Hello! Hi! How are you? I feel like that's a loaded question right now, right?
I know we are in unprecedented times, and as much as we love our kiddos.. it can be challenging to keep them engaged and having fun! This post is in no way to shame you for not doing these activities, or that you’re not doing enough. Girl (or boy) – I am with you. I have an active 2-year-old and am always on the lookout for new and fun things for her to do (with or without this pandemic in play). The challenging part now is that we cannot go out for playdates, off to the park, or visit the local mall to fill our time.
My goal with this post is to share ideas! That's it. We're in this together. This is a combination of my imagination and random things I’ve seen online. I am in no way a professional, so please use your discretion when doing any of the activities.
FYI – no affiliate links. These are all pages I have stumbled across over time.
Without further ado.. here we go!
I think this one is a given. Give the kid(s) some colours and books, and ta-da. Well, what if you don't have any more books? Or the kiddos are simply bored? Here's some links to sites that have FREE downloads! They range from easy to more challenging, so hopefully keeping the kids occupied for a while.
http://www.essentialkids.com.au/activities/colouring-pages (they have challenges too!). I actually stumbled on this one, and love it for myself: https://www.smh.com.au/cqstatic/gnfoft/EK-colour-circles.pdf
Art Is Fun:
If you have Vtech Toys with Cory, the kiddos may enjoy these colouring pages:
Usbourne Children's Books
You can pick based on age-range, and there's puzzles too:
Floral Colouring Sheets:
Lots of Variety/Options:
2. Creative Box
Use an empty box (diaper box, amazon box, etc) and let child sit inside (if big enough), or open one side to allow them to sit inside. Give them a box of colours (crayons, markers, pencil crayons), some stickers, stamps and ta-da!
For older kiddos, you can spark their creativity by getting them to make a castle, dungeon or anything fun! You can cut shapes and glue them on, or add other items such as gems, pom-poms, glitter, etc.
3. Paint Rocks
Simple and easy! You can still go get some fresh air (with social distancing) and find rocks on trails or in the yard. All you need is some paint, and ta-da! Fun activity and can add to the garden after.
For older kiddos, you can get them to paint them as a theme like a succulent/cactus plant (add rocks to a pot), or as little characters.
4. Negative Art
Take any medium like a canvas, foam board, or paper, and create a design on top with washi. Designs can be: lines across for abstract, numbers, abc, initials, or their name. Once the washi has been placed down, paint as you please! Toddlers will probably just go ham with the paints. Older kids may do an ombre effect, or stick to a couple of colours. Once painted, you slowly peel the washi tape off, and ta-da! Negative space art. Your design will peek through the paint. These can be hung up and displayed in the kiddos room!
5. Parent Helper
This one sounds silly, but get the kiddos to help with household chores! My toddler loves to "wash dishes" with us, or load the laundry with us. I get her to "check" if the laundry is dry when I am folding it. I put all of her socks aside, and then we play matching.. win-win!
You can tape a square to the floor (painter's tape), and put some pom-poms on the floor. Have the child "sweep" them into the square. You can do this while you're actually sweeping the rest of the floor!
The older kids can do their own laundry, load the dishwasher, wipe counters. This can be done with a chore's chart (we have reusable ones in our shop!) to allow for responsibilities/rewards.
Keep it super simple, and they'll enjoy it!
6. Name Games
This is a fun learning activity if the kiddos are trying to learn their name, or any words really. First, write their name several times with blanks. (S__I_, _O_IA, etc). Then, write the missing letters (multiple times) on post-its. Your child will fill in blanks with the post-its! You can do capital letters vs small-case letters to help them in that capacity. You can even do drawings, and post-its for matching! Super easy, and usually something we have in the office anyway.
7. House Shopping
You can give kiddos a shelf (table, floor lol), to put grocery items and a reusable bag, or small tote. You can grab items from your shelves, empty boxes, wooden or plastic food items. They shop the items, come to you to pay (with or without those cash registers). We pretend to charge my little money for the items, so she understands (kind of lol) and links life's essentials together. My little then takes them to their play kitchen/house/etc to cook a meal! Or, they can have a pretend restaurant, as below...
Shop at the kiddos playhouse window, kitchen, food truck and “pay” them for the meal you’d like ordered! If they do not have play pots/pans, give them the smaller options from your cabinet. Or, make some with cardboard! it's all about pretend play to spark the imagination.
