Photo: Divide up activities into sections so that it can take place over a few days instead. It may work better for children who get bored quickly. Shutterstock.
Your home might be feeling a little bit crowded at the moment with all the kids, parents, and four-legged friends in one space. Schools, parks, and even playground areas might be closed, so you’re stuck at home trying to entertain the house.
Parents will specifically be going through a tough time with the kids being home and having to provide them with activities throughout the day. If your kids are exceptionally energetic, you might be wondering what next to do with them.
Keep Children Stimulated
With everyone being at home, you might be extremely stressed, but remember that this is a big transition for your children as well. They are used to being out and about and also being surrounded by their friends at school.
They are also stimulated continuously in their classrooms and learning all day. As a parent, you need to be understanding of both their needs and yours as well. The problem is how to mix these and find a happy medium.
The first thing is for your family to establish a new routine to follow each day. Children thrive on routine, and this has been disrupted for them. The purpose of a habit is to provide structure and security for these young minds.
It is a fantastic time to take advantage of getting your children involved in activities that they usually can’t be a part of since they’re at school. They could help you get meals ready, help you to clean the house, and even create play schedules.
You also should schedule a specific time that is for homework, exercise, and playtime. Helping your children find a sense of space in the current situation will go a long way for your sanity and, most importantly, for their happiness and well-being.
There are some enjoyable activities to keep your kids entertained, and you will also have fun with them. If you’re bound to your house and don’t have a garden to play with, you might feel like you are limited to playtime opportunities.
A great game to try is turning your passageway into a spider’s web. You can do this with a variety of materials, whatever you might find in your home. It includes tape, wool, ribbons, or cut up old sheets.
What is the aim of the game? When you’ve finished this game, you have to try to get through it without touching the “web.” This game can be easily set up and can be done each day. Let your kids take it in turns to set up a web of the day.
This one can also be a fun activity when getting the kids ready for bedtime if their rooms are located down the hallway. Because they aren’t running around outside like they usually are, they may have some pent up energy that is preventing them from sleeping.
Setting up the spider’s web and getting them to navigate their way through it to get to their room will tire them out and create a fun association with bedtime, which will encourage them to look forward to this time instead of fighting it.
Another fun inside activity is to build a homemade tent. You don’t need a camping ground to do this, and it could be a fun activity to set aside for the weekend. If you have space, push the furniture to the edges of the room you’ve chosen as the campsite.
Tell the kids that you will be going camping on the weekend, so they have something to look forward to doing. You can set up the tent if you have an actual one or improvise with fabric and blankets and have the children help you build it.
You can premake camping snacks such as s’ mores to make it feel like an authentic experience. If you want to go the extra mile, download some nature sounds that you can play on a speaker to simulate the real camping feel.
As important as routine is, this change in routine can be significant for you and the children. It’s the true definition of a staycation and might even help mentally relieve you of the cabin fever feeling you’ve been suffering from during the week.
If you’ve found some lentils or chickpeas in your kitchen that are going unused, this can be a fantastic activity to occupy some time. Get your kids to plant a seed. You can do this using a lentil or chickpea and some wet cotton wool.
You can create a little garden from your home and see your kids’ excitement as it begins to grow. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to give your kids a chance to look after something, and they will learn about responsibility by having to water it and care for it.
What else can you do at home with the kids? There’s nothing like a good old fashioned pillow fight when getting ready for bed. This activity is always much fun, and it’s a safe way for your children to release any tension they’re feeling.
Make sure that no one goes overboard, and everyone understands that it is a game. It is another great bedtime activity to wear out the kids so that they have a good night’s sleep. Use soft pillows to ensure that everyone stays safe.
If your kids love sport and outside activities, figure out a way to bring them indoors. You could set up a small volleyball court in an open area in your home. Understandably, you won’t want a volleyball, or any ball, bouncing around in the house.
A ball could cause some real chaos and even break things. But, your kids might be ball crazy and missing out on their usual sports. Instead, buy some balloons that you can blow up at home to use as your volleyball, and it won’t break anything.
