30 Fun Things To Do With Kids At Home

Shannon Quinn - April 9, 2020

All over the world, parents are adjusting to homeschooling their kids. Without the ability to go to school, sports practice, or playdates with friends, your kids might be understandably bored in your household. After a while, even video games and playing in the backyard might get old. Even though we are going through a scary time, remember that kids are going to be affected by this even more than adults. Here are 30 ideas of how to make your time spent at home a lot of fun, and create happy memories for them to look back on.

Incorporate your backyard space into your obstacle course. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Create an Obstacle Course

Your kids are going to be cooped up in the house for so long, they need to get their energy out somehow. When they’re in school, kids usually get time to run around during recess, so they need that same break while you’re homeschooling. A trend that’s going around on Pinterest are indoor and outdoor obstacle courses in your own home. Some moms are choosing to use tape on the floors, where kids can run to climb chairs, spin in circles, and do other simple tasks at each checkpoint in the course. Time them with your phone’s stopwatch feature, so that each kid can compete to get a faster time than their siblings.

Bouncy castles are a ton of fun in general, and they can be incorporated into an outdoor obstacle course. Credit: Shutterstock

If you have a large backyard, you can expand your obstacle course on a nice day. If you want the course to feel like an epic Ninja Warrior style course, you could purchase additional accessories online like a small trampoline, bouncy castle, or orange traffic cones to set up their outdoor play area. And if you already have an outdoor swing set, this could be incorporated into the course very easily. Your kids will truly appreciate the effort, and it will create fun memories.

Let your child’s imagination run wild in a cardboard box. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Make a Cardboard Fort

Kids don’t always need expensive toys to entertain themselves. Sometimes, it’s as simple as giving them a cardboard box. If you’re receiving a lot of Amazon Prime deliveries, you probably have plenty of boxes lying around on a regular basis. The next time you receive a shipment, encourage your kids to turn the boxes into their own fort. If they’re too young to use scissors, help them to cut and assemble a bigger playhouse out of small boxes.

Kids can pretend to have their own house made of cardboard. Credit: Shutterstock

Making cardboard forts will help to encourage kids to use their imagination. And as the deliveries keep coming in, they can make more accessories for their cardboard playhouse like flower boxes, chimneys, and furniture. You could even use acrylic paint to color the house, too. Check out Pinterest for some amazing inspiration of people who have built full-on castles, geometric domes, and so much more.

Your kids might be curious to play dress up with your adult clothes. Credit: Shutterstock

28. Play Dress Up

If you have a collection of old Halloween costumes sitting in your attic, this might be a good time to bring it downstairs for your kids to look through. This is the perfect opportunity for them to let their imagination run wild, while they mix and match costume pieces from years gone by. They might even want to put on a theatrical production in the living room pretending to be their favorite characters. And, of course, this could be a very good excuse to buy a new costume online.

Pull out those Halloween costumes and have some fun. Credit: Shutterstock

Even if you don’t have costumes lying around, you can still allow your kids to play dress-up by going through your closet. Most children love pretending to be grown up by wearing heels, dresses, hats, and neckties. You should even consider allowing them to use your makeup, or buy them their own set of children’s makeup. Some parents are even trying their own version of Disney Bounding, which is when you take normal clothes and try to create an outfit inspired by your favorite character.

Sock puppets can be a silly fun way to spend time with your kids. Credit: Shutterstock

27. Sock Puppet Show

Pretty much every household on the planet has extra pairs of socks with holes, or a set that’s never worn. This would be a great opportunity to reuse those socks by turning them into puppets. If you can glue on googly eyes, pom poms and felt, that makes the puppets even more interesting, and full of character. You could take this opportunity to tell an educational story with your own puppets, or figure out a way to incorporate counting, colors, and letters into play time.

Kids will appreciate being goofy with sock buckets. Credit: Shutterstock

As an added bonus, consider making a theater out of cardboard. Together with your kids, you can paint and tape the theater to be colorful and fun. Once the “stage” is complete, let your kids use their new sock puppets to put on a show. If you find that your kids genuinely love doing this, consider buying them a puppet-making kit online so that they can have their own Sesame Street-style monster.

