How to Occupy Kids During a Quarantine

How to occupy kids during Quarantine

If you live in Montgomery County, PA like Jackie and I do, your kids’ schools have been canceled for the next two weeks. If you live elsewhere in the US you might be facing similar restrictions soon. If you are lucky enough to be in an area without the coronavirus, you might be facing spring break trips that have been canceled due to the virus. In other words, you are facing a long time at home with your kids with little to no contact from non-family members. So now what? How are you going to occupy them without driving yourself crazy? Jackie and I have been brainstorming ideas with ourselves, our friends, and our Instagram followers. We’ve collected them all below so that we can all figure out how to occupy kids during a quarantine. We will continue to update the list with ideas as the weeks go on.

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Arts and Crafts

  1. Have the kids create self-portraits, draw, paint, color, sticker and generally make artwork. Display them all on one wall and host an art gallery opening. When the quartine is lifted, invite family over for a viewing party.
  2. Have your children paint mugs for Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and birthdays. Grab these mugs and use acrylic paints or paint pens to customize. Place them in a cool oven, turn on and let them bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Let the oven cool completely and then remove them. They will be dishwasher safe.
  3. For littles, use sharpies to customize golf balls. My husband still has the ones our 18-month-old made for him.
  4. Rock painting. Go in your garden, collect rocks, paint with acrylic paints or paint pens.
  5. Klutz makes amazing kits that will keep your kids occupied for hours.
  6. Light Brite
  7. Find old T-shirts and decorate them with pens, pom-poms, or anything else you can find in your art drawer.
  8. Create a cardboard castle, dollhouse, car ramp or dinosaur kingdom with cardboard boxes leftover from all those toilet paper shipments.
  9. Make Paperbag puppets
  10.  Print or draw cartoons, have the kids color them in and make a  puppet show play.
  11. Create a family scrapbook.
  12. Grab old shoe boxes and rubber bands. Decorate box, put rubber bands around it. Instant musical instrument!
  13.  Create cork boats. Open wine. Cut wine corks in half. Stick Toothpick into flat half with a tiny triangle of paper at the top for a sail. See if they float in the sink or tub.
  14. Perler Beads
  15. Use Pony Beads to make necklaces, keychains, and bracelets for friends

Math & Science

    1. We swear by these Brain Quest workbooks. We highly recommend them for quick, easy work for your kiddos.
    2. Use Knex or Magnatiles to practice building bridges, castles, and other structures. Challenge your kids to see who can build the tallest building,
    3.  Baking soda coloring. Pour baking soda in a 9 x 13 pan. Mix water, vinegar, and food coloring in little bowls. Use eyedroppers or spoons to splash the colored liquid on the baking soda. Watch the baking soda bubble and change color.
    4. Puzzles are excellent for logic and problem-solving. Crocodile Creek is my favorite brand for young kids. They make 12-200 piece puzzles. Ravensburger is my personal go-to for older kids and adults (200-2000 piece).
    5. Gather stuffed animals, plastic animals, and beanie babies. Have the kids sort them by continent. Use blankets to make different zones and ocean areas.
    6. Make your own playdough.
    7. Make your own Slime.
    8. Fill a Ziploc bag with water. Seal it. Poke pencils through it. The water won’t come out. Explain surface tension.
    9. Try some of Bill Nye’s home experiments.
    10. Put celery in a shallow bowl with water and food coloring. Watch the color travel up the celery. Explain how plants work.
    11. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the jar. Add the egg. Record what you see (bubbles rising from the egg) Leave the egg in the vinegar for one day. Remove the egg and feel it. Record your observations (the eggshell will be soft.)

Reading & Writing

  1. Have a kid based reading challenge. We printed this FREE challenge coloring sheet this summer. You can totally use it right now! You color in the circles for the number of books read and color the special challenges on the side that you complete along the way.
  2. Listen to Audiobooks with your kids. Even if they are playing with toys or drawing, they will learn through listening at the same time.
  3. ABC hunt around the home for littles
  4. Shaving cream letter drawing.
  5. Kindle Fire for Kids. I love the educational apps on this Kindle. See our favorite apps for younger kids here.
  6. Osmo for reading for littles. Their little genius kit is wonderful!
  7. Teach your kids to address an envelope
  8. Read a book to your child (or have them read it to you or to themselves.) Have your children write and illustrate a sequel.
  9. Actually write letters to loved ones
  10.  Have your children write a play and then perform it.
  11. Ask Kids to write their autobiography.
  12. Ask kids to call a grandparent and interview them. Create a book with the information they collect.
  13. Use vocab words to create a crossword puzzle
  14. Play Memory or Go fish to help your kids learn sight words.

