Being stuck at home isn’t ideal, but here are ways to make dealing with self-isolation from COVID-19 just a little bit more fun for the whole family.
Family activities to help you avoid coronavirus cabin fever.
It’s not fun being cooped up because of self-isolation and social distancing, but with a little bit of effort, you can create some fun things to do at home to help the time pass and make some wonderful memories. You’ll probably have to work with what you have one hand, since so many stores are closed. But with a little creativity, we’re sure you can make most of these ideas work. You’ve got this!
1. Zoom around in cardboard race cars
Let your kids zoom through the living room in their very own race car. Get the instructions here.
2. Make a cardboard dollhouse
Create your own dollhouse, as intricate or as simple as you’d like. We’ve got instructions for one that’s a series of “apartments” that can be broken up and played with however you’d like. Find it here.
3. Make your own drive-in movie
Make a box car for an indoor drive-in film. Get the instructions here.
4. Bring Minecraft to life
Got a Minecraft fan at home? They’ll flip for this creeper box craft. Find it and templates for Minecraft pixel pickaxes here.
5. Make your own pinwheel
This simple craft is best enjoyed in a breeze, but standing in front of a fan gets the job done too. Learn to make your own here.
6. Make a portable art easel
Don’t throw away that cardboard box! Make a sturdy and portable art easel for your mini Monet. Get the instructions here.
7. Make a calming jar
Help your kids cool down and relax with these easy-to-make calming jars. All you need is hand soap, water and a handful of shiny glitter and beads to help your kids find their inner peace. Get the instructions here.
8. Blow bubbles
9. Play hide-and-seek
Another classic fun things to do at home. Who can find the best hiding spot in the house?
10. Make a bird feeder
What better spring craft is there than making a DIY bird feeder? Or try painting a birdhouse, which you can purchase at your local craft store.
11. Play a game of hopscotch
You might think this game is too simple, but it’s always a great time-killer and super fun to play at any age.
12. Get gardening
Spend some time outdoors by planting flowers in the yard. Your little ones will love getting messy in the fresh soil and being on garden hose duty.
13. Wash your car
If it’s warm enough outside, get the kids to help you out with cleaning up your family vehicle(s) on the driveway.
14. Collect and paint rocks
Go to a nearby park and collect rocks, then make a craft day out of it. Paint them with whatever paint you have at home and maybe even turn them into rock magnets for the fridge.
15. Take lots of pictures
Make sure that while living in the moment, you don’t forget to snap photos of the silly and fun times, too. Print the photos and have the kids help you finally put together that scrapbook or album you’ve wanted to make.
16. Build a fort
Any time of the year is the perfect time to build a fort. It’s great for some pretend indoor camping!
17. Draw with sidewalk chalk
Sprawl out on the sidewalk with a big bucket of chalk or spruce up your driveway with your wildest creations.
18. Have a scavenger hunt
Put together a list of household objects and see who can be the first to find everything on the list!
19. Watch the sunset
The best ending to the perfect spring day is watching the sunset with the little ones before calling it a night.
20. Get baking
Ge the most out of baking with your kids. Pretend to be bakers while practicing essential skills like reading with recipes or counting with ingredients.
21. Get silly with your kids
Try these low cost options for just having some good ole silly fun.
22. Make a twig sailboat
Time to set sail in a lake, pail or bathtub! Make these cute little crafts out of simple supplies. Find instructions here.
23. Make a time capsule
A sweet time capsule filled with special trinkets and memories is always a fun indoor activity to do with kids. Have them help decorate the box and curate which items to put in it. Learn how here.
24. Learn a few magic tricks
Who doesn’t love magic? Learn some simple sleight of hand with this easy guide.
25. Play card games
Teach your kid some fun classic card games like Go Fish!, Crazy Eights, Slapjack and more!
26. Play freeze dance
Choose some of your kids’ favourite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures. Toddlers in particular love this game.
