When You’re Stuck at Home – Activities to Keep Kids Entertained

My kids get so bored when they are stuck at home.

Unfortunately, getting stuck at home happens to everyone at times. Maybe it’s a snow day home from school. Maybe one (or more!) people in the household are sick. Over the last February school break, both my son and I were sick, so we didn’t venture out too much. With the threat of coronavirus, we will all be spending more time at home! While my kids are perfectly fine with playing on their tablets all day long, I would prefer that they do something a little more constructive! Here are some ideas for things to do when you are stuck at home.

jigsaw puzzle to do when you're stuck at home

Break out the jigsaw puzzles.

I always loved doing jigsaw puzzles when I was stuck at home as a child. I still love puzzles! I love that my in-laws like to work on jigsaw puzzles together as a family. If you have the table space, you can work on a large puzzle as the mood strikes. For a fun twist, have your children draw a colorful picture and then cut it into pieces to create your own jigsaw puzzle. For a sturdier puzzle, use poster board or cardboard.

Do some family yoga.

Yoga is a great way to get your children active when they’re stuck at home. It doesn’t take much space or equipment and is easy enough for all ages. I also like to introduce yoga into the routine when someone is recovering from an illness. It gets your muscles moving again without the stress of strenuous aerobic activity. Just hop online and there are plenty of great children’s yoga videos to get everyone moving!

Build a fort.

If you’re stuck at home and you’ve got time on your hands, build a fort! My kids like to drape blankets over chairs and tables. If we happen to have any large boxes around, they like to incorporate those, too. My kids enjoy building a fort because it’s a special treat that doesn’t happen very often. Add some pillows to a fort and it can be a good way to get a reluctant child to take a short nap. I also like to give my kids flashlights and let them read books under the blanket fort. 

Bring out the crafts!

My kids can make so many things with basic craft supplies, such as paper, scissors, crayons, and glue. If you want to count down to a fun activity, make a paper chain. When I was a child, I enjoyed coloring pictures of different foods and the pretending I had a restaurant. I always keep a supply of coloring books on hand to be ready when boredom strikes. Also, don’t forget to check for craft books at your local library. For example, my family has checked out books on origami before. All you need is some paper. It’s also a good idea to buy little craft kits when they are on sale and put them away to bring out when you are unexpectedly stuck at home. If you like painting but don’t want the mess, try watercolor painting books.

a chocolate cookie with a heart on top

Bake some cookies.

My kids love to bake (and eat!) cookies. Since baking is rather time-consuming, I save baking for days when we are stuck at home. Our favorite thing to bake is sugar cookies. They are easy to make, I always have the ingredients on hand, and you can cut them into fun shapes for whatever holiday is nearest. Since my kids are sure to lick their fingers in the middle of decorating the cookies, I always dish out decorations in separate bowls for them before they start. That way, they only touch their own cookies and decorations, keeping any germs from spreading to the rest of the family. By keeping their cookies in separate boxes, it also cuts down on fights over who ate more cookies.

Host an at-home spa day.

You can tailor a spa day to meet any child’s taste. My daughter enjoys it when I paint her fingernails and toenails. My son used to enjoy it, too, but not any longer. Most kids enjoy a massage, whether it’s a back massage, foot massage, or hand massage. I’m always careful about what products I use on my children’s skin, but even a warm washcloth on their face feels like a luxurious treat. My daughter also likes me to braid her hair, which I don’t always have time to do when we need to get to school in the mornings.

Go outside!

Just because you need to avoid contact with other people doesn’t mean you can’t go out and play in your yard. Fresh air is a necessity. Going outside will give healthy children a chance to run around and blow off some steam. If your child has less energy, try something more relaxing, like drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk. My children also enjoy wandering around and picking up random things to make fairy houses. I also like to retire old toys to become outdoor toys. For example, an old toy truck can be filled with mud and since it stays outside, I don’t have to worry about the mess.

sidewalk chalk

I hope these ideas will help you look forward to a day stuck at home instead of dreading it. If all else fails, you can always put on a good movie!

When You're Stuck at Home - Activities to Keep Kids Entertained

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