Fun things to do at home with kids
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50 Things To Do When Bored At Home
Are you stuck at home for the foreseeable future? Today I’m sharing 50 things to do when bored at home.
After being essentially stuck in our house for six weeks early in the year with Kurtis’ hip surgery, and now after we’ll both be home for the foreseeable future, I thought I’d share my tips and things to do when bored at home! Is it inconvenient to be stuck in your house for days on end (especially if not mandated)? Yes. However, I want to ensure I do my part to ensure I’m not potentially spreading coronavirus to someone that is much more vulnerable. Let’s find ways to enjoy spending this time at home as much as possible!
Thankfully we’re both able to work from home which I know isn’t an option for everyone. If it is for you, you can read my top tips for working from home for some ideas. But more likely than not, many of us will be home over the next few weeks much more than we have ever been in the past. It can sound glamorous for a few days, but as someone that made the shift from corporate America to working from home, it can definitely be isolating and trying at times! So today, I want to share all my best ideas for things to keep you busy and entertained when you’re home outside of work hours!
Since there are already a ton of lists out there that focus on how to entertain kiddos when they’re home, I’m focusing more on what adults can do (although some do apply still to kids). These ideas are just as useful whether you’re practicing social distancing as they are when you’re stuck inside during winter break, during a snow storm, or any other reason you may be staying home.
This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
50 Things To Do When You’re Bored At Home
This list is a mix of fun activities, household tasks, and activities that are designed to help others in your community that may need a bit of a lift during these trying times. Several of these items are also intended to knock out those tasks that forever seem to be on our to-do list and are always hanging over us. Following are some ideas for ways to stay busy, tackle boredom and have a more enjoyable time while you’re at home!
- Read a book. This may seem like an obvious choice but it’s a great way to take your mind off things. I also recently invested in this e-reader. I found that when I tried to read books on my phone I was becoming more and more distracted by texts, alerts, etc. Having a dedicated reader has made a huge difference!
- Work on a puzzle. This is also a great time to have conversations with loved ones in your home! I just ordered this double-sided puzzle from one of my favorite photographers of one of my favorite places on the entire planet. I can’t wait to try it!
- Open your recipe books and find inspiration for new meal ideas.
- Look into others in your community that may need help. When local schools in our area closed, my mind immediately jumped to those children that depend so much upon their school meals. So I did some research on where to donate. Find a cause that means a lot to you and see what you can do to help! Following are a few of our favorite options (that help support many types of people in need):
- Food Bank For The Heartland
- Open Door Mission
- Orphan Grain Train
- Kids Against Hunger
- Meals On Wheels
- Salvation Army
- Plan your next room makeover. I even have a free 5-day email course to help you get started if you’re interested!
- Binge watch a new series (or re-watch an old favorite). Here are a few of our recent favorites that are a bit on the lighter side (except for the last two):
- Schitt’s Creek
- Parks and Recreation
- Love Is Blind
- Arrested Development
- The Office
- Download some new music.
- Resume a hobby you haven’t worked on for awhile.
- Support your local businesses in unique ways. Local businesses will likely be hurting for some time, so find unique ways you can help support them! Following are a few ideas to help support local retailers, restaurants, salons, and more:
- Buy a gift card now to use at a later date
- Order take-out or delivery
- Check to see if they have an online version of their store
- Research your next vacation for when it’s safe to travel.
- Listen to a sermon from your church.
- Get a head start on your spring cleaning.
- Wash windows
- Wash your floors
- Deep clean your bathrooms
- Dust blinds and window coverings
- Tackle that pile of laundry you’ve been avoiding
- Knock off home maintenance items on your list.
- Change furnace filters
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors
- Replace water filters in your fridge
- Clean your dishwasher filter
- Handle repairs you’ve been procrastinating
- Try a new cocktail recipe. Pull out your old cocktail book or try a new craft cocktail recipe from my local friends at Gastronom blog!
- Work on your taxes.
- Take a walk or sit outside.
- Clean your car.
- Decorate for spring. I have some spring decorating ideas and design boards if you’re looking for inspiration!
- Play a game. Following are a few of our favorites:
- Trivial Pursuit
- Cards (we love Euchre)
- Mexican Train Dominoes
- Heads Up! (an app for your phone)
- Purge your closets and sort for donation or selling.
- Get your planters and flower beds ready for spring planting. Check out my posts on How To Plant Flowers In a Pot, Summer Planter Ideas and Front Porch Planter Ideas for loads of inspiration! And don’t forget to try my favorite fertilizer! It’s a game-changer for getting incredible blooms!
