Extra spring break weeks? Activities you can do with your family while at home
Quarantine or self-quarantine is on all of our minds right now.
While it is not a good situation, we are hoping the best for the world.
Whether you are quarantined or self quarantined – most of our activities and events are canceled so we will have time on our hands for a change.
With many schools closing down you may be wondering:
What can I do with my kids during these extra weeks of spring break?
Here is a list of activities you and your family can do if you are stuck at home for long periods of time together.
I totally understand, you probably just spent a large amount of money on a vacation or just entertaining them outside of the home last week.
I tried to make them activities where you do not have to buy materials or spend money, so these ideas are more on the creative side of things.
I also included a few things you can do for yourself and for your home. Hopefully, some of these things your kids can do on their own.
Although, if you do have a project you want to do in mind, get those supplies as soon as you can so you are prepared if you get around to doing it.
Here are 40 things you can while at home with your kids, I really hope you enjoy them!
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Things to do as a family
1. Have a real conversation
Your life has probably been moving at 100 miles per hour up until now, which leaves us little time to really have conversations with one another. So this might be a time to reconnect with your family. Talk to your kids about anything and everything, get reacquainted. Encourage communication amongst your kids and talk to your partner as well. If you want to talk to your children about the Coronavirus, here is a MarketWatch article that can help How to talk to your kids about COVID-19 — and help them protect themselves
2. Tell each other stories
Take your family down memory lane with stories from the past. Relive funny moments, tell stories about being a kid or teen, and share stories you may have never told your kids. If there were stories your grandparents enjoyed telling you, you should share those too.
3. Teach about your family history
Share with your kids’ information about your heritage. Let them know where your family came from, and if you do not know, you can try to figure that out too. Contact your older relatives (to check in on them) to learn more about your family history. You can also document it, take notes on what they tell you.
4. Recreate your favorite movie as a play
Get silly and do some acting. You can go all out and even dress up your family as the characters and use props. Remember, no pressure; you are doing it just for fun. I have a feeling we may recreate Frozen, and I will get casted as an extra or something because my daughter will want to be every character.
5. Take a video or vlog of your experience
People being quarantined and the coronavirus situation, is something that has never happened before in our lifetime, find a way to document it together. It can be like a time-capsule of this major, unprecedented event as it unfolds. If you do not want to make videos, try to figure out a way you can document in your own unique way – like through writing or photos.
6. Have a dance or karaoke party
Blast some music and let loose! Have a dance party with each other, introduce old music and dance moves to your kids. Or do some karaoke. Who knows someone in your family may have a hidden talent? You can also learn about the type of music your kids enjoy listening to and why. Now is the time to see what music and other types of entertainment are influencing your child.
7. Have a talent show
Speaking of talent, if music is not your favorite thing, show everyone your talent. Have you and your kids do things like a comedy standup routine, a magic show, cheerleading moves, sports tricks, or anything else you can think of to entertain each other. You can even do a secret ballot to see who wins the talent show.
8. Do a puzzle or play board games
If you have older kids, try a challenging jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles with a few hundred or even thousands of pieces can be time-consuming. You may already have a puzzle stored away somewhere in your house. You can also dig into your board games and play some of those too. Finish Monopoly for a change! Or show kids that Scrabble was not always a digital game; it has wooden tiles. You can also make a game night a part of your routine.
9. Invent a game
To really get creative, make up your own game. Be imaginative; it can be physical, action-adventure, trivia, silly, competitive, or challenging. Make the game according to your kids’ ages. Or bring back the classic games like Simon Says and Ring Around the Rosies. You can also play games you played as a child that your kids have never played before.
10. Cook something different
Is there a recipe you have never tried before but always wanted to? Go for it! Make it a challenge to cook different things daily. You can use a website like Super Cook Recipes to see what you can make based on the ingredients you want to use or already have.
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11. Virtually catch up with people
This is time to reconnect with people you may have lost touch with. It is even a good idea to give them a call on the phone for a change. You can also Facetime family and friends you have not seen in a long time. It is good to reach out so you can check on the well being of all the people you know too.
12. Binge watch a new series
Find something brand new to watch. Nowadays, there are plenty of things to devour all at once on Netflix. You can watch a new cartoon with the kids, and once they are in bed, you can watch something more compelling. A way to make this unique is by watching something different, something you would never have watched in a million years. You can always stop.
