Whether you’re stuck inside because of a rainy day, or uh, stuck home for a long period of time due to coronavirus, it’s good to have some “rainy day” activities lined up. While we can’t entertain our kids 24/7, sometimes a good distraction from them trying to kill each other is needed. Also, we can take this time of “social distancing” to make special family members or learn something new!
Below I’ve compiled a list of 50 activities for your kids to do at home:
1) Dry Erase Tic-Tac-Toe
Kids should not be allowed to use markers on random walls, windows and floors in the house, right? Well, that is, unless they are dry erase markers and you have large glass sliding doors that they can play tic-tac-toe on.
2) Frozen Toy Break-Out
This is one of my favorites to have stored in the freezer. Grab a medium/large tupperware container, put some small plastic toys in it and fill with water. Freeze it and pull it out when you need an activity for your kids. Trying to break their toys out of the ice is fun for them, and time consuming. Win win! If it’s raining outside, let them do it in the bathtub. Otherwise, the sidewalk works great!
3) Hide a Stuffy & Go Seek
My kids always want me to play hide-and-go-seek, but to be honest, the last time I did I got stuck in a rather small cabinet and cut my head open trying to get out. Now I prefer the hide-something-else and go seek game. My kids love to pick a stuffed animal that we all take turns hiding. The other bonus to this is that I can get stuff done while my children are searching for the stuffed animal I put in the freezer.
4) Video Documentary
While this list could be used for rainy days, regular school breaks, or just any weekend or day you’re home with your kids, it’s being written because of the Coronavirus that is currently spreading across our nation. It’s a scary and unfortunate time, yet we have this extra time home with our family, why not create a video documentary to look back on?
If you have one kid in particular who loves to be the camera man, let them do it. Otherwise, assign everyone a day and take turns documenting what you all did during the Coronavirus school break, if you were starting to lose your minds, if you got creative or silly. It may seem stressful now, but one day you’ll look back on the videos and be glad you have the memories.
5) Save the Monarchs
If you’re going to be home due to one crisis, might as well try to help with another one: the declining population of monarch butterflies. Your kids will love it too.
Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed, which is also where they lay their eggs after they become butterflies, so their future caterpillar offspring will have something to eat. Because so much of the milkweed has been removed for development, monarchs are unable to survive and their numbers are dropping at alarming rates.
To help the monarchs survive and populations increase, simply plant a milkweed patch in your own yard or flower bed. Your kids will love watching the baby caterpillars appear and eat the leaves, make their chrysalis and become beautiful monarchs who repeat the cycle.
Right now at my house, we have 5 chrysalides preparing to hatch, and 6 baby caterpillars growing bigger every day.
If you want to start simple with butterflies, we started with this butterfly kit from Amazon.
6) Home Safari Facebook Live
Every Weekday at 3pm, tune into Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook page for a live video where they will highlight one of their animals and include an activity you can do from home.
7) Make Homemade Play Dough
8) Cheerio Necklaces
Find some string and bust out a box of cheerios and let them make some necklaces! It’s not only great for fine-motor skills, but it keeps them entertained and then when they ask for a snack, you can just tell them it’s already around their neck.
9) Epic Blanket Fort / Reading Castle
I don’t know what it is about a good fort, but my kids always want to read books when we build a good fort. I’m not talking about just any fort, but transforming a room of your house into a huge fort. Get creative. The kids will love it and then they’ll be in there for a long time. Reading in their room, boring. Reading in a fort reading castle, epic.
10) Balloons. Balloons. Balloons.
Water balloons. Don’t touch the floor with the balloon game. Who can blow up a balloon the fastest. Hide the balloon game. Balloons entertain kids.
11) Stomp Rocket
I don’t know what it is about a stomp rocket. The thing itself is really simple. But kids are so entertained by this thing.
12) Huge Family Puzzle
Designate one area or a white board that can be moved around (if you have limited table space) to one large puzzle (I’m talking like 500 – 1,000 pieces). Start the puzzle and leave it there so any time someone feels like spending some time on it, they can do so. Sometimes you may work on it together, other times just one kid may work on it alone. It’s a relaxing, yet great activitiy. Also, studies show that puzzles improve collaboration and cooperation skills. We all want our kids to have better cooperation skills, right?? Find some really awesome puzzles here, without leaving your house.
13) Family Collaboration on Freezer Meals
Use your time at home wisely and spend some time in the kitchen with your kids. You can work on teaching them cooking skills, while having them help you prepare freezer meals that you can use after the chaos of “normal” life resumes and everyone is back to their hectic schedules.
14) Cut Stickers.
You read that right, have them cut stickers. I found out by accident, that kids are really entertained by cutting stickers. Our daughter’s preschool teachers keeps individual stickers in a drawer for the kids to use. When I noticed we had a surplus of sticker books at home they we weren’t using, I decided to start cutting them so I could take them to her for her class.
