10 Fun Ways to Entertain Your Kids
Stuck at home with the kids? There are plenty of things to entertain children that don’t cost a load of money and don’t involve taking the crew anywhere farther than just around the block. Keep these ideas handy for the next time you need to make little magic without leaving home.
1. Cards and Games
Keep a stash of games from yesteryear in the closet to be pulled out if the crew needs entertaining. Puzzles, a couple sets of durable playing cards, and board games are still loads of fun especially because they are novelty items to today’s tech-savvy youngsters. There are plenty of card games that all ages can play, and the rules are available on the internet if you’ve forgotten how. If the ages of the kids are wide, put two puzzles side-by-side and sit in between so that you can help everyone as needed.
2. Scavenger Hunt
Make a scavenger hunt. If you also need to get things done while the children are entertained, make each clue contingent upon doing a small chore. Sweep the floor, get a clue. Empty the trash, get a clue. The reward can be a small treat because the fun is in the hunt itself.
3. Spa Day
Turn ordinary bath time into a spa day. Bring out the shampoo and soap from the grown-up bathroom to make it seem more exotic. If possible, offer a choice of scents. Call your child “madam” or “sir” and provide a “check in” clipboard, fluffy robe, and waiting room with pillows and soft music just like a real spa.
4. Cooking Class
Cooking with children can be a messy disaster so plan ahead with simple recipes. Hold cooking class at a time when you’re not also trying to prepare a family meal so that you can show the kids how to use kitchen tools properly. If you’re lucky, you’ll be rewarded with a junior chef in a few years.
5. Scenes From a Movie
If you’re stuck inside, help your kids reenact some scenes from their favorite movies using stuffed animals, siblings, dolls or the dog. Film each scene and then have an Academy Awards Ceremony later. Make sure everyone wins!
6. Reality TV
Speaking of contests, consider your own home version of popular reality TV shows such as The Masked Singer or The Voice. One way to keep little ones from getting hurt feelings is set the number of times you are going to play and announce who will be the winner, the judge and the host in advance so that everyone gets the chance to play each part.
7. Obstacle Course
If you can get outside, have your kids take turns making an obstacle course out of things from the yard or garage. The game maker demonstrates the path and then times everyone as they run it.
Similar to the obstacle course, have a game of follow-the-leader around the yard or around the block. Set a timer to go off every 30 seconds at which time the person at the end of the line moves to the front and becomes the leader. That way everyone gets a chance to be silly!
9. Water Play
Plan ahead with a big pile of towels by the door and send the little ones outside with squirt bottles or sponges and a bucket of water. Of course, it will be more fun if you play too!
10. Abstract Art
Cover the table with newspaper and pour out all the recycling you have yet to haul to the recycle center. Put out some bottles of glue and some sturdy cardboard or boxes as a base. Let your little ones create a “masterpiece” out of found objects. If you want to make the process educational, show them some pictures of real abstract sculpture for inspiration. If you need a two-day activity, let the glue dry and let your children paint their work the next day.
Entertaining children can be a challenge especially if you’re committed to keeping them off screens. Kids love to have grown-ups involved in their play, so plan a couple of these interactive activities that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.