Keeping your kids happy and busy at home
Parenting can be hard at times and keeping your kids happy and entertained can be an exhausting task. Especially when they don’t have school or don’t go to daycare you need kids activities to keep your own sanity.
As a stay at home mom, I know the struggle all too well. Kids need to get their energy out.
Following you can find all kinds of crafts you can do with your kids and activities for inside and outside.
All of these kids activities ideas are budget-friendly and easy to make. This list will constantly be updated so make sure to come back for more ideas.
Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take action after clicking one of these. For full disclosure click here.
Pin it for later:
Build a fort
The classic – a fort made out of chairs and a big blanket on top is a lot of fun for any age.
Inside the fort, you can make it super comfortable with pillows on the ground, another blanket or two, drink hot chocolate inside, read a book with a flashlight or set up an actual small lamp and get cozy.
Decorate your fort however you want. There are no limits besides the obvious ones like no candles for safety reasons.
Miss Megan’s Camp Kindergarten
If you are on Facebook go check out this amazing Facebook group right now.
Megan is a former kindergarten teacher and current preschool assistant and holds “morning meetings” as a live video in her group where your kids can learn and sing with her. It’s recommended for kids age 3-7.
Listen to a audio book
Audible offers Kids audio books completely for free as long as the schools remain closed.
You do not even need a account with them.
Just click here and start listening. The audio books are organized by age so you can find the perfect book to listen to really easy. You can even listen to audio books in other languages.
Make your own sidewalk chalk paint
It is so easy to make and so much fun. All you need are three basic ingredients that you most likely have at home.
- 2 Parts Corn Starch
- 5 Parts Water
- Food Coloring
- Cupcake Baking Sheet and Brushes
I used a 1/4 cup for each part of water and corn starch. That will give you plenty of paint.
Mix the corn starch with water and fill in the cupcake forms. Add food coloring and you’re done.
It will dry to a chalk like paint. You should add a bit more color to the darker colors.
Take a virtual tour / Webcam
Go look at some fishes and beluga whales at the Georgia aquarium with their webcams.
The San Diego Zoo also offers a variety of video footage and live webcams. Make sure you check the feeding times on their website.
Have wild animals in your house
Google a animal like LION for example and click on “show in 3D” and it will pop up on your phone.
You can let your kid explore it or take a picture with your kid next to the animal. My daughter was very excited about the lion in our house.
Make your own play dough
You actually only need a few ingredients to make your own play-dough. Joanne from life with Joanne took it even further and uses all edible ingredients – how awesome is that?
She also writes that playing with the playdough has a calming effect on one of her children.
Get the full tutorial here.
Read a book
Coloring or worksheets
A good old coloring book is always a great idea. You can find pretty cheap ones at dollar tree.
Dollar Tree also has a big variety of workbooks for preschoolers and kindergarten for cheap. Or a simple piece of plain copier paper and crayons plus some stickers so your kid can get extra creative.
You can also access our free printable library for worksheets, coloring pages and many more to print out.
Bubbles are probably the easiest form of entertainment for your kid.
You can blow bubbles inside and outside and make a whole game out of it. See who can catch bubbles or pop them before they hit the ground. Turn it in a bubble dance party with some music.
Believe it or not – especially small children love helping with the household.
I let my toddler do really easy chores like throwing laundry in the hamper or in the washing machine, let her start the dishwasher by pressing the button, we clean up toys together and when I vacuum I let her “clean” with a broom and so on.
While those chores may not actually help that much it makes them feel proud to be able to help.
Lindsey from These Hungry Kids has a whole post about 25 Chores your toddler can help you with.
Make Friendship Bracelets
Make some quick and cute DIY friendship bracelets that your kid can give to classmates once school is back up again.
Holly from simplify create inspire shares a great tutorial on how to make one on her website.
Playing in the mud is always great. Let your kid get all crazy in the mud or sand.
Make sure they are dressed appropriately in old clothing and clothing that keeps the water from their body. I would suggest doing this when it’s not too cold.
Get crafty – here is a whole list of different Easter crafts you can easily make with your kids with different materials.
Since Easter is next month it’s the perfect time to start now. Or scroll further to find three Easter- and spring-themed projects using toilet paper rolls and a fork.
