At home activities to do with your kids
During these ever so uncertain times, staying positive, productive, and well-nourished while practicing social distancing is key.
The kiddos need a bit more support, too. School is out, most daycares have shut down, and they surely don’t understand what is going on in the world right now. And that’s okay. We just need to keep them happy and engaged in activities at home to keep the calm for everyone in the household.
Here are several kid-friendly at-home activities that the youngin’s are sure to enjoy:
01 Stained Glass Window Art
(A 20-30 minute independent activity)
Don’t stress, we’re not suggesting you ruin your windows with paint or glue. This craft only requires colorful transparency sheets, water, and an imagination! You can find multi-colored transparency sheets at any arts and crafts store and also online too.
With a pair of safety scissors, a small water cup, and a window, your kid(s) can cut the sheets into various shapes and sizes, dip them into the water, and stick them onto the window (And, yes, they will come right off. This is a pop-up exhibit for your little Picasso.)
Pro tip: Guide them with the appropriate amount of water to use so you don’t come back to puddles once they’ve finished their masterpiece.
02 Yoga for Kids
(A 20-30 minute activity that can be independent after some initial guidance)
What better time than now to get the kids started with a healthy living routine? Get them moving and stretching with one of the numerous kid-friendly yoga videos on YouTube. Be sure to practice with them the very first time so they can build confidence. Encourage them to model the instructor’s movements the best they can and to have fun with it!
Pro tip: Kids love options. Once they’ve been practicing for a week (and are hopefully enjoying it), let them choose next week’s yoga video.
03 Gâteau au Yaourt (Yogurt Cake) Recipe
(A 30-minute activity that can be independent after some initial guidance)
If you’re one of the many moms who have read the popular parenting book Bringing Up Bébé, then you’ll instantly recognize this recipe, which can be mastered by children 3 and up.
Using yogurt cups to measure every ingredient, this lightly sweetened cake is used in France as a way to teach children independent play, self-discipline, and patience, since they must wait until the cake is baked and fully cooled before enjoying a slice.
Pro tip: Make the cake with your kid(s) the first 1-3 times. Depending on their age, they may need pointers and reminders after that.
Gâteau au Yaourt (Yogurt Cake)
- 2 six ounce containers of plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 containers sugar (or just one depending on how sweet you’d like your cake)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Just under 1 container of vegetable oil
- 4 containers flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Creme fraîche (optional)
- 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- 2. Use vegetable oil to grease a 9-inch round cake or loaf pan.
- 3. Gently combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil. In a separate bowl mix together flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently until combined (do not over mix). You can add 2 containers of fresh or frozen berries, chocolate chips, or any flavoring you’d like. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. It should be near-crispy on the outside, but springy inside. The cake is delicious with a dollop of créme fraîche.
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Recipe from Bringing Up Bébé
04 Silly Slime
(Activity time varies, depending on interest level)
Because, at some point in their lives, they are bound to request some homemade slime. There are tons of recipes out there for this squishy, goopy, sticky mess – most calling for ingredients like glue, eye drops, and laundry detergent. If you’re one of the many mamas (or papas!) who want a non-toxic option for slime, we found an excellent recipe at wellnessmama.com, which uses water, cornstarch, natural food coloring, and organic ground psyllium husk.
Pro tip: For children 6 and up, write out the recipe and watch them as they create their own slime. Then, give them designated slime approved areas in the house (or outside). For younger children, make the slime with them and set up a small play area in the kitchen where they can enjoy playing with it.
05 Indoor Treasure Hunt
(A 30-minute independent activity after your initial legwork)
Whether it’s a few single dollar bills, candy, and/or small stocking stuffers you forgot you had in the closet, they’ll be motivated to search for them with a treasure hunt around the house. Simply write down age-appropriate clues (5-20 clues, depending on their age and how long you want the treasure hunt to last) and place them strategically around the house so that one clue leads to another.
One example would be: “I have four legs, but I don’t have feet. I come in handy when it’s time to eat!” Hopefully, they’ll locate the utensil drawer, looking for a fork. Inside, they’ll find their next clue.
Pro tip: Make a list of rules for the treasure hunt like: no running, no emptying of drawers, cabinets, and no horseplay (if they’re playing with their sibling). If you want, you can provide small prizes for every few clues, but save the best clue for last!
06 Fort Challenge
(Independent activity, time varies based on interest and age)
It doesn’t get much easier than a good old-fashioned fort building session. Provide them with any extra cardboard boxes you have around the house, a spare sheet or two, a couple pillows, and maybe even a broom and mop. Challenge them to create an epic fort in a designated area in the house.
Pro tip: If they’re older, give them the freedom to make a list of 5-10 fort building materials they need. Provide them with any/all items from this list that you’re comfortable with them using. This will keep them busier longer and will encourage higher-level thinking and strategy.