- Have an at-home spa day or night. Take a bubble bath, use a face mask, give yourself a mani-pedi. This facial steamer will instantly transport you to the spa!
- Start a new at-home workout program.
- Choose a project or two that have been hanging over you and haven’t gotten around to doing.
- Make a bucket list for the rest of 2020.
- Organize and backup up all your digital files and photos.
- Call or FaceTime someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Just because many of us are practicing social distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t be social. In fact, I would argue that now is the time to pick up your phone for an actual conversation in lieu of texts!
- Organize your pantry and/or kitchen cabinets.how to organize kitchen cabinets and drawersBe sure to check out my post on for all of my favorite organizational tools and ideas!
- Take a nap.
- Start a new podcast.
- Rearrange your furniture. If you’re feeling a bit stir crazy, try moving around furniture in one of your rooms for a whole new look!
- Tackle that DIY projects that has been on your list for months!
- Dust the leaves on all your houseplants (regardless if they’re real or faux). And, if you’re looking to bring the outdoors in but don’t want a real plant, be sure to check out my post on the best fake plants!
- Plant seeds to start your own herb or vegetable garden.
- Call your local nursing home and see if you can get a pen pal or two. Since most nursing homes have restricted visitors at this time, reach out to a local one to see how you can provide an alternative social interaction for those that live there!
- Burn your favorite candle for a few hours. My current favorites are this one, this one, and this one!
- Spend more focused time playing with your kids or pets.
- Learn a new language. We’ve had great luck with Rosetta Stone in the past, but there are so many other programs and apps out there now that are also great options!
- Have a rom-com movie marathon. They just don’t make them like they used to! These are movies I continue to watch year after year (or even month after month).
- The Holiday
- The Proposal
- How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
- Leap Year
- Notting Hill
- Letters to Juliet
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Definitely, Maybe
- You’ve Got Mail
- It’s Complicated
- The Wedding Planner
- Revisit your New Year’s resolutions and check your current status.
- Research the big purchase you know you’ve been needing to make so you’re ready when needed.
- Prep for a summer or fall garage sale.
- Put together a care package for someone who may need some extra love.
- Find a You-Tube video or other online tutorial for a new task you’ve been wanting to learn.
- Clean your patio spaces and prep them for warm weather.
- Stretch your creative muscles. Open a sketch book, try your hand at painting, write a poem, sit down at the piano, pick up your guitar. The possibilities are endless!
- Print those photos you love but have just left on your phone or camera. I typically just have my photos printed at Target so I can pick them up same-day. However, there are tons of options out there for having them printed directly to your doorstep! You can see how I use mine as artwork around our home in my post on Simple and Affordable Artwork Ideas.
- Practice yoga.
- Shred old paperwork you’ve been storing and haven’t dealt with.
- Catch up on your favorite blog! If you have a favorite blog, scroll back through their archives for posts you may have misses or to revisit favorites!
We plan to work through a lot of this list over the next few weeks. In fact, we even brought up a six-foot table from the basement to dedicate as our “puzzle table” in our hallway!
Additional Resources When You Can’t Leave Your Home
Looking for additional resources when you can’t or don’t want to leave your home? Following are some options we use regularly. Some of these do come with a fee but we have found it more than worth the convenience factor!
- DoorDash. They will deliver meals from most of your local restaurants. This helps support local and chain restaurants, but also helps provide income for those that may not be able to work due to the current situation otherwise. If you don’t have DoorDash in your area, Uber Eats, GrubHub, etc. are other options that offer similar services! If you don’t love the delivery fees, simply call your favorite restaurants directly and order pick-up! If you’re local, my friends over at Gastronom blog have compiled an Omaha Quarantine Takeout Food List!
- Shipt. For the last year-and-a-half or so, we haven’t done much grocery shopping. I regularly use Shipt to have a shopper get my groceries. In our current area, they go to Target, Hy-Vee (a regional grocery store), CVS, Petco, Sur La Table, and Office Depot/Office Max. You add items to your list, select your delivery time, and they will bring it all right to your doorstep. It’s another way to stay out of crowds and also support those who are needing extra income! If you use my referral link, it will cut your annual membership from $99 to $49. This isn’t sponsored – they offer the same type of link to anyone that signs up 🙂
- Instacart. We solely use Instacart when we need items from Costco (although they offer a lot more options). In Omaha, they also added alcohol recently (which Shipt has had for some time). So, if you’re dreading facing the crowds at Costco, this is a great alternative!