Paint the Sidewalk
Using the sidewalk chalk and creating beautiful art is so much fun, you can participate too and on top of that everyone gets some fresh air. Turn your Sidewalk or driveway into a Canvas.
You can draw streets and let your kid drive the streets with their bike. We even painted Disney characters and one of our neighbors walked by with her daughter and the kid got so excited when she saw the Winnie pooh.
Make your own food for the play kitchen
Making your own food for the play kitchen is so much fun.
My toddler and I had a huge blast when we made bread, pretzels and even a banana. You can also use cookie cutters and anything else you have in your kitchen to create your unique masterpieces.
A whole tutorial including a recipe for salt dough can be found here.
Craft with card boxes
David from dad life lessons shares a tutorial on how to make a whole dollhouse with card boxes.
This is a great way to get rid of all the amazon boxes that are probably adding up in your house anyway. (We are all guilty of too much amazon shopping anyway)
Make a sensory bin
A sensory bin helps your baby/toddler’s development. You can use all kinds of things that you already have in your house.
Depending on the age of your child it shouldn’t be too small. You could include buttons, wooden spoon, feathers, wooden blocks, fabric pieces, small toys and many more.
The whole idea is to throw many different surfaces and materials together so your kid can experience different materials. Here is an example for a valentines themed sensory bin.
Make moon sand
This is a fun sensory activity too. You can compare moon sand to the classic kinetic sand.
It crumbles but you can form it and it stays in shape and the best thing – it only has two ingredients and is edible in case your kid still likes to put everything in their mouth. Find the full tutorial here.
Make a busy book/quiet book
A busy book or quiet book can include everything. From coloring pages and worksheets to sensory activities. We made one the other day and my toddler is completely occupied when I give it to her.
She especially loves the colored cards I attached with fastener dots. A busy book can be made for kids of any age with different materials. You can read more here about making your own busy or quiet book.
You can also buy a 30 page printable busy book in our shop. (I added more pages)
Start planting some plants and flowers in your backyard. Kids can be a great help doing so and it is a fun activity.
Right now Dollar Tree still has seeds and seed starter in case you are on a budget. They also have pots and utensils for planting and your garden in general.
Get daily activity tips from Gymboree
All you have to do is follow them on Instagram. Gymboree Munich is sharing tips every day to keep your kid active to get all that extra energy out that they seem to have way too much of.
Send your kid on a scavenger hunt
I remember how fun that was when I was a child and it is so easy to prepare.
You can grab these printables for your scavenger hunt and let your kid find everything on the list or write your own. Scavenger hunts are perfect for inside as well as outside and depending on where you live you can write so many things down.
Make edible bathtub paint
This one is so much fun for toddlers and kept mine busy pretty good plus she absolutely loved it.
The bathtub paint is edible and made with only two ingredients – check it out here: Baththub paint
Play Board Games
Dust off the old board games and play a round of Monopoly. Depending on the age of your kid you can find many different board games for the whole family that are so much fun to play.
Turn it into a whole family night with homemade food and a variety of board games for the whole family to play.
You can start introducing your kid to cooking at a very early age and depending on their abilities they can help you. Give them simple tasks like combining ingredients in a bowl.
My toddler absolutely loves helping me in the kitchen and feels very proud when she accomplishes tasks.
Make your living room or backyard an obstacle course – lay down wooden spoons your kid has to jump over, bottles they have to walk a slalom around and many more. You can get really creative here. Other things that can be used are ropes, playmats, boxes.
Craft with old toilet paper rolls
This Easter bunny is super easy to make with an empty toilet paper roll. Use the printable for the right size on colored paper and glue everything together. Then your bunny just needs a face and you’re done.
Or cut a roll of toilet paper in 3 same size pieces and stamp Easter bunny’s on a piece of paper.
You can either glue them together in the Easter bunny shape or use them separate. We used crayons to add some grass (the fork makes really good grass too). You could also add Easter eggs and other Easter decorations.
If you have any old plastic forks laying around you can make tulips.
Simply press the fork in paint and carefully on a piece of paper. Add the stem and leaves with crayons and you have a beautiful painting. You can also use the fork to paint grass.
Which one of those kids activities are you gonna try?
Do you need ways to keep your kid entertained while working from home? Get access to my free printable library with over 90 pages of fun worksheets, coloring pages and craft projects.