OK, parents, what’s your plan? With many school districts closing school on Tuesday, and the possibility of more freezing rain Wednesday, we’re going to need some creativity about how to keep kids busy while stuck at home.
Of course, you’ve learned from COVID-19 how to turn living rooms into forts, classrooms, camping spots, home gyms, art studios and more.
But here are several more ideas of what you can do this week if you can’t leave the house:
Find museums’ online resources
Plan and make a meal together
Haven’t gone grocery shopping and it’s not safe to go to the store with our ice roads? No worries. We bet you can scrounge up some ingredients that you have on hand. Get the kids involved to see how creative you can get. This is also the perfect time to teach kids how to bake a cake from scratch.
More ideas:Crafts to keep kids busy
Make recycled crafts
Dig through your recycling bin and the junk drawer for some found objects. Bring out the glue, the tape, the markers, the glitter, the stickers, the paint. Bragging rights or prizes could be awarded. There could even be judges.
Get some exercise
Search YouTube for yoga for kids and do a session together. Blow up a balloon, move out the furniture in your living room and play volleyball. Play hide and seek. Have a snowball fight if there’s still snow on the ground.
Make homemade Play-Doh
DIY Natural has this recipe:
- 1 cup of flour (whatever kind you have on hand)
- ¼ cup of salt
- ½ cup of water
- 3 to 5 drops of food coloring
Mix together the flour and the salt.
Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.
Or make oobleck, which is one part water to two parts corn starch. Mix it in a zippered bag. Throw in some food coloring and get to playing.
Hold a movie marathon in your house
Check out the Netflix, the Hulu, the Amazon Prime, Disney+ for the movies your kids haven’t yet seen, or show them some classics from your childhood. Pop the popcorn and enjoy.
Bring on the books
Story time is great togetherness time. Build a fort out of sheets in the living room and use your flashlights to have a story adventure. Use your Austin Public Library card to check out virtual books, library.austintexas.gov.
Bring out the board games and cards
Start with Go Fish and work your way up to poker (no betting… OK, maybe just pennies). Have the kids invent and create their own board games.
That sock that is missing its match, that lunch bag or gift bag make a perfect medium. Or eat Popsicles and use the sticks to attach paper characters to. (See we just wanted the Popsicle.) You can even create a play to go with your new puppet friends. If the lights go out, create shadow puppets using a flashlight.
Have a dance party
Oh, yes! Crank up the jams and get grooving. You can even introduce them to something from the 1980s. What?
Build a fire in the fireplace and roast marshmallows
Hot chocolate might also be required. Be safe while building it. Don’t have a fireplace? You can use the microwave or a gas burner to melt the marshmallows.
Have a dragon contest
You know that puff of air that comes out of your mouth as you breathe when it’s cold. This is the time to use it to your imagination. With temperatures in the 30s, we recommend going outside when the sun is out. If you do go outside, remember tons of layers. We know kids in Texas don’t have proper clothing, so if you don’t have mittens, layer up several pairs of socks. Put leggings under jeans or sweat pants, wear several hoodies and sweatshirts, keep that head warm with whatever crazy hats you have on hand, use towels for scarves. Get creative. No one is watching.
P.S. If you’re really industrious, this would be a great time to sort through old toys and clothes to donate and organize the kids’ room. Hah! We didn’t think so.