If you have a garden, you can set up ball sports with actual balls since nothing will get broken there. If you aren’t able to get hold of soccer goals or a volleyball net, find things around your home that you can use as a substitute instead.
It’s great to get creative and repurpose old items you might find around your house or forgotten details in your garage. That provides an opportunity to teach your kids how to make the most of a situation; they should never take what they have for granted.
This time at home is allowing families to reconnect. In this world we live in, our lives get so busy and we tend to forget the things that we value. One of these things is quality time with the ones that we love the most.
If you’ve wanted to have a family board game night but just have been too tired previously, now is the perfect time to do this. Wipe off the dust from those board games and then get everyone in the family involved and get some snacks ready too.
Another great idea, and not just for the kids, is to start a diary. Diaries are a great way to write down your feelings and to help you work through them. If your children can write, ask them to write one journal entry each day.
One day they will be able to look back on what they have written and reflected on what this time in their lives was like during the outbreak. For the adults and older children, this is a fantastic opportunity to express any emotions you may be feeling while you are at home.
Set aside time in the day or add it to your routine at home to write in your journal. This self-reflection time is vital when you are at home and might be feeling frustrated in your environment or with the people who are around you.
Now for a fun and interesting activity with a pen – try out some foot drawings. And by this, we don’t mean to draw a foot or draw the outline of your foot on a piece of paper. This silly activity is taking it to the next level while giving you a real laugh.
Try and hold a pen or pencil with your toes and give everyone a challenge of something to draw. You could even create a hat with a bunch of things written on paper, and everyone will doodle what they pick out of the hat.
This exercise is much fun and gets everyone in a good mood because of how silly it is. It is an entertaining activity to try with your kids and family in the morning to make sure that the day starts on a positive note and sets the tone for the day.
There are so many fun drawing games that you can play with your kids at home to keep them entertained throughout the day. The next one is to do a collective drawing. If you have a few kids, this idea works wonderfully.
Anyone can start, and they start by drawing something, then they pass it onto the next person who has to add their contribution. The game goes on until everyone has had a chance to doodle, or if there are only a few people, each has two turns.
You can take it in turns each day for someone new to start the drawing and who ends it. Put the pictures up on the wall so that the kids can see their artwork, and hopefully, it will make them excited to do another one each day.
Creating things to look forward to is vital for this stay at home period. It gives each day a purpose and creates excitement and fun so that boredom is avoided. There is one last fantastic drawing idea that will take a little bit more effort.
It’s to create a family tree. The bonus of this time at home together as a family is that you can get to know more about each other and take this time to understand where everyone comes from truly. What better way to do this than building a family tree?
It will be so fascinating for your children to learn about their heritage and other family members. The more, the merrier! Having the internet at home is a real bonus because you can do proper research and maybe even find out some information you never knew.
If this time at home has taught us anything, it is the importance of family and friends. Getting to know your family history better will make you feel so much closer to your roots and ancestors. It is also a time-consuming activity.
There are lots of ideas, but some of them may only take up a couple of minutes, and then you’re stuck thinking – what now? An activity like this can take up quite a few hours, or you can even divide up this task over a few days.
You can start with the basics, you and your children, and then work onto the grandparents, distant aunts and uncles, and even some cousins. Divide up the family sides over a few days, and then you will keep your kids occupied for quite a while
If you’re looking for other activities that will keep the kids entertained for a few hours, here are some ideas. Create a treasure hunt for them. Treasure hunts are so much fun for the kids, and it will even keep you occupied as an adult too.
If you can, get something as a prize for them to find at the end of the treasure hunt. If you don’t have something for them, you could always opt for an award such as “Pizza Night Friday” and then order in pizza if this service is still available for you.
Start by mapping out your house so that you can draw where the treasure is located. You can do this by marking the spot with an X. Give each child a map and set them off on their search. You can make it as complicated or as easy as you want.
If you are worried about fights breaking out between the kids, give them each a different treasure to find that is suited to them. If one child is younger, their prize might be different from your older children. That is at your discretion.
You could also ask your children to work as a team, which is an excellent exercise if they have been arguing since they’ve been stuck at home with each other all day. Having an end goal that they have to achieve with the help of each other is a great way to bring them back together.
