights, and advice, and discovering common grounds. Your family will enjoy intellectually-stimulating conversations with child-appropriate humor.
17. Try an augmented reality coloring app
What if you run out of coloring books and can’t get new ones from the store right now? Try an educational coloring app like Color Quest AR.
This augmented reality coloring app not only brings endless fun to the little artists but also inspires healthy lifestyle habits. After coloring, kids can press the magic wand on the device, and the colorful characters will appear in enhanced 3D in the colors that they created. Kids can have fun placing the character anywhere they want and taking pictures and videos alongside it. See how it works in this short video.
18. Do yoga together
How to get your little ones moving indoors? Try yoga tailored for children – Cosmic Kids’s videos are great examples. They’ll be moving and stretching while also learning to relax, to become mindful, and to build their concentration.
19. Make “in-house mailboxes”
Family and parenting blogger Tangela Walker-Craft suggests making “in-house mailboxes” – a place for kids to receive notes from their dad, mom, and other family members. It can help preschool and elementary-aged children learn to spell their name and memorize their address. It will also encourage everyone in the family to practice better penmanship.
20. Join online building challenges
Snapology teaches STEM skills using building blocks. The company is offering free daily building challenges through social media, for example – building your dream playground or a pet store. The child builds based on the day’s theme. Then, one of their parents uploads a photo through social media. People vote on the builds, and a daily winner gets a prize!
The goal of these challenges is to give kids an independent project to work on (while parents get some work done). Kids can use Lego bricks or any materials they can find at home.
21. Let the kids dance it out
Use a dancing and moving app like GoNoodle to make the kids’ screen time also active time. Designed to provide plenty of exercise and to keep up the good energy at home.
22. Play treasure hunts for charity
This is a fun stay at home kid activity that also lets parents choose from a list of charities which aim to help families that are in need during the coronavirus crisis. For example, you can download “Healthy Easter” printable treasure hunt or “Happy Tummy” printable treasure hunt in exchange for a suggested donation of $5 (or more) per download.
The treasure hunts can be set up quickly in any home and provide up to an hour of entertainment, and even more if the kids decide to continue the fun by creating their own treasure hunts.
23. Learn about the human body
Hand2mind – Head to Toe Human Body Science Lab helps kids learn about the science of the human body by examining fingerprints, using a stethoscope to hear a heartbeat, making a slimy model of blood, and more.
24. Try interactive reading
Google Rivet is a free, AI-based kids’ reading app designed for developing readers in Kindergarten to 3rd grade. With 3,500+ free digital books for kids across 14 categories and 8 levels, Rivet also incorporates game-like features and rewards to keep kids engaged in reading. Its engaging, kid-friendly library boasts books that cover a wide array of topics from planets to animals and to arts & crafts.
25. Make food art
Making food art is a great way to engage your young children in the world of cooking. Regular cooking may seem boring, but making animals out of fruits and vegetables is the perfect idea for keeping the kids busy. You can shoot two birds with one stone by choosing healthy ingredients, since your child will likely be interested in eating snacks or meals that he or she helped prepare.
26. Create a weather calendar
Encourage kids to make a weather calendar for the day or week. Depending on the child’s age they would have to either research the types of weather typical for their area or country or create symbols for the types of weather that occurred that day. Then they can prepare a weather forecast for the next day or week.
27. Organize Lego building competitions
If you have Lego or other construction games at home, building contests are fun and educational stay at home kid activities. Some ideas on how to organize your family Lego building competition:
- Come up with a theme, set a timer for 30 minutes and then see who has the most creative invention.
- Make the Lego challenge game more personal, e.g., build your favorite food or your dream bedroom.
- Build a Lego marble run together with your kids.
Things to do with kids who are 7-9 years old
28. Organize a scavenger photo hunt
A scavenger hunt is an exciting way to bring adventure into your home during self-isolation. You can do this indoors or in your backyard, and if you don’t have a camera, you can use a smartphone or a tablet and a piece of paper to list the prompts.
Photographer Antonina Mamzenko who has been organizing scavenger hunts for many years shares this example:
- For younger children, list everyday objects, colours or shapes they need to find and take a picture of.
- For older children, get them to be more creative by including conceptual or open-ended prompts such as “happiness”, “a portrait”, “someone I love”, “patterns”, etc.
29. Brainstorm quarantine birthday ideas
If someone from your family is about to have a birthday soon, accept the challenge of finding the greatest, most surprising quarantine birthday ideas.
30. Throw an online party
Help your child organize an online party over Zoom or Google Hangouts. Include engaging elements like self-made quizzes or prepare in advance by sending party accessories to your kid’s friends by mail. Snapology is providing affordable kids parties and playdates over Zoom, as well as interactive online STEM courses, that allow kids to interact with instructors and friends.
31. Cook international dishes
You can either choose countries or recipes of your interest or subscribe for a service like eat2explore. Each box that they offer is dedicated to a country and contains spice and sauce mixes, recipe cards, a shopping list, educational material, activity sheets & collectibles for kids to keep track of their “travels”.
32. Organize a quarantine quiz night
Quiz nights are a fun and uniting family activity at home. Find your favorite topics on online quiz platforms like Triviaplaza – from movies and pop music to geography and literature. Or, print quizzes for your kids to have some educational off-screen time.
33. Assemble “time travelling” jigsaw puzzles
If your family is into jigsaw puzzles, you are going to fall in love with the WASGIJ puzzles. In this concept, you don’t actually see the result of the puzzle – you reveal it during the assembly. You can choose from future puzzles, mystery puzzles, and many others.