27. Do a puzzle
Exercise those creative, cognitive and problem-solving muscles with a good puzzle. You can use a store-bought variety or have the kids make their own. Have your children draw a picture on a sturdy piece of cardboard or Bristol board. Then use a pencil to outline puzzle pieces directly on their drawing. Cut out the pieces with a good pair of scissors, mix them up and get solving. Indoor games and craft in one fun activity!
28. Improvise some paper-bag skits
This indoor game is ideal for larger families. Divide the kids (and adults) up into groups. Give each group a bag filled with props, such as a spoon, toy jewelry, a sock, ball or ribbon. Then give them 15 minutes to construct a skit around the props. This game is so much fun that it doesn’t have to be competitive. If the kids want, though, they can vote on a winning skit.
29. Make a DIY balance beam
If you have masking tape on hand, why not make your own balance beam? We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Put on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.
30. Do some indoor bowling
A great way to reuse water bottles (or you can purchase an indoor bowling set). Line six-10 water bottles up at the end of your hall or living room. Place a line of duct tape at the starting line. Grab a medium-sized indoor ball and start bowling! If you want, keep score and give out trophies at the end. (Note: if you need to stabilize the water bottles or make the game more difficult, simply fill them up with some water. Don’t forget to screw the tops on tightly!) Learn how to make a classic set of pins here, or find instructions for some cute cactus-themed bowling pins here.
31. Play Hot Potato
This game will have everyone giggling. Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.
32. Play the listening game
This game is sure to both educate and delight little ones. Take out several miscellaneous items. Have the children look at all the items, and then take them away. Next, ask one child to hide his or her eyes and listen as you pick up an item and make sounds with it. Ask the child to guess which item made the sound. Examples of items might be a comb (run your fingers along it), a glass (gently tap it), cymbals, shakers, sandpaper, blocks rubbed together, a pot and spoon. Be creative and have fun!
33. Play Simon Says
This traditional favourite will never get old. To start, choose one player (probably a parent for the first round) to be Simon. The rest of the players will gather in a circle or line in front of Simon as he calls out actions starting with the phrase “Simon says”: “Simon says…touch your toes.” The players then have to copy Simon’s action, touching their toes. If Simon calls out an action without uttering the phrase “Simon says,” the kids must not do the action. If a child touches his toes when Simon didn’t say…, he or she is out of the game. There are lots of great ways Simon can trick players into doing actions when Simon didn’t say: Simon can perform an action without uttering a command, for example, or he can perform an action that doesn’t correspond with the command. Fun! The last player left in the game wins and becomes the next Simon.
34. Set up a game of indoor basketball
You can’t be too little for this version of basketball. All you need is a bucket and a rolled up sock (or a small, light ball). Each player takes a turn at throwing the sock-ball into the bucket. When a player scores a bucket, he or she takes a step back and throws again until missing. The player who shoots the ball in the bucket from the farthest distance wins.
35. Learn some classic hand-clapping games
These classic hand-clapping games are sure to pass the time with your little ones. Just make sure everyone washes their hands before and after!
36. Make an emoji magic 8-ball
Who knows what the future holds during this uncertain time? Your little ones will after the make this adorable craft. Get instructions here.
37.Take to the skies in cardboard planes
Fly in style with this colourful plane. Find it here.
38. Make a mini city out of toilet paper rolls
Save up your empty toilet paper rolls and once there’s enough, have your kiddies make a city out of them! Get the instructions here.
39. Make rainbow crayons
Collect all those broken crayons and melt them down into moulds to turn them into exciting multicoloured crayons in fun shapes! Get the instructions here
40. Make a pair of paper roll binoculars
These binoculars are powered solely by your kids’ imaginations. Have your kids go on an epic safari right there in your living room. No need to worry if they ever rip or get sat on, it’s super easy to whip up a new pair. Get the instructions here.
41. Make a foosball table
See that empty shoe box? With some wooden dowels, paint, and a handful of clothespins, it is now the home of your awesome DIY foosball table. Game on! Get the instructions here.
