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As the new coronavirus pandemic continues to take hold of the United States, more and more families find themselves in quarantine and isolation.
As working parents become working-from-home parents, and schools prepare to evacuate themselves forcefully, a considerable number of parents are wondering how they should keep their kids entertained and busy under quarantine.
For children, this situation can be scary at worst and boring at best!
The key for parents is having a portfolio of crafts and activities that don’t require a lot of prep and that can be done with things that can be found around the house.
In this post, you’ll find our favorite indoor activities for quarantine kids and families!
Is your child worried about the Coronavirus? This article on How to Talk to Kids About the Coronavirus (Covid-19) might just help!
The Best Indoor Activities for Quarantined Kids and Families
1. Basic coloring and drawing
Why complicate things? Basic coloring and drawing will go a long way and can keep your kids entertained for a really long time!
2. Butcher paper
Unroll it, then let the kids color on the floor. Or put up on the wall if you have the room. Something about having such a big, unbroken piece of paper to work with feels different and exciting.
4. Concoct potions
Mix all your old unused beauty products, old ingredients from the pantry or just regular paint together and see what happens!
You can’t go wrong with homemade playdough for kids of any age! This activity alone can give HOURS of entertainment for toddlers on a rainy day.
6. Hot Wheels Painting
Do you have about a million hot wheels cars at home? Bring the cars into just about any activity, like painting! Drive the cars through the paint and then on the paper to make all sorts of tracks!
7. Shaving Cream Rain Cloud In A Jar STEM Experiment
Just cause you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean your kids shouldn’t keep learning. This shaving cream rain clouds activity is a fun and easy way to teach children how it rains. Kids will love the magical wow factor and YOU’LL love the easy prep!
8. Make “my favorites” collages
Cut out pictures from magazines of your favorite animals, items with all your favorite colors, or favorite foods, etc and paste on posterboard or a large piece of cardboard.
Can’t get enough of art activities? Here are our favorite painting ideas for kids to try!
9. Dance party
Turn on some music! Dancing is so much fun and a great way to burn energy!
10. Simulate outdoor scenes
You know the movie Mannequin, with the elaborate storefronts — a camping one, an island one? Find weird ways to re-create different outdoor scenes in different parts of the house. Here’s camping, for example, with a fort in the living room and playing sounds of rain because we’re in a rainy campground. Dye the bathwater blue and say it’s the ocean.
Make a simple hopscotch “board” and your kids will think it’s just the coolest thing that it’s inside!
12. Jumping jacks
Trust me, this is kind of fun. Everyone who can do them can try to do them.
Just let them hang out in there! (Supervised, of course.) You can get creative in the bathtub, and the mess just stays in there.
14. Take advantage of outdoor space
Use what you have — a shared backyard, a patio, a porch. Even opening the window and making up stories about what you see out there.
15. Air-mattress trampoline
This might be the best stuck-indoors hack ever. Just blow up the air mattress and let the kids jump on it. They’ll love it!
16. Dirty Sock Fight
Take the socks right off your feet, ball them up and challenge your kids to a throwing battle. This activity is almost guaranteed to get everyone laughing.Raid your laundry hampers for extra ammunition. Make up teams to help out younger children.
17. Jump Away
Make a ginormous pile of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, near a couch or the bottom of your stairway. Then invite your kids to jump away!
18. Recycled Hallway Bowling
Bowling is a fun, large motor indoor activity for toddlers. Raid your recycling bin for bottles and cartons that can be knocked down and find a ball. Set the bottles at one end the of hall and let your toddler bowl their ball down the hall and try to knock them down!
19. Play With Balloons
and out some balloons and see how long they can bat it back and forth before it hits the ground.Older kids can have more than one balloon or use one hand only.
20. Activity Station
Make signs for different activities: jumping jacks, planks, crawling through tape/rope, balancing activities. >Set a timer, and have your kids move through the stations.”
21. Make an Obstacle Course
Invite your kids to create an obstacle course using furniture and household items. How fast can you go through?
22. Stacking toys like Magna-Tiles
Let your kids build things and then just smash them down. The smashing part will probably be the best part to them.
