It isn’t easy to be holed up at home with only your family for company. As the parent, though, you have the unique opportunity to set the tone in your home and decide if these weeks will be a nightmare for everyone or filled with precious memory-making and family bonding activities.
Here are some fun activities to keep your kids busy while you wait out the pandemic at home:
Marshmallow Tinker-Toys: For a fun twist on the classic building toy, take pretzel sticks and mini-marshmallows and let your child build a world of sweetness. Have them create pretzel-marshmallow people, houses, and entire towns. When they’re done, they can eat their sweet creations!
Scrapbook. Spend some quality time reliving precious memories by digging out the scrap-booking supplies and old photos for creating a timeless masterpiece.
Teach a Household Skill: Instead of complaining about the endless housework, enlist your child’s help! Even very small children can help sort laundry, load the washing machine and press the buttons to turn it on. Have the older ones help bake, letting them put their math skills to use by adding fractions in recipes.
Simon Says, “Draw!”: Set up a table with paper, crayons, markers, stamps and any other fun coloring supplies you have. Seat your kids around the table and begin an intense game of Simon Says, only instead of movements, instruct your kids to draw something. You can have them draw basic shapes in specific colors or something more complex, if they’re a little older. If anyone messes up, they’re out!
Balloon ping-pong: Tape large popsicle sticks to the backs of paper plates, blow up a balloon and have your preschoolers play ping-pong with their makeshift paddles over your empty kitchen table!
Let it snow!: In a large pan or bin, mix 3 cups of baking soda with ½ cup of hair conditioner. Note: If you don’t have enough baking soda, you can also use shaving cream for your “snow.” Keep stirring until the mixture turns cold, soft and feels like … snow! Dig out the toy cars, beach shovels and collection of Playmobile people and let the fun begin!
Scavenger hunt: Set up hints around the house and have your kids race from clue to clue searching for the treasure you’ve hidden for them. If your kids are too young to read, this can work with picture clues as well.
No, it isn’t easy to be holed up at home with your kids. But with some creativity and a positive attitude (and lots of coffee and chocolate), you can fill this challenging time with warm memories your children will remember for the rest of their lives.