Fun Stay-At-Home Activities To Do With Your Kids
Staying at home because of the pandemic, school holiday, or harsh weather conditions can be a fun or miserable period for your children, depending on how you manage their daily home activities.
As a parent or guardian, you need to keep them entertained without feeling neglected and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is by doing various activities together. Aside from avoiding “chaos” around the house, it helps everyone feel engaged and happy, as well as deeply bonded with one another.
Here are some fun home activities that you can do with your kids:
1. Arts and Crafts
Give yourself and your kids the much-needed break from technology by doing simple arts and crafts projects.
Bonding over arts and crafts is one of the most popular parent-children home activities before computers and mobile phones took over the world. It is a great activity for family time and bonding with kids, especially when the whole family gets involved.
It also provides a relaxing opportunity for one-on-one time with your children, which allows you to check on them and find out what’s going on in their minds without seeming too prying or imposing. As you create artwork and crafts together, your children are likely to be more willing and comfortable to open up and talk to you about the things that are on their mind.
There are plenty of arts and crafts to keep you and your kids busy. Find ones that they are interested in or will likely enjoy doing and then set a schedule to do these activities with them.
Some fun ideas for arts and crafts to do at home include:
- Finger Painting - The simple act of dipping fingers in paint and then using them to create objects and shapes on a piece of paper is easy and affordable to do and provides several benefits for your kids, including improvement of their sensory experience, hand-eye coordination, and colour recognition. It also develops their fine motor skills and language and speech abilities. The messy feeling adds to the fun.
- Marble Paper - Marble paper and other surfaces with all kinds of paints, from watercolours to food colouring. For a start, simply grab some scrap papers, old nail polishes, and toothpicks or craft sticks.
- Noodle Art - You can create beautiful works of art with just a sheet of construction paper and a mound of dry macaroni noodles combined with your children’s limitless imagination.
- Playdough Art - Squish ‘em, roll ‘em, sculpt ‘em, mould ‘em—You can create a lot of masterpieces with just your playdough, various household items as props, and lots of time for fun.
- Sock Puppet Show - Sock puppets are easy to make, cost nothing or a modest sum, and make lasting memories when used as bonding props.
- Pipe Cleaner Art - Create art masterpieces with just a couple of packs of colourful pipe cleaners.
- Stone Painting - Simply collect stones, clean them, and then paint on them. The flatter the canvass, the easier it is to create various artworks.
- String Art - This involves weaving coloured string, wool, wire, or yarn between hammered nails to make patterns. If your children are old enough to be trusted with the hammer and nails, they can do the designs themselves.
Your arts and crafts activities are avenues for creativity and bonding. Prepare for a mess by doing them in a designated area that’s easy to clean, or you wouldn’t mind leaving traces of paints on. Also, provide general directions and avoid suggesting additions or changes to your kids’ finished masterpieces. To explore your children’s process, ask probing questions like “Tell me about what you make” or “Why did you choose those colours?” instead of just giving generic compliments.
Got a green thumb? Introduce your children to gardening and the joy of growing herbs, vegetables, flowers, or trees with their own hands. Aside from bringing them closer to nature and teaching them the value of responsibility and patience, gardening also provides your kids with a hands-on lesson on botanical science. The excitement of harvest time and tasting the fruits of their labour are also priceless experiences that they will cherish for life.
If you need plants to grow in your garden, there are a lot of stores that sell urban farming kits with easy-to-grow vegetables and flowers. For a great start, have your kids plant easy-to-grow plants, like beans, sunflower, and garden cress. You can also ask them about their favourite flowers and vegetables and see if they are available in your area.
Once your kids are getting more adept at gardening, level up their skills by introducing them to various gardening techniques like pruning and grafting.
“Expand” your gardening skills together by making and maintaining terrariums. These miniature ecosystems are fun and easy to build with just a clear glass or plastic container filled with soil, rocks, and plants. They also do not require much upkeep.
3. Cooking and Baking
Bond with your children by letting them help in the kitchen. Cooking with kids, especially toddlers, is a mess waiting to happen, but it creates unforgettable memories.
It also teaches them about:
- Math, by measuring ingredients
- Nutrition, by knowing more about food
- Independence, by being able to make a handful of things by themselves at an early age
If you need more recipes to learn, there is a variety of easy cooking and baking kits to use with your future chefs and cake makers. You can also watch demos on YouTube and other cooking and baking sites.
4. Dance and Sports
Are your kids always restless from being cooped up at home? Do dance sessions with them if you have the groove or fitness routines together if you're into working out. You can even record your dance or fitness bonding sessions and upload them on social media to showcase the family’s talent, be it in dancing or comedy, or dedication to fitness.
Doing TikTok dance videos is a trendy parent-children activity nowadays. Why not join the TikTok movement and be a "cool parent" for once?
If you’re into yoga, have yoga sessions with your children. This activity can help you make time for quiet and relaxation together. It can also help deepen your connection with your children with each breath you take.
