25 Things To Do With Your Kids At Home
Are you looking for things to do with your kids at home?
If you’re on lockdown like my family is at the moment, then you probably know that as the days turn into weeks you’re looking for more ideas on what to do to keep everyone busy.
As a mum of 3 small children, I’ve had my fair share of moments where things get out of hand pretty quickly if there isn’t a plan.
So what can you do when your kids are home all day?
Try these 25 things to do with your kids at home
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1. Play Games
Now’s the time to get out those old board games that have been sitting on your shelf. Don’t have board games? That’s fine! Try charades, pictionary or spoons.
Games are one of the things to do with your kids at home and a great way to bond. Playing games is also educational and teaches kids problem solving skills, logical thinking and even social skills.
Baking is another great bonding experience for parents and children. Kids love to learn by doing so getting them into the kitchen might take a little extra effort on your part but is well worth the effort!
Baking gives them an opportunity to practice fine motor skills like stirring, measuring and pouring. Try my recipe for lemon lavendar cookies!
3. Learn to make bread
Now this might not be as easy as baking but making bread is a wonderful skill to learn (if you don’t already have) and teach your kids! Bread making is cheap and not too difficult. People have been making bread for centuries so it’s also a skill steeped in history and tradition. Try simple flat bread recipes or try your hand at a sourdough starter to make sourdough bread!
4. Do a craft
Crafts are a really good way to use up extra bits and bobs lying around the house. Instead of throwing those random things away, use them in a craft! Crafts are really great at helping kids develop fine motor skills, boost creativity and increase self expression. I like this blog which has lots of ideas to get you started.
We also use this Crafty Kids book for inspiration and ideas.
5. Potty train
Yes, really. In our house we have a toddler and I put off potty training for a while becasue he didn’t seem ready and with the business of family life I left it a little too long! Do you have multiple kids and a busy life? Maybe you have a child who’s a little younger but could be trained right now? Now’s a great time to help little ones learn personal hygiene skills.
6. Learn a new skill
This one is great for older kids who need something more complex to keep them busy indoors. How about learning an instrument, learning to paint or sew or even learning to code? Sites like Udemy have lots of resources, plus, all courses are on sale right now!
7. Have garden time
Whenever possible I encourage my kids to play outside. Getting outside on a sunny day can make a world of difference to their mood and energy for the rest of the day.
We all need sunshine, not just for the immune boosting vitamin D benefits but also for our mood! Exposure to sunlight releases the hormone seratonin which is a mood booster that makes a person feel relaxed and focused.
8. Go on a nature hunt
Do you live near trails or big parks? Even if you don’t, you can do a nature hunt in your garden or backyard. Make a list of things for your kids to find like leaves, twigs or different coloured flowers. Kids love the outdoors and exploring their environment.
Reading is a really good way to spend time together. Reading helps and sharpens the mind by increasing concentration and focus. On young develping minds, reading to them prepares them to excel in education and all aspects of society. If your kids are old enough to read on their own, encourage reading time once or twice a day. Once it becomes a habit, they’ll learn to really enjoy reading without a scheduled reading time.
10. Do a jigsaw puzzle
Puzzles are time-consuming and a lot of fun. Kids especially like problem solving and the thrill of figuring out how to “fix something”. Puzzles help hand-eye coordination and encourage kids to learn discipline, focus and patience. They can even offer a sense of achievement once they are completed. In our home we keep puzzles on hand of different sizes for different age groups.
One of our favourite brands are the Ravensburger puzzles like this Paw Patrol one. I like this particular brand because they have excellent quality, the pieces are easy to fit together and the puzzle images attractive for little ones.
11. Practice handwriting
People think of handwriting practice as a chore you have to do for school but it can actually be fun! Why not have your child learn how to write cursive or show him or her different handwriting styles. Do a short writing contest or use simple calligraphy tracing sheets specially made for kids. This video is a great tutorial on simple calligraphy for kids.
12. Create a recipe
Do you have a dish you make frequently that needs to be written down? I know I do! If you have some extra time on your hands, now is a great time to create a fun recipe with your kids or add to one you already have.
Get a recipe book like this Recipe Organizer and start a family recipe book you can pass down to your kids or grandkids one day. The possibilities are endless which makes for one of the great things to do with your kids at home.
13. Organize and declutter
Family life is busy and hectic which can easily lead to a build up of unwanted clutter. Kids’ rooms can get cluttered pretty quickly, especially places like wardrobes. Why not create a family “declutter” challenge. Go through one room each week and sort through what you want to keep, give away or throw away. Then organize what you have left.