34. Accept a fitness challenge together
Kids will love to join a challenge with mom and dad! You can choose any kind of physical activity suitable for doing indoors. For example, go for a squat or plank challenge, or resolve to doing any physical activity every day, at least 30 minutes – be it yoga, stretching or aerobics.
35. Build a chain reaction
Making a chain reaction using random household objects can become super fun and engaging for all the family. You can use literally any type of objects like balls, strings, dominoes, wooden pegs, cardboard tubes, and even plastic yoghurt containers. You can watch a video tutorial here.
36. Get creative in the kitchen
Take cooking to the next level! Nutritionist Lisa Richards suggests creating recipes together. Ask the kids to choose a dessert or snack they would like to make and create the recipe together.
Or do a pantry scavenger hunt. “You will have the kids find ingredients to recipes you can make together at home with what you already have. Get creative and have the children integrate a unique ingredient”, Lisa Richards recommends.
37. Conduct science experiments
If you are looking for educating things to do with kids at home, try simple at-home science experiments.This activity will not only keep the kids entertained but also teach them about how the many house appliances and products work and foster interest in science. For example, kids can learn why soap is such an effective cleaner which further emphasizes the importance of hand washing – something that’s particularly relevant right now!
38. Learn a new skill
The coronavirus home quarantine is a good time to learn a new craft or a new language – both for kids and adults. There are numerous fun courses tailored to kids, such as photography, programming, art and many more. With the right approach, this can even become a fun and uniting family activity at home.
39. Make bird feeders
Invite some wildlife into your backyard, balcony or window by creating a bird feeder. Depending on the age of your child, you can choose to make a simple feeder from a plastic bottle or a more complex and even an artistic one. Then, you can discuss what food to place inside and enjoy helping the birds!
Things to do with kids who are 10 years old or older
40. Travel together, virtually
While physical travel is suspended, you can take your kids on virtual trips. Even if such voyages don’t substitute the real deal, they are nevertheless a fun, innovative and, most importantly, safe way to see many remarkable destinations straight from your living room. For example, Sygic Travel VR offers a 360-degree virtual tour of Jerusalem’s Old City or virtual towers of Latvia.
41. Take embroidery tutorials
Being stuck in a coronavirus home quarantine is the perfect time to slow down and finally learn some handicrafts. For example, embroidery can be seen as creative therapy, which is perfect as a family activity for all ages that helps reduce negative thoughts and stress. Hibiscus linens offers a series of embroidery tutorials for beginners on Instagram.
42. Have a blind taste test
This activity is not only fun but also useful because you get to dig in the deepest corners of your pantry or refrigerator to see what’s still good and what has to be thrown away. When you find some unusual jams, sauces, spices or grains, the kids can tie their eyes and try to guess what they are eating.
43. Play board games online
Sites like Board Game Arena offer you the chance to play remotely with friends and relatives who are self-isolating elsewhere. From classic card games to famous board games, you can pick your favorite from a vast number of choices. Your kid can either play with his or her friends or with players from all over the world.
44. Make your own cosmetics
Try making your own soap or facial scrub out of sugar, green tea, honey or other ingredients. Making bath bombs is a slightly more complex activity, but you can order a special children’s DIY kit for it from Klutz if you want to try it out anyway.
45. Sew face masks
Currently face masks are scarce in many countries, so sewing masks for your family or making even more masks to donate to hospitals is definitely a good idea. Your older children will enjoy being able to help! While masks don’t provide 100% protection from the coronavirus and other diseases, they can reduce the chance of getting infected.
If you have a sewing machine at home, there is a simple way to sew a face mask in 10 minutes.
Sewing beginners can order this DIY Pre-Stitched Fabric Face Mask Kit for different age groups. All profits from the sale of the kits are donated to health organizations.
46. Sing from balconies and windows
Italians became famous for their collective singing from windows and balconies during the coronavirus home quarantine. You can do that too and lift the spirits of your own family and your neighbours. Children will enjoy being able to release their energy and be a part of something emotional and meaningful. Even better if you or your kids love to sing or play a musical instrument. If not, take the Italian example and put your pots and pans to use.
47. Take virtual museum tours
If your teenager is curious about culture, art, and history, there are plenty of world-class museums you can now visit without having to leave your couch. Some of the biggest names are London’s British Museum, New York’s Guggenheim Museum or Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Alternatively, you can browse Google Arts & Culture which has partnered with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world so that you can do things such as visit a VR version of a space shuttle or watch 360 videos of dinosaurs.
48. Sort family photos together
This is a perfect time to go through your family archives together and fill in the gaps. Probably there are some photos on your computers or phones that are not sorted and that you’d like to arrange in a beautiful family album. Turn this into a family activity at home – e.g., invite the kids to help select the best photos from your last trip to create an album of.
49. Make a home SPA
Let your children pamper you and themselves by organizing a home spa. Some elements to include: hand moisturizer, natural facial mask and peeling, hand/foot bath, and massage. Candles, relaxing spa music, herbal tea and a bath before or after the ritual will make it feel like an authentic spa session. Works wonders for reducing anxiety and negative thoughts!
50. Watch wildlife on livecams
Children will enjoy watching wild animals in their natural habitats especially if you explain that those videos are happening right now. You can explore African wildlife, Eagles in their nests, Tropical Reef Aquarium and much more.
Be it a spring cleaning, a family Scrabble night or one of the stay at home kid activities listed here, we hope this time is a valuable opportunity for your family to reconnect and learn to spend more quality moments together.