Posted on April 14th, 2020
With many families in the U.S. currently experiencing an extended spring break, right now is the perfect time to enjoy fun, creative activities at home. Structured activities can teach kids important skills, like planning, organization and cooperation and they provide a great opportunity to spend more time together as a family. For parents who are trying to limit their kids’ screen time, planned activities can also keep kids busy and entertained while the adults get some work done around the house.
6 Great Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained at Home
- Use old cardboard boxes to make forts
If you have large cardboard boxes left over from moving or purchasing furniture, why not use them as building materials to create playhouses, cars, castles and other props for imaginative play? Just create a design, cut out pieces of cardboard and fix them together with strong tape or glue. (You can also purchase special box rivets to reinforce your design). Then, paint and decorate your creation, or let your kids paint and decorate it, if they’re old enough.
For families who are running low on cardboard, furniture stores and department stores are often a great source of large, sturdy boxes. Phone your local furniture outlet and ask if you may have some of their leftover boxes free of charge.
- Make colored “slime.”
Making completely non-toxic “slime” out of cornstarch and water is one of the easiest (and most fun!) science experiments you can do at home. Just mix one box of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and use a few drops of food coloring to tint your slime. Though the slime appears solid at first, it will quickly turn to liquid if squeezed – a transformation that can fascinate young children for hours.
- Turn getting organized into a game.
Being stuck at home is the perfect opportunity to get organized, but if you have kids keeping you company all day, you’re probably wondering how you can take care of them and tidy up at the same time. For many households, the solution is as simple as turning tidying up into a game: If your kids are old enough to contribute to household chores, tell them you’re going on a family “treasure hunt” to look for old clothes, toys, books, etc. Then, offer to pay your children a small amount (such as a dollar) for every toy they’re willing to get rid of, to encourage them to part with things they no longer need. For added fun, give each child a “treasure chest” where they can put their coins.
Once your children have decided which items they want to get rid of, equip them with everything they need to organize their remaining stuff (like shelves and plastic pins). Then, set a timer and see who can get organized the fastest. (To keep your newly organized home tidy, check out our list of tips for a clutter-free home.)
- Host a birthday party for your child’s favorite toy.
Few things excite kids more than parties, so having a party is one of the best ways to break the monotony of being stuck at home for weeks. If none of your children have a birthday coming up, why not have a pretend birthday party for your child’s favorite toy? Instead of inviting other children over, you can invite all of your child’s toys to be present at the party. Then, get your child involved in the process of baking and icing a cake, setting up party decorations, pouring soft drinks, etc.
- Play board games.
Board games provide a relaxing, engaging way to enjoy some screen-free family time. Traditional favorites like Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly and Scrabble can keep kids entertained for hours on end while boosting their cognitive and social skills.
If you don’t have many board games at home, why not create your own? With a pair of dice and some ingenuity, you can easily design your own game board and come up with basic board game rules. Taking this approach will allow you to adjust the complexity of the game to reflect your child’s age, too: If your child is too young to play lengthy games like Monopoly, you can create a game using simple squares and colored paper.
- Start a windowsill garden.
As an ongoing project, gardening can give your kids something to do – and look forward to – each day. Even if your outdoor space is limited, you can create a small garden of potted, edible plants anywhere there’s a sunny windowsill. For best results, choose easy-to-grow species like parsley, chives, rosemary, or arugula. Not only will growing edible plants give your child a sense of accomplishment, this activity can get kids more personally invested in eating a healthy diet.
Benefits Of Staying At Home
Staying home with your children is an invaluable opportunity to press “pause” on the hectic pace of modern life. With limited outside obligations and distractions, you can take time to get to know your children better in a relaxed, playful setting. Still, while full-time parenting is rewarding, it makes keeping a clean, orderly home more difficult. If you need a bit of extra help managing your household chores (so you can focus on the hard work of parenting), we are here for you. Our flexible cleaning services will keep your home environment bright and clean – no matter what kind of creative chaos your little ones are enjoying.