13. Watch movies
A ton of flicks are available on all the streaming platforms. You can watch both new and old movies. Having a movie night where everyone gathers together with lots of snacks can be fun.
14. Explore the Disney vault
A good majority of us parents have Disney Plus, if you are tired of watching Frozen and Moana, introduce your kids to some of the older Disney content. My daughter enjoyed Pinocchio (even though I did not), so you never know, your child can find a new favorite.
15. Play video games
Gamer or not, you can give playing a video game a shot. If you have not played on a video game console in a long time, you are going to need to have your kids or partner guide you through it.
16. Clean out your email inbox
Some people are excellent at keeping their inbox cleaned and neat – maybe you are one of them. But I am guessing there a few of you out there who may be battling an inbox that is out of control. Uh yeah, that is my actual inbox, I can relate. We get tons of messages these days.
17. Download a new addicting app
Find an exciting app on your phone like online puzzle apps and journey games. I am sure before you had kids, you once used to download game apps on your smartphone and actually play them! Well, now is the time to download Word With Friends (if they still have it) and pick up on that last game you never finished like ten years ago! Can you believe it came out over ten years ago? I know that is when I was obsessed with playing it.
18. Have your kiddos earn their screen time
If you need a break and want to give the kids some screen time, but don’t want to feel guilty about it, just try to even it out with something education or productive. This will also encourage them to do some activities alone, which will give you extra break time besides the screen time. Like every chore or book, they read earns them 10 minutes of screen time.
19. Dust off the old game systems
If you have them stored, grab your old video game consoles like your Nintendo, Nintendo Wii, Sega Genesis, and play games like Rockband or GoldenEye 007 (a multiplayer James Bond game some of us were obsessed with back in 1997). Bring a little nostalgia back into your life by playing these games. It is also a great time to show your kids old video games and how technology has advanced them. Hopefully, they will get a kick out of it.
20. Back up your phone and save photos
Now is the time to back up your phone, make sure your contacts are saved in an alternate location. It is also an excellent time to ensure your photos are saved somewhere. If you have SD cards from cameras, you can save those to a computer too. This is also a smart time to back up your computer files, organize your files and photos, and update your software.
Things to do around the house
21. Spring cleaning
It is spring, so doing some deep cleaning is something you may have planned to do. Disinfect your house too. If you ever prayed for time to clean up your home, now is the time.
22. Clean your closet
Along with cleaning, it’s an ideal time to find items you can remove from your wardrobe. Old clothes, shoes, makeup, and expired beauty items are a few types of things you can get rid of. Go through your kids’ closets to get rid of clothes they have outgrown and toys they no longer play with.
23. Organize your rooms
If your home has roughly five rooms or living spaces, you all can work together to tackle cleaning one room a day. Start with the bedrooms, then move onto the living room and kitchen. Give everyone a task appropriate to their age. When it comes time to clean their rooms, you can get your kids involved by making them the “team lead” and give them some authority and decisions to make.
24. Go through mail and documents
Mail and paperwork pile up very quickly. Shred documents you do not need and organize the ones you do need. Gather all of the essential documents you may need in case of an emergency. Create a folder or file for each family member.
25. Finally, start your home project
Is there something you have been wanting to do for a long time? Projects like painting a room or fixing the molding around your house? Maybe you bought the materials but never had the time to do it, now may be your chance and you have helpers too
26. Get your DIY on
Go through some YouTube videos or Pinterest and find some “Do It Yourself” projects to get ideas. You can also do some kid activities like making slime or other art activities. Luckily, doing something like this typically calls for household items you may already have.
27. Make a huge blanket fort
Now that your house is beautiful and clean (as are all the blankets) you can make an epic fort that you and your kids can fit into. It does not have to be fancy or anything, just as elaborate as you want. You can add holiday lights to light it up and secret areas to hide in. The sky is the limit. Remember, the fun part is making it, so if it does not even stay up, that is okay.
28. Camp out in the living room
Okay, so maybe the fort did not work out, now you can take those blankets and camp out in your living room together. You can tell scary stories, use flashlights for everything, and eat camp out food. It is an excellent time to bond with no technology allowed.
29. Take turns cooking
Make the responsibility of cooking everyone’s during this time, so take turns. For kids, one can assist in the kitchen with the adult tasked for meal duty. Make the rule – like if you cook you clean too (this can keep them from not making such a big mess) – but on someone else’s’ day, you get a full day off from the kitchen.