When my kids saw me doing this, they wanted to join in and it entertained them for so long. So if you have any books or sheets of stickers, give your kid some scissors and ask them to cut them into individual stickers. Then they will be easier to store if you decide to keep them, or you can donate to a teacher! Now you’re decluttering your house too, winning!
15) Recycling Bin Craft Contest
Hand over your recycle bin to your kids along with some glue, scissors and any other random crafting supply you have on hand, and challenge them to turn trash into treasure. We’ve done this before and made a robot. It was really fun!
16) Learn a bunch of jokes
Use this post with 100+ jokes for kids, and let your kids learn a bunch of new jokes to lighten the mood.
17) Melted Crayon Coloring
Coloring with regular crayons, fun. Coloring with melted crayons, amazing. For this you’ll need to gather:
- Baking tray or cookie sheet
- Paper (If you have glossy paper, even better. If not, use regular paper.)
- Oven mitt or mitten/glove
Heat baking sheet/tray in oven at 350 degrees. Place a towel on your table and put the tray on top. If you are concerned about your child accidentally placing his non-drawing hand on the hot surface, use an oven mitt on that hand. Let your child stick the tip of the crayon on the warm baking sheet, and then color with it on the paper. It’s a totally different sensation to color with melted crayons!
18) Kinetic Sand Kits
We’ve actually had these exact kinetic sand kits for a couple of years now, and our kids still play with them. They’re great. You need these.
19) Create a family Collage or Scrapbook
A longer period of time at home is a great time to finally order prints of all of those pictures you’ve been meaning to print forever, and make a scrapbook, collage, or even frame some of them. Have the kids help you so it’s a family project!
20) Reading Challenge with Prize
Print this free printable reading log, and then challenge your kids to fill it up in one or two weeks. You decide what the prize will be (ice cream date, pizza party, $5 to spend at the Dollar Store, whatever you think will get your kids excited to read).
21) Make Grandparents Christmas Gifts
Stay with me here. You might think I am crazy, but a period of time when you are stuck at home looking for things to do to entertain your kids is the perfect time to have them do a little craft to create Christmas gifts for their grandparents or other family members. Whether it’s handprint ornaments, clay creations, cards, painted rocks for a garden, or whatever you may find on Pinterest, get it done now. Store it away in a bin in the closet and you will be thanking yourself come December when you don’t have time for anything.
22) Do a partner workout program together
You can find YouTube videos, or get a Beachbody On-Demand Annual Membership and have access to 1,000s of programs for a full year. I’ve done several of these programs and my kids love to join in. They even have programs designed for families to do together and for kids! Don’t forget to stretch together!
23) Bake together.
This isn’t a creative idea, but you can get creative in the kitchen and have fun together! For example, instead of regular rice crispie treats, make these fun watermelon rice crispie treats.
24) Kids’ Brain Teasers
I just ordered this book of riddles and brain teasers for kids and families, and I’m super excited to surprise the kids with it this week. They love stuff like this, and I do too!
25) Family Project: Clean Out Closets and Cabinets
Every time I clean out a closet or a cabinet in my house, my kids come running. It’s almost like Christmas. In fact, maybe that’s where I’ll get their Christmas gifts from this year. (Kidding, kind of.) To the point, if you’re stuck home for a while it’s a perfect time to do some cleaning out of closets and cabinets. Not only can you get more organized and gather some items to donate to charity or sell, but you may find items you forgot about that will entertain your kids!
26) Have Your Kids Keep a Daily Journal
This is another idea that came from preschool. My son started doing this a couple of years ago in his preschool class. I loved the idea so much that I had him continue doing it. Now my daughter is in preschool and doing it too. Each child gets their own notebook, and you can have them decorate the front with their name or personalize it to be their own. Then each day they write the date out, draw a picture, and write a sentence (or more) about what they drew. For older kids, they could just write about whatever they want. For really littles, you may have to help them with their sentence. It’s a great practice to get into!
27) Wash the Car
Wash the car with your kids and make it a family fun project, or offer them some money or a fun treat later to do it themselves. Up to you, either way you get a clean car, some entertainment for them, and save a few bucks on the car wash.
28) Chores Can be Fun (but it’s also okay if they’re not)
First of all, who says that entertaining your kids has to mean they’re having fun? They can be entertained with work, and it’s just as good for them, if not better sometimes. Get them to pitch in with some chores around the house: cleaning baseboards, wiping lower cabinets, cleaning stainless steel appliances, pulling weeds, scrubbing the inside of showers or bathtubs, putting away dishes (naming a few chores we have my kids do). You can choose to let them earn some money for chores, or just make it a requirement that they help out while they’re spending more time at home.
29) Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk is always a hit with kids. If you don’t have any around, you can get this nice case of sidewalk chalk without leaving your house.
30) Would You Rather Game
Come up with some this-or-that questions that will really get them thinking. Would you rather have super speed or super strength? Would you rather dance in front of a crowd or sing in front of a crowd? Write them down on some paper, draw a question from the jar, and take turns answering honestly.
31) Play with Clay
My 6 year old loves playing with clay. He makes all kinds of little animal figures with clay, but the possibilities are endless and gets your kids thinking creatively and making art with their hands.
We like this air drying clay:
And we also like this clay that is reusable and never dries:
32) Spot the Difference Books
My kids love these books. We use them during road trips or even just down-time at home. They’re fun for the adults to do with the kids too! You can find them on Amazon here.
33) Garden Box
If you don’t already have a garden or garden box, a fun family project would be to build one. Or, you could buy one. Then use your home time to start mini garden with your kids.
34) Family Project Fair
Have each kid pick a topic of interest and have them create a project fair type presentation. Hold a show in your living room at the end of the week! You could even offer an ice cream party afterwards.
35) Turn Your Living Room Into a Movie Theater
This is something we do a lot in the summer time after the kids have been outside or in the pool for a while. They come in exhausted and hungry. So we pop some popcorn, they bring all of their stuffed animals into the living room with pillows and blankets and set “everyone” up to watch a movie, and then we rent something or pop in a DVD. We also turn off the lights. You could take it a step farther and make them little kids pack boxes like they do at the movie theater.
36) Learn something new with a YouTube Tutorial
If kids want screen-time, make it productive. Allot them each a set amount of iPad/tablet time per day, granted they each pick a topic and learn how to do it by using a YouTube tutorial. For example, they could learn how to make a balloon animal, or how to solve a rubix cube, how to make origami, or countless other random things.
37) Learn to Do Yo-Yo Tricks
Of all the things my son got for Christmas, a yo-yo was one of the favorites. He has spent so much time perfecting his yo-yo tricks. Cheap entertainment that you can get on Amazon Prime.
38) Kiddie Pool in the Yard
Even if you already have a pool, like most of us Floridians do, a kiddie pool is just different. I don’t know why it’s such an attraction, but they love it. You can fill it with soap to make bubbles, they can clean rocks and sticks in it. It’s just sometimes more fun than a real pool.
39) Backyard Search & Find
Sort of like the Search/Look & Find books, except in real life. Give your kids a list of things (leaf, rock, stick, piece of bark, pine needle, pine cone, for example) and have them go on a nature scavenger hunt to check off their list.
40) Nature Art Board
Once they have gathered all of their random materials from nature, give them a white poster board or card stock paper (something that will hold up to heavier objects) and some glue and have them create a work of art with their nature finds.
41) Leaf coloring
Go on a nature walk outside and collect every different type of leaf you can find with your child. Bring them in and put them under a piece of paper, and use a crayon to color over, putting the pattern of each leaf on the paper. Kids love doing this!
42) Design Shirts
Kids + Bubbles. Can’t go wrong. Well, unless your kid spills all of the bubble solution all over the place. Or drinks it. So you can go wrong, but kids love bubbles.
44) Learn to Knit
I’ve been secretly wanting to learn how to knit for a long time. Maybe when my kids go to college?? You can find lots of knitting supplies for kids on Amazon, and tutorials on YouTube!
45) Make Pottery
This Pottery Studio for kids looks like so much fun! We haven’t tried this yet, but it’s definitely on my list of things to try with my kids.
You can grab some awesome workbooks to keep your kids learning. We love these TinkerActive Workbooks because they encourage hands-on learning. Each lesson has a hands-on project or experiment that goes along with it. You can read more about them in this blog post I wrote about the TinkerActive workbooks. And you can grab your own on Amazon.
47) Home-Ec Class at Home
Give your kids your own run-down of home economics. Teach them how to do laundry, cook, sew, whatever is age appropriate for each child. They’ll have fun learning something new, and you just might get to add a new chore to their list from now on!
48) Get a KiwiCrate
We love our KiwiCrates! They have such fun, educational projects in them. We get a new one every month. If you’re going to be home for a while, now’s a good time to try it out! Use this link to get 50% off your first crate.
49) Blessings Jar
When you’re feeling stressed, possibly fearful, and unsure of what is going to happen (especially right now with this coronavirus madness going on), staying focused on the positive can require being very intentional about it. Creating a blessings jar with your kids can help you all do this. Set out a mason jar or any jar you have handy, and then each day have everyone write something they are thankful for on a piece of paper and add it to the jar. Encourage your children to be very specific in what they are thankful for. It’s a great practice for yourself and your kids!
