Two weeks home with the kids is challenging, especially for those moms and dads who are working from home as well. So here are more than 67 easy ways to keep your kids entertained, and not just for 7 minutes, but for a good chunk of time. Stay well, everyone.
1- Have a theme day. Themes can help you find other things to do throughout the day in terms of crafts/projects, reading material, food, etc. Our favourites: outer space, focusing on a specific country, science, art, sports, etc.
2- Change up the seasons. Make it summer for the day: turn up the heat, have a picnic lunch, play with magic sand (4 parts flour to 1 part baby or olive oil), make paper fans, and drink tropical smoothies.
3- Celebrate the holidays. Christmas theme one day where everyone makes each other gifts. Halloween another day where you each make a costume.
4- Cook together. Break out some cookbooks or scour Pinterest for family-friendly ideas.
5- Bake together. Pie dough is always fun to play with.
6- Plant seeds. Now is the perfect time to start seedings.
7- Write letters or draw pictures and send them to a senior’s residence. They aren’t getting visitors right now, and it could brighten someone’s day.
8- Catch up on correspondence. Send your long-distance family and friends some homemade postcards.
9- Have a theme bath. Science lab themes are easy with coloured water and baking soda. So are glow-in-the-dark baths, car washes with toy cars, and more.
10- Relaxation day. Massages, homemade face masks and mani/pedis for all.
11- Turn the hall into a town. Use coloured tape on the floor to make a road. Transform empty boxes into buildings.
12- Talent show day. Each family member has to prepare “an act.” Don’t forget to share the videos so others have some entertainment.
13- Make your own comic book.
14- Make your own wave bottle with oil and water (remember those?)
15- Go with the classics: Go Fish!, Old Maid, Tic-tac-toe, Hangman, Cat’s Cradle, etc.
16- Make paper bag puppets and put on a show!
17- Play “Spy” and write secret messages in white crayon, which can be decoded (revealed) when you colour over it with marker.
18- Paint/draw what you see. Look out the window and create your art.
19- Make suncatchers. Pour school glue into a plastic lid from a yogurt or sour cream container. Add drops of food colouring and swirl with a toothpick. Let it dry, Remove it from the lid.
20- Play-doh time.
21- Make a poster collage of your favourite things.
22- Play vet’s office.
23- Play school.
24- Play restaurant.
25- Lego challenge: Build a bridge.
26- Make funny faces by cutting out different eyes, noses, mouths and other facial features from old magazines.
27- Create a family time capsule.
28- Family board game night.
29- Have fondue.
30- Make baking soda art. Create paint by mixing a bit of baking soda, water and food colouring. Paint onto paper. Then, use an eyedropper to add drops of vinegar to the paint and watch the fizzing fun.
31- Transform a box into a robot.
32- Make a map and do a scavenger hunt.
33- Make tie-dye pillowcases, shirts, towels or socks with permanent markers. Colour with markers and then use an eyedropper to apply rubbing alcohol, which will make the colours bleed and blend.
34- Colour a mug or plate with permanent marker and then bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
35- Play office.
36- Lego challenge: Make the tallest car you can.
37- Do stamp painting using Lego bricks or rolling cars across the paint and paper.
38- Do rubs with coloured crayons. Place coins or leaves under a piece of paper and rub with the side of a crayon.
39- Paint rocks with faces.
40- Make coffee filter planets. Colour coffee filters with markers and then spray with water. Let dry.
41- Play the classics: tag, hide-n-go-seek, what time is is Mr. Wolf?
42- Write your own storybook.
43- Make a paper plate mask.
44- Lego challenge: Make your first initial out of Lego bricks.
46- Library day, complete with a cozy spot to read books and make-your-own library cards.
47- Cut out stars and hang them from the bedroom ceiling.
48- Build a fort.
49- Play the classics: Rock, scissors, paper, thumb wars, limbo.
50- Draw with dry erase markers on the fridge.
51- Make magic wands.
52- Make reading pointers and test them out with a few books.
53- Make your own nail polish by mixing your own colours.
54- Cut out paper snowflakes (fold a circle in half, then in half again, and cut out small shapes and details).
55- Melt old broken crayon bits in a silcone mold to create your own new crayons.
56- Turn muffin liners into cute flowers. Cut out large paper flowers and use differently-patterned muffin liners as the centre of the flower. Create a spring field on your wall.
57- Make felt play food.
58- Sidewalk chalk on the front walkway, driveway, fence or deck. Trace your shadows. Play hopscotch.
59- Do a nature scavenger hunt. Have each participant find a list of items: pinecone, bird, flower, stop sign, etc.
60- Lego challenge: Make a catapult.
61- Make musical instruments. Find empty containers and fill with dried beans. Hang bells on long strings of ribbon. Use empty canisters for percussion. Fashion a microphone out of a paper towel roll and a ball of foil.
62- Have a pet rock. Decorate the rock. Make him/her a little home. Name your rock.
63- The classics: charades, jacks, yoyo, kite-flying.
64- Family house cleaning. Kids love squirt bottles.
65- Make capes out of old towels.
66- Nighttime stargazing session.
67- Make a duct tape wallet.
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.