23. Unicorns I Spy Game
Download this free printable unicorn I spy game that your kids will love! This printable is a perfect way for your kids to practice a variety of skills and keep them busy while you make dinner!
24. Workbooks and puzzles
Workbooks and puzzles are a great way to keep your kids busy for a long time while allowing their brains to do some work at the same time!
25. Variations on Uno
We started playing Uno with our preschooler, and you know what? It’s so much fun.
26. Spring Bingo Game
Use our FREE Printable Spring Bingo Game to play the best printable game ever! This Spring Bingo Game is a ton of fun for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and elementary grade school kids – perfect for families, birthday parties, garden parties, and more!
27. Lego Color Hunt
You have to try this one, it is a kid-favorite and super easy to execute. Select 4 pieces of colored construction paper and then collect 10 Lego pieces that match each one (ie. 10 green Lego pieces for a green piece of paper). Now hide all of the Lego pieces in one room/area of your house and lay out the colored paper on a table or the floor nearby. Start the clock and have your kids start hunting.
Baking with kids can be lots of fun and rather messy! But among all the mess, there are so many benefits that kids gain from the whole baking experience. It’s a great way to practice eye-hand coordination, planning skills and doing math while you’re baking!
29. Snacks in shapes
Use cookie cutters to make star-shaped sandwiches or whatever. Your kids will have so much fun doing this and it’s also a great way to encourage your picky eater at meal time.
Threading is a great skill for toddlers, and using colorful cereal makes is so much more fun and interesting. You can use pipe cleaners and turn your threaded cereal into bracelets!
31. Watch TV
There will probably be a lot of screen time during quarantine, but why not use this time to watch some good old Sesame Street or Disney Plus?
32. Video Games
Playing video games is so much fun! Challenge your child to some Mario Cart or let them whoop your ass in their favorite game!
34. Good, old-fashioned reading
It’s so simple, but take the time to read books to your child. Maybe they’ll find a new favorite book or rediscover a good old classic book that they’ve forgotten about.
34. Movie marathon
Make homemade hot chocolate, pop some popcorn and watch a series of movies together.
35. Sensory Tub
Is your child missing the sandbox? A sensory tub is the next best thing! Sensory tubs can be filled with just about anything and based on any theme imaginable. My kids LOVED a tub filled with dry corn with lots of scoops and trucks added in. Rice is another great filler for a tub. You can create themed tubs based on things like fall, holidays, insects, and more.
36. Make Hand Puppets
Make some puppets and create a show.Alternatively challenge family members to make puppets out of household items.
37. Stacking Cups
Do you have a ton of plastic cups in a box somewhere? They are perfect for building with! You can stack them into all sorts of towers or buildings- we’ve tried to recreate the Eiffel Towel and the Coliseum out of cups (learning through play at it’s best!). You can also create building challenges out of the cups. Or try to reach your ceiling.
38. Busy Bags
Busy Bags are small, fun activities that are placed in bags (or bins) that can be easily pulled out for a self-contained independent activity.
39. Build a Fort
Kids of ALL ages love making forts. Hey, I still enjoy making them as an adult! Build a fort out of a fan and a sheet, table chairs and blankets, or couch cushions and then let them eat a snack, dinner, watch a movie, or take a nap in the fort!
40. Create a Race-Car Track
Use your painter’s tape to make a huge road system for your kids’ matchbox cars. Think outside the box and have the track scale furniture and other obstacles (just make sure it’s something you don’t mind toy vehicles being “driven” over). The key to making it active is to make it large-scale, so they are engaging their core muscles while crawling all over.
41. Write a play
Work together with siblings, assign parts and have an after-dinner performance.
42. Write a story
Retell a famous fairytale or write about yourself in the future.
43. Make instruments
Use rubber bands, wax paper and toilet paper rolls or other objects (baking pans, tin cans, wooden spoons etc).
Have you done everything on this list and are looking for more ways to keep your kids busy? Here are 20 Things to Keep Kids Entertained During Coronavirus Quarantine!