Updated: Oct 21, 2020
By Brittany Hale, Megan Cardwell
Are you under lockdown and struggling with how to fill your days? We can’t promise that these are groundbreaking ideas, but we hope some of these might be things you hadn’t considered and will be new and fun and exciting for your littles. So, without further ado, here is our *ongoing* list:
Build a fort. Grab blankets, towels, flashlights, disco balls, Christmas lights and make it the perfect little hang out spot for hours on end.
Read. Whether your little is still chewing on board books or they’re a bit more grown and reading chapter books, reading is such a good activity AND if you build the fort and throw some lights in, it can serve as the perfect little reading nook.
Go for a walk. Get outdoors. It’s so important. But keep your social distance from your neighbors and friends y’all.
Bake and decorate cookies. This is one of Megan’s personal favorite activities. We love to make sugar cookies and use royal icing to decorate them. I sit Addison right on the kitchen floor and let her finger paint to her heart’s desire. It’s messy, but she LOVES it.
Splash! Fill the tub or a baby pool and splash around. If it’s warm enough outside, sunscreen up and get outdoors. Or run the sprinkler in the yard. I remember doing this frequently as a kid and loving the hell out of it. Although, I live in Texas, so the weather 100% permits for this right now. -Megan
Use old toilet paper/paper towel rolls as bowling pins, find a tennis ball/bouncy ball and set up your own mini bowling game! Didn’t stockpile toilet paper like the rest of the world? First of all, thank you. Secondly, use anything you can find! Old water bottles in the recycling bin, cans… fill them up with water for a little bit more of a challenge.
Go through old magazines, ads or newspapers and scrapbook or create a vision board!
Build an obstacle course in your backyard. Use cardboard boxes, lawn chairs or tables, anything you can find. Set a route and get moving! Change up the route to keep it interesting.
Nerf gun wars are always fun. Good luck getting Amazon to deliver it to you though...
Play “I spy” in your driveway or front window or even just around the house!
Paint a picture. Use edible paint if you have an itty bitty bean or washable paint if you have one that’s a bit older. You can either do a free draw or pull ideas out of a hat and see what they come up with!
Decorate your sidewalk with chalk. This one is so fun because it gets you outdoors and gets the creative juices flowing!
Blow bubbles. Pretty self-explanatory, that one, right?
Play a board game or a card game. Game of life, UNO, war, monopoly… get to playing!
Watch a show but give it an educational twist. Watching Paw Patrol again? Count how many times Rocky comes on the screen. Keep an ongoing tally and see if your numbers match at the end of it.
Speaking of watching a show, turn the volume off and you decide what the characters are saying.
Cook a meal together. Give your little a job that is age appropriate and have them contribute to a meal you will all eat together.
Play with playdoh. Another one…. Pretty self-explanatory.
Write a story together! Maybe even illustrate it if you're feeling adventurous.
Put on a mini fashion show. Let your little pick things out of their closet or yours and get to struttin!
Watch a movie. May we suggest Frozen 2 for the 8,031st time?
Put on a “concert.” Put some jams on and rock out. Did you see John and Chrissy's? Think you can one-up them? Let's see it.
Garden together. You can pull weeds and/or plant flowers if you have them.
Choreograph a dance. Maybe for your epic concert?
Reorganize cabinets. Nothing says a good time like reorganizing cabinets.
Go through your closets and get rid of clothes that no longer fit or that are no longer worn. Donate when you can. Tuck away Fall and Winter clothes because it's time for Spring and Summer, y'all!
Have a picnic in the yard! Grab a blanket, put your lunch together and go munch outdoors.
Set up a scavenger hunt! Indoors, outdoors, or both! Have one clue that leads to another, and then another, and another, and at the end of it, once it's all figured out, give a little prize!
Red light, green light. You can do this just about anywhere and I always remember having the best time doing that. -Megan
Do some yoga. Everybody could use a little extra namaste right now.
