Kid’s Activities for the Homebound
by Dawn Bovenmyer
In light of the recent developments of Covid19, families have been presented new opportunities to bond at home. But “cabin fever” can sure poke its own head into our homes as the days pass. Here are a few suggestions from years of parenting and grandparenting that might help out with that “what should we do??” question. God bless everyone!
- Make up puppet shows or shows with stuffed animals. This can also be a great way for kids to express their fears or other emotions as they “outlet” through the animals.
- Paint Easter eggs
- Walk around the yard looking for signs of spring- keep a list and watch it grow as the days go by
- Take photos of the signs of spring! Or go inside and draw what you saw
- Play hide and seek inside the house
- Design and play a scavenger hunt game
- Do puzzles; or you can make your own! Glue a picture to a piece of cardboard and cut it into shapes to be put back together.
- Cut out pictures from newspapers or magazines, glue them onto paper. You can do “themes” such as pictures of food; people, animals, etc. Or make new words, the child’s name, or sentences by cutting out separate letters and putting them together.
- Draw portraits of your family members
- Play restaurant! Have your kids help cook a meal and serve it. Designate “waiters,” “Greeters,” “cooks,” “bus-boys,” “dishwashers,” and “table decorators.” You could even have the kids help design a menu to be used! Rotate the jobs and play this game several times a week.
- Play dress-up
- Play charades- we do Bible and “Disney.” For Bible, give each group doing the charade a picture Bible that they can look through to get ideas. We always designate one adult or older child to help steer the charade. For “Disney” have them think of movies they like and pick out a small section of the movie to act out. As each group acts out the story, everyone else guesses who they are. (no talking allowed by charade artists!)
- Do drama: Pick a children’s story, assign “parts” to each child, and have them act out the story
- Do gymnastics: clear an area and have the kids take turns doing cart-wheels or other tumbling
- Do exercises together! Push-ups, sit-ups, stretching, etc. Do an obstacle course in your yard.
- Play store: gather up some coins (count how much money you have to make sure you end with the same amount!) or use play money if you have it. Have kids set up shop arranging toys, books, canned goods, etc. and tape “price tags” on the items. Have a “Shelf stocker,” a “clerk” to count the money, and a “courtesy helper” to “bag.” You could even have the kids make their own money out of paper or cardboard. Develops counting, adding, and subtracting skills!
- Play school: Designate a “teacher” who will teach a subject. Let them design worksheets, prepare materials, etc. You may need to oversee this one a bit so that there isn’t an overbearing, exacting “teacher!”
- Sewing (for slightly older kids): If you have a needle and thread at home you’re set! If you don’t know how to sew yourself, look online for basic tutorials. (You can all learn!) Teach the kids how to thread and knot a needle, do basic embroidery stiches, sew on a button, even design clothes for their dolls or stuffed animals. You can use old shirts for their sewing “canvas.” You can cut the buttons off an old shirt so that they can practice sewing a button on if you don’t have extra loose buttons at home.
- Make a button necklace- IF you do have lots of extra buttons on hand, you can take a piece of string or doubled thread and string buttons together to make a bracelet or necklace.
- Play dough! Give the kids cookie cutters, jar lids, or other items to “cut out” shapes. Have them design a house, making furniture to put inside it, a park with playground equipment, etc. Recipes for play dough can be found online.
- Prepare a “concert.” Have kids work up a song or songs to sing for Dad and Mom. Or if they play an instrument, have them prepare a piece that they can play for the family. They could even perform for an online audience such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, or friends.
- Secret Pal: have kids draw names and adopt a secret pal for the day. Make surprise “gifts” that they can hide in pal’s dresser drawer, shoe, on pillow, etc. At lunch time or at end of day, have kids guess who their pal is.
- Matching game: do several loads of laundry. Assign each child one person’s clothes (or their clothes) to “find” in the laundry. Teach them how to fold the clothes. Dump all the socks together in a pile and take turns finding matches. If ALL the socks have a match give everyone a treat! When clothes are folded, have each child be a “fork lift” or “robot” carrying their clothes to their dresser and put them away! (Treats can be given after all the clothes are put away!)
- Room time: Set a timer and assign a “quiet time” for each child in a separate area. They can have books or toys available. Sometimes it’s just good to have space and quiet!
For a bit of humor, here’s something our daughter recently posted on Facebook:
Bored kids today? Here a list of some of the favorite activities I did as a homeschooler:
-Pretend to be a Hobbit by tying a blanket around my neck, going outside, and wacking weeds with a stick.
-Shoot at rabbits with BB guns to prevent them from eating our garden.
-Build giant tents and try to convince mom to let us sleep in them.
-Pillow fights that usually ended in tears and screams of pain
-Bird watching, using a book to identify the birds.
-Open a two story window, throw stuffed animals out, have a sibling go outside and attach the animals to a rope made out of sheets, pull animals back inside.
-Build giant block mazes with gates, passwords, and traps and try to get siblings to solve them.
-Flood the sandbox and destroy all pretend life.
-Build indoor obstacle courses out of everything available.
-Fight with wooden swords, or just pretend swords, usually yelling about how the other sibling killed your father. (“Princess Bride” movie anyone!)
-Hours of imaginary stuffed animal play, usually Mark’s parrots trying to subjugate all other animals.
-Play bullfight (not advised near fireplaces)
-Find a place to huddle together and tell role playing stories (need a good storyteller/shout out to Mark Bovenmyer’s crazy imagination)
These not good ideas for your family? Then try what my mom did, and give the kids lots of household chores. I learned many life skills, from sewing, to ironing, to bathroom cleaning, to cooking etc.
Happy homeschooling! ?