30. Let them get messy
Sometimes the best things to do to keep kids busy is to let them do things that are a little unconventional or messy. Like opening up that huge art painting kit or play with makeup.
For instance, as I write my daughter is doing “water activities” right now, aka I let her play with water and toys at the sink. I know it is going to make a big mess, but letting her do something she rarely gets to do will keep her distracted way longer than anything else.
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Things to do by yourself
31. Read a book
When you need some quiet, make it “library” time where everyone whispers, and you pretend you are at a library. Everyone reads books on their own. If you have a little one, have your older kids read to them. Or you can give them an online app that can read them a story or at least do something educational.
32. Study a subject
Is there something you have wanted to learn about for a long time? This could be the time to dig deep into a topic. With school being out an extra few weeks, you can also have your kids do some learning too. If they have their school books, go through a few lessons with them. Or find something you can teach them. Do whatever it takes to get your brains some exercise.
33. Do some indoor exercise
Speaking of exercise – you can also do some exercises at home. You do not need exercise equipment. Just use your body as resistance or your baby as a weight. Do things like planks, situps, push-ups, and squats. You can do a little routine daily to keep you moving. Or you can find workout videos online to help you. This is also something you can do as a family.
34. Give your pet some quality attention
If you have a pup or cat, they are probably wondering why you are home. Reassure them that everything is okay and spend some quality time with them. You can even give them a bath or clean them somehow. Then brush through their hair. Give them a little grooming experience.
35. Write in your journal
Expressing your thoughts via writing is a great way to destress. You can write your thoughts down in a book or type them up somewhere. If you have a journal already you can go back and play catch up, write the things you planned on but did not get around to. If you are just starting, write about your life now, feel free to express yourself with no restraints – just make sure to keep it somewhere where nobody can get to it.
36. Start learning a new language
One thing many of us want to do is learn a new language, so why no? There are all sorts of resources online. Take a daily language lesson. Make a goal, like to learn three conversational phrases a day or to learn how to count to twenty in one day.
37. Catch up on your side hustle
We all have side hustles, whether it is your Etsy store, party planning or photography. No matter what it is, now is a great time to catch up on things. Redesign your flyers or organize your equipment. Figure out ways to do things better. If you don’t have a side hustle yet and want one, start doing your research on it. Sometimes all you need is a laptop to get started!
38. Plan ahead for things
Summer is coming up soon, so if there is something you need to plan for start doing it now. It can be a party, or maybe you teach a class – whatever it is, you can definitely use your time now wisely.
39. Self Care
You know how to do this and what to do, stop delaying it and make it happen.
If you do one thing on this list, I hope it is this one. If the world stopping all at once can benefit you in one tiny little way – let it be for you to stop and unwind. Take a break from work, kids, your social life (on and offline). Send everyone to their room and have some quality alone time with yourself.
Hopefully, you now have some ideas on what to do while you are at home with kids. With everything getting canceled, it is ideal for spending quality time with one another.
Encourage your family to get creative and silly. With no bosses, friends, coworkers, or acquaintances around, you are all free to be yourself.
A few final things to think about, if you have another adult in your household, try to give each other breaks from the kids so the other can do some things for themselves.
Try to stick to a routine of sorts to keep everyone on track and productive.
Be flexible with your kids; remember this situation is new to them too, and they usually have ways of getting their energy out at school during the day. You can get through this!
I wish you and your family, friends, and community the best during these times. If you have any suggestions on things a family can do if they are stuck at home, let me and everyone know! Comment or find us on social media.
Refreshing ideas, thank you for the wonderful suggestions. My grandkids and I love your articles.
So glad you enjoyed it! I look forward to finding out if you and your grandkids did any of these ideas!
Thank you for your thoughtfulness in creating putting together this list of ideas. Sharing with my school family.
I am so glad you found this post useful! We all need to stay positive and do good now more than ever. Best of health to you, your family and school family!
This was wonderful! It was not at all what I expected having already spent days searching for ideas on how to keep my entire family from going crazy during such a difficult time. My children range in ages from 18 to 3 yrs old. We also have a large home that houses my grandmother, my mother and my aunt at the moment. I love so much the idea of sharing family history. I also thought about combining two of your ideas by making a play out of our favorite family memories. Hey, even a gentle roasting of each one of us could be hysterical way to pass the time. Anyway, great ideas. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for the kind words. I am glad it helped you out. I hope your entire family stays healthy during this time! I definitely want to hear how that roast goes, that is a great idea!