- Kid-friendly yoga poses that you can do at home include the happy baby and mountain baby poses, which promote stillness and grounding, and the tree and warrior poses that promote balance.
Meanwhile, if you’re into sports, you can always train with your kids at home. There are also plenty of online learning resources and video collections that can help your children master basic skills and techniques in various sports, like football and cricket.
- Learn the sports with them instead of just watching them perform. It will make the activities more of a parent-child bonding than a take-home task. Just make sure that there are no furniture or appliances that you can potentially destroy while doing at-home sports activities.
5. Science Experiments
Got a passion for science? Investigate the world around you by doing scientific experiments with your little apprentices. Aside from bonding with them and training them to become future scientists, these activities are a great way to nurture learning through observation and hands-on interactions.
Toy stores offer plenty of science kits to engage children. There are also subscription kits that routinely deliver new scientific activities to try if you want to make this a long-term commitment.
Scientific experiments are fun until something explodes and causes a fire. Make sure your activities are well-planned, and you know the outcome even before doing them together with your kids. If you have a large backyard or garage, it may be safer to conduct your experiments there than inside your house with all its sensitive electronic appliances and people. (We’re not saying it’s your spouse or in-laws.)
Watching movies with the whole family is a classic home activity that has lost its appeal with the rise of computers and smartphones.
Stop reminiscing about the good ‘ole days. Schedule movie nights or whichever time works for the whole family. Encourage everyone to sit on the couch in the living room or gather in the master's bedroom.
Your “too cool to care” teenagers may be initially averse to the idea, but if they hear everyone else laughing their hearts out or screaming in terror from the movie scenes, they will likely tiptoe and peep on the door out of curiosity and then join in on the fun minutes later. It's always fun to watch movies in a group, you see.
What’s a great family movie time without snacks to munch on? Make sure to prepare pizzas, popcorns, or any other food the family loves when holding movie nights. Do not also forget to ask everyone for film recommendations. Your toddlers may not appreciate that Avengers movie you’re watching now, so make sure to play their choice next time.
Do your kids feel “too old” for arts and crafts? Play videogames with them instead.
Video games are only bad if your children are spending a lot of time on them (probably because you don't play with them at home and they have no other source of entertainment).
Playing video games with your children brings you closer together. It helps you explain complex concepts to them and manage negative messages they encounter while playing. While playing games together, you can quietly observe them and, in the process, learn more about their behaviours. Your aloof children may also loosen up and get more comfortable with you and, in time, will share more of their thoughts and feelings.
Don’t rush your kids into sharing their thoughts with you while playing together. Just like how games are won, you need to spend enough time with them to get to the right level.
8. Backyard Picnic, Pool Party, and Camping
Going on a road trip with the whole family may not be possible while stay-at-home orders are imposed, but who says you can't picnic or camp out while stuck in your place? If you have a yard or terrace, it is still possible to do these enjoyable outdoor activities.
No swimming pool for your pool party? No problem! Buy an inflatable swimming pool that's easy to set up, even in your garage or balcony.
Camping is another exciting outdoor activity for the whole family, especially if you have young children. Spending a night under the open sky with your loved ones is incredibly relaxing and soulful.
Take safety precautions before having a picnic, pool party, or camping in your yard. Ensure that your place is safe. If you don’t live in a gated community, at least see to it that your area is clean and peaceful. Do not camp out in the yard if hooligans and wild animals occasionally roam around the neighbourhood.
Getting kids involved in DIY projects at an early age not only provides great bonding time with you but also gives them the skills and confidence in their abilities. It also trains them to become creative and resourceful.
Some fun and simple DIY activities that you can do with your children include:
- Room redesigning
- Building a bookcase
- Constructing a treehouse
- Making a bird feeder or birdhouse
- Building a jewellery box or organizer
- Making curtains
- Constructing a toy box
- Creating a LEGO table
10. Household Chores
Aside from DIY projects, there are plenty of daily chores to do around the house that can become “fun” if you’re doing them in good spirits with your children. These include car washing, general house cleaning, wall repainting, dishwashing, and countless other stuff.
Make sure that you’re closely watching your children, especially the little ones, and only let them do the stuff that’s not too heavy or difficult for their strength and height. Your teenagers can efficiently do the room repainting but don’t expect too much from your toddlers. Often, letting them hold the cleaning tools and do a couple of paint strokes on the wall are enough to make them feel involved and important.
For a job well done, don’t forget to treat your hardworking helpers to a backyard barbecue party or any other fun family home activities.
Stay-At-Home Activities Strengthen Family Bond
When children complain about being bored or always fight with their siblings and make a mess around the house, they are not just asking for attention but are also communicating for connection.
Often, they do not say “I’m stressed out” or “I feel alone” but simply avoid interactions or express their negative emotions through disorderly behaviours like constant screaming or crying, getting violent with siblings and pets, and generally throwing tantrums. To avoid these scenarios and keep your home a warm and loving place for everyone, always find the time for family bonding.