I’ve been searching for ideas for weeks now and finally I give you.. a hundred and one activities to conquer boredom while on quarantine!
The kids will be with you 24/7 for weeks or months WHO KNOWS UNTIL WHEN. So I’m sure you will find these activities useful. One idea for every time the kids say Muuuummmm, I’m bored!
EVERYTHING IN HERE YOU CAN DO IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME! There are activities here from toddlers, teens to adults!
DIY – Arts, Crafts and Science Experiments
Make salt dough ornaments.
Making things out of salt dough will help foster fine motor skills through sculpting, painting and threading.
Get a small face painting kit and spend the day painting the kids’ faces.
Then, let them try it out on each other.
We’ve all got plenty of old CD’s (most of mine read ‘Car Mix’ on the label) stashed in the hallway drawer, so why not grab the glue sticks, sequins, google eyes, old wrapping paper and get decorating? These will come in handy on our front veranda to help discourage our feathered friends from ‘dropping’ in. I don’t mind that the birds eat our cat food, just wish they didn’t have to poop on their way out. CD suncatcher/bird deterrents are happening here for sure.
Water Bottle Spirals
My hubby recently made us a bush walk around our property and the kids and I are desperate to decorate it. This looks easy and pretty. Colour in some plastic drink bottles with permanent markers, cut the round bottom of the bottle off, make an incision and continue cutting upward and around the bottle making the spiral shape. Stop when you get to the rounded top edge. Do three or four of them and slide the mouthpiece of each bottle over a stick and hang it in your garden or bush walk. Pretty!
I love making doll houses. I can’t get enough of decorating the walls, making pictures for the hallway, cutting material for bed sheets and floor rugs. I’m doing it while my boys are little, pretty sure it won’t be on the list in a few years.
You can make stamps out of so many things- potatoes, corks, erasers, bars of soap, odd-shaped items out of the ‘junk’ drawer. Attach foam letters to the ends or cut out your own shape from washed sink sponges for heaps of creative fun.
Got a straw? Got some tissue paper or coffee filter? Wrap it around the end of the straw, tape on and dip in bubble solution or dishwashing liquid like the original Morning Fresh. Blow through the straw and bubbles r us.
You know how to make these! Raid Dad’s sock drawer, stitch some buttons on for eyes and give them a name!
Ocean In A Bottle
This looks so amazing and is absolutely mesmerising for little ones. Cooking oil, water, a clear bottle and some food colouring will be all you need. Pop in some plastic toy ocean creatures if you have some! Make sure you seal the bottle lid nice and tight and watch their delighted little faces!
Shakers are a fun activity for kids. Colour some rice with food colouring or paint the empty plastic bottles and containers for a super easy music maker.
Drums are in your kitchen cupboard. Stainless steel mixing bowls, plastic containers and a couple of salad servers make for excellent bangy thingies.
Music is a fantastic way to communicate with your children. Put on a cd of their best-loved songs and bust out your newly hand-made instruments and really get into it with them!
We all know how kids love their crayons. Well, they love to “decorate” the walls with them too haha! Anyways, give them a fun time while they’re stuck at home by letting them transform their broken crayons into rainbow coloured candles. The finished product could be excellent gifts for Christmas too!
Tip: Since there will be need for a microwave in this project, make sure that the kids have adult supervision for this one.
Give your little ones some water fun by letting them do this activity. You will need corks, elastics, toothpicks, a nail and coloured foam sheets (or you know, sparkly ones because the holidays are coming). Basically, you’d need to tie the corks together using the elastics and use a toothpick to hold the “sail” of your sailboat.
Tip: Let your cork sailboats sail in your bath tub during your kids bath time for more fun.
Well, here’s another science experiment with a finished product. Although recycled paper may not be as smooth as factory made ones, your kids could use it for their art projects. For this, you would need some scrap paper, a blender, some water, a storage tub or vat, a mould & deckle, some wood boards, a rolling pin, some towels, wool cloths or an old bed sheet.
Yes there might be a lot of things that we’d need for this but trust me, it will keep the kids focused and they will surely enjoy.
Build a cardboard cubby house!
Since children are always looking for a place for a hideout or fort, why don’t you let them build their own? Gather some unused cardboard boxes or shoe boxes, some paint, markers, tape and a cutter or a knife (remember – adult supervision if knives are around!) They’ll also enjoy on deciding what colour their cubby house should be.