Let your kids show their creativity through painting. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Painting

No matter what age you are, painting can be an incredibly therapeutic form of art. Adults could plan their own wine-and-painting night, or you could do this together with the entire family. It’s fun to find a picture of your favorite painting, animal, or family photo, and use that as a guide to create your own picture. Give your kids their own blank canvas, or a large sketchbook of watercolor paper. If you don’t have any supplies on-hand in your home, consider getting your child a painting kit that is geared towards children.

Painting can help alleviate stress for your kids. Credit: Shutterstock

On a more serious note, mental health is incredibly important during quarantine. Painting can be a form of art therapy. For kids, it’s important to give them time to color, draw, and paint, because it helps them to express their feelings through artwork. Your kids will never know that this is anything deeper than playing. If you want to know more about this, there are several art therapy books on Amazon, like 101 Mindful Arts Based Activities to Get Children and Adolescents Talking.

Your kids can still see family and friends via webcam. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Facetime Playdates

No matter what age your kids happen to be, it’s important for them to continue socializing with people outside of the family. Social skills are incredibly important, and they sometimes fall to the wayside when you’re homeschooling. Obviously, you can’t go to visit friends and family if you’re practicing social distancing. But it’s still possible to talk to your family members through Facetime and other video chatting software. Text, call, or message the parents of your kid’s best friends, and ask to set up a digital playdate so that they can talk to one another. And if they’re allowed to play online, it may be good to encourage them to chat together while playing Minecraft or any other age-appropriate game.

Make sure your kids are keeping in touch with important people in their lives. Credit: Shutterstock

Even if your kids are still babies, it’s still very important for them to socialize, too. When your children are very young, it can be easy for them to forget who their extended family members are while they’re in quarantine. If they never interact with other human beings besides their parents and siblings, this will be terrifying for them. So make sure you prepare them for it beforehand.

Teaching your child how to do ceramics can be a great way to pass the time. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Ceramics

Kids love to go to ceramic painting workshops like Color Me Mine. Usually, these studios give you a pre-made ceramic object that your kids can paint before it’s baked in an oven. While you might not be able to go to a professional facility in your local area anymore, you can still make ceramics at home. Just do a quick search online, and you’ll find plain ceramic kits for kids that are ready to be painted.

Kids love doing ceramics. Credit: Shutterstock

Maybe you’re willing to get a bit messy and let your kids make ceramic bowls from scratch. You can buy a kid-sized pottery wheel online. Alternatively, you can buy blocks of air dry sculpting clay so that your kids can build objects with their hands before painting.

Let your kids bring out their inner pirate by searching for treasure. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts never fail to get kids excited. Whether you have a backyard or are forced to keep your kids indoors, there should be opportunities for your kids to have a scavenger hunt around their home.

A scavanger hunt can let your kids explore their own back yard. Credit: Shutterstock

If you love the idea, but you’re not sure where to start, check out some of the ideas other parents have shared on Pinterest. For older kids, you might also want to make the hunt a bit more challenging by creating riddles that they need to solve before looking for the objects.

National parks are available for tours online. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Visit Museums and National Parks Online

Normally, parents who homeschool their kids take time to bring their children to museums, zoos, aquariums, parks, and other locations that can help give them an interactive educational experience. We may not be able to go to big crowds right now, but it’s still possible to tour them online. Most of the biggest museums from around the world, like the Smithsonian, British Museum, National Gallery, and Metropolitan Museum of Art have all offered digital tours.

Many museums around the world are allowing free digital tours during quarantine. Credit: Shutterstock

National Parks have also begun giving online tours, too. This could be a vital tool to teach kids about Earth Science, geography, and zoology. Once you’ve gone through some of these digital tours, it might give everyone a better idea of the places they would like to visit once this is all over.

With so much time at home, this is the perfect opportunity for kids to learn how to cook. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Teach Them How to Cook

Cooking is an incredibly valuable skill that everyone should have, especially in times when we’re required to stay home. Many millennials struggled with “adulting”, because their parents forced them to focus most of their time and energy on getting into college, instead. Now is the time for you to change that with your own kids. Teach them how to cook, clean, and do other life skills that you struggled with in later years.

