Are you running out of ideas on how to keep your kids occupied during these weeks of quarantine? Are your kids getting bored, on each other’s nerves (or on your nerves), or antsy? Here are over 50 fun kid activities that burn energy and will help keep them occupied.
During these unprecedented times, and weeks of quarantine, it is helpful to have a routine to create some normalcy. Especially during the weekdays with homeschooling, it is good to go to bed at the same time, get up about the same time, bathe, get dressed, brush teeth and do all your normal morning rituals. Then follow the same daily “school” routine to keep your kids’ minds engaged so they are ready when we hopefully return back to school this year. For an easy homeschool checklist for your child(ren) to follow click here.
Although routines are good and helpful, at times you have to switch things up so they do not get too mundane or boring. I am realizing that with a 4 year old while trying to work from home and homeschool him. For him being stuck in the house, homeschooling, and not being able to go to school or see anyone gets tough. So each day we do a new kid activity that burns energy.
Here are over 50 fun kid activities that burn energy for you to try.
1. Do a relay race.
2. Build an obstacle course. This can be done outdoor or indoor.
3. Exercise as a family. Go for a family bike ride.
4. Do a HIIT workout and have everyone take turns picking exercises.
5. Take a family walk and pick up garbage.
6. Take a family hike and play I spy.
7. Draw with sidewalk chalk, trace objects and people, do a school lesson with chalk outside.
8. Blow bubbles. See how many you can blow in 30 seconds. Have one person blow while others run and catch them.
9. Plant flowers, a mini garden, and/or grass in bald spots and watch it grow the coming weeks.
10. Take a brain break in between school subjects. For 5-10 min do some kind of physical activity inside or outside. This could include running around the house 3 times, doing 25 push ups, sit ups and jumping jacks, or singing/dancing a favorite song.
11. Do child yoga together.
12. Do a photo scavenger hunt around your house and/or neighborhood. Go to the bottom of this post to get your photo scavenger hunt list. There is a scavenger hunt list for at home and a separate scavenger hunt for around the neighborhood.
Be sure to check with your local police department before going around the neighborhood to make sure it is safe. Also, make sure to practice proper social distancing of 6 feet or more if you go around the neighborhood.
13. Make up a fun game and play it together.
14. Do a puzzle race. Everyone takes a different puzzle and you race to see who can finish first.
15. With Easter approaching, now is a great time to do an Easter egg hunt. We actually do egg hunts all year long in my house – my kids love it! You can do it inside or outside. Optional: fill the eggs with a small candy, treat, sticker, or prize.
16. Play every game you have in the house. While you do so make sure each game has all the correct pieces.
17. Create your own word searches and switch with other family members.
18. Do some puzzle games like Sudoko or a crossword puzzle.
19. Set up a kids casino with various card games. Play with fake money and have a prize at the end for who has the most money.
20. Play a game with a friend through video like facetime, google hangouts, or the houseparty app.
21. Play grocery store at your house. Set up some non-perishable foods, a place to take the money, and use a bag or little shopping cart if you have one. Take turns being the customer, the cashier and bagger, and shelf stocker. This could be a good math lesson using money as well:)
22. Blow up some balloons. Have everyone stand in a circle and hit the balloon around the circle not letting it drop to the floor and counting how many hits you get before it drops. To get more tricky keep adding balloons.
Cooking & Baking
23. Make a meal together. Have everyone pick part of the meal. Someone picks the main course, someone a side, someone the drink, someone the dessert and prepare it together.
24. Take turns doing different parts of the meal process. The parts can include:
- Choose the meal – what to have
- Prepare and cook the meal
- Set the table
- Clean up and do the dishes
25. Bake something new. Try a new recipe.
26. Bake for your local salvation army or other programs that take baked donations.
27. Cook a new recipe you have never tried.
28. For a meal, do a hidden number meal chart. Have 6-10 options (how ever creative, and time consuming you want this to be). Next, have the kids pick 3-4 numbers. Then they get the corresponding food. You can have them pick all the numbers at once or have them pick one at a time, eat one thing at a time, and repeat. For example, if I am doing 9 food items I could have the following
- 1 – sandwich
- 2 – grapes
- 3 – yogurt
- 4 – granola bar
- 5 – apple
- 6 – string cheese
- 7 – carrots
- 8 – muffin
- 9 – piece of candy
Then the kids pick 3-4 numbers. So if they choose 1, 3, 4, 6 then that child would get served a sandwich, yogurt, granola bar and string cheese for their meal. Make sure to pick items they will eat. Here is an example of the hidden meal chart I use for my kids. You can get your own copy at the bottom of this post in my free planning printables library.
Arts & Entertainment
29. Put on a family talent show.
30. Sing karaoke to your favorite songs.
31. Take turns picking songs and choreograph a dance to them. Make a music video to your favorite song and share it with family and friends challenging them to send one back.
32. Watch old family movies or videos.
33. Look through old family photo albums, picture books, and scrapbooks.
34. Read a book and then make a craft, draw a picture from that book, or act out the book.
35. Put on a play. Make some sock puppets or use other toy figures.
36. Do some screen time (especially later in the day when everyone needs a break). Watch a new show, movie, or play a video game.
37. Visit places virtually like rides at Disney World, your local zoo or San Diego zoo, the Natural History Museum, or the Met in New York City.
38. Learn how to play piano or a different instrument on a tablet.
39. Create a band. Use different kitchen utensils and items to create instruments. Give your band a name and come up with a song. Video your band and send it to family and friends challenging them to create a band.
40. Have different family theme days or dress up days. Here are some examples:
- Pajama day
- Dress as your favorite or a different occupation
- Miss match day
- Dress as a different family member
- Wear your clothes inside out day
- Dress as your favorite book character
- Color theme days (blue, green, red, etc)
- Support your favorite sports team day
Science & Creativity
41. Each person builds something out of legos. Then the family votes on the most creative one.
43. Master a new skill. Use a sticker/marker chart and put together a practice plan and stick to it. Do a little each day and when complete make the chart. Examples of skills: potty train, tie shoes, make the bed, fractions, or multiplication.
44. Do a science experiment. An easy one is to make a volcano erupt with baking soda, hand soap, and vinegar. Mix together different food coloring to give different colored lava.
45. Build a fort. Get out blankets and sheets and use furniture to hold them together.
Home Projects & Organization
46. Make a chore wheel or cleaning wheel and each day spin to see what duty you have that day.
Another way to have kids help accomplish cleaning tasks is to make a daily/weekly cleaning task chart. For example each Monday they are responsible for sweeping the kitchen, Tuesday taking out the garbage, Wednesday emptying the dishwasher, etc. Then they can cross it off what they did each day so they feel a sense of accomplishment.
47. Show support to others by writing greetings cards and/or drawing pictures and mail to those who are alone, sick, in the hospital, or can’t get out during this time.
48. Make a gratitude jar. Each person in your family fill out a gratitude slip each day or each week. Then every once in a while read them together.
49. Work on new photo albums, picture books, scrapbooks, and baby books together.
50. Clean out and organize a closet. Pick out 5 items to toss, 5 to donate, and 5 to keep.
51. Have kids help clean out and organize paperwork and folders. They can help shred documents, pick out colors to use, label folders, etc.
Final Thoughts on Kid Activities That Burn Energy
Now more than ever kids need some spark, fresh ideas, and new kid activities that burn energy. For these times are scary and hard on kids too. So brighten their day by providing new options and letting kids make some choices on what activity they want to try next.
To access the home scavenger hunt list, neighborhood scavenger hunt list, and the hidden meal number chart visit my free resource library.