1. Make a cardboard fort
Put those empty Amazon boxes out in the garage to good use!
2. Set up a treasure hunt
Treasure hunts are pretty easy and depending on how many items there are, could last a while. Hide anywhere from 10 to 20 items around the house or outside to keep kids occupied for a few hours.
3. Watch the beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium
There’s a beluga whale webcam set up at the Georgia Aquarium, so you can see what your whale friends are up to at anytime.
4. Read-at-home bingo
As your kids accomplish each reading task, they should cross off each bingo square.
5. E-visit the Louvre
Transport you and your family to Paris, France by taking a digital tour of one of the most famous international museums, the Louvre.
6. Bake together
Cookies, cakes, brownies. Anything! Baking is a great lesson in measuring, ingredients, and of course, making delicious goodies.
7. Watch the Cincinnati Zoo livestream
The Cincinnati Zoo will be live-streaming animals on their Facebook page daily at 3PM.
8. Have an indoor picnic
Grab a sheet, whatever food you have, and enjoy a living room picnic (without the ants). You can even play that memory game at the same time: “I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing…” Each person takes turns remembering (in order) what everyone is bringing and then adds one thing each turn.
9. Train the dog
No, seriously, this could be a good one. If the family dog doesn’t know how to sit or stay, start there. If he’s ready to move onto more complex tricks, try focusing on training an hour a day. You can move onto down and roll-over.
10. Make elephant toothpaste
Making elephant toothpaste is a great science experiment. Using the laws of both chemistry and biology, this recipe will cause an enormous foaming reaction, fit for an elephant. Check Scientific American for a how-to.
11. Film TikToks
Quarantine? It’s perfect time to choreograph and film TikToks.
12. Take a virtual field trip to Yellowstone National Park
Virtually visit the Mud Volcano, Mammoth Hot Springs, and so much more with a digital field trip to Yellowstone.
13. Keep to a schedule
Schools may be closed but one of the ways to keep things running efficiently at home is to stick to a schedule.
14. Take a virtual field trip of the Boston Children’s Museum
Visit the Boston Children’s Museum without even leaving your living room.
15. Check out Mars
Explore the surface of Mars with this digital 360° camera.
16. Listen to Josh Gad’s story readings on Twitter
Josh Gad just gets it. (He’s a dad, after all.) To make it easier on all of us, the voice of Olaf has been broadcasting readings of different kids’ stories on Twitter.
17. Join a Facebook Live dance party with DJ Mel
DJ Mel in Austin, Texas, is hosting a weekly kid-friendly “Living Room Dance Party” on his Facebook page. Join the fun here! Thousands have been tuning in, so get ready for fun.
18. Make St. Patrick’s Day crafts
Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, after all. Check our roundup for the best craft inspo.
19. Start an independent novel project
Read a book together and, as an added educational component, have the kids write up an independent novel project once it’s finished. The novel project can feature a summary and reaction.
20. Make a sensory bin
Fill it with anything and everything, give the kids some shovels, and they’ll be excavating for hours.
21. Download and fill out academic printables
All the printables!
22. Enact a digital quarantine
Limiting screen time might be a good idea. In fact, some professionals recommend it. When school work, reading, and other educational tasks have been completed, then you can give back tablets and phones.
23. Make a space for learning
Set up a designated homework/schoolwork area. Whether it’s a desk or a specific place at the kitchen table, having a workspace can really help kids focus.
24. Do give them recess
Setting a schedule and focusing on educational tasks is awesome, but you should take time to focus on recess, too. After a few educational tasks, make sure to focus on playtime, too.
25. Write a letter
Break out the envelopes, the stamps, the pens, and paper. Write a mail a letter to someone you love, like grandma and grandpa, or a family member who lives far away.
26. FaceTime family members
FaceTime is another meaningful way to connect with family and friends while practicing “social distancing.” Use it to check in on family members and to socialize, even if over the phone.
27. Start a travel journey from your last trip
Reminisce on the last time you were allowed to travel by starting a travel journal. This is an awesome exercise for both kids and adults alike.
28. Make your own play dough
Need a recipe? Check out this one from I Heart Naptime. All you need are quart-sized bags, all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, veggie or coconut oil, and food coloring.
29. Do some spring cleaning or organizing
We know cleaning isn’t exactly “fun,” but with everyone off from school and off from work, the house is bound to get messy, and pretty quickly at that. Carve out a few minutes, even if it’s just 15, each day to prioritize organization.
30. Play cards
Rummy, War, Go Fish, Solitatire, Uno, Old Maid… Any game you can think of!
31. Break out the board games
Scrabble, Monopoly, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders…
32. Put a puzzle together
Break out the jigsaw puzzle!
