Keeping kids entertained or even occupied for more than 10 minutes can be tough when you need some serious work done. Here are 31 fun activities for kids at home while you get things done.
While keeping our family healthy and stopping the spread for novel coronavirus is our priority, most of us are wondering how to keep our kids busy and entertain (so you can work from home!!) until school resume.
If you have a toddler, you already know how hard it is to get things done around the house. They constantly keep you on your toes and if you have to work from home or get serious things done, forget it!!
I manage my blog and chores around the house with few minutes (10 or 20 min) uninterrupted here and there, when my kids are busy doing some activities.
Overtime I have realized that, keeping them busy and entertained requires a routine. Kids like to follow a routine. That’s what they are used to in school. If you set up a routine for them to follow with fun activities planned for them, they will let you work from home!!
I am sure you have plenty of ideas to keep them busy, but as you know, they get bored easily with one thing. So, I have compiled a list of fun activities for kids at home, to keep them active, engaged and educated while you manage to work from home. For more indoor activities for babies and toddlers, check out this post to plan age appropriate activities for your little ones.
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1. Match the Colour:
Fun way to teach colours to your toddler. Anything in your house that is colour coded works for this game. I use colourful pompom. You will need to introduce this game to them and let them sort the colour by themselves.
2. Shape Sorter
My son easily spends 10 minutes sorting the shape and another 10 minutes throwing the shapes all over the place. Yes, this activity does require picking up shapes later because they aren’t going to clean up after them.
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Kids can go as creative as they want with play dough. I like to give him tray or let him play on tablecloth to contain the mess. I also give him play dough tools to keep them occupied for longer duration of time (25-30min).
4. Set up a Sensory Bin
I give my 2-year-old some beans, spoon and cups and he just have fun exploring texture. For some added fun, give them funnel if you have one lying around the house and show them putting beans through it. This will occupy them for good 20 min.
5. Bathtub time
Who doesn’t like longer bathtub time?
My little one easily spends 30 min playing in bucket full of water with tumbler and his bath toys.
6. Camping tent in the house
Let your kids camp inside the house!! If you have a toddler or 5 years old, who doesn’t like camping with their favorite furry friends. My 2 years old spend minimum 20 mins in the tent with his cars and a bear.
7. Paper and Scissor
If you have 4 or 5 years old, give them paper and scissor. This will occupy them for good 10 minutes.
Get some easy puzzles for your toddler. I like Melissa and Dough Puzzles, they are easy to do on his own.
9. Latches Board
Try a latches board! Melissa and Doug makes really nice one. great for developing fine motor skills and brain development. My little one loves it.
10.Empty tissue box
Cut some pieces of fabric and put them in empty tissue box. Let them take out and put in the pieces of fabric. What a fun way to keep them occupied!!
11.Pom Poms Through a Tube
Take a paper towel tube and tape it to the wall. Then have your toddler drop pom poms through it into a bowl. It is really fun activity for them. If you don’t have pom poms go for anything that goes through the tube-like baby forks, spoons, Popsicle sticks.
To make it more fun, use multiple tubes, or one tube cut in pieces and tape them at different heights and angles, so the balls go through one and fall into another.
Instead of pom poms, you can use cheerios or marshmallows so it won’t matter if they eat them too.
We have used ping pong balls without a bowl as well for this activity. The ball fall through the tube and roll off, they get to chase it down and start again.
12.Colander and Pipe Cleaners
Let your toddler stick pipe cleaners in the holes of a colander. Great way to develop a fine motor skill.
13.Matching the lid
My son loves to play with kitchen utensils. When I really needs things done, I give him pots and pans. He spends good amount of time matching pots and pans with its lids. He also likes to stack them inside each other. It could get really noisy but you will get uninterrupted 20 minutes for sure!!
Give them a crayons and colouring books with picture. My son loves looking at the pictures and colouring with crayons.
15.Coloring on the Window
Sometimes colouring books is not sufficient to keep them occupied. I keep window markers on hand and let them colour on windows when you are desperate to get things done.
16.Paint in Bags
Place paint in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Seal the bag, then tape them to a window. Let your toddler move the paint around in the bag using their fingers.
Give them a cardboard box and let them explore. I show him how to put his toys or stuffed animals into the box and then dump it out. He keeps himself busy for good 10 minutes.
If you have 4 to 5 years old, have them colour cardboard box inside and the outside of the box, cut out some windows and doors and let them make it their own little home.
