Whether your kids are unexpectedly home due to an emergency at their school or for summer break, you may wonder how to keep everyone happy and not bored. Try these ideas to help your family have fun during this special time!
We all thrive when there is routine.
So create and establish a daily routine! Be sure to include some free-time breaks, snacks, meals, and chores. Write it out and post it somewhere so everyone can see it and know what the expectations are and new “normal” is.
Strive for balance throughout the day.
Schedule group things to do in-between independent times, and hands-on activities amid quiet times.
Select specific things to do for individual days of the week and rotate them so that there is a variety for everyone to look forward to.
Assign each child a box or crate and fill it with an assortment of things for them to do. Just change out the selection each day.
Teach all-ages new house chores.
So kiddos are well-rounded and you are not trying to do it all. Show them the process, then coach and monitor your kids until they can do each daily assignment successfully on their own. Then teach them another age-appropriate chore. And simply rotate housework by the week so everyone gets a turn.
Limit your kids’ time.
On social media, staying alone in their bedrooms, and watching TV. This will help to keep them from getting moody and antsy and make those times special too.
Some quiet activities:
- Puzzles – books and jigsaw
- Draw, Color, Paint
- Sensory bins
- Write letters and mail to family and friends
- Listen to music! Choose a different genre each day.
- Watch fascinating educational documentaries
- Tour museums, zoo’s, and historical sites online
- Google “free printables” and give them handouts
- Educational workbooks and activity books
- Reusable write-on/wipe-off books
- Dry erase boards for writing/math practice and creative time
Some inside hands-on activities:
- Lego building challenge or building blocks
- Arts & crafts – from scratch or kits
- Design homemade greeting cards
- Make and play with playdough or slime
- Play board games, cards, charades, tic-tac-toe, and more
- Build a fort
- Cooking! Let your kids take turns helping you. Learn recipes together. Teach them how to create from scratch. Discover new favorite meals!
- Research a country or culture Find recipes to try and make a theme meal. Have everyone create a drawing or write a paper to share aloud, dress up accordingly, and then play corresponding music during the gathering!
Take turns reading aloud.
If you choose a chapter book or novel, stop after a few chapters or a certain amount of time, and leave everyone hanging wondering what will happen next.
Keep everyone physically active and moving! Inside and outside:
- Exercise daily – lead everyone in basic calisthenics
- Walk up and down stairs if you have any
- Dance to silly music – have a dance-a-thon!
- Walk, jog, or bicycle through the neighborhood
- Visit a different city or state park daily
- Run laps around your yard
- Play hopscotch and bag toss/corn hole
- Toss or bounce a ball
- Practice tennis or badminton
- Create scavenger hunts
- Plant seeds, grow a garden, weed the flowerbeds
- Volunteer to do yardwork for an elderly person, family with small children, or single parent.
Plan a different event for each night of the week as a family. For example:
- Monday – Movie night with popcorn
- Tuesday – Build a puzzle, craft or science kit together
- Wednesday – Game night
- Thursday – Creative night – paint, color, and draw – use your adult coloring books while kids use their books – at the same time!
- Friday – Nature scavenger hunt in yard or park
- Saturday – Ask for ideas from your kids – they may surprise you!
- Sunday – Put ideas on scraps of paper in a bowl and select one, or repeat a favorite thing!
Kids do much better – of all ages – when they have productive goals plus some free-time. Including a wide-range of things keeps their minds and processing skills growing and developing while having fun!
Remember to laugh every day! Stay positive and make this the glass half full!
Live, laugh, and love – as a family!
What kinds of things have you tried? I am a big fan of sharing ideas and learning from each other. Please, comment below and let’s grow and learn from each other!