33. Play checkers
Kids will love learning the ins and outs of checkers. And if they’re already pros? Challenge them to a checkers Olympics!
34. Teach your kids chess
Every kid could benefit from learning the strategies of chess.
35. Go for a walk
It costs nothing!
36. Play charades
No talking. Just you and your fam acting something out. It’s a classic boredom-saver.
37. Take a virtual tour of Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is a national park in California. With Google Maps, you can scroll over the different terrains, and click on places of interest.
38. Host a paint night
Grab some canvases, brushes, and paints, and do a paint night at home.
39. Make a pizza
It’s miscalleneous toppings night. Whatever you have laying around the house, that’s what’s going on your homemade pizza!
40. Write in a diary
Writing down your thoughts is a classic way to pass the time.
41. Practice mindfulness
You can practice mindfulness using an app, sitting quietly, or with a few worksheets like the ones below.
42. Set up indoor hopscotch
With painters tape!
43. Break out the flashcards
Got any old vocabulary or math flashcards laying around? If not, no worries. Make your own!
44. Practice opposites
Playing the opposites game is an educational exercise for toddlers. You say “in,” they say, “out.” You say, “on,” they say, “off.”
45. Set up outdoor gym class
Obstacle course, anyone?
46. Practice cutting with scissors
Another good occupational therapy exercise for toddlers is practicing scissors. If you have safety scissors at home, watch and help children learn how to cut up old scrap paper. They can even practice by trying to cut along a traced line.
47. Play dress-up
It never gets old.
48. Listen to an astronaut read from space
Storytime From Space is unlike any other kind of storytime; NASA astronauts read stories to kids while they float around in space.
49. Take a virtual tour of a farm
Learn about what it takes to run a farm, meet farm animals, and more by taking a virtual farm tour on Farm 360.
50. Create an animal fact sheet
Have your child pick an animal. Can they make a fact sheet, listing everything they know about that animal? Now, do some research. After learning a little bit more about that animal, have your child add new facts to the sheet about what they learned.
51. Watch the Monterrey Bay Aquarium sea otter cam
Monterrey Bay Aquariam has a sea otter cam that allows you to watch what the sea otters are doing at any given time of day!
52. Teach how to edit videos
Use programs like iMovie or YouTube to teach kids how to edit videos. It’s a meaningful skill to have in both school and the real world! Who knows? Maybe they’ll want to even create their own YouTube channel.
53. Make your own board game
Is your family up to the challenge of creating your own board game? Use the DIY board game instructions.
54. Learn coding
MommyPoppins has some great coding resources for kids just getting into the ins and outs of coding.
55. Interview each other
Interviewing is an important skill. You and your child can start interviewing each other face-to-face by asking each other questions and taking notes. If your child shows interest, they can take it to another level by calling a grandparent or family member and interviewing them over the phone.
56. Explore Africa with African wildlife cam
Learn more about the wildlife of Africa by checking out this African wildlife cam situated by a busy watering hole.
57. Write opinion pieces
A great academic practice to get into, either after reading a book, doing research, or watching a movie, challenge your child to write an opinion piece about it.
58. Listen to Story Pirates
Arg, matey. Pirates tell stories, too.
59. Start a book club
Reading is a big one during these quarantined days. But to make reading extra exciting, join an online book club with discussions and thought-provoking questions about the books your child has just read.
60. Listen to podcasts
There are tons of kid-friendly podcasts out there. Do some research and find which one is best for your family!
61. Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy
You can even do a science experiment along with him!
62. Watch the puppy play room
What’s better than a live stream of puppies playing all day long?
Might as well hone our origami skills, right? Learn how to make dozens of origamis: dinosaurs, swans, frogs, and more.
64. Listen to But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
65. Listen to Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know is a podcast for kids. You know, stuff they should know.
66. Listen to KidNuz
67. Download all the work sheets!
In need of homeschool worksheets (or just education-related activities? Download this second grade learning packet.
68. Virtually tour the Great Wall of China
You don’t need to leave your home to explore some of the most historic monuments out there—the Great Wall of China included.
69. Check out these kid-friendly recipes
Cooking with children is one of the most educational lessons you could give.
70. Listen to Wow in the World
71. Practice instruments
If your kids are learning instruments, make sure to instill an hour-long practice time each day.
72. Bird watch
Can you identify five types of birds and then research them?
73. Make a list of the animals that live in your neighborhood
What kinds of animals live near you? Maybe squirrels, maybe alligators, maybe chipmunks… Make a list of all the animals you observe while looking out the window.
74. Take a virtual tour of the British Museum
Tour the British Museum online.
75. Watch Oxford Education’s Story Hour
They have lots of great stories!