Creative Quarantine Activities to Keep Kids Busy and You Sane
School is cancelled, and weeks of quarantine are starting to feel like your family is trapped inside a Bill Murray movie. Every card game has been played, every jigsaw has been finished (apart from that one missing bit), and every tantrum has been thrown.
Instead of relying on iPads and sugar to get the kids through the rest of isolation without losing your mind, here are some creative quarantine activities you can try at home. You might even get a few more extra minutes to yourself!
Creative ways to explain social distancing to your kids
If you have younger children who are struggling with being inside and separated from friends and family, try spending some extra time with them to talk them through what’s happening. Your social bubble doesn’t need to be a sad, scary place.
Children’s author Kim St. Lawrence has created a wonderful storybook called Time to Come in, Bear, which might give you a few ideas for creative poems and stories you and your kids can write and illustrate together to help them transition through this time. Check out the adorable video upon which the book is based:
Blow some giant bubbles
Your kids might roll their eyes when you suggest blowing bubbles (again), but giant bubbles take this activity to the next level. They’re a ton of fun and you can make the bubble mix and wands with materials you already have in the cupboard.
It’s a great way to get the family outside and off their devices for some fresh air and exercise. Find out who has the skills to make the biggest bubble!
Get scientific with Oobleck
If your family are Dr Seuss fans, you’ll be familiar with his story about the magician that makes a royal mess with his Oobleck creation. You might make a bit of a mess with this too, but it will be worth every second watching the kids try and figure out what they’ve created. Is it a liquid or a solid? What happens if you tap it, or squeeze it?
Your Oobleck recipe only needs cornstarch, water, and optional food colouring for hours of fun (and some hidden learning about chemistry and physics!).
This kinetic sand recipe only needs three simple ingredients. Turn normal craft sand from your local dollar store or hardware into something magical that will keep the kids amused for hours as they make colourful creations and explore their sensory and creative sides.
Blanket forts are fun for kids of all ages. All you need are some chairs, blankets, sheets, cushions, and whatever else you have lying around to make a cosy den. Or is it an igloo? Or a cave? Or a spaceship? Imaginations always run wild when there’s a blanket fort in the house.
Pro tip: You can even make your own “Mum only” blanket fort stocked with chocolate and a good book when you need a bit of time out. We won’t judge!
Toilet paper wall
If you bought a little too much toilet paper at the start of lockdown, you’re not alone. But it’s a great time to try out the toilet paper challenge. Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds.
Find a clear doorway or hall where you’re not likely to knock anything over, and start building your toilet paper wall. Start with one row of toilet paper “bricks”, and get the kids to jump over it. Stack the bricks higher after each successful jump and see who the champion is that can jump the highest.
You can even get your pets involved!
Slime is a classic recipe that will keep kids occupied for hours while you get some work done or catch up on Netflix. It’s fast to make, plus it’s oozy, sticky, and disgusting, which is all part of its enduring charm.
Most recipes are made with borax, which can be hard to find and even harder on your skin. Our favourite slime recipe is safe, gentle, and needs only three ingredients. The kids can make this themselves with your supervision, and it can handle many days of playtime if stored in an airtight container. Don’t forget to add glitter to the mixture for some extra fun!
Learn a new language
It’s never too early or too late to learn new skills, and quarantine is the perfect opportunity. There are lots of free language apps online, such as Duolingo, that make learning new words and phrases fun for every age.
Teach your younger kids how to say common words like “cat” and “dog” in Japanese, French, and German, or try your hand at having basic conversations in Latin, Norwegian, or Portuguese with your teens. You can even brush up on your Game of Thrones knowledge by learning some High Valyrian phrases.
If you have some great ideas for creative quarantine activities that you’ve been enjoying with your own kids, feel free to share them in the comments below.