How to keep your kids happy and entertained at home

Last Updated March 2020
By Allen Foster

With school closures, self quarantining, and social distancing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), there's no denying that we're living in strange times. But one of the most remarkable aspects of the human spirit is its ability to adapt, to make the unfamiliar not only comfortable but fun. 

Kids excel in this respect. They have a wonderful unbridled sense of positivity and adventure that allows them to flourish in nearly any situation. As parents, sometimes we make the mistake of asking our kids to try and tame that energy and contain their wonder when really we should be encouraging them to embrace it all.

Keeping your kids safe and healthy at this moment in time involves keeping them home and indoors. Although on the surface that sounds fairly simple, that need to explore, to learn, to grow, and to do is going to continue to escalate. To constantly feed that ravenous hunger and to help them burn off some of that youthful energy, it's going to require a bit of parental wizardry. 

To help keep your children happy and entertained during these uncharted times, we've compiled this list of fun and engaging indoor activities.

 

Best indoor activities for kids at home:

1. Family video game tournament

This might be the only moment in your parenting career when you not only encourage more screen time, but you partake as well. Create your own March Madness with an extensive multi-day family video game tournament.

2. Build a fort

If you're looking at being stuck inside for a few weeks, two chairs and a blanket just won't suffice. Go crazy and construct something impressive. A multi-room fort that is built to endure can offer your kids their own special sanctuary where they can enjoy a little me time.

3. Go treasure hunting

Somewhere in your home is a craft kit that was never opened. Possibly, there are several. Now is the time to get on a chair and look at those top shelves in the hall closet to find that forgotten jewelry-making kit or the misplaced learn-to-draw-dinosaurs book and give them a try.

4. Play a board game

We're not talking your regular game of Monopoly. Since you're going to have a little time on your hands, how about trying out some new games? We love Tiny Towns and The Game of Life for kids (and adults) of all ages. 

5. Storytime

Nothing sparks a child's imagination like listening to a story because it creates an entire world between their ears. If you want to partake in the journey instead of being the narrator, download your favorite audiobook from your local library and enjoy.

6. Dance party

Whenever your little ones are idle, they're charging up their batteries for the next adventure. A family dance party is the perfect activity to help them go a little crazy with some monitored zaniness. All you need is a playlist, a speaker, and the perfect playlist.

7. Attend an online concert

Since touring is on hold, there's a great chance that at some point over the next few weeks, your kids’ favorite superstar will be live streaming an up-close-and-personal concert from their own living room. Don't miss it!

 

Homeschooling ideas and educational games during school closures:

1. Learn something new

There's a whole world of knowledge available at your fingertips. Literally any subject you'd like to learn more about from early math and science concepts to advanced computer programing, you can find in an app or a homeschooling course. Be sure to pick a topic that interests you as well so you and your kids can enrich your lives together. Plus, they’re more likely to be engaged if you are.

2. Music

If you want your child to have an advantage when school starts back up again, consider taking online music lessons — especially now when he or she will have ample time to practice. Live one-on-one sessions with real teachers are available as well as learn-at-your-own-pace programs. Simply choose the learning style that is best for your child and get started.

3. Be the teacher

With a few weeks at your disposal, it's the perfect time to help guide your child through an independent learning experience. Pick a favorite fun topic and research it thoroughly. When they know everything there is to know, it's time for you and your child to swap roles. Have your child teach you everything that they learned.

4. Create some science magic

Every kid loves magic. Whether it's making invisible ink out of lemon juice or turning milk into plastic using white vinegar, after just a few seconds of Googling, you'll find dozens of fun and fascinating science tricks to attempt.

5. Make a documentary

It might not seem like it now, but these are the days to remember. Have your child document each significant moment with a brief video. When we come through on the other side, the family can gather together and watch the story from start to finish and enjoy the happy ending.

 

Final notes

Understandably, this period of staying at home may have its share of challenges, but it is important to remember that what we ultimately see is simply a matter of where we choose to place our focus. The next few weeks are going to offer an abundance of opportunities. Use this time to create happy memories and triumphant tales with your family.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.