Originally posted January 2, 2021
Alternate titles for this article were “How To Entertain Kids During A Pandemic” and “Surviving COVID-19 As A Family Without Going Crazy.” With the empty state of our current calendars, we’ve compiled a list of ‘101 Things To Do at Home’ to help fill up some of that unscheduled time with FUN! We are all in this together, doing our best to get through the isolation and distancing while maintaining both our emotional and mental health. We hope that these ideas and activities will spark laughter and connection in your home!
Things to do in the Kitchen:
- Bake cookies. Or muffins. Or make pull taffy! (It takes forever, so it’s perfect right now).
- Try a new recipe with an international twist – try your hand at making pad thai, chicken curry or roll your own sushi.
- And don’t forget dessert – try homemade tiramisu or creme brulee.
- Have a bubblegum bubble blowing contest.
- Make trail mix to take on a hike.
- Make pizza with homemade dough.
- Have a taco night with homemade tortillas.
- Make homemade pasta (really easy!) and sauce.
- Host cooking/baking lessons.
- Practice scissor cutting for younger ones, knife cutting for older ones.
- Take turns preparing meals and designing a menu. Invite the whole family to your trendy restaurant.
- At the ‘restaurant’, practice fine manners.
- Learn about what different cooking utensils are used for.
- Learn about the different foods in your fridge/cupboards and how to store them.
- Learn fractions with measuring spoons/cups.
- Record a collection of recipes to make a ‘family favourites’ recipe book.
- Freeze small items in ice cubes and ‘excavate.’
Things to do in the Living Room:
- Build a fort. Have lunch in it!
- Turn up the music and DANCE.
- Stretch, do yoga, do pilates.
- Introduce the kids to influential musical legends of our past – Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, Paul Simon…
- Plant a seed and watch it grow. Create a seed journal.
- Design a bridge between two tables and see how much it can hold.
- Attempt trick shots with ping pong balls into a cup.
- Make a train/plane of all the chairs in the house. Go on an adventure.
- Set up your tent and have a camping night… complete with oven s’mores.
- Tell ghost stories.
- Play table football with coins.
- Have a karaoke contest.
- Play school. Let the kids be the teachers.
- Watch a classic movie.
- Draw finger pictures on a sibling’s back.
Things to do in the Bedroom:
- Teach kids how to fold fitted sheets.
- Read aloud to your kids – no matter how old.
- Host a stuffed animal or doll tea party.
- Have a sleepover party in a sibling’s bedroom.
- Sort through kid’s clothes and toys.
- Go through the closet and make a list of what items are needed for the next season.
- Have a glow-in-the-dark party in the closet (T-shirts, glow bracelets, etc).
Things to do in the Laundry Room/Bathroom:
- Teach kids to sew on a button.
- Teach your kids to do laundry.
- Show them how to fold/hang clothes.
- Take a bubble bath.
- Have a spa day… nails/hair/massages.
- Make your own bath bombs.
Things to do in the Outdoors:
- Learn to ride a bike.
- Make an obstacle course.
- Make a birdfeeder.
- Go old school… get out the skipping ropes, play hopscotch.
- Document the phases of the moon.
- Identify Venus in the night sky (It’s pretty easy)!
- Play balloon volleyball.
- Who can make the best craft with popsicle sticks?
- Organize photos – online or otherwise. Then take a walk down memory lane!
- Make paper bag puppets – or sock puppets with all the sad single socks. Put on a show.
- Print new colouring pages. Or dot-to-dot, mad libs, scavenger hunts . . .
- Write a story. Make it a progressive story and pass it around all day.
- Mail a letter to Grandma or Grandpa, or an isolated friend.
- Put googly eyes on random objects around the house.
- Write a play or skit.
- Practice hammering nails into boards. Create string art.
- Make your own musical instruments – or practice the ones in your house.
- YouTube How-to-Draw for kids.
- Do a photoshoot or make a photo booth.
- Make playdoh/slime.
- Create a “spy” hallway with string lasers.
- Paint a pet rock.
- Have a spaghetti and marshmallow tower building contest.
- Make paper airplanes… see how far and high they can go.
- Origami animals.
- Make an origami fortune teller.
- String bead necklaces.
- Do a research project on your family heritage.
- Learn a magic trick.
- Plan ahead for the best April Fool’s jokes on your family.
- Craft stamps out of potatoes using cookie cutters.
- Draw your own I SPY and challenge a sibling to find the items.
- Make a time capsule.
- Create a vision board with your kids using old magazines.
- Paper plate crafts.
- Line up all the Hot Wheels in the house.
- Use tape on the floor to make roads.
- Master the Rubik’s Cube.
- Create your own word search/crossword puzzle.
- Learn a new card game.
- Make your own paper puzzles.
- Play Board Games.
- Learn a YoYo trick.
- Print off Magic Squares and amaze your friends with this simple numbers trick.
- Bottle flipping.
- Give the kids a budget lesson and tell them about when we used cheques.
- Learn to tie shoes (younger), tie survival knots (older).
- Learn to tell time on an analog clock.
- Learn to count to ten in a new language.
- Learn sign language.
- Learn the phonetic alphabet. Foxtrot, Yankee, India.
- Teach your kids to read a map.
- Learn how to use a compass.
- Set up a store, learn to make the correct change.
- Take a nap!
And finally …
Make a vacation bucket list! We must continue to dream! Studies show people are happiest when they are planning their next vacation.
Despite how hard this current reality is, I can’t help but see the silver lining in the storm around us. Amidst all the swirling changes, all of the losses and disappointments – many of us have been given the precious gift of more time with our kids. Time to make memories, read bedtime stories, play games and use our imaginations together. Some days we might hate it, but at the end of it all … I hope we take away a renewed appreciation for our families and communities.
Looking for more tips on how to keep your kids occupied during the COVID-19 crisis? Find our best ideas, activities and inspiration here!