Freeze! Get to dancing and then cut the music off and everybody has to freeze. If you keep moving, you're out!
Early Easter egg hunt anyone? Replace the candy with hand sanitizer since that’s the hottest commodity lately...
Build boats out of plastic cups or whatever you have and race them across your bath tub or baby pool by blowing on them.
Grab an old Amazon boxes, grab a couple marbles and some printer paper and some different colored paints. Put the paper in the box and roll the marbles around the paint to create an epic abstract painting!
Have an egg drop (if you can find eggs). Make cages out of toothpicks and see if anyone’s egg survives.
Did you every play that game with a massive parachute and some balls? Where the whole gym sat down and shook it, so the balls would bounce around? Do that on a small scale with a blanket and some bouncy balls.
Mentos and Diet Coke anyone? That is always fun. Bonus: then you get to power wash your and your neighbor’s side walks and driveways!
Bedazzle an old T-shirt! Break out some Rhinestones and those Pom poms and get to covering those spaghetti and Avocado stains.
If you were planning on painting a wall anyway, let your kid help! Better yet! Let them paint or draw a picture on the wall first and then paint over it. (Maybe for older kids.... I will not be held responsible for drawing on walls that were not planned to be repainted). -Janelle
Wash the dog. Fun for the kids, (probably) traumatic for the dog, but hey, it needed to be done anyway. Probably don’t wash the cat...bad idea.
“Go fishing” attach magnets to various items and a string. Sit behind the couch and fish for the items behind the couch. ... bonus, put goldfish in sandwich bags behind the couch. Makes snack time fun but watch closely to make sure your littles don’t eat the magnets.
Facetime or call somebody you love but haven’t talked to lately. It’s important.
Busy bins: fill a plastic box or bin with water/oats/sand (whatever feels most age appropriate)-add measuring cups, interesting (but safe) utensils from your kitchen, and a few toys. Watch the fun unfold.
Feeling itchy, twitchy and ready to clean everything in sight? Get your little one on board and make it fun! Today, we played “car wash” with all of our favorite [see also: frequently touched and toted] cars. One bowl of warm soapy water, one of cooler rinsing water, an extra/unused toothbrush from the dentist for scrubbing, and a towel to lay them out to dry. Added points for playing “Carwash” by Rose Royce while you’re getting your scrub on. This is a great activity for lots of washable toys! Have at it! -Brittany
Shaving cream! Pop those babes in the bathtub or at/on a kid friendly surface, spray a mini mountain of shaving cream in front of them and let them go to town. For school aged kids, it’s great for practicing letters/numbers/writing their name. Not great for your nice wooden furniture so steer clear there but it IS great for those little plastic play tables and the walls of those tiled showers—it cleans and removes grime! Our favorite is good old cheap shaving cream. Any of the creams with aloe or added junk don’t spread or last as long. And we want the fun to last-amiright?
Pompoms. Don’t underestimate a bag of these. You can sort them in muffin tins, throw them into bowls/cups for a G rated game of beer po......errrr.....basketball, use all those toilet paper rolls you ended up with to make color coded towers to hide them in, use bowls and
Speaking of! Shoot some hoops. Play horse. Turn it into a fun game using your kiddos last spelling list before we all went into lockdown.
Make “ants on a log” for a snack. Use it as an avenue to practice some math and fine motor skills. Count those raisins and let them line them up.
Play spa. Put on some mellow music, paint nails, take turns fixing each other’s hair (silly or serious), spare a couple of cucumber slices for a relaxing mini facial, and enjoy a little pampering without any of the germ exposure.
LET THEM BE BORED. Don’t be afraid to let those littles/bigs be bored. It’s a-okay (and actually necessary) to allow them the space to figure out what to do with themselves. This is where creativity and imaginations blossom.
Tell us, what do you guys plan to do while we’re all in quarantine? What do we need to add to this list to help other families make this a fun time for their littles?