Set some shooting buckets, anyone who “shoots” more marshmallows will be the winner.
The usual lava lamps work using electricity and we can’t risk our children toying with them even thought they are a tad interesting and relaxing to look at. This activity is a little similar to the Magic Fairy Bottles one. They both give the kids a relaxing and a focusing effect. You will be needing some empty bottles, water, cooking oil, food colouring and some aspirin tablets (adult supervision needed!)
This activity is great because it uses things that you’ve probably got lying around in your garden: leaves! Most kids revel in anything arty or creative, and leaf rubbing is the best of the outdoors and the arts. You can even do this activity outside if you want, all you really need is a flat smooth surface of some kind. Stretch the value of this activity by taking kids for a walk first to collect the leaves, and then spending the next few hours rubbing them.
This activity is guaranteed to be a hit in the summer, and is definitely one for the outdoors. All you need to do is freeze a heap of children’s toys in a large container of water, sealing them into the ice. Then have your kids excavate them using rocks, small tools, toothbrushes or spray bottles filled with water. Depending on how hot it is where you live, this one could keep kids occupied for hours! You can do it with any toy, and in containers of any size!
Kids LOVE kaleidoscopes, and what’s not to love? They’re colourful, mesmerising, and guaranteed to entertain for ages. They’re also absolutely easy to make yourself! Kids will probably need a bit of supervision to get them started, but once the kaleidoscopes are finished (one for everyone!) they’ll be able to run all around your house and garden seeing how different things look from new eyes!
DIY Snow Globes
In terms of value, this activity packs a double punch. Not only can you and your kids make snow globes, with not that much adult supervision for the older ones, they can also spend a solid chunk of time being rocked calmly into a state of bliss watching the globes. Snow globes are super relaxing, a great relaxation tool, and super fun to make. You only need a few materials, so what are you waiting for?
Make necklaces, bracelets, and more
This is great with girls, but boys actually can have a good time too.
Keep your memories alive by putting it in a scrap book.
DIY tap shoes
These amazing and glittery magic bottles could please both kids and adults. I mean, I find it relaxing to the eyes and the swirling glitter makes you think you’re in a totally different dimension. To make their own magical fairy bottles, your kids will need some fancy shaped bottles, water, glycerin, glitter, glitter flakes, sequins, ribbons or twine or lace. Mix one part of water to one part glycerin, pour it into the bottle along with the glitter and sequins. Tightly place the cap of the bottle and secure it with a ribbon or a twine. You could also attach a label or card to the ribbon if you want to give these as a present. Enjoy shaking!
Pool Noodle Abacus
I’m starting with my personal favourite and number one on my to-do list. It’s super easy with one or two (however many you like) pieces of thin, strong rope tied between two poles and a few pool noodles cut into pieces to slide onto it. The kids love playing with the big plastic ball version of these at the local playground and it’s a great activity for learning colours and counting. Slice the noodles with a sharp knife from the centre hole out on one side and the kids can then pull the noodle pieces off themselves and use for all sorts of games and putting them back on is the perfect place to store them!
If your junk drawer contains some slide locks, light switch cover plates, door handle, retractable fabric tape measure, touch lights (you know the ones you stick to the pantry wall?) padlock and keys and whatever else has buttons or things that click, you can glue or drill these to a piece of MDF, the side of a bookshelf, or your wall if you’re keen. What you have is a toddler height, activity centre that teaches and entertains without you having to hold your 12kg child in the air while they flick a switch or yank on a door handle and fiddle with the lock!!!
Thank you to happyhooligans, funathomewithkids, pintarest and cbc for some helpful inspiration!
This might take a few hours or a few days to take effect but it would surely spike the curiosity of your kids. You will be needing some white flowers (mums, carnations and gerberas should be fine), some mason jars, food colour and some water.
Mix the food colours with water and place it in the mason jars, then put the flowers depending on how many jars with the food colour you have. Tell your kids to periodically record what they have observed with the flowers. Tell them to take note which colour is easily absorbed by the flowers and which ones are not. This is a science experiment that improves the kids hypothetical skills and their creativity too!