What else are you doing to stay busy and flatten the curve over the coming weeks? I’d love to hear any other ideas you may have!
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Fun things to do at home with kids
Fantastic ideas for activities for kids at home, requiring little preparation
Sometimes it’s just not possible to go out and enjoy the fresh air, and to tire out active and highly energetic children. But there’s lots of reasons we may find ourself stuck inside, not able to get out and play. The weather is regularly a big factor – it can turn miserable in a heartbeat, and scupper plans. Or the nation-wide lockdowns we are experiencing during the 2020/2021 Corona pandemic. Additionally to our activities for kids at home which we list here we’ve separately compiled the ultimate list of lockdown activities for your kids! So you can look up even more fun activities for kids at home to entertain them during lockdown.
You will also find yourself stuck inside when your little one just isn’t feeling well. And if your child is poorly, it gets really hard to explain why they have to stay inside and rest. Their attention span won’t last long enough to read them a story – they’ll likely need an indoor kids activity that’ll keep them busy over a longer period of time. Ideally one that is relaxing but still fun. Luckily you will definitely find an activity that fit your needs within our long list of enjoyable activities.
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OUR TOP 10 Fun things to do with kids at home:
We as parents always fear situations where the kids have friends over for a play date and all of the sudden all the excitement has gone: They chase you with this expression as if they would live in a house with not a single toy and are super bored. That’s when we toucanBox employees have learned to look at our list of activities for kids at home. The ultimate game changer for play dates that don’t quite go as planned.
1: Indoor den or cave building activity for kids
There is probably not a single child between 1 and 10 who doesn’t like to build and play in dens or caves. At toucanBox HQ the great majority of us claim to be grown-ups, and we’d all love to while away an afternoon building a massive pillow fort. So who says dens are for kids only?
Children’s imaginations go wild with this activity. From planning the build – what will they use to make their den? Can they gather the materials themselves? To playing inside of it, each step is an absolute pleasure. Hopefully they’ll be inspired to come up with exciting, fun-filled role play, or simply enjoy a change the scene and play with their toys ‘hidden away’ in their cave.
The easiest way to create a stable den in your house is through using a blanket or bed sheet and cover a table or some other furniture moved together. You can create quite a spacious den using four chairs arranged in a square with the blanket placed over the back rests. Add few cushions added into the cave and your kids will have a great time for sure.
2: Organise a birthday party for your kid’s favourite toy at your home
We really like this fun idea to do with kids at home a lot. It definitely falls into the category of things to do at home with a poorly-feeling child, and requires nothing but things you already have at home. It’s up to your imagination and circumstances – how big do you want this celebration to be?
It could be anything from just a pretend tea party – maybe in your poorly child’s bed to make sure they’re resting up – to a big party with music, balloons, treats and party games (think Musical Statues, Pass The Parcel and Simon Says). You can even think about inviting some of your child’d friends over to join in the fun. And party balloons will still give the kids endless fun even when the party is over.
One tip from our side: Start with a little smaller party as we are convinced that your children may ask for more parties like this afterwards. Be prepared to have a few ideas in reserve in case all the toys start piping up and saying their birthdays are coming up, too.
3: Rice play – The ultimate kids activity for a home-bound afternoon
Take a messy play tray or a washing up bowl. Fill it with any uncooked rice and pop in several things to help your kids to become rice-panning-experts: Spoons, bowls, cups, balls, toys – anything you can think of really. The kids love it; it’s like messy play without the mess. Rice is way easier to clean up than teeny-tiny sand grains. So everyone wins!
4: A housebound treasure hunt
Create a map of your home and hide small items around it. Mark each piece of hidden treasure on the map. Explain the map to your little one and offer your support for the hunting game in case they need it.
If your kids are older you can use word cards describing a place where you have hidden an item. For example: “I am cold and make a ‘bing bing’ noise if left open”. The answer is the fridge, of course. Or possibly an emergency escape hatch. Kids love this combination of a quiz and hunt. It’s hard not to get in on the fun, too.
Even once they’ve found all the treasure, why not get them to organise their own hunt? They can draw their own map or come up with their own cryptic questions to send you on a great search.
5: Indoor water fun activity to do with kids together
If you can stand the risk of a few water drops here and there you can put a thick towel on the floor and place a bowl or a messy play tray filled with water on it. The kids will have endless fun while giving their toys a bath or experiencing thrillingly imaginative pirate, fishing or swimming adventures. Baywatch-like rescue-scenes actively encouraged.