42. Make a desk caddy
Help your kids get their desks organized with these cute desk caddies! Made from a shoebox, toilet paper rolls and newspaper, your kid can design it however they want. Get the instructions here.
43. Make a jetpack
Want to send your kids on an imaginary adventure in outer space? Have them make a jetpack out of empty pop bottles and watch them travel the galaxy. Get the instructions here.
44. Have sensory fun with this lady bug sensory box
A few basic supplies are all you need to make a cute and educational sensory box. Get the instructions here.
45. Make a holiday tree
Got some old cupcake liners lying around? Depending on their colours, this paper tree craft can be used to make decorations for different holidays throughout the year. Red and green liners? Christmas! Orange and black? Halloween! Pink and white? Valentine’s Day! What holiday will your family be celebrating next? Get the instructions here.
46. Make a basketball pennant flag
The NBA season may have been suspended but you can still celebrate your kid’s favourite sport. Get the instructions here.
47. Craft some cozy critters
Make these cozy little critters to keep your kids’ hard-boiled eggs nice and warm. When eggs aren’t on the menu, they do double as tiny puppets! Get the instructions here.
48. Make some fancy felt hairpins
Turn plain bobby pins into your child’s new favourite accessory with some felt shapes, glue and glitter. Try different shapes to match the season: snowflakes for winter, flowers for spring, a beachball for summer and leaves for fall. And stars work for every season. Get the instructions here.
49. Make some owl eye pillow masks
Get your little night owl excited to sleep with this charming eye mask. Do this craft with your kids in the morning before lunch so it’ll be ready for naptime! Get the instructions here.
50. Play pretend with these Yoda ears
These ears will instantly turn your kiddo into a wise, old jedi master. Round out the ends and use black and pink felt to make easy cow ears. White and pink felt will give you the cutest lamb ears. Now who wants to play pretend? Get the instructions here.
51. Make pipe cleaner crowns
Speaking of dress up, what princess (or prince) would be caught without their crown? We have three adorable (and bejewelled) crowns you can make with just a few supplies. Find the instructions here.
52. Make mini hockey sticks
Who’s up for a game of mini hockey? These mini hockey sticks are quick and easy to make, just use a plastic bottle cap or small circular piece of cardboard as a puck! More instructions here.
53. Print out some fun pencil and paper games
These fun, simple pencil and paper games will keep kids occupied while parents try to get some work done. Get the printables here.
54. Whip up some edible playdough
This craft is perfect for little ones who love sticking everything in their mouths. (I’m looking at you, glue-eating Tommy.) This edible, dye-free playdough can be made with ingredients you likely have on hand. Make it before the party and then set out cookie cutters and rolling pins on a craft table. Then the kids can get their dough on! Learn how to make it here.
55. Make matching heart headbands
Some people like to wear their heart on their sleeve. But we prefer to wear our heart on our head! Make matching ones for everyone in the family and share what you love most about each other. Find out how here.
56. Create some braided accessories
These colourful braided accessories are fun to make and great for playing dress up. Kids can experiment with new patterns and colour combinations. Let the creative juices start flowing! Learn how to make them here.
57. Rock out with some disco microphones
Your little disco stars can sing their hearts out with these easy DIY microphones. Let them can choose a disco ball, glitter or sequins to decorate their very own mic for a karaoke showdown! Learn how here.
58. Marble-dye some eggs
These pretty marbled eggs don’t have to be just for Easter (although it’s coming up!). The kids can paint them to match a birthday theme, or turn them into their favourite characters (like red-and-blue for Spider Man). All you need are some eggs, food colouring and shaving cream. You might want to lay out a lot of newspaper—things might get messy! Get the instructions here.
59. Make sweet flower crown
Have a little flower-lover? Then this is the craft for your little one! She’ll be a true fairy princess this sweet flower crown. Learn how here.
60. Shake it out with these water bottle maracas
Feeling pent up? Let off some of that bottle up energy with these fun maracas. Learn how to make them here.
61. Make a kid-friendly terrarium
62. Make some bath fizzies
These instructions may be for Halloween-themed bath bombs, but you can make them into any shape you’d like to add more fun to bath time.