This ones super easy - simply build forts out of anything! Pillows, sofa pads, blankets, etc. Add more time in there by playing hide and seek, or add stuffed animals, books, etc. My little makes and tears it apart all the time, so be creative and have some fun with it. You can even allow snacks in there to keep it interesting.
10. Dance Party
Music cures everything! Let kiddos pick songs or play songs from a playlist. It's perfect for releasing that energy, and uplift/change the mood up. I use SoundCloud for my music, so that she doesn't get distracted that there's other things/want to watch the video if I were to play from YouTube. You can also use Spotify, Apple Music or whatever other streaming service you use! I find SoundCloud easy, and few ads.. so it works for us!
11. Pipe Rolls
Have some toilet paper or paper towel rolls in recycling? Make "pipes" with them by attaching them to the wall with painters tape! Give the kiddos some pom poms, small balls, mini dolls, etc to slide down the rolls. Place a bigger box at the bottom to “catch’ them and then re-use! You can make it interesting by putting different pipes with different colours (add colour to "pipe"), add shapes, or use tongs to pick them up.
Older kids can make a maze or path out of the rolls to make a long obstacle for the ball to go through!
12. Surprise Containers
Add random items throughout the house – pom poms, popsicle sticks, small toys, etc into a wipes box or tin. This sounds SO simple, but honestly has been a go-to with my little one. I started when she was at the sitting stage, and still do so now. I change up the items to keep it interesting.
For older kiddos, give them a box full of random supplies and that's ALL they can use to create a craft, piece of art, or anything! If you have multiple kiddos, it can be a competition or show-and-tell!
13. Parking Lot
Make a mock parking lot with lines all around the edge of a box, a sheet of paper, cardboard...anything! Put numbers inside each of the lines to make parking stall numbers. Tape the same numbers on the back of the mini cars (ie. hot wheels 1-10, 1-20, etc). Then, all they need to do is match the numbers from the car to the parking stall. Can do this with letters, shapes, or different colours!
I don't have any ideas for older kids on this one, lol!
14. Obstacle Course
This one is fun for various ages, as you can change up the activities, add prizes, etc. Add things for kiddo(s) to do on a blank sheet of paper on the floor throughout the living room/play room/bed room/etc. Can be in a circle contained to one room, or all throughout the house, you choose!
Ideas for the obstacles at each stop:
Shoot a Basket (if no inside net, use a ball and basket)
Dance (Play some music)
Hop Like A Bunny
Make A Tower with Blocks
Go Under the Chair / Go Over The Chair
Write Your Name/Hard Word (based on age)
Pass the Ball
Older Kiddos can add:
Balance an item on a spoon in your mouth
Make a paper airplane
Push Ups/Sit Ups
Say a Tongue Twister 5x Fast
To encourage the older kiddos, add a timer! See who can get through it the fastest.
You can also add little notes of encouragement throughout to make it fun!
I am in no way affiliated with these Instagram pages, but personally follow them for ideas and thought you’d enjoy them too. There are some AMAZING things shared on these pages, which have a tonnnnnnn more ideas than my list above. I've linked each handle below so you can click on them too! I also included some food pages, because... why not.
Scholastic Free Daily Courses (Pre-K to Grade 9)
Well, there you have it.my 10+ things you can do with the kiddos with things you (hopefully) already have at home! I wanted to give you some easy, creative tips and ideas to help not only pass time, but spark creativity and blossom their imagination. The younger kiddos will not remember this time of isolation and social distancing, as they have the ones they love most near them. They just want to have fun, and I want to make it easier.
We also love our playset, portable sink, baking, and typing on mama's computer.. just to give you some more random ideas ;) What are your favourites? Drop a comment below! Let's create a space to help each other out. WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER FAM!
I've also created a FREE Digital Printable set for you! This is to help plan the weeks with ideas from our list (wink wink), plan your own days as mamas/dadas/entrepreneurs/etc, plan some meals and snacks (so the kiddos will stop asking), and also a positive quote to hang up! I hope this serves you in a positive and helpful way. Please do share and tag us when you use them! Did you know these little things help us? My small business thrives on word of mouth and social media, so the little (free) things you do really matter.
You can download the set here:
It's an instant download, so you can print anytime! All designs are set to 8.5x11 letter size paper, and black/white to make it easy for everyone.
Thank you so much!
Let's be friends!