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Alright, ladies… here it is. A list of all the things I’ve done at home with the kids during Quarantine 2020. Little wins, fun activities, time-wasters – all of it. Don’t get my wrong, I’m finding beautiful moments with the most precious people in my life daily, but it’s also a struggle to keep them occupied, fed, and entertained 24/7. If you’re in the same boat, this list of at-home activities for little kids is for you :).
Bake Banana Bread
It’s the quintessential quarantine baked good – I have no idea why, but I do know I have THE BEST banana bread recipe of all time – it’s my Grandma’s recipe. I make this with my kids and it reminds me of my childhood 🙂 // get the recipe
Glow Stick Dancing
This was ridiculous and the kids loved it 😂. Tape glow sticks onto their clothes (I just used scotch tape and it worked fine) and turn off the lights (the darker the better) and let the techno pump. Google ‘baby shark techno remix’ for some quality beats. Side note: I keep glow sticks on-hand year-round – kids always think they’re cool, especially for playing outside on summer nights // glow sticks
Gummy Bear Science Kit
This was a winner! A little science, a little sweet treat – my kids got into this and ate all the gummies! // gummy science kit
We’re watching a lot of movies, period, but I feel like 99% better about screentime when it seems like they’re making memories 😉. We have this projector (it was a generous Christmas gift from a family friend) but if I were buying my own today, this is what I would buy! It’s a less expensive but very comparable projector to ours.
Riding Scooters + Bikes
My two bigs have learned to ride two-wheelers during this time at home – warms my heart like whoa. This is something we just hadn’t made time for between school and sports and our fam’s social life :/.
Mosaic Chalk Art
This is super easy and cute – use painters tape on the sidewalk to create a ‘frame’ and then section it off into squares or triangles and have your kid(s) color in each section. Once they’re finished, peel up the tape for a pretty chalk mosaic :). // chalk // painter’s tape
Magnets on the Garage
Never knew my garage door was magnetic ’til this quarantine. Let the kids go wild with Magnatiles (literally any magnet tiles will work) on the garage. Ours were up for like 3 weeks. #festive // magnetic tiles
Read Harry Potter (or some other chapter book)
Depends on the age of you kids, obvs, but I started HP with Quinn and Coop – I’ve never read it! So we’re all reading it together. // Harry Potter Series
There are options here… we happen to have both, which is NOT necessary! One is outdoor only, the other is indoor but can be used outdoor. The price has really gone up on these since Quarantine began but, in my opinion, #worthit – think about the dollar per minute spent on these toys and they basically pay for themselves ;). Both of the exact models I own are sold out, but I searched & linked the most similar with the best reviews // indoor bounce house // outdoor bounce slide
Jumbo Coloring Pages
Honestly, I think I enjoyed these more than Quinn and DEFINITELY more than Cooper :). But they have tons of themes and are great for older kids // giant coloring pages
Caterpillar / Butterfly Kit
This was actually pretty cool for the kids – the kit ships, then you send off for the live caterpillars. Five live ones arrive and they live in the container they arrive in, so no feeding necessary. After they’re in a Chrysalis for about a week, sure enough, butterflies emerge. Felt mildly educational and the kids loved it! // buy it here (sold out, similar linked)
I don’t mean to brag or anything but a bubble machine is our signature Quarantine Party Parade accessory – pop that thing out of the sunroof and drive 3mph past your kids’ friend’s house. Also fun for the backyard :). I got so tired of buying a new cheap bubble machine annually so snagged this one and it’s been amazing so far! Love that it has 2 speeds + uses batteries or you can plug it into an outlet // bubble machine
Make a Spotify Playlist
OMG my kids’ playlist is a HOT MESS but whatever – they love it and I loved hearing them discuss it :). Lots of Ke$ha and Taylor Swift 😂😂😂
This is a *magic* little game I learned from Quinn’s teacher :). She plays ‘magic trash’ with her kids – basically, you play a song and during the song, every kid picks up the ‘trash’ (or toys) on the floor. Periodically you just pick a piece and yell OMG COOPER GOT THE MAGIC TRASH! And it motivates them to pick up ALLTHETHINGS in the hope that they’ll pick up THE magic piece of trash! In the end, basically, everyone gets a piece of candy. Try it, it really works!
Grow Green Onions in the Kitchen
Even if you do NOT have a green thumb, these are basically impossible to kill. You just cut the tops off and put the white bottoms with roots into shallow water in a glass (without submerging) and they grow LIKE MAGIC! Found an article with lots of kitchen scraps you can grow – the other day, Quinn said – MOM! those green onions are POPPIN! – she wasn’t wrong 😂 // 8 kitchen scraps you can regrow
NEVER underestimate the power of filming your children doing ANYTHING in slow-mo! They think it’s hilarious. Because it is. If you have an iPhone, it’s just a setting on your camera :). Note: it’s also hilarious if you slow-mo yourself:
Similarly, timelapse vids are a lifesaver! Set up your phone and ask the kids to clean a room and then they get to watch it back in timelapse mode. It really does help them to want to help you!
