40 Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy While Stuck at Home

Try these fun and educational activities to keep the whole crew happy, entertained and learning.

1. Write letters to friends and relatives.

2. Go on a virtual tour of one of these 12 famous museums. travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

3. Have a spa day (DIY mani/pedis, face masks, foot scrubs, etc.).

4. Set up a family game day/night. Play board games or card games.

5. Watch a classic family movie. For ideas, visit alaskaparent.com/_pages/book_buzz/cant_miss_stories.

6. Work on a puzzle together. For extra fun, have kids create their own by gluing an art creation to a piece of cardboard and cutting it out into puzzle shapes.

7. Enjoy a playdate over Skype or FaceTime.

8. Hide items in the yard for a fun scavenger hunt.

9. Make playdough. In a pan, mix together 2 cups of flour, 2 cups warm water, 1 cup salt, 2 Tbs vegetable oil, 1 Tbs cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity). Cook over a low heat until formed and not too sticky. Knead in some food coloring (liquid, powder or unsweetened drink mix) and scented oils.

10. Bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes.

11. Take a hike.

12. Play with sidewalk chalk.

13. Watch wild animals live on webcams at explore.org/livecams.

14. Make indoor tents and reading caves. Include flashlights, snacks, books and pillows.

15. Create baking soda and vinegar art. Fill a shallow pan or plate with baking soda. Add food coloring to vinegar, and let your kids drip vinegar onto the baking soda. It’ll bubble and change, and kids will get a kick out of their creations.

16. Go DIY bowling. Line up some plastic cups or cans, grab a ball and throw for a strike.

17. Pick a favorite animal and research it. Create a fact sheet about it.

18. Record an “I love you” video for the grandparents.

19. Check out the fun and educational websites for kids featuring art, science, music, games, sports and more at kidsites.com.

20. Make a sensory tub. Place rice (or beans, oatmeal, etc.) in a box, bucket, bowl or small plastic pool. Add spoons, cups, funnels and anything else to make the experience fun, and let your kids get to work.

21. Color eggs (not just for Easter!) and then make egg salad.

22. Start a home garden (indoor or outdoor).

23. Start an online blog. Learn about kid blogging here: alaskaparent.com/_pages/articles/kid_blogging

24. Make finger paint. Mix 2 cups cornstarch with 1 cup cold water. Add 4 ½ cups boiling water, 1 cup at a time, stirring well. After it’s cooled, split into a few jars and add the food coloring of your choice.

25. Make a collage out of old magazines, catalogs, recycled paper items, etc.

26. Try Zumba or dance-along videos on YouTube.

27. Encourage your child to draw, write poetry, pen short stories, or just journal their feelings in a special notebook.

28. Create an obstacle course in the backyard and let the kids race.

29. Play a family-friendly game of "spin the bottle" with your chore list.

30. Rearrange or redecorate a room.

31. Make ice cream in a bag. alaskaparent.com/_pages/recipes/homemade_ice_cream_in_a_bag

32. Ask the grandparents 20 questions. alaskaparent.com/…/articles/grand_relationships

33. Play “I Spy” as you walk around your neighborhood.

34. Make s’mores. Try one of these unique s’mores recipes – whether you’re fireside or stuck inside! alaskaparent.com/_pages/recipes/smores_twist

35. Paint a room together.

36. Have a paper airplane flying contest.

37. Team up and clean and organize each kid's space, making a donation box for each.

38. Check out these free online learning resources to keep young brains busy. Select a grade level and find learning activities centered around a story or video. classroommagazines.scholastic.com/…/learnathome

39. Snuggle on the couch and read your favorite books.

40. Make a time capsule with photos, ticket stubs, postcards and even letters to your future selves.