So, it looks like our schools are closed until Wednesday due to “illness.” I don’t know if people are genuinely sick or if our county is wanting to use up our already-built-in snow days. But, I appreciate the 5-day weekend that these “Illness Days” have given me!
Despite the fact that I am celebrating, I know that there are many parents who are scrambling to find childcare or figuring out how they are possibly going to entertain their children at home for five consecutive days. Some of the parents here work overnights and then sleep during the day while their child is at school. What makes matters worse is if their children are actually sick, they’re cooped up indoors and, likely, bored out of their mind.
10 Ways To Keep Children Busy At Home:
These activity ideas may come in handy for those parents that work at home, need some quiet time, or are just looking for other ways to keep children busy at home!
1) Make a fort or upgrade your tent.
Kids love to have their own little nook, so grab some blankets cushions, and clothespins and make a fort for relaxing. Or, dig around for your camping tent and set it up somewhere indoors.
2) Magazine Scavenger Hunt
Put that stack of old magazines to good use! Make a list of 15-20 things (e.g. boy, purse, tree, etc.) and have your child search for these pictures in the magazines. Have them cut and paste their picture next to the word on the list. Once they’ve found all the pictures, they earn a prize!
3) Make Cards and Artwork for Friends and Teachers
Most kids can occupy themselves with drawing and coloring for a good chunk of time. And, chances are – if they’re sick or having a snow day – they’ll be more inclined to make artwork for their teachers and friends at school! Kids sure miss their teachers after a long weekend. (Or that’s just what I tell myself).
4) Make Jewelry
Do you have any old buttons, bead, and thread laying around? Making necklaces and bracelets doubles as a fine-motor activity and an activity to keep your child busy for a long time! They’ll be concentrating so hard on getting the thread inside the beads, they’ll be occupied for hours!
5) Create Origami Swans
If you don’t have an origami kit at home, not a problem. Whip out some of that wrapping paper, cut it up into squares, and sign onto YouTube for step-by-step instructions. Again, this doubles as a fine-motor activity and a way to keep children busy at home for hours!
6) Pop Stick Art
Start saving up those popsicle sticks! (Or you can also buy them in bulk at Target or Amazon.) You can check out Pinterest for some ideas. With popsicle sticks, there are so many possibilities! Here’s a website with a list of 30 craft ideas using popsicle sticks!
7) Paper Bag Puppets
Earlier this week, during Valentines Day, we told our students to decorate paper bags for the Valentine Exchange party. Half the class ended up making paper bag puppets. To say that this is an entertaining activity is an understatement. Apparently, watching the bottom of your bag open and close – as if it were talking – is quite thrilling for a child. 🙂 This activity also develops hand eye coordination and helps to improve fine motor skills!
Cover the ground with newspaper, throw on some ol’ clothes you don’t care about, and get down and dirty with those paintbrushes. Just the other day, while browsing Pinterest, I saw a picture of kids painting with ice cubes! First, you add the different colors of paint to an ice cube tray. Pour water over it and fill the tray to the top. When the paint starts to freeze a little, add popsicle sticks to it. (Check out this YouTube video for instructions!).
9) Jigsaw Puzzles
You can have them put together a puzzle (OR you can also have your child MAKE their own puzzle set using the face of cereal boxes). There’s a wide assortment of puzzles on Amazon, but you can also find them at your local Dollar Store! So cheap!
10) Magnetic Art
Your child can create works of art, attach them to tiles and apply magnets! This magnetic tile art set includes tiles, magnets, a paint strip and brush. These would be great gift options for friends or family!
Whatever the weatherman (or the county) throws at you, you’ll be ready to have some back-pocket activities to keep your kids entertained for all the unstructured time!
Questions of the Day:
- How do you keep your kids entertained when they’re stuck at home?