18.Waterplay in the Kitchen
If you are not bothered by mess, then this will keep your toddler busy for a log time. Fill the kitchen sink halfway with water and provide their favorite water toys, measuring cups, spoons and let the fun begin!! Use a child step stool to let little one be able to reach the sink. Caution: Do not leave your child unattended. You can supervise them while working on your laptop or cooking dinner.
19. Toy-Washing Bin
Let your kids wash their plastic toys. Add tear-free bubbles, sponges, towels and other supplies.
20.Plastic Cup Stacking
If you have plastic, paper, or Styrofoam cups left over from the party then use it to your toddler busy. Show them how to stack a pyramid and let them do the rest.
Felt boards are both entertaining and quiet. My son loves to play with it. Felt is cheap and easily available. You can cut the way you like it or there are variety of felt shapes available on Amazon.
22.Make a Tape Road
To keep them moving throughout a day, make a tape road. Tape a road in room and let them drive all day long.
23.Bean Bag Toss
Give them a bucket and let them through bean bag in it. Or label your stairs with numbers or animal pictures and throw bean bags to land on each stair.
24.Make an Obstacle Course
Make an indoor obstacle course for your toddler to let all energy out! Whether you set up a spy-themed obstacle course, or a safari-themed obstacle course, or a fairy-themed obstacle course, you can realize your child’s dreams.
Simply place a piece of rope or tape on the floor as a starting point for the course. Next, place blocks or hula-hoops into a pathway for your child to follow.
Hanging up ribbons in the arrangement of a spider web is also fantastic for your child to attempt to navigate though, as it will keep them busy for a while.
Extend the course to provide amusing activities for your children such as having a hula-hoop-off or a mini basketball shoot-off, or a toss-the-ball-into-the-basket challenge.
Science experiment with 5 years old will be fun!! This activity does require supervision. For this experiment in video, you need bowls, water, food coloring and papers. Do this experiment with them first and then let them explore on their own.
26.Have a Fashion Show
What excites children more trying on their mom and dad’s “grown up” clothes? So why not keep them busy for an afternoon and let them browse though your closet? Blast some music and let them try on some of your clothes. They can boost their imagination and pretend to be models for the day. These memories will certainly be joyful not only for you, but also for your children when they get older.
27. Dance Party
What a better way to exercise your children’s energy than to host a dance-off? The best part of this activity is that it requires minimal set up and clean up!
All you have to do is use some activity DVDs or Elmocize -if your little one is under 2- and let them have some running around time and you have some distractions free time.
28.Skating with Paper Plate
Get couple of paper plates, step on them and skate around the house to burn loads of energy!!
29.Make an Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Kids love searching for things. So, what a better way to have fun than to make an indoor scavenger hunt! All you have to do is hide some small objects (like their favorite toys) around a room such as under a table, chair, bed, or sofa. Whether your children are toddlers or in elementary school, they will certainly enjoy this activity. Plus, participating in a scavenger hunt has been scientifically proved to not only improve problem solving skills, but also sharpen critical thinking skills. The feeling of accomplishment that follows this activity will definitely make your children’s day. Now that Easter is just around the corner, check this post to plan Easter activities at home for them.
30.Spooky Scavenger Hunt
Hide the objects around the house and turn off the light. Give your kids flashlight and have them search for objects.
31.Make a Time Capsule
Not for toddlers, but older kids can certainly enjoy making time capsule!!
A classic favorite is always making time capsules. All you need to do is grab a large cardboard box, or a large container and then start filling it with all sorts of memories like pictures, pieces from newspaper articles, or even objects like clothes or toys.
To increase the amount of time spent on this activity, have your children write a letter to their future self and make a painting or a sketch of their dreams for the future.
Make sure that you included all your chosen time capsule treasures, once you’re done, seal your box. A nice idea is to wrap your box like a present and decorate it. Oh, and don’t forget to label it with your name, and the year as to when the box can be opened, and by whom. Now hide it away and try not peek in it until the chosen time arrives!
32.If all else fails
There are times when nothing works, and they want your attention. It’s okay to give them iPad time or TV time. There are few free educational websites for kids that they can explore and learn while you get some uninterrupted time.
Here is the list of free educational websites for kids:
- SCHOLASTIC LEARN AT HOME
- NAT GEO 4 KIDS
- FUN BRAIN
- HIGHLIGHTS KIDS
- LEARNING A-Z
- SWITCHEROO ZOO
- TIME FOR KIDS
Whether your children are toddlers or in elementary school, I hope you find something to keep them busy while you manage work from home.
What other activities do you do with your children to keep them busy? Share in the comments section below.