This is a win/win – don’t wait til the kids go to bed to mask. Do one for you, one on your little, and enjoy! Quinn, Cooper and Emmy ALL wanted masks, so don’t count this one out if you have sons :). This set is the BEST at such a great price! // set of 4 face masks
We DIY’d it (so much easier than I thought, recipe here) and then played a few games with it.
Never underestimate the power of tossing a few blankets over the couch/coffee table. Do my kids usually start fighting over territory within 3 minutes of the fort being built? Yes. But at least they’re fighting in the fort and not right in front of my face 😂
My friends at PartyHopShop have the cutest FREE nature scavenger hunt printable. My kids did it on a walk one day and it was a hit! // nature scavenger hunt printable – scroll to the bottom 🙂
Artist Coloring Sheets
My friend Rachel created these beautiful + educational artists activity sheets + they’re FREE // artist activity sheets
Ya, it’s usually an Easter thing but why not have an egg hunt in May? Gives the kids something fun to do for 13 minutes.
Wash the Car
Still waiting for the weather to warm up a bit here but we’ll be teaching the kids the art of washing a car + having them scrub down their bikes and scooters.
Parking Lot Party
This is super easy! Drive to an empty flat parking lot and let the kids run, skate, and bike wild. We took the bubble machine, too, and cranked the radio. Just a change of scenery helps :).
I’m usually anti-temporary tattoos but all bets are off when we’re at home and not seeing anyone :). I grabbed this cheap set of CUTE monster tattoos and it came with a TON + this set of tattoo pens has been a hit for Quinn :). // monster tattoos // tattoo pens
Lego – Building Masters
My kids have been watching this show (it’s on Fox) and it’s inspired some major LEGO building at my house.
Why not do your own tie-dye?! This is the kit we bought and I bought basic white tees for Coop and white cotton dresses for the girls // tie dye kit // white dresses // white tees for Coop // white tee for me (yes, it’s men’s! I wear medium)
Drawing Tutorials on YouTube
Kids Workouts on YouTube/Cosmic Kids
My kids have been doing daily ‘workouts’ in the basement
One of the streets in our neighborhood is lined with painted rocks under every tree and it’s DARLING. I thought it would be a terrible idea with little kids until on of my Instagram people told me to try paint pens to ‘paint’ the rocks. Genius. // paint pens
The beauty in staying home is staying in PJs all day. We’ve had more than a handful of ‘stay in pj’ days and the kids think it’s great.
Dig out their Halloween costumes or let them rock a Princess dress or Superhero outfit for the day.
This app has been great for helping Coop with early reading skills and I have a free 30 day trial for you :). // Homer App
Make A Music Video
You can go big on production value here or just prop your phone up on something and tell Alexa to play a song while you all dance. Either way, kids think it’s cool to be in their own music video.
Food Quarantine Ideas
Pizza Taste Testing
This is awesome for any time you don’t want to make dinner. I ordered 3 pizzas (all half cheese, half pepperoni/sausage), one each from Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Papa Johns. I labeled the kids’ paper plates and had them tell me which pizza they liked best. Just an easy way to spice it up for a meal – and we had leftovers which meant I didn’t have to make breakfast for 2 days 😉 – win/win!
My kids thought this was amazing – I made them Mac & Cheese for breakfast and we finished the day with Breakfast for Dinner. It’s the little things that they really do think are so cool.
Ice Cream for Dinner
BLOW THEIR MINDS by serving ice cream for dinner. Not an every night thing, obvs, but you’ll win major cool points with this one.
This is what it sounds like 😉 I made a few different smoothie combos and had the kids do a taste-test, basically like little Sommeliers but with smoothies 😂
A picnic really does make any meal better. My kids have eaten lunch on a tiny 3-foot swing, all 3 of them, just because it’s a little different. Spread out a blanket and eat in the yard :).
Cannot even tell you how big my kids beamed when I caught them being good and told them to stop what they were doing to get a popsicle and go outside to eat it because I was so proud of them. Trying to build those positive connections and reward good behavior!
Popsicles, Part II
Make your own popsicles using a mold and yogurt – then let you kids eat them for breakfast and they’ll love you forever. I would 100% buy the ones linked below if Chris wouldn’t freak out because we already have a ton of popsicle molds :/ they come in monster, sword, dino, penguin, tiki, and zombie // popsicle molds
This has helped my kids not as for 1 million snacks/day… every morning, I get them a water bottle and stock their snack baskets for the day. It’s been a great way to give them control over when they snack 🙂
Gingerbread House Decorating
This was a fail that turned into a win – I’d forgotten a few gingerbread house kits we never decorated around Christmas so dug those out and we made Gingerbread Houses in April. As one does.
Dunkin’ Donuts had these great little ‘decorate your own donut’ kits in their drive-thru so I grabbed one for the kids. Just something fun to do for breakfast :). Call your Dunkin’ first to make sure they’re participating!