Passing down family recipes is a great way to spend your time. Credit: Shutterstock

When you’re teaching a child how to cook, keep things simple. Start off by having them help you measure ingredients. If they’re old enough, they can help do prep work like chopping and peeling. Explain every step of the process to them, and let them watch. Eventually, you might even reach a point where your kids are cooking dinner on their own.

Show your kids your favorite films that you grew up with. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Show Them Your Favorite Childhood Movies

Everyone has one of more favorite movies from their childhood. You may have already shown these to your kids, but there usually isn’t enough time to show every single film that meant something to you. Now that Disney + is streaming, there are dozens of movies that people haven’t seen in years. It’s instant nostalgia for adults, and a treasure trove of new content for kids. We highly recommend checking it out, if only for one month.

Watching your favorite childhood movies may bring you closer as a family. Credit: Shutterstock

If you can’t find your favorite childhood movies on a streaming platform, you may want to splurge with renting it on Amazon Prime Video. Movie rentals are typically only $4 for 48 hours, or $15 to own it forever. Watching these movies can help your kids and partner get to know each other better, and it’s likely to bring up stories from your childhood.

Celebrate Easter with your own miniature backyard egg hunt. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Backyard Easter Egg Hunt

Even during this crisis, it’s still important to celebrate holidays. This gives your kids something fun to look forward to, and it helps to carry on traditions no matter what. Easter is on April 12th of 2020, so there is a lot to celebrate! You may not be able to go to your annual Easter party or a local egg hunt, but it should be easy to have one at home. If you don’t already have your own set of plastic Easter eggs, you can easily buy them online or pick them up at Walmart.

Kids will have fun with an egg hunt no matter what size it is. Credit: Shutterstock

No matter how big or small your backyard may be, younger kids will still enjoy running around to gather eggs that are filled with candy. If you live in an apartment or townhouse, you can try to do an indoor egg hunt, instead.

Creating a vision board can help remind us of the future. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Create Vision Boards

During this crisis, it’s important to remember that these bad times won’t last forever. Remind your kids that some day, they still get to grow up and follow their dreams. So, even if we need to stay inside over the next few months, it’s still okay to plan for the future. A vision board is a collection of words and images that represent what we want the most in our lives. Usually, they’re made but cutting out images from old magazines, or printing pictures from the Internet. You could even create a digital vision board, too.

Focusing on future goals can help lift our spirits. Credit: Shutterstock

The images on a vision board could be a depiction of a future career, house, and so much more. If your kids are very young, their vision boards might be very simple, like passing a grade or getting a puppy. However, if you have teenagers, making vision boards will be crucial in helping them to keep their minds on the right track for college and job training. Let them hang the vision board in their room for motivation to keep moving forward.

It’s possible to make slime at home with ingredients you might already have on-hand. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Make Slime

For the past couple years, slime has become an extremely popular craft for people to make at home. Luckily, it’s very easy to make at home with glue, food coloring, and other ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. If not, you can buy a slime making kit online for your kids.

There are loads of tutorial videos out there for making slime. Credit: Shutterstock

Not sure where to start? Just google “Slime making” on YouTube or Pinterest, and you’ll see tons of videos with examples. People who make slime regularly say that it helps to alleviate stress, and it’s a lot of fun.

Quarantine is the perfect time to train your dogs. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Train the Dog

One of the positive side effects of this pandemic is the fact that dog and cat adoption and fostering is so high, people are actually on a waitlist to bring a new pet into their homes. Whether you just recently got a dog, or you’ve had one for years, this might be a good time to train them. So many people have used the excuse that they don’t have the time.

Rewarding your dog with treats is part of the training process. Credit: Shutterstock

The good news is that your kids will probably want to spend the time to train your dog, because it can be really gratifying. If you have a backyard, your kids could spend hours working together with your dog to get the desired results. Check out the YouTube Channel called Zack George’s Dog Training Revolution, where there is plenty of free content to help you to get started.

