11 ways to keep kids busy when stuck at home

This coronavirus crisis has forced many schools to close and has left many parents scrambling to find ways to occupy their kids during the day. There will obviously be schoolwork to stay on top of, but parents are forced to find ways to keep them busy.

I homeschooled my two kids from Kindergarten through graduation so I’m quite familiar with finding things to do with kiddos at home.

Cook Together

This is a great opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen. Many people are eating out less and this would be a great time to teach kids cooking skills. Plus, having the kids as a helper in the kitchen makes things go a lot quicker. Whether they are new in the kitchen or not, this is a perfect time to share family recipes or to try out new ones together.

Teach Them to Care for Plants/Garden

If you have a garden having them help with planting, weeding and watering would be a great way to keep them physically active and working outside.

No garden? No problem. Put them in charge of watering the house plants. Teach them how each plant is unique. How they each like a different temperature, amount of sunlight, or how much water they require.

Read a Book Together

This was a favorite in our house when the kids were little. Now that we’re all spending more time at home together, we’ve decided to start this up again. We picked a book and each night we read it out loud together. Pick a book that is new to each of you or reread a favorite.

Do Something Physical Each Day

Staying physical will not only keep your bodies healthy and strong, but it’ll also help with the stress and anxiety all the negative news brings into our bodies. Take a walk with your kids, have a dance party, ride bikes, do yoga stretches or even a bit of meditation to quiet the craziness for a bit.

Learn a New Hobby

How many of us say we’ll learn to (fill in the blank) when I have some free time? Well, now that many are forced to stay home, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn a new hobby. Maybe you always wanted to learn to paint, or embroidery, or knitting. Maybe you wanted to learn a new software program or take a class. Watch YouTube videos or Skillshare classes to learn a new skill. Get your kids involved and learn something new together.

Do a Puzzle Together

This is a family favorite! We used to do puzzles all the time when the kids were little. When we pulled out puzzles the other day it was a hit! We made room on the coffee table and sat together for hours working on the puzzle. Then over the next day or so we’d each sit for a few minutes to add a piece or two. There is something wonderful about puzzles, you can’t help but stop to try a piece of two.

Our current favorite is called “Verticalville”.

Create a Sketchbook Together

The Brooklyn Art Library hosts an awesome collection of sketchbooks from people all around the world. You can order a sketchbook from their website.

Let your kids write a story and illustrate it. Use it as a journal for your time home together or for them to express how they feel about the world right now. Work on each page together and then send it to be a permanent part of the library.

Have a Special Spa Day

If you are feeling nervous about heading to the spa for a little pampering, just do it at home.

Turn on some music or a corny movie and put on a face mask, paint each other’s nails, and give each other foot massages. Your kids will love it!

Color Together

A few years ago, coloring was all the rage, but now would be a great time to bring it out again. Coloring is soothing and lowers anxiety and stress. Plus, their kids love it!

Another form of coloring is to cover your dining table with parchment paper and leave coloring crayons and water-soluble markers out and let them color on the table throughout the day or when eating. It’s a favorite at restaurants, so why not try it at home?

Tour Museums Virtually

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t tour some great museums.

Travel and Leisure has a great article with tons of links to check out.

Play Music Together

Use this time to teach kids an instrument. Or if you don’t know how to play, learn one together. Being creative in a time of high stress and anxiety not only helps soothe but it works out the boredom.

Even as the world continues to get crazy, helping your kids and yourself to find ways to connect, stay busy and having fun will draw you closer and help calm all the nerves.

Tell me some ways you are keeping your kids occupied.

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