It’s official! Schools are closed and we are stuck at home (I am still working at home) and looks like this could very well last a few weeks! And while at first this may seem very unwanted (not talking about the pandemic – that is clearly unwanted; I am talking about just the mere fact of being stuck at home), I propose to think of this time as a great opportunity to spend quality time with our families.
When, otherwise, would you all be home with your families for 2-3 weeks straight? And I mean at home, no traveling, EVERY DAY, for 2-3 weeks? Dare I say: never?
So what to do with kids during that time period? Because let’s be real – none of us want to let the kids just be on their iPads or watch cartoons all day. And while that’s fine for a little bit, I will not let my kids do that all day long!
My older son obviously has to do some e-learning during the day as assigned by his school but that won’t take up too much time of his day, so what to do with the rest of it? And what to do with the younger kids that literally have the entire day at their disposal?
So here are some things I came up with to do with your kids (or let the kids do by themselves) at home to make the most out of this lockdown time and social distancing:
Play cards and board games
This is one of our favorite things to do around here anyways! We love playing board games that cater to my younger son (5) as well as those more complicated that are more suited for my older son (7).
My Elliot (5) loves playing battleship now and he finally now understands the game. The game itself is perfect because easily we can play it for anytime between an hour to two hours. It’s also quite stimulating and requires a little planning and creative thinking. We have this version of the game.
Slime. One of our favorite crafts is making slime. And while I don’t personally love it (hello sticky spots on the carpet or the couch because kids are not careful with slime at all), the kids LOVE making slime and playing with it. Even if we don’t make our own slime, we pretty much always have a few small packs of slime tucked away in the kitchen drawer because every now and then they’ll want to play with it. A few weeks back I got this set and I know we’ll play with it soon.
Drawing. Our kids LOVE to draw! Mostly with colorful Sharpies or colorful gel pens. They have never really been into crayons or painting but they DO love to draw. Some days they get so lost in it that they drew for HOURS! And then they are so proud of their creations 🙂 Love that they can channel that creativity they have.
Making figurines to play with. Continuing on the drawing thing… many times our boys will then cut out what they drew (if they were superheroes for example) and then they’ll play with the figurines. So perhaps making figurines of some sort (whatever your kids’ favorite figurines may be) is another great craft to engage the kids with. Playing with those figurines is just as fun as making them in the first place!
I mean… I know Legos are mainly a boys thing but I know little girls who love playing with legos too! Our boys will re-discover 🙂 the Lego collection they have and can get so into it that they end up building things and playing with them for HOURS on end. I think for them building new Lego things is more fun and they get so creative sometimes 🙂 They hardly ever play with stuff previously built. They’ll likely take everything apart and start building a new thing from scratch. Whenever they say they’re bored (enter the eye roll emoji haha!), I always direct them to their Lego box which houses probably thousands of Lego pieces and voila! More often than not they will get hooked on it right away and at that point I know they’ll play with their Legos for hours.
Biking or playing outside.
I think despite this social distancing thing we will try and be outside if weather permits. We will of course avoid crowded and enclosed places but I think it’s fine to still be outside and play and get that vitamin D! I think we’ll do bike rides which we simply love doing as a family. We are lucky to live by a huge biking trail and so really, we can stay super close to our house but still get that fresh air!
Cooking and baking together.
The underdog of things to do with kids while at home. It is for me at least because I’ll often forget how fun it could be to cook something together 🙂 Definitely need to do that more often, even in normal circumstances. This could really be anything – from mixing the batter for the cookies to tearing up lettuce for a salad! Come up with things the kids can help with (that obviously don’t involve using a knife!) and have fun with it. I will also say this – kids feel so ACCOMPLISHED when they feel like they are helping. It boosts their self-esteem and are so happy to be included in family ‘chores’
Doing chores together.
Speaking of chores – some house chores can really be fun for the kids. Our boys love cleaning the floors. OK, maybe they don’t ‘love’ it haha but they don’t mind it at all! Even my younger one likes doing it. He just doesn’t see it as a chore and is happy to do it. I am talking using a mop of some sort where he finds it so fun and hilarious LOL!
Other ones could be folding up laundry for example. I can’t convince my younger one to do it just yet, but my older son helps out a lot with folding laundry. Recently, he learned how to bundle up a pair of socks 🙂 and he felt so proud of himself 🙂 Again, kids feel great about themselves when they feel like they contribute to the household; they really do! Come up with a chore that is easy for them to do and yet something that has to get done regardless, so why not involve the kids?
Have a dance party.
Our boys love music and dancing! Every now and then we do mini dance parties. I say ‘mini’ because the way they dance (so intensely haha) means that the dance party does not last that long before they’re out of breath 🙂 I mean… they usually give it their all and our dance party is over in an hour LOL! But listen, that’s probably the one thing that we do at home that burns out their energy the quickest! Nothing else will wipe them out as quick as a good dance party! Really! Try this at home and you will thank me later 🙂 We have so much fun and we all do it, even though my hubs is not a dancer at all. We have so many good laughs at our dance parties and it’s a great family bonding time.
If your kids are into science projects as much as ours, then you’ve got yourself a great idea here for a kids activity. We usually research fun science projects on Pinterest but you can also just buy science kits that already tell you what to do. The ideas off of Pinterest will be those homemade projects that are probably more fun and interactive to do than the kit purchased at a store or online.
Any other ideas you may have? Please send them my way! Would love to try new things to do with my family and make the most of this being-stuck-at-home time!