Your kids might love having a karaoke night. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Karaoke Night

Even if you’re not a great singer, you may want to have a karaoke night together with the kids. Allowing yourself to belt out to your favorite music without fear can help to boost your kid’s confidence, and it’s sure to encourage lots of giggling.

No karaoke machine? No problem. Pump up the jams and sing, anyway. Credit: Shutterstock

Karaoke machines are available online, but it’s not always necessary to buy one if you’re on a tight budget. You can still have fun playing a game like Karaoke Revolution, if you want to dust off your Playstation 2. Lastly, there are free videos on YouTube if you just search the term “karaoke” after your favorite song and artist. If you put these videos on your TV, it’s just as good as owning a karaoke machine, minus the microphone.

Puzzles are a great activity for the whole family. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Put a Puzzle Together

Putting a puzzle together can be a really great way to spend a calm evening at home. It’s even better if you have a good movie on in the background, drinks, and snacks. Kids might enjoy doing a puzzle on their own, or you can purchase a larger 1,000 piece puzzle that the entire family can do together.

Kids can do puzzles on their own throughout the course of the week. Credit: Shutterstock

The good thing about puzzles is that it usually takes a few days (or weeks) to get one done. It’s a project that everyone can work on periodically whenever they feel like. The only downside is that it will take up an entire table while you get it done. Once it’s finished, you always have the option to cover it in puzzle glue so that it’s preserved forever, and can potentially be framed.

Board game nights with the family can help pass the time. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Play Board and Card Games

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to suggest playing board games during quarantine, but we really need to mention it here. Some people might only have the standard Monopoly in their closet, so this might be a good opportunity to buy something new. One of the most popular board games on the market right now is called Pandemic, for obvious reasons.

Teaching your kids how to play card games can be a lot of fun. Credit: Shutterstock

Card games are also a lot of fun, too. Young children can learn how to play “Go Fish”, and older kids can learn Blackjack and Poker. Most people have a deck of cards in their house already, but they’re very cheap to buy a Dollar Tree and Walmart. Your kids might also enjoy Pokemon Cards, Magic the Gathering, or Yu Gi Oh.

Kids can still play in an indoor-outdoor space in your garage. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Make a Garage Play Space

If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, it might be time for you to finally get around to spring cleaning. Sure, we can’t donate unwanted items or have a garage sale, so it feels terrible to suggest throwing everything away. But sometimes, you need to weigh the pros and cons of owning a bunch of stuff. Making more space to move around is crucial right now, especially if you have kids. In a lot of cases, you won’t actually need to get rid of anything. It could be as simple as organizing your items on stackable plastic shelving so that they’re up off the floor.

Clearing out your garage gives your kids space to play with their bikes, skateboards, and so much more. Credit: Shutterstock

Garage space could be used for a home gym, or even an indoor-outdoor space for bikes and other toys. This is especially important if you don’t have a big backyard. Garages can serve as a space where a child can run around and tire themselves out without bumping into furniture or potentially breaking anything. The best part about this project is that it’s completely free. All it requires is your time and patience to get the project done.

Teaching your kids to write in a journal is a great mental exercise. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Make Sticker Diaries and Planners

Journaling is one of the best ways to let out your thoughts without fear of repercussions. When you have a secret place to write down everything, it can be an amazing way to release your anxiety and anger. Kids need this outlet just as much as adults do. Any notebook that you have lying around the house will do, or you can buy multi-packs of new journals online.

Writing and adding fun stickers gives your kids an outlet to vent their inner feelings. Credit: Shutterstock

Why stickers, you might ask? Kids love using stickers, especially if they are of their favorite characters. A lot of people already have sticker collections in their house that need to get used up, so this project could be done for free. Or, you can find them at Walmart, Target, and Amazon for only $1 to $2 per pack. These small sources of joy mean a lot to kids right now. Even adults love using stickers, especially in Erin Condrin planners. (They also make a kid’s planner, too!) Planning your day gives you a sense of purpose, even if you’re stuck at home. And once you begin crossing off some of your daily tasks, you’ll find that both you and your kids will feel motivated to do more.