But we should say this again: Wild water inside the home can cause a mess at best, and some damage at worst. You could use the bath or sink to mitigate it. Please don’t make us responsible for a water damage in your kids’ playroom! 🙂
6: Life size drawings – An activity that will keep you busy for hours
This is such a fun thing to do with kids at home! Stick a load of A4 sheets of paper together (or if you have a big paper roll even better!) and place it on the floor. Encourage the kids to lie down on it and outline their body with a pen. From this moment on there is no way to stop the kids getting creative: colour in, add accessories to the figures like stickers or stamps, design clothes with old material offcuts or other things you might find in the art drawer. The kids will have lots of fun with the real-size copies and you may have something really special to decorate the their bedroom wall afterwards.
7: Kids adventurous home gym – A great way to release some energy if you can’t go out
Need an activity for the kids where they can release some energy? Transform your living room into a kid’s gym and create some fun and age-appropriate sports stations. You can put a trail of paper sheets on the floor which the kids have to walk over without touching anything else but the paper. Time jumping on the spot, which can be made more difficult for older kids (maybe they have to spin around while jumping).
A planking station is great fun as well. If you have a soft carpet or mattress you can try some somersaults with them if they are old enough (take care that they don’t hurt their neck!). Any other kind of gymnastic exercise which is performed only with their own body weight is great.
To make it more competitive you can use the stopwatch to time the duration of each exercise. But make sure to stick to age-appropriate durations. It’s about the fun and switching back and forth between the stations rather than aiming for the next world record.
Even more fun is it when mummy and daddy join in the kids gym activity and afterwards you all deserve a special treat!
8: Finger paint animals – So much fun for kids of all ages
We came up with some fun fingerprint animals that you can read all about here. Why not try to create a full zoo of handprint and finger painted animals. Use different body parts to create different animals!
9: A roadway created across the house with insulation tape
Play mats are undoubtly a fun thing for kids. They give them a great setting to get imaginative with their toys. But what if you created your own one? You could grab some tape and make roads all over the carpet. Think about how they will connect up, where they will lead to, and what sights you might need to add along the way. You could also use the same technique with the life size art portraits and draw your own scene on a ginormous piece of paper. Talk about what amenities the newly created community might need, and what toys are going to live there.
10: Recreate classic 90s gameshows
Now we’re not presuming anyone’s age here, but if you’ve been squealing with joy at hapless contestants running through the Crystal Maze once again, you still get chills from thinking about Knightmare, or you struggle to not shout out “cuddly toy!” when you’re reminded the Generation Game is returning, we might all be singing from the same 90s-tinged-hymn sheet (probably featuring the Spice Girls). Is the reason they’re coming back a shameless cash-grab? Possibly, but we also like to think these shows had family-friendly tasks nailed down. So let’s not allow the contestants to have all the fun – create your own games!
One of the suggestions that had us nostalgic was filling a tent with toy money, and blowing it around with a hairdryer – hey presto, behold the Crystal Dome! Collect a load of different items, ask your kids to remember as many as they can, and see who wins the most (“cuddly toy!”).
Check out even more fun activities for kids at home
Making 3D art is great fun. Inflate a balloon, grab some newspaper and a PVA glue/water mix, and get creating!
Who doesn’t love a balloon party? There are lots of games to be played and science experiments to embark on!
Make a quick dash outside to grab some rocks. Dry them off and practice painting them, or decorating them with markers.
Here are some of our Halloween-inspired treats and more fun games which are also great outside of the Halloween season!
Hide and seek
A classic indoor game that kids love.
Indoor fashion show
Get your favorite clothes, dress ups or even mummy’s clothes out and strike a pose!
Fascinating facts about animals
Read and learn some really surprising facts about animals with your child. Did you know that a polar bear’s skin is black and a giraffe’s tongue blue? Or that octopusses eat their own arms when they are bored?
Making a lantern
Making an easy wintery lantern even if it’s not winter.
Creating your own TV show
You could use toys, puppets and even film your debut episode!
Get a little mathematical
Build your own 20-sided 3D shape icosahedron from paper plates!
Need some more inspiration for fun things to do at home with kids?
We have compiled even more fun things to do with your kids during lockdown as we are experiencing it during the Corona pandemic. You can also check out our list of activities for kids near your home.
If you are looking for an activity that is fun and educational at the same time check out our page where we explain planets for kids and much more exciting information about our solar system. Even toddlers can learn about planets. Of course we round this up with a fun planet craft activity!
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SHARE YOUR CREATIONS WITH US
We’d love to see your creations, so why not share them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #toucanBox. Our favourite snaps could feature in the next issue of toucanBox Magazine!