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10 Ways to Entertain Your Kids When They’re Stuck Inside

A boy and girl looking bored on a sofa.

At this point in the pandemic, the thought of being quarantined isn’t so strange. Many are still working from home and some schools have closed their doors. As a result, it’s highly likely you could end up hanging out with your kids all day, every day. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for bored children, which can be a daunting situation to handle.

If you’re desperately looking for a way to entertain your kids, the ideas below might prevent all of you from going stir-crazy.

Get Them Moving with a Fitness App

One of the worst things about being cooped up in a house as a kid is that you don’t have much room to move around. Most kids love to run all over the place. Not only does this keep them busy, but it also allows them to release all that pent-up energy. If they can’t do that, well … they could easily get super frustrated.

One way that allows them to do this without, you know, destroying your house, is with a fitness app. It will encourage them to move around while also having fun. Apps like FitnessKids, Yoga for Kids, and Hops – Journey of Tree Spirit, will have your kids moving those little butts around in no time. It’ll also keep them occupied for a while—at least until they tire themselves out.

Family Game Time

A mom, dad, and child playing a board game on family game night.
Leszek Glasner/Shutterstock

Board games might seem a bit old-fashioned in the age of video games, but they’re still super fun! Plus, it’s a great way to bond and keep everyone busy.

So, bust out some of those old-school favorites and schedule a time when everyone can play together. Keep track of scores and have little competitions. You can even get them more interested by offering small prizes and incentives.

Create Crafting Stations

DIY stuff can be really entertaining and educational for kids. It can also occupy a lot of their time. A quick search online will reveal hundreds of kid-friendly crafts. Many of them don’t even require a trip to the craft store to put together. Print out clear instructions, set them up with all their supplies, and let them get started.

Note: Encourage your kids to get creative. If they’d rather veer off in their own direction rather than following the instructions, that’s totally okay! This encourages them to think outside the box, and they’ll also have more fun.

Cook or Bake Together

Try doing something productive that’s also fun, like cooking or baking. It’s definitely not something that has to be seen as a chore. You can make it a lot more interesting so your kids start to enjoy helping you with a meal, or just a snack or treat.

Baking is usually more fun for kids because the result is more satisfying. Try some muffins, cupcakes, cookies, or a loaf of quick bread. Anything simple and straightforward is perfect when you’re just starting out. It’s even better if they get to decorate after everything is cooked.

You can also teach them how to cook fun foods, like pizza, quesadillas, or tacos. It’s a good way to keep them busy and check a task off your to-do list.

A Little TV Time

You obviously don’t want to just plop your child down in front of the television all day. However, there’s nothing wrong with turning on a movie when there are no other options.

Choose something entertaining or educational. If your kids will sit still long enough to watch it, you might even be able to get a few hours to yourself.

An Indoor Picnic

A mom and son having an indoor picnic on the floor.
Olga Pink/Shutterstock

When I was a kid, I loved to do things inside that were normally done outside, even if they seemed totally ridiculous to adults. This kind of thing just fascinates kids!

Try having an indoor picnic lunch. Fill a basket with sandwiches and snacks, then set it all out just like you would outside on the grass. Ask them to pretend they’re actually outside, then ask them to describe what they see. Their imaginations will run wild!

Go Camping in the Backyard

If you have a backyard and it’s warm enough, let them go camping out there. Set up a tent, if you have one, or create one using blankets or tarps. Bring out the sleeping bags, flashlights, and other gear.

You can even make a fire in a fire pit to barbecue some food. Or, just make some s’mores and tell ghost stories. All of this will be fun and exciting for your kids.

If you can’t go outside, camp in the house. Make a little DIY tent or fort out of pillows and blankets, set out the sleeping bags, and make your s’mores in the microwave. Just pretending you’re outside offers a break from the usual routine and is a fun way to spend the night.

FaceTime Friends or Relatives

Can’t really see anyone else right now? Luckily, technology exists to help you with that. If your kids are going a bit stir-crazy, you can safely bring someone else into the mix.

FaceTime or Skype grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or friends, and let them chat away happily for as long as they like. It’s an easy, fast way to break up the day.

A Scavenger Hunt or Obstacle Course

A child holding a magnifying glass and a list for a scavenger hunt.
Robin Craig/Shutterstock

Both of these things might take a little extra time on your part, but if they occupy your kids for a while, it’s worth it! Set up a scavenger hunt with all sorts of clues and little hiding spots, so they can run around discovering things. Not only is this a good way to get them moving, but you can also make it educational.

And if you have the room, an obstacle course is another great way to get them on their feet and get all of their energy out. Just get creative with what they can do! It’s a fun way for everyone to use their imagination a little.

Make Chores Fun

As your kids get older, they might no longer view chores as fun. When they’re young, though, you can totally convince them that washing dishes is a blast!

Ask them to help you out with exciting grown-up tasks, such as sweeping, dusting, picking up toys, and tidying the kitchen. You can also give them incentives in the form of little prizes or treats, or make it a game and challenge them to see who gets done first!

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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