7 activities to keep kids busy during the pandemic
Energy-busting games and activities for the whole family
Somehow March 2020 seems like 5 years ago and 5 days ago all at the same time. And yet, here we are, approaching mid-August and still keeping the kids safe at home in the midst of this pandemic. Due to our current circumstances, I thought i’d bring back this list of activities to help keep kids busy and at play. Give them a try, and have fun!
- Scavenger hunt: For younger kids, keep it simple by hiding the same item (like Easter eggs) around the house and have them search for all the items. For older kids, create a treasure hunt list of 10-20 random items around the house and have them cross off each item from the list. You could hide keys, books, earrings, you name it. This will keep them occupied for at least an hour! Kids with siblings will gain awesome teamwork skills with this activity. Anyone who participates will get to practice problem solving in an analytical way.
- Stained glass door mosaic: If you have a storm door anywhere in the house, use blue painter’s tape and create a mosaic pattern. Have your kids use washable paint to fill in the shapes. For full instructions, click to read this mom’s blog post. Arts and crafts at home help develop fine motor skills in younger children, and identify shapes and color. This activity will help encourage kids to create and play in the relaxed environment of their home.
- The balloon waddle: Blow up a balloon and have your kid(s) squeeze it between their knees and try to waddle across the room. If the balloon hits the floor, they have to start from the beginning. This is a great opportunity for siblings to engage in some friendly competition. Try to encourage them to encourage each other. Parents, this is a fun one to join in on. You’ll love bonding and laughing with your little ones during this silly game.
- Toy car wash: Two birds with one stone! Entertain the kids while you (sneakily) get them to clean their own toys. Fill buckets or a kiddy pool with warm soapy water outside or in the garage, or even in the bathroom. Give the kiddos sponges, dish brushes, and hand towels. They’ll love dunking their toy cars into the soapy water and splashing around.
- Tape ball: Painter’s tape will become your best friend during this time. Tape several strands of painter’s tape from one side of an open door frame to another, sticky side facing out. Make sure it’s high enough on the door that it’ll be challenge for your children to reach it, but not too high that they can’t throw something at it. Ball up a few more strands of tape, sticky side out as much as possible, and have them throw the ball up towards the tape web and try to get it to catch! Create fun competitions, such as “first one to get 5 tape balls to stick wins!”
- What’s in the box? Find a shoe box with a lid and cut out a hole large enough that your child’s hand can fit through, but small enough that it’s hard to see inside. Put one interesting item at a time into the box and have them reach in and guess what it is. Get extra creative with it by decorating the mystery box with your little ones. Encourage them to ask questions about the items and offer clues if needed. This activity helps children associate information other than just how an item looks.
- Lego color hunt: A colorful twist on a classic treasure hunt. Grab 4-6 pieces of construction paper (make sure to pick colors that match various lego pieces.) Then, hide a variety of colored legos around the house and have the kids find the pieces and then place them on their corresponding colored paper. To keep it simple, hide 10 of each color so the kids know when they’ve found them all. Don’t have legos? You can pretty much do this with any toy, as long as you have paper of a matching color. This is great for kids developing the ability to identify color. Once they’ve found all the pieces, encourage them to build something fun with the pieces.
These activities will keep kids busy, entertained and burning some of that energy off. They’re great for days when the weather just doesn’t permit a day of outdoor play. And parents, remember that this time is hard for us all. If handing them an iPad or turning on a movie is about all you can muster up today, just remember: you’re doing great.
Charlotte Realtor & Mom