The last week has been pretty crazy! The coronavirus pandemic has been causing a lot of worry and most of the world has issued “social distancing” guidelines.
Similar to many places around the world, Utah schools are currently closed and all classes are moved to online learning from home. As a teacher I spent much of my spring break making plans to convert assignments and activities online.
As you can imagine this new workload combined with my 2 year old son at home has been challenging. Being confined to our home all day long has been hard for us but we have found some great ways to make the best of it!
Keeping a toddler busy in such a small space all day long is tough… and I can’t imagine the moms that have more than 1 child to entertain. Major kudos!
With all that said… I have created a simple list of activities that parents can do with their kids to not only pass the time, but to have as much FUN as possible while doing it!
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21 Kids Activities To Do At Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Construct a tower
I have done this challenge with my 3rd graders and they LOVED IT! This is how it works… get some dry spaghetti noodles and some mini marshmallows! Set a timer for about 10-15 minutes… it could be as long as you want to make it, and have the kids build a tower. They can manipulate the noodles & marshmallows as much as they need. The person with the tallest tower wins! Try it out!
2. Break out the cards
Card games are a great idea for kids! Many kids don’t know the rules to the classic card games and now is a great time to teach them! Even toddlers can get in on the action! Check out my post “Uno Games for Toddlers and Small Kids” and get creative!
For a link to classic card games to buy click HERE!
3. Dry Erase on the window
This might seem like a terrible idea… but kids LOVE it! Especially toddler ages! Glass surfaces can act as a dry erase board! Windows, glass doors, mirrors and other glass areas in the house can be used for kids to get creative! Some simple glass cleaner and a rag with take care of the mess once they are done!
4. Paint Night
Having a fun paint night with the kids can be a great way to spend time together as a family! Check out some ideas on Pinterest… or Youtube to host your own family paint night!
For some great recommendations for safe and mess free kids paint click HERE!
5. Create an emergency pack
In uncertain times like this… create an emergency pack for the house! Use a small suitcase or backpack and put some essential items inside. Find a place in the house that is easy to access and you can store your emergency packs there! This is a list with some great ideas to use for your own emergency pack… just click HERE!
6. Build an snowman INSIDE
Another great experiment that parents can do with their kids while staying INSIDE! My post “DIY Melting Snowman” is a FUN activity that the kids will love! It is SIMPLE and kids will love to create their own version of Olaf or Frosty! Check it out HERE!
7. Take a walk
Getting outside for some Vitamin D is a great idea! Social Distancing doesn’t mean you can’t take a walk around the block. Just be smart and respect others space… but nothing wrong with getting little bit of exercise in!
8. Teach a cooking lesson
This is a great time to bust out the old cook book and show the kids how a recipe works! Not only can this be a FUN activity for kids… this is a life skill that they will have to grasp sooner or later! Make the best of it! Check out my post “Teaching Kids to Cook” and try out the FREE No Bake Recipe!
9. Learn a TikTok dance
TikTok is a social media app that is popular for learning many types of dances. Some of the most popular celebrities have been using TikTok as a way of entertainment with their kids.
10. Check out the Cincinnati Zoo livestream
For as long as the coronavirus pandemic lasts the Cincinnati Zoo will do a livestream educational event for kids everyday at 3PM ET! This event is run through a livestream video displayed on the Facebook page of the Cincinnati Zoo. You can check it out HERE!
11. Put together a puzzle
I know doing a puzzle doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing in the world… but this takes up a lot of time and the rewarding feeling at the end is worth the wait! My 2 year old son LOVES the Toy story puzzle that I added below! It is a book that comes with 4 or 5 different puzzles. Also check out the Underwater Floor puzzle too!
12. Reorganize a room
Now is the perfect time to “reorganize” or “decorate” a room in the house. Getting kids excited to change up their room can be a great way to declutter and reorganize their living space without feeling like it is just another day of.. cleaning!
13. Write a letter
Writing a formal letter and sending it through the mail system seems like ancient practice! But this is a great time to show kids how it works! Think of someone that could use a letter! Grandparents, cousins, aunts/uncles… really anyone can use a cute kid letter instead of junk mail or bills! Teach your kids how to write the addresses on the envelope and where to place the stamp! For more info… check out my post on “Letters to Santa” and get some letter writing tips for kids HERE!
14. Work the washing machine
Teaching kids how to use the washing machine is a great idea! This is another life skill that can come in handy… especially when parents need help with some chores around the house!
15. FaceTime a family member
Technology is such a blessing when it comes to social distancing! Think of some friends of family members that can use a call. Check in on them and make sure all is well! Days can get long while everyone is bundled up in their home, so brighten someones day.
16. Make some Putty
Hands on activities are a great way to have some fun as a family! Kids love creating things, and putty can be such an easy activity! This can be a great science activity that parents can do with their kids at home! Check out my putty making post HERE! It explains the science behind this FUN experiment!
17. Read a book
I know reading a book doesn’t sound like the most fun activity to a kid! But getting lost in a favorite book can be a great way to pass time. During a time of taking online courses like many kids are doing right now… make sure they find a FUN & ENTERTAINING read to get them away from the screen! You can also find great sources through Amazon which I highly recommend over taking the kids out to the store! Plus… books through Amazon are fairy cheap! Click HERE to find some great amazon reads!
For toddler books check out these recommendations HERE!
For some great chapter books check out these recommendations HERE!
18. Create Origami
Making some origami could be a great activity for kids! The best thing about this activity is it requires hardly any work or supplies! Get some sheets of paper… throw on a great youtube tutorial…. and BAM! This can be as simple or advanced as you find! Check out some great origami tutorials HERE!
19. Kids Exercise Videos
Kids can get a little restless being inside all day long! My favorite website to get my students up and moving is GoNoodle. It has all sorts of videos for kids of all ages, so its perfect for families.
20. Kahn Academy Kids App
As much as I love to suggest learning activities that limit screen time, this is one of the few exceptions! The Kahn Academy Kids App is one of my toddlers favorite past time activities. There are multiple learning activities including: alphabet, numbers, colors, reading, animals, etc. BIG PLUS… I recently discovered that you can track your kids progress on activities they begin/finish! This can help you know what they need to focus on later down the road.
21. Moon Activity
This is another great hands on activity that explains why the moon shines! Perfect for grades 3-5! My post “Why Does the Moon Shine?” explains what to do, and how to explain this concept! Check it out HERE!
I hope that you all find these activities helpful! Comment below with any other suggestions and ideas of other kids activities that parents will love! Stay safe out there!!
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