16 Creative Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy During Social Distancing

As the days and weeks now turn into more than a month of social distancing, you may be running out of ideas to keep your children busy during the long days at home. You are not alone.

But don’t worry! We have plenty of out-of-the-box suggestions you might want to try to put excitement back into their routine. Check these out:

  • Boredom sticks: Brainstorm different activities with your child and write them on popsicle sticks. Keep them in a cup or jar, and have your child choose one when they say, “I’m bored. What can I do?” The sticks can include games, Lego challenges, puzzles, reading time, and don’t forget those household chores! Just make sure it’s understood that your child must do the item they select with no complaints!
  • Egg drop challenge: This is sure to be a hit! Have your child build a well-insulated container to hold a hard-boiled egg. Then, they can drop it from different heights to see if it will crack and record the results.
  • Get the grands involved: Strong relationships help kids build resilience so they can bounce back from tough times. And these days, there are endless options to tap into virtual grandparenting to give yourself a bit of a break. Your child can play multi-player games online with grandparents, play card games over video chat, or read books together by phone or video chat – just to name a few ideas. In this post, our developmental pediatrician suggests 23 video chat activities.
  • Scavenger hunt hikes: Have your child make a list of items they would like to look for on a neighborhood walk or trail hike. Then cross them off during the adventure.
  • Alphabet drive: Take a drive around town and have your child find the letters of the alphabet (in order) on different signs.
  • Quarantine journal: Have your child put their thoughts about the coronavirus and social distancing on paper and document their activities during this time.
  • Quarantine time capsule: Have your child locate items around the house that are unique to this social distancing time and add them to a time capsule. Then in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years, you can open it together and reminisce.
  • Obstacle courses: Have your child use items around the house or yard to create an indoor or outdoor obstacle course. Challenge them to build a different challenge once a week!
  • Learn to cook new recipes: Work with your child to select new recipes for dinner and prepare them together.
  • Treat of the week: Kids love baking. Have your child select a treat for each week and then bake it together.
  • Dinner theme night: Have your child brainstorm ideas for a dinner theme night every week. Then, everyone shows up at the table dressed to impress! Try ‘70s night, ‘80s night, favorite cartoon character, favorite rock star, favorite TV character – the list goes on. Have fun!
  • Choose dinner and activity: Have your child choose what to have for dinner and pick an after-dinner activity. This will give them a voice in meal-planning and the fun activities to follow!
  • 30-Day LEGO challenge: Just search this online and you’ll have endless fun at your fingertips. Your child can use their creativity to make a different project each day. There are lots to choose from, so when one challenge ends, another can begin!
  • Sticker art: Have your child put those stickers that are piling up in a drawer to good use! Have them pick a favorite shape and use stickers to make it. You can also have them use the stickers to create an abstract art or nature collage.
  • Get them gardening: Brainstorm ideas with your child for the perfect garden. Then, order supplies online, and when the weather warms up have your child plant and maintain the area.
  • Build a fort: Tap into your child’s imagination and have them create the ultimate fort for hiding, reading or just relaxing.

Of course, there are plenty of other outdoor and indoor activities to consider – including reading challenges, painting, putting jigsaw puzzles together, printing color-by-number activities from the Internet, planning a daily exercise routine, riding bikes, playing with bubbles and helping out with chores. Whatever activity you choose, just be sure to have fun!

> Want help getting your family through COVID-19? Check out our School Closure Kit

> Learn more about coronavirus

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