This little girl is learning sign language. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Learn a New Language

Once kids enter middle school and high school, they begin taking Spanish or French classes. They might only learn the basic vocabulary and grammar, but it’s still a gateway for a lot of people to continue learning a new language when they get older. Most colleges also require you to have two semesters of a language, so it’s actually important as homeschooling parents to make sure your kids are keeping up with those skills.

While homeschooling your kids, you can try to incorporate a new language. Credit: Shutterstock

At the time this article was written, Rosetta Stone is offering a sale for a lifetime membership where you have access to all 24 of their language programs for just $200. Normally, they charge you a monthly fee for just one language. So this is actually a great deal. They’re also offering Rosetta Stone Spanish to students for free, so long as you can provide proof that you’re homeschooling. There are also free language programs like DuoLingo that you can download on your phone or iPad.

Bringing the entire family together for story time can be a soothing way to end the day. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Have Family Story Time

Most people associate story time with children under the age of 5, but it’s actually really nice to listen to someone reading a story at any age. This is why audio book apps like Audible have become so popular. Instead of paying for an audio book, you might want to consider taking turns having people read out loud to one another during a nightly story time.

Bring your family closer with story time. Credit: Shutterstock

Nowadays, there are republished versions of some of your favorite books, like the Harry Potter books that are now fully illustrated. This could be an opportunity for you to share some of your favorite stories with your kids. If you don’t have a huge budget for buying books online, check out your local library’s website. Most libraries allow you to download an app that lets you rent eBooks and audiobooks for free.

Take time to show your kids home movies of your family memories. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Film, Edit, and Watch Home Movies

Years ago, there were only a handful of parents who could afford to buy a camcorder to film birthday parties and special events. Now, everyone has a camera on their phones. We might take time to film small clips throughout our days, but not everyone thinks about filming a full “home movie” like they did in the good old days. This could be a really fun project to do with your kids. And if your kids love to act, it might even be a good opportunity for them to be the center of attention.

Your kids will love seeing old videos of your childhoods. Credit: Shutterstock

If you own a Mac, you might already own a video editing software like iMovie or Final Cut Pro. There are free tutorials on YouTube teaching how to do the programs. It’s so easy, most kids will be able to learn by the time they’re in High School. Whenever your kids film a home movie, gather together as a family to watch it. You never know if this could be the beginning of a budding film career. At the very least, you’ll have some happy memories to look back on.

Share your favorite family-friendly podcasts with your kids. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Listen to Podcasts

Millions of adults love to listen to podcasts, but we rarely think about sharing them with kids. This is especially true if you’re used to listening to more adult topics, and you normally listen to podcasts on your morning commute. But there are actually plenty of family and kid-friendly podcasts out there that your kids will enjoy. All it takes is a little bit of research to figure out what might resonate with your child. Also show them some options, and encourage them to listen while they clean their room. You could also listen to the podcast together while coloring, knitting, or doing some other calm indoor activity.

Try to find some great podcasts for your kids to listen to. Credit: Shutterstock

If your kids are outgoing, you might even want to do a podcast with them. This can be a great way for kids to feel socially connected. Even if they just share the show with their friends, it can be an amazing memory that might also lead to a career in media someday. Not sure how to make a podcast? You can download an audio editing program called Audacity for free. For kids, it doesn’t matter if the audio is super-high quality. So you could just let them record on your phone, or buy an affordable USB microphone with a stand.

Let your kids show you their favorite games, and play along with them. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Play Video Games With The Whole Family

Suggesting that your kids can play video games as an indoor activity is pretty obvious. But have you ever thought about trying to play together as a family? There are plenty of games out there like Mario Go Kart and Smash Brothers where you can have 4 people playing at one time. Your kids will probably be eager to teach you how to play, and they will probably have a lot of fun beating you.

Playing family games can be a great distraction. Credit: Shutterstock

Worried about getting too sedentary? There are a lot of active games like Ring Fit Adventure, Just Dance, and Dance Dance Revolution. Many of these games might only be a maximum of 2 players, but it can still be entertaining for other members of the family to sit nearby and watch.