Activity Books

Need time alone? Try any of these books.

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Just for Fun

  1. Games tournament! Keep track of your stats. The winner gets to pick the first adventure when the quarantine is lifted.
  2. Look through old pictures and videos as a family.
  3. Stock up on independent logic games. Our favorite logic games are here.
  4. Movie Marathon!!! Watch your favorite Harry Potters all in a row, or Marvel, or Disney Movies. We love Disney+ and if you don’t have it already, now’s the time to do that free trial
  5. Halloween! Have your kids dress up (better yet have them craft costumes) then trick or treat around the house with a different candy or fun treat in each room.
  6. Build a fort – use pillows, blankets, and couch cushions. Tell stories and do a sleepover after.
  7. Masking tape Race track – build one for toy cars or for people!
  8. Create an obstacle course
  9. Family yoga
  10. Mani/Pedi/ at-home spa day
  11. Put Yarn all over the room to create an obstacle course/laser maze. Hang it on furniture, bookcases, tape to walls, etc.
  12. Build a house of cards
  13. Practice tongue twisters
  14. Lego Masters Wars – Issue a challenge and have the kids compete against each other.
  15. Dance Party
  16. Hide and Seek
  17. Scavenger hunts
  18. Karaoke
  19. Sardines
  20. Tie a donut to a string. Dangle the donut above them. Have kids race to see who can eat donut first without hands.
  21. Teach kids hand slapping games like Miss Mary Mack.
  22. Make a Lego city in one room of the house. Include all the things you need to keep a town running.
  23. Bubble baths
  24. Have Your Kids create their own board or card game.
  25. Gather Props and set up a photobooth
  26. Have your kids facetime a friend for a battleship or Guess who.

Outdoor Activities

  1. Go on an ABC or Numbers walk. Walk around your neighborhood and pick things out that start with each letter in alphabetical order. Count items starting at one and see how far you can go.
  2. Teach your child to ride a bike. We recommend this balance bike for little ones.
  3. Basketball, Soccer, Catch, Hockey, etc are all great things you can do with 2 or more family members.
  4. Host an Olympics with silly games.
  5. Go for a hike
  6. Prep your garden for Spring.
  7. Hunt for bugs
  8. Color with Chalk
  9. Energy sprints – Jumping Jackies, Push-ups, running in place, etc.
  10. Hopscotch
  11. Horse
  12. Red Light, Green Light
  13. Wall Ball
  14. Bubbles
  15. Hide and Seek
  16. Capture the Flag
  17. Laser Tag
  18. Goofy relay races
  19. Hoola hooping
  20. Jump Rope

Cooking & Chores

Use your kids’ time at home to good use. Get organized and teach them to do some chores.

  1. Go through your kids’ closets. Discard anything that is too small, make a list of what you need for spring/summer.
  2. Have your kids sort through toys to donate. Not sure how to get them involved? We teach you how to KonMari with Kids here.
  3. Teach your kids to make their beds!
  4. Vacuum Races – Who can vacuum the fastest?
  5. Teach the kids to do laundry
  6. Teach them to sort, fold, and put away their laundry
  7. Clean out bookcases and make a donation pile
  8. Bake! It gives the kids something to do and you can eat your handwork after!
  9. Teach your kids to crack an egg
  10. Teach your kids to make some dinner
  11. For younger kids, now is a great time to teach them to use a butter knife (preferably plastic.) Have them cut butter, cheese, cooked pasta, and other softer foods Better yet, get kid-safe cooking tools.
  12. Cut up lots of fruits and veggies. Give your kids toothpicks and have them make animals, houses, or whatever they wish to create. Let them eat their creations after you photograph them.
Need to keep your kids occupied while stuck at home? The coronavirus has closed school for thousands of kids and parents don't know what to do! We've got 110 easy activities for to do at home covering all the activities they do during school and ways to keep them physically active. S.T.E.M. , Crafts, Math, Reading, and Outdoor activities to keep your kids busy at home. These ideas are for kids of various ages and are perfect for staycations or (in my personal case) quarantine situations. You are stuck at home because school is closed for Coronavirus or cleaning or spring break or the flu. Now what? We've rounded up over 100 easy activities across all subjects. S.T.E.M/ , Reading, Math and Outdoor activities are all covered. Our school district closed school for 3 weeks. Now what? We've rounded up 100+ ideas to keep kids occupied while they are stuck at home. Keep your sanity and keep your kids happy all at the same time.

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