Make Some Golf Ball Lady Bugs for the Garden
Children really love animating stuff and these lady bugs made out of golf balls will liven up their gardening time. All you need are golf balls, old paint brushes and red, white and black paint. You could also use googly eyes to stick into the balls as the eyes. For more fun, get them to make a play or a show with their new “pets”!
Instead of watering the grass, water the kids! Set up the sprinkler, put on their bathers and let them have fun running and jumping through the water.
Water Balloon Baseball
Well this one’s like playing baseball, but just using water balloons instead of the usual baseball. Make use of hula hoops as your bases and make sure to stack up on a lot of water balloons. This activity is great during the summer.
You can buy bubble makers of all shapes and sizes these days from bubble guns to bubble lawn mowers, or you can make your own! Use an old bottle and add 750ml water, 250 ml dishwashing liquid and 300ml of glycerine.
There are slip and slides of all shapes and sizes sold at any toy store. However, if you don’t feel like forking out the money for a slip and slide, you can easily make your own with dish soap, a hose and some tarp from the shed. Simply place the tarp on the ground, add some dish soap and hose it down. Let the kids take turn running and sliding onto the tarp or simply let them crawl around and get soapy!
If you made the pool noodle abacus with two strands of rope tied between poles, then you’ve already made this! One rope for walking with feet, one rope for holding onto with hands! I’ll be getting someone else to tie the ropes on as my motto is ‘If you can’t tie knots, tie lots’ which will obviously not cut it in this case!
It’s as simple as it sounds. A rope, a hoola-hoop on each end and toss over the washing line or shade sail wire. The kids will spend ages climbing through them, pulling them up and down, generally using their gross motor skills and working up an appetite.
Bucket On A Rope
This is the bucket to nowhere that never gets boring. The kids fill and empty a bucket that is set up over that trusty clothes line or exposed beam on the veranda and secured to the pole. It’s an exercise in discovery and team-work in the most basic sense.
Hold a Nature Scavenger Hunt
This activity is also good during the summer so that the kids could unleash their inner Indiana Jones. Well basically, you will be giving them a list of things that they’d have to “scavenge”. Set a time limit. The one who had more scavenged items from the list should be the winner.
Camping in the garden or backyard
If you already have a tent, this doesn’t cost a thing. Serve up some hotdogs and tell stories until you fall asleep. Keep the tent near the back or side door so that kids who get scared in the night can scoot back to their beds, or use the loo! If you have a grown-up staying in a tent with them, consider a little barbecue or campfire.
Dino Activity Bin
We’ve got a tub of dinosaurs that always seems too full for the last few, which painfully end spike-up right where I’m walking. Grab some of those spiky critters, rocks, leaves, gravel or sand and a big rectangle bucket or a corner in the garden somewhere and build a Dinosaur hang-out. I love this because it changes each time the kids play with it. A fairy garden is also a winner for little ones with big imaginations!
Bury a bunch of cheap dinosaur toys in the yard or garden. Give everyone a plastic spade for digging. You can even buy some inexpensive “replica” dinosaur bones online or at a museum.
It’s school holiday time, so this fun activity should keep our kids entertained for hours. For this, you will need an easel, watercolour paper (or canvas), a drop cloth (to protect walls), some Nerf water guns, tape, water and of course watercolour paint. Paint away!
Basically you will be honing your kids motor skills with this activity. You will need some cereal boxes, or plastic cups to serve as holes, cutter or scissors, tape, golf ball or any other balls with similar size and toy golf clubs or putters. Set up a scoreboard and the kid who has the highest points wins!
Let your kids create a larger-than-life marble run using scraps from their school supplies and some used cardboard boxes. You might also need paper cups for catching the marbles at the bottom of the obstacle. Strategically place popsicle sticks on the cardboard box so as you are making an “obstacle” for the marbles.
Play a detective game.
Either set up a mystery, or just give the kids magnifying glasses and “police notebooks” (regular notebooks) to hunt for clues.
Hide and seek
Play at night in the dark to make it extra thrilling.
Indoor Race Track
Tape a Race Track Around the Lounge Room
Instruct them that their toy cars should not go beyond the tape (you don’t want to encourage road rage!) Also try putting up a parking spot (outlined with tape of course) and your kids will love playing lounge room GTA for hours.