63. Make cute plastic lapel pins
Yes, you can make trendy pins with your flair-obsessed kids at home. They look super cute on a denim jacket or backpack (for when school finally reopens) Learn how here.
64. Refresh some old sneakers with splatter paint
Create your own designer sneakers at home with this simple splatter paint craft. Get the instructions here.
65. Make an old-school whirligig fidget toy
Fidget toys are perfect for when the family is stuck inside. Try making your own version of the old-timey classic with this easy DIY whirligig. Find out how here.
66. Make an easy reversible felt playmat
This reversible playmat is such a cinch to make and will provide your little one with hours of fun. Get the how-to here.
67. Create some easy felt embroidered patches
What kid (or adult) doesn’t love a cute embroidered patch? Watch this tutorial and learn how to make one yourself with our easy-to-follow steps. See, you are crafty!
68. Dip-dye a watermelon T-shirt
This sweet t-shirt is a fun and easy project to take to the yard. If you know how to dunk, you already know how to dip dye. Find out how here.
69. Play a board game
Boards games are great for bonding time as a family (even when it gets competitive). Check out which boards games are perfect for what age group here.
70. Sound safari
Show your school-age kid how to use the digital recorder on your phone, then ask them to go around the house or yard recording 10 different sounds. Emphasize that they should take their time and try to stump you. (Variation: very close-up shots with the camera.) Then get them to return to the sound booth, aka the couch, and you try to figure out what the sounds are. Pro tip: To keep your phone out of the toilet, ban “flushing” sounds.
71. Play a game of What’s on my butt?
Get comfy on the couch, belly down. Your kids take turns finding things around the house and putting them on your behind. You ask, “What’s on my butt?” (feel free to add funny voices here) and then try to guess. Hil-ar-i-ous.
72. Watch clouds
No, there are no clouds on the living room ceiling, but this is an imagination game. Lie down with your kiddo and whisper, “Wow, look at the beautiful clouds.” You can take turns pointing out what you “see” and pretty soon, creative kids will be spotting elephants and waterslides.
73. Stargaze indoors
Get a kitchen colander or two, a decent flashlight and some of your household’s thousands of little toys. Dinosaurs and horses are good. Lie down in a dark room and shine the flashlight through the colander onto the ceiling. Instant starry night! You can also shine the flashlight behind the toys to project shadows onto the ceiling and walls.
74. Play Don’t wake the giant
Since you’ve got those little plastic toys out…lie down and ask your kids to arrange the toys on your back or belly. Urge them to use their imaginations to set up scenes like a village, the African savannah or a parking lot. But wait—they’ve actually set up everything on a sleeping giant! Stretch, scratch, shake, or maybe even stand up.
75. Just roll around on the floor
Little-known fact: rolling around on the floor is a great way for your preschooler or kindergartener to fine-tune all kinds of developmental skills related to balance, coordination and strength. How awesome that you get to lie on the couch to get the best view of their game. Ask if they can roll straight like a pencil (little kids tend to move their top half first then their legs) or roll in both directions. Ask them to put their arms above their heads and hold on to a stuffed toy while they roll (this requires more strength and coordination). More than one kid? Get them to form a “conveyor belt” with coordinated rolling to move a toy along from one kid to another.
76. Make a race track
Lie on the floor with one knee up and maybe an arm outstretched. Get your kid to set up their train track or car track all around you. You’re the landscape!
77. Operation time
Introduce the kids to the retro game, with you as the patient. Get the kitchen tongs and some small objects, which you arrange on your belly or legs. Hand your toddler or preschooler the tongs and ask them to carefully pick up each item. Older kids can use tweezers. Add sound effects, of course. (Bonus: using tongs and tweezers is a good way to develop small muscles in their hands. It’s educational!)
78. Tattoo artist
Explain that tattoo artists work very slowly and carefully. Then break out the washable, non-toxic markers (some pencil crayons work when dipped in water too) and get yourself a temporary tat.
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