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Y’all, this Coronavirus situation is getting pretty intense – travel from the United State to Europe has just closed, and schools around us are shutting down to let the virus pass with less contagion. I’m glad that everyone’s being smart about preventing the spread of illness, especially for the sake of those who have compromised immune systems.
I’m also trying to be rational and reasonable in the face of this fear; my natural response is to go into panic mode, but taking clear steps to prevent the spread of illness and be prepared for school closures & quarantines has made me feel much more calm. We are anticipating our school, dance studio and church to close for a few weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19, so I’ve stocked up on a few of our pantry staples and cleaning supplies to prepare. But the big question is – what are we going to do being stuck at home for a few weeks?!
Today I’m sharing a few of our tried-and-true activities to keep entertained even during long days or weeks at home. I like to have a little list nearby – or on my phone – to refer to when we need something to do together, and today I’m sharing some of our favorite at-home activities with you.
Write letters and make cards to send in the mail. Who doesn’t love snail mail? We really like to make little cards with paint and stickers and mail them to loved ones. Nanas, Aunts and Cousins will all smile opening this happy mail.
Look at family photos. Kids love seeing pictures of themselves when they were small, and hearing the stories that accompany them. Mine also love to see pictures of me as a kid, so don’t forget to pull out the oldies-but-goodies. If the kids are napping and you want to catch up on your photo albums, you can use my code ‘SARAHGROTENHUIS-49AY’ to get $10 off your first photo book.
Have an indoor ‘snowball fight’. We ball up (clean!) socks and toss them back and forth in an epic faux snowball fight. The kids love it and think they are breaking all kinds of rules.
Play with sticker books. We really love these pretty reusable sticker books – kids can create lots of creative scenes and then peel off the stickers and start again. Hours (and hours) of quiet fun.
Go on a scavenger hunt. Draw a simple guide with basic icons and have your kids go on the hunt outside in the fresh air.
Build a pillow fort. Good, old fashioned fun!
Dance party. Introduce the kids to Taylor Swift or jam out to Disney.
Namaste-inside: do some youtube yoga. You can find hundreds of kid-friendly yoga videos on youtube that are great for mindfulness and burning off some energy.
Play some educational apps. We really love Endless ABC and Endless Numbers, and Homer is great for early readers – do a little searching on the app store to find apps that are a good fit for your kiddo.
Create some roads with painters tape. Lay down painters tape tracks on the floors (and maybe walls!) or let the kids go to town.
Facetime friends and family. My girls love to Facetime grandparents or friends to say hi, and this is a good time to get social without spreading germs.
Pretend shoe shop. Line up all of your shoes and let kids try them on in a pretend shoe shop.
Paint rocks for a garden. Use acrylic paint and clear, spray on top coat to give rocks a colorful splash and use them to line a garden bed.
Work in some educational workbooks. These are always a hit with my kids, and a great way to spend time when school is cancelled – I’m linking our favorite workbooks here.
Puzzle time. Do any other adults love puzzles as much as I do? I’m not much of a tea party mom, but I’ll get down with a good puzzle any day. For younger kids, we love these cute puzzles with great designs.
Watch a movie – or three. Let me tell you, Frozen 2 was the best $17.99 I spent this spring. Between February break and this COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve spent a few afternoons cuddled up watching Elsa belt it out.
Start a new read-aloud book. What’s better on a lazy day at home? If you’re looking for some new reads, I have a Pinterest board with over 150 great books to read with kids.
Have your own paint party. We all love playing around with watercolors, and a rainy day is the perfect time to bust out the paintbrushes. We swear by this $7 watercolor palette from Amazon. To make it a true paint party, find an inspiration piece and have the whole family create a painting that is modeled after the inspiration. So fun!
Go on a leisurely nature walk. Fresh air is so good for the soul – and I swear, we are all so much happier after spending time in nature. Look up some local nature hikes and pick one that suits your family’s skill level.
Teach your kids a card game. We started with Go Fish, and it’s the cutest to watch them play together (with a little help).
Bubble bath. Pour some bubbles in the tub, and use a bubble wand to blow some into the air!
Play dress up. We have a basket in the playroom full of princess dresses, vintage purses, beads, a lab coat, and jerseys. Encourage them to put on ‘the absolute fanciest outfit EVER’ and do a fashion show. Don’t forget to take a picture of what they come up with!
Make some slime or play with play dough. We haven’t ventured into slime yet, but I know it’s a rite of passage for every kiddo. I’m excited to try this easy tutorial from Pinterest.
Create an indoor obstacle course. Hula hoops, chairs, and couch cushions (for crash landings) can make for a fun afternoon. Bonus: They’ll probably take a long nap after this much running around.
Play balloon tennis. Use rackets if you have them on hand, or make your own by taping a paper plate to a large popsicle stick, and have fun keeping the balloon from hitting the ground.
Conduct a little science experiment in the kitchen. The classic baking soda and vinegar is super fun for kids, or get a little more ambitious and try the rubber egg experiment – youtube and pinterest are full of easy ideas.
Play ‘car wash’. If you’ve got a plethora of toy cars laying around, let the kids get them dirty in a ‘mud pit’ and then bring them through the ‘car wash’ (a small bin filled with sudsy water). Equip the kids with cups to pour water and old tooth brushes to get cars sparkling clean. This is also really fun with plastic farm animal toys.
Bead some jewelry. This small kit is super fun for little hands and comes in tons of variations.
I hope this helps your time at home to go by faster and become more enjoyable – stay healthy and have fun, friends! Xx