Whether it’s summer vacation or an impromptu shelter-in-place order, keeping your kids busy requires creativity.
Let’s face it, you’ve got things to do and one of your biggest priorities right now is to keep the kiddos learning so you can take care of all those fun #adulting duties that need attention.
So, I’ve put together some of my favorite activities to keep your kids busy while you go ahead and tend to your needs when you’re either working from home, need a break, or just need some time to take care of the bills.
Hands-Free Educational Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy
The following activities won’t require a lot of involvement from you, so you can set it up and let your kiddos take the lead while you do the laundry…or relax with your fave cuppa. Grab the free check list with instructions for each activity to hand over to your kids. Challenge them to complete at least one per day. I don’t know about you, but my kids are motivated by a check list and a challenge!
1. Silent Movies
Challenge your young readers to watch a movie with the sound off while reading the closed captions. This can be a great reading exercise and the perfect time to educate on tolerance for those with hearing disabilities.
2. A Vitamin D Reading Session
Change up the pace and urge your children to soak up some sun outdoors with that favorite book.
3. Read Aloud to A Bestie
Help foster good public speaking and reading habits by encouraging children to read their favorite book out loud to a pet, invisible friend, stuffed animal, or friend via FaceTime.
4. Teacher Feature Writing Activity for Kids
Come up with a goofy prompt and ask your young learners to write a silly story about their favorite teacher. Examples: This is how my teacher became a rock star. One day my teacher showed up at my door.
5. Relaxation Station
Search Youtube for some kid-centered progressive muscle relaxation techniques and encourage the kids to try it out in their room…and if you’re lucky, you might hear a few snores echoing through the quiet halls of your home.
6. The Plot Twist
Ask your children to think about their favorite movie, and then change the ending by writing out a new plot twist! This encourages creative thinking and is great writing practice.
7. Trash The Worries
If your kiddos are worried about something, who isn’t these days, ask them to write down their worries then toss ‘em in the trash. This visualization exercise will help children feel the physical relief of letting go of worries. Tell them they aren’t allowed to think about the worry for at least an hour.
Activities to Bring The Family Together
The following activities require some family involvement…so when you’re ready to play, you can easily get in on these! Who knows, some of these might become a new family tradition around the dinner table.
8. Clean Sweep
You’ll need at least two kids for this activity. Gamify chores by challenging your kids to each clean a room in the house, and whoever finishes first or does the best job gets a prize!
Make it more fun by having them room swap rather than having to clean their own room.
9. The Secret Deed
This homebound take on Secret Santa is the perfect way to add excitement and wonder to your kids’ day.
Each family member must secretly do something nice for someone in the family! Making someone else’s bed, preparing a pb&j sandwich, or leaving sweet notes might make someone’s day!
Then, the first to figure out what the good deed was, or who did it, wins!
10. Virtual Field Trip
While we often want our kids to nix the tech addiction, we can always come up with ways to incorporate technology into an educational activity.
Have your kids take a virtual field trip and write down three things they learned to share over dinner.
11. Two Truths and Lie (Celebrity Version)
Ask the kids to research two facts about their favorite celebrity, and make up one false statement. Siblings (or you) have to try to guess which is the lie at dinner time.
12. Diary of a Famous Person
In this activity, kids get to use their imagination, and role play, while practicing their writing skills.
Ask your children to research facts about a famous person (anyone!) and then write diary entries as that famous person.
Then, your kids can read them aloud and everyone else takes guess at who the celebrity is!
13. No Cook Recipe Showdown
Have the kids pick up to 5 items in the kitchen to create an original recipe that requires no cooking. You choose the tools they are allowed to use and how long they have. Try the recipes during dinner and rate them.
14. DIY Would You Rather Game
Have your kids make up their own questions to the Would You Rather game. Let them ask their questions over dinner. Example: Would you rather be a bad dancer or a bad singer? Why?
These activities will keep everyone busy and entertained, and depending on how much time you have, you’ll be able to get in on some of your faves as well. Download a printable checklist for your kids to check off as they complete them.
Teachers, check out these digital lessons to make distance learning more interactive and fun!