If you don’t want to go the treasure hunt route, there is another thing you can do. You can hide little messages around the house that you have written out on post-its. Don’t tell anyone that you have done this and let them find them in their own time.
The message could be something uplifting and sweet to keep them motivated or just to put a smile on their face. The post-it could also contain a prize on it, such as they get to choose the board game for family games night or they get to pick the pizza toppings.
It’s time to get dressed up in a good old game of fancy dress! You might not have access to your favorite costume rental shop, but you do have a wardrobe full of clothes that are just waiting to be worn and transformed into an amusing look.
Assign everyone a character that they need to dress up as, set a time limit and get to it. Set up a pretend catwalk and let everyone have a turn of strutting their stuff in their dress-up outfit. You could even turn it into a competition so that everyone has more motivation.
Another form of dress-up is to invite a stranger to dinner. We don’t mean that you should request a random person to your house, and you aren’t allowed to, it’s time for a mental game of dress-up with your family at dinner.
Decide on a night where you are going to pretend you don’t know each other; have a dinner like that. It can be a fun way to express yourself, get creative, and have a night out of the ordinary. That would work best with slightly older children.
You could also download an online murder mystery game that you could play at dinner one night. It works on the same concept as having dinner with a stranger. Everyone would be assigned a character, and you follow along with the story set out.
It is an excellent idea for a weekend as you can all contribute to preparing the dinner and then take time to get dressed up as your character and study their personality. If you’re struggling to keep your teenagers entertained, give this a try!
If you have younger kids who won’t be as able to play this type of game, try making some homemade puppets. Repurpose some old socks and find bits and bobs around the house to attach onto the socks to create the characters.
Set up a stage and ask your kids to put on a show. They will have a lot of fun and be able to use their imagination to come up with characters and a storyline. You can also get popcorn and snacks to make it feel like a real show.
Get creative as a family and make items like bookmarks! Ask your children to make you a bookmark or perhaps even one for their favorite bedtime storybook. Give them paper, cardboard, magazines, and some stickers.
Make sure that you help out as an adult with any cutting that the young ones need. It is a fun activity that can be done with things you find around your home. It’s also something that you can use forever and will remind you of this particular time.
Here’s another fun sporty idea for indoors with the kids: basketball! Instead of using an actual ball or a hoop, use things you have around the house. Find a bucket or bin that isn’t in use to make that your hoop and point of scoring.
For your ball, crunch up some paper instead of using an actual ball. Take it in turns to try and score a point. Once everyone has scored, start the move the basket further away and see who manages to get the most amount of points. You can even set a timer for extra fun.
You could also have a load of fun and just talk nonsense to each other. Do this by saying something strange, and then the next person will have to answer with something that doesn’t answer your question.
Let the next person take their turn and keep on going. The game ends when someone laughs, it’s harder than it sounds! Give it another go and see how many rounds you can do and whoever laughed the least is the winner of the talking nonsense game.
Have you heard of the game where you whisper something on from person to person to see how much it stays the same by the last person? Sit in a circle with your family and choose one person to start. They will have to come up with a strange phrase and then pass it onto the person who is sitting on their right. They will have to whisper it to them very quickly.
That person will then pass it onto the person on their right and so on. When it gets to the last person, have them repeat the sentence out loud and see how close they got to what the first person said. This game can go on for ages and is so entertaining.
If treasure hunts aren’t for you and you don’t have time to draw up a map, rather play a game of hot and cold. You’ll hide an object for your family to find, but instead of giving them a plan to where the treasure is, you can only say “hot” or “cold.”
As people move closer to where you’ve hidden the object, you need to say hot if they are close to it and cold as they move further away from it. It’s more fun to make it a difficult thing to find so that the game can last for quite a long time.
There are so many options for entertainment at home with your children, and these are just some of the ideas. Being indoors can be hard for everyone at home, but there are fun ways to make this time easier and excellent as well.
Take the time to write down each of the above games on pieces of paper or print them out and put them in a jar. Have your kids pick one each morning and then make that the game for the day. Choose happiness and fun, and everyone will be entertained.