Dr. Hawley isn’t just a Papillion orthodontist, he’s also a father of four kiddos. So, he knows firsthand how difficult keeping kids entertained at home can be. While a little boredom is great and studies show it actually encourages creativity in children, it’s not a bad idea to have some activities up your sleeve to get kids excited, engaged and keep them learning. This is truer than ever as schools and businesses close due to the COVID-19 outbreak and we’re all striving to stay positive, while also practicing social distancing. Well, we have you covered with 11 fun things to do with kids at home:
Create a Backyard Obstacle Course
Sometimes you just need to find activities to do with kids that burn off as much of their energy as possible, which is where an obstacle course comes in. If you have one child, you can have them beat their own time. If you have a whole brood, you could do a family Olympics and make it a competition. Use items you already own and set up different obstacles. Playtivities has a ton of ideas for backyard obstacle courses for kids that you can tailor to their needs.
Plant a Garden
Set aside a little space in the backyard or create a window garden with small planters. Pick out a few different options of flowers, vegetables or herbs and let your child choose what they want to plant. They can then plant, water and weed their garden. School-aged kids might want to track their garden’s progress in a garden journal. It’s not only great for keeping kids entertained at home, it’s also a learning experience and helps them connect with nature.
Put on a Play
Another of the fun things to do with kids at home is to put on a family production. Have your child or children write a script. Then, dig around in your closets for costumes and props. If you have supplies on-hand, you can even do a little set design. Everyone in the family can spend some time learning their lines and then put on the play together. If you’re feeling up to it and want an audience, FaceTime or Skype with grandparents so they can see the show!
Do a Workout Together
We don’t want to leave the teens off of this list of activities to do with kids. Beachbody is offering two free weeks of workouts perfect for parents and teenagers alike. You can sign up and sweat together without having to leave the house.
Tackle a Chapter Book
Reading to little ones is one of the best activities to do with kids because it can spark their creativity and help them develop a love of books. Consider a longer chapter book that you work your way through over several weeks or even months. This is also a great way to take a break during the day if kids will be learning remotely for the next few weeks. Every day, cuddle up and read one or two chapters to them. Not sure which book to choose? Here is a list of 20 chapter books to read aloud to your kids.
Make a Treat Together
When children have a hand in making food, they’re more likely to eat it! Plus, cooking and baking are fun. For young children who aren’t ready to really dive into a recipe, you can have them be the designated mixer or you can make something simple like popsicles together. For school-aged children, letting them choose the recipe can make it all that much more exciting. Here are some excellent recipes kids can bake. When the food is done, you could have a picnic in your yard to enjoy it.
Enjoy a Free Art Class
A number of artists are offering free art classes for kids, teens and families. Try out LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems on YouTube where he posts a new video each day at 1pm EST showing kids how to doodle and sharing things around his studio. Raising Wonder by Sarah Jane Studios is also offering free daily printables and videos for the next few weeks. You can sign up via the pop-up on her website to receive daily emails with the activities.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Make a treasure map for little kids to follow that leads them to small prizes you’ve hidden around the house. If your kids are able to read, you could add clues or riddles to the mix that they have to solve in order to find the treasure. For example, you could create an index card that says, “I’m hidden under something that gets wetter the more it dries.” The prize could then be hidden underneath a basket of extra towels or under the towels in the linen closet.
Do Arts and Crafts With Things Around the House
Arts and crafts projects are always fun! Here are some super cute and easy activities to do with kids using items you probably already have in your house:
- Tissue box monsters via The Best Ideas for Kids
- Mini lid banjos via The Craft Train
- Sailboat craft via Parents
- Egg carton turtles via All Free Kids Crafts
Try Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga is an amazing way for kids to practice mindfulness and get in a little exercise. Cosmic Kids Yoga makes it kid-friendly and really fun by guiding participants on yoga adventures where the poses coincide with stories. You can check out their YouTube channel for free adventures or take advantage of two weeks free on the app!
Start a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Encourage your neighbors to join you in a scavenger hunt. Set up a group text or Facebook group and decide on a theme. Then, everyone decorates suggested items and places them outside of their house. For example, if the theme is spring flowers, maybe everyone hangs a flower decoration in their window or on their door. When your family is out for a walk, you see how many you can find! You’ll keep the kids busy and connect with your neighbors and friends.
We hope you’ll use our ideas for fun things to do with kids at home to bring a little lightness to this challenging time and help you and your family keep smiling! Remember, we’re all in this together. If you have any questions about how Hawley Orthodontics is handling COVID-19, please, don’t hesitate to reach out at (402) 592-3200 or check out our updates on social media. We’re always happy to help!