Whether you’re working from home, staying at home with your kids as they’re off school, or self-quarantining, many of us are spending a lot more time at home lately. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and the government recommends that we stay at home to help slow the speed of transmission, everything from school to after-school activities, sports, and music lessons, and playdates have been canceled. You may find yourself looking for ideas to keep your family occupied without leaving the house, apartment or condo.
Here are 20 fun family-friendly activities to explore:
Family members of all ages will love bringing out their inner Picasso or Frida Kahlo by doing arts and crafts, painting, drawing, making sculptures with Play-Doh, taking photos or making videos. Have fun with it!
Have a pajama party
As there’s nothing more fun than wearing your pajamas during the daytime, and it’s an activity best enjoyed at home! Make some yummy snacks, have a pillow fight, and tell each other some spooky ghost stories.
Make a fort
Whether with sheets, pillows, or cardboard boxes, making a fort is a fun activity that shows kids’ imaginations and keeps them engaged.
Play board games or cards
What better time for a game of Monopoly, Clue or Uno? Checkers and jigsaw puzzles are also great options to keep everyone happily occupied for a couple of hours.
Have a family game of charades
It’s impossible to stay bored when you’re playing charades! Categories can include movies, TV shows, activities, musical artists, books, or whatever else you can think of.
Start a family band
You don’t need real instruments, either (although if you have them, all the better)! Create makeshift instruments using drums made out of cans and buckets, paper plate tambourines, glasses of water filled at varying heights and a spoon for a homemade xylophone, and Tupperware filled with different materials for shakers.
Dance, dance, dance
While you’re having fun making music, get your groove on and have a family dance party.
Create an at-home scavenger hunt
There are all kinds of knick-knacks in your home or condo that can be used as bounty in a fun treasure hunt.
Have some fun in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits (or donuts) of your labor! Baking cookies, cakes, brownies or other treats is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Better yet, did you know that baking has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety?
Have an indoor picnic
prepare some picnic-style munchies (think salads, sandwiches, veggies and dip, olives, or cheese and crackers), lay out a blanket, get cozy and enjoy.
Learn something new
Have fun doing it! The extra time spent at home is a great opportunity to teach your kids something new. Show them how to play chess, teach them a few chords on the guitar, or show them your favorite recipe that has been passed down through the generations. You can also embrace online education and help your kids stay on top of their learning with tools like Osmo, BrainPOP, Scholastic or Mystery Science.
Call or FaceTime family members
This is a great time to catch up with people in your family and also to check in on them and see if they need any support during this challenging time.
Appreciate art and museums
Many art galleries and museums have opened up free online e-visits, including the Louvre, the Boston Children’s Museum, the British Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and more. Explore art and natural wonders all from the comfort of your couch.
Go on a digital field trip
Just as museums and art galleries have opened up e-visits, you can also take a virtual visit to places as exciting and varied as Yellowstone National Park, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, the Canadian Arctic, or a variety of farms across Canada. With Google Earth, you can explore almost anywhere in the whole wide world with just the click of a button.
- Bust out the dress-up box
Let your imagination run wild! Kids of all ages love dressing up and pretending to be various characters and creatures.
Start a book club
Take turns picking favorite books and then read them together. It’ll be fun to get different family members’ take turns and reactions to the same story.
Kids will love to create their own jewelry because it’s a fun, creative process and they’ll be left with something they can wear and cherish. For easy DIYs that you can make use of supplies you may already have at home, try making classic beaded necklaces, embroidered bracelets, sculptural folded paper bracelets, or washer necklaces.
Practice learning a new language
Whether by speaking together or by using an app like Duolingo, learning a new language is a great way to keep kids learning with a useful skill that will benefit them in life.
Write a story together
collaborate on creating a unique mystery story, sci-fi adventure or hilarious comedy.
It’s easy with the free virtual tours of the Langley Research Center offered by NASA. You can also check out Space Center Houston’s app, which provides virtual tours, augmented reality experiences, videos and audio stories about space exploration.
We hope you enjoy family time at home during this challenging situation making use of the fun-activities listed so far, and we wish you good health!