Kids thrive in an organized and clean environment and this is a perfect way to get them involved and busy.
14. Help your community
Humans are relational beings. Relationships are necessary for our wellbeing. Why not reach out to someone in your community who might need help. Maybe an elderly person who could use a warm meal or a mum with little kids who would appreciate extra toys or games you might have that you could take over.
15. Clean toys
Do you have a lot of toys built up that could use a good scrub? Get your kids involved! Have them wash toy animals, cars or anything else that needs a wash or wipe down. Make is fun by using a big tub or create different cleaning stations they could take over. If anything, it’ll give them something to do that’s also helpful.
16. Make a fort
I remember being a kid and making forts with my sister at home. We used everything from sheets and chairs to matteresses (yes, really) and it was a lot of fun! Make a fort with pillows and cushions. It’s a fun activity that could keep little ones entertained indoors for hours.
17. Create a scavenger hunt
Most scavenger hunts are done outdoors where you have a list of random objects you need to try and find. Of course, if you have a garden or backyard you could do it there but even if you don’t you can easily create one for indoors.
Simply create a list of random objects and hand the list to your kids. Split into groups or work individually but the aim is to find as many or all of the objects listed the fastest. This game is a lot of fun, versatile and can be played for hours.
18. Learn to tie your shoelaces
Ok, if you’re reading this you probably already know how to tie your shoelaces. This one works great for little kids who are still learning basic hand motor skills. This Melissa & Doug Wooden Lacing Sneaker is a good shoe lacing toy that’s both sturdy and non toxic.
19. Plant something
This is one of my favourite things to do at home with little kids. One, because kids love nature and anything to do with it and two, because they really like playing with soil. I always encourage playing with dirt because it’s a good way to build up the immune system by exposing them to protiotics in soil.
What can you grow? Anything from herbs and flowers to vegetables. You can even grow food from the food you already have (without having to buy garden seeds) like lettuce, potatoes and onions.
Don’t have a garden? Try indoor gardening and pot planting. This post from The Spruce has some good ideas on how to garden indoors with kids.
20. Have a pizza contest night
A pizza contest night is an easy way to get the family involved in cooking, not to mention fun! Get the kids involved in rollspreading the sauce and picking ot toppings. See who can make the best tasting pizza with the most ingredients or least ingredients. This is also a great time to use up extra food lying around in your fridge or pantry!
21. Make a card for someone you love
Making cards is not only fun but also special. Card making is a craft that can use almost any material. It’s versatile and you can get really creative; a great thing to do with your kids at home . Make some home-made cards for a birthday coming up or holiday.
Try nature cards with pressed flowers or mix and match different fabrics and textures. For some ideas check out this post from Red Ted Art.
22. Make a cross-word puzzle
Create a family cross-word puzzle! You can make it personal to your family which can be really meaningful. Make it historical (like a family tree), comical or personal. The sky’s the limit! You can check out this puzzle generator from Education.com for an easy way to create one.
23. Make DIY pottery
Kids really enjoy doing anything hands-on, at least mine do! This is no surprise because they learn through their senses. Home-made pottery is a fun, cheap and creative way to spend time inside. I prefer air dry clay like this Air Dry Modeling Clay because it’s easy to shape and doesn’t require baking.
Make jewellry holders, little bowls or even mini tea cups for a tea party!
24. Make your own playdoh or salt dough
Another great activity that kids can make themselves and play with. It’s one of the best things to do at home with your kids because you can get creative with colours and whatever you choose to make. For non-toxic homeade playdoh try this recipe from Mommypotamus.
How to make salt dough: mix 1 cup of flour with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup water and stir until a dough is formed. Make your creations and bake at 180C until solid.
25. Make soap
Soap making is an art. While it does involve using lye which is dangerous unless you wear protective gear, you can buy pre-made soap bases and use that to make your own soap like this 100% Natural Goats Milk Soap Base.
Simply melt the soap base in a double boiler then add colouring, essential oils or even salt grains or oats.
With a little creativity you can find a whole lot of things to do with your kids at home. It can be a lot of fun and lead to stornger relationships as you connect with your kids.
Take some time to find one or two things you can do at home with your kids and schedule it in to your day. A plan always makes it easier to navigate those “bored” moments that kids ususally find themselves in.
How about you? What’s something you like to do with your kids at home?