Jewelry is easy to make, especially when you get a whole kit. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Make Jewelry

Remember making friendship bracelets at summer camp? If you grew up in the 90’s, this was very common, but it’s not necessarily popular today, because everyone’s so busy with the Internet and video games. Consider buying your kids a bracelet making kit online, and sit down to make jewelry together. Your kids might even want to make a gift for their friends, which can be a really sweet way to keep in touch or celebrate birthdays from a safe distance.

Your kids will love putting together jewelry. Credit: Shutterstock

If your kids are older, you can buy an adult jewelry making kit with hooks, chains, and beads to make items that they would enjoy wearing. These can also be great gifts for your relatives who are living alone during self-isolation. Once you have the basic jewelry tools, it should be easy for you to buy beads online that match what you are trying to create.

You can buy your kids robotics kits online. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Science Projects

Now that you’re homeschooling your kids, you’ll have to take over teaching them science. This can be difficult sometimes, especially if your kids are already in High School. But the good news is that there are plenty of easy DIY science experiments you can do at home. Take some time to search for some popular experiments that are common in your child’s age group. Your kids will most likely enjoy taking a break from looking at a book or a screen, and embrace a new activity.

Curious kids can learn a lot from science kits. Credit: Shutterstock

If you have the extra money to spend, you might want to consider buying science kits online. There are some standard science kits with objects that kids would use at their lab in school like beakers. Or, you can purchase something more fun and exciting, like a LEGO robot that kids can build and program.

Take this opportunity to pass down your musical skills to your kids. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Music Lessons

If you know how to play a musical instrument, you might want to consider passing down that skill to your kids. Playing guitar or piano is actually an amazing skill that can provide beautiful music and entertainment for the whole family. So, with all of this extra time on our hands, you may as well start giving music lessons. Instruments can be expensive, but you can buy cheap versions, like a kid’s beginner guitar for around $50 to $70.

Your child could be learning how to play a musical instrument while in quarantine. Credit: Shutterstock

Your kids might have been in band class when school was in session. Even if you don’t have any musical talent yourself, it’s still possible for your kids to keep up with the skills they learned in school by practicing at home. There are a lot of tutorials online of people teaching how to play a musical instrument. And if your kids were renting an instrument from the school, consider buying them their own online so that they can keep up with music. Studies have shown that learning how to read music helps a child academically, and can improve their future.

Lighten the mood with some good music and dancing. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Throw a Dance Party

Even if you’re stuck in the house, there’s no need to always feel down in the dumps. Turn on your favorite music, and have a family dance party! This becomes even more fun if you have a voice-activated stereo, like the Amazon Echo Alexa, where everyone can simply ask for a new song without stopping to search for it manually. For kids, this is a great way for them to get out all of their excess energy, and it also helps create a happy memory.

Bring the family together for a dance party. Credit: Shutterstock

There are plenty of dance party games out there like Just Dance and Dance Dance Revolution, if you’re feeling a bit more competitive. Another great thing to do is to use the YouTube app on your smart TV to turn on music videos. Learning some of the popular dance moves can be a great way to get exercise. There are plenty of tutorials online explaining the choreography from almost every music video you could ever think of.

Perler beads can be a fun and time-consuming craft for your kids. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Make Perler Bead Crafts

In case you haven’t heard of it, perler beads are tiny pieces of plastic that can be transformed into almost any shape. They’re placed on a peg board before laying a piece of parchment paper on top, and ironing it until the plastic beads melt together. Making a perler bead craft can takes anywhere from half an hour to multiple hours, depending on how intricate the pattern is. Some beginner kits for kids come with peg boards that are already in a pre-made shape. But if you want to go to the next level and create a large item, you need to buy square interlocking boards that snap together.

Perler beads basically make plastic toys. Credit: Shutterstock

Check out places like Pinterest for patterns to make some of your kid’s favorite characters. Even the adults in your family might have a lot of fun, too. Since the colors are small circles, it’s actually great for creating pixelated video game items, like Minecraft weapons. When I was a babysitter, the young boys went wild over having their own life-sized Minecraft swords and pickaxes. Once they were done, they ran to the backyard, and were eager to show them off to their friends.