50) Use Educational + Fun Apps
While I prefer my kids not to have too much screen time, I do think some is important because they need to learn to use technology. Here is a list of awesome educational apps that your kids can use to learn all kinds of things ranging from math and reading to coding and different languages!
51) Decorate Cards to Send to Nursing Homes
This is a great thing to do anytime, but especially now, amidst this Coronavirus social distancing when I believe most nursing homes are on complete lock-down, and family members can’t visit. I’m sure the residents would love cards from your kids encouraging them and brightening their day. And, this was totally my aunt’s idea, so thanks aunt Patty!
52) Imag Home Demonstrations
Tune in live to the Imaginarium’s (in Ft. Myer’s, Florida) Facebook page every day for their live demonstrations. Kids will love this and learn too! You can find them on Facebook here. You can also learn more and find the schedule on their website here.
53) Make Chore Time Fun with Chore Sticks
Your kids will come running back for the next chore. Chore Sticks use positive reinforcement, helping your kids associate chores with fun stuff, to get chores done without the battle. Kids get excited as they draw their next chore from this container of labeled popsicle sticks, reducing any stress or tension around asking them to help out around the house. Grab your Chore Sticks on Amazon.
54) Color Together in Adult Coloring Books
Sure, you can color with your kids in their coloring books, but there is something about letting your kids color in an “adult coloring book” that makes it so much better (to them, and you). Coloring is so relaxing that you’ll find yourself less stressed after a coloring session with your kids. You may also find they take more time and care when coloring the details in an adult coloring book, and they feel super special if they think it’s yours and you’re letting them color in it. You can find adult coloring books on Amazon.
55) Walkie Talkie Fun
All kids love walkie talkies, and turns out, this mom does too! When my kids want to go outside and play in the backyard (which at our house, is large) but I can’t go with them, they talk a walkie talkie and we check in with each other. “Kaiper, Kaiper, what’s your status?” Walkie Talkies can be fun for games inside, too! Kids can hide in separate rooms and talk, or pretend they’re on a jungle safari. Besides being fun, walkie talkies are just good to have around in case you need them. Find some here.
56) Conversation Starters
Keep it fun, upbeat, simple and positive. Using conversation starters helps you connect with your child and let them get to know you better. It’s important that your child knows that whatever is happening in their life they can approach Mom or Dad. This instills confidence and self-esteem. They will learn this by the discussions you have around the questions in this game. Get your Conversation Starters here.
57) Play Ladder Toss
Ladder toss is a fun game for everyone of all ages. Everyone from the little kids to the grandparents can get involved. This is a great yard or patio game for one person to play by themselves or a with a partner. Ladder Toss is available on Amazon.
58) PBS Live
PBS Live has live streaming shows for kids, as well as tips and activities for kids to do at home. You can stream it live from any device by following this link.
59) Game Marathon
Playing games together is a great way to bond, laugh, and also learn together! If you have little ones, you can play games like this one that they can follow along with. It’s called Sophie’s Seashell Scramble, but we call it “The Otter Game”. It’s one of our favorites! Or, for your classic favorites, partner up little ones with parents or older siblings. You can find more games here.
60) Jungle Island Live Learning on Facebook
Visit Jungle Island’s Facebook Page every day to get at home activities for your kids to participate in while school is out. Check in Monday through Friday at 11am.
61) Shark Talks
62) Virtual Marine Biology Class
“The scientists running Seattle-based Oceans Initiative more typically apply their marine mammal expertise to research on endangered orcas or conservation of white-sided dolphins in Washington’s Puget Sound.
But the upside-down world of the new coronavirus and the closure of their nearly 6-year-old daughter’s school inspired them this week to launch what they’ve dubbed their Virtual Marine Biology Camp.” – GeekWire.com
63) Lunch Doodles with Mo Williams
Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. Find out more here.
64) Virtual Museum Tours
You may not be able to travel right now, but you can still go inside some of the most amazing museums in the world, virtually at least. Check out this list I compiled of places that have virtual tours available.
65) Let them be bored and figure it out
We all know kids get bored easily, and sometimes, it’s okay to let them be bored and tell them to figure out something to do to entertain themselves. We can’t always be coming up with things to entertain them, that’s not good for them either.
It’s good to use these ideas, keep things fun and interesting, but also, let them take the lead some and ask them what they want to do. And be sure you leave time in the day that they are left to just figure out how to entertain themselves. This is super important for them to learn!
I hope you found this list helpful and that you will pin it on Pinterest and share on social media! It’s a scary time we are in right now, but we can use this time that we are home because of coronavirus to spend quality time with our families that we may not get otherwise. We can find the positives and soak in all the extra moments we get with our family, using this as a reminder of what’s really important when it comes down to it.
If you enjoyed this post, here are some other posts you may want to check out!
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.