With school, Disney, Universal Studios, and pretty much anything fun being off limits, the next few weeks (or months!) might seem daunting. But don’t despair. There are plenty of fun things to do at home with the whole family that will help pass the time while waiting for all this to be over.
Film Hilarious Skits on TikTok With Your Kids
TikTok is an app that allows people to film funny skits, do voice overs, record themselves doing viral challenges, and learning new choreographies. But be careful! The app is so entertaining, it’s easy to lose track of time! Here’s a pro-tip to try during social isolation: get your kids to write a script for a mini-movie to act out and record on TikTok. Share it on social media and join in the fun! Who knows? Maybe your whole family will go viral!
FaceTime Your Family and Play Hangman
Hangman is sort of like Wheel of Fortune, minus the big wheel, Pat, or Vanna, of course. It’s fun for the whole family! Tape a large sheet of paper on the wall or use a chalkboard or white board and place it in front of the camera. Then, FaceTime or video call a couple of family members and friends and get them to play online.
Not only will it keep the kids entertained but it’ll help you feel closer to the people you love and can’t visit at the moment.
Have Kids Go on a Virtual Playdate With Friends And Family
Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype… these amazing apps were made to promote human interaction across great distances. So, until social isolation is over, arrange a virtual playdate for the kids and their uncles, grandparents, and friends online. They can play games together or just talk about how they’re handling the situation.
It will help the kids social and connect with their loved ones while mom and dad have some time to unwind in the couch. Now, the next idea involves having your own roller skating park at home. It sounds challenging but it’s easier than you think!
Push Furniture Against the Wall and Set up a Skate Park
A roller-skating party? Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Just re-arrange the furniture in the kids’ rooms, the garage, or the living room and let the kids to skate till they wear themselves out. This will keep them distracted until it’s time for lunch or dinner.
Create Your Very Own Treasure Hunt
Write down or print out a couple of clues that will lead the kids to the ultimate treasure hunt. If the weather’s nice, hide the clues outdoors or mix it up so that they have to search indoors and outdoors to find the treasure. If you don’t have a backyard, you can make the scavenger hunt a tad more difficult by adding riddles and unique clues that will take them a while to solve.
Hide objects in the weirdest spots around the house and watch them giggle and run around the house for hours!
Create an Explosive Mini-Volcano Right at Home
Want a science project that’s seriously wicked? Grab a Coca-Cola bottle and throw a couple of menthol candies into them. If the kiddies are the ones doing the throwing, make sure they run away fast as the bottle full of Coke will explode and spew soda foam the way a volcano does lava.
Plan a Camping Trip Indoors or out in the Backyard
Grab a tent or get the kids to make one out of a bed sheet and set it up in the living room. Make sure they have flashlights and play some outdoor sound effects on their phone to create the perfect ambiance. They could eat S’mores, tell ghost stories, and talk about all the fun things they’re going to do once social isolation is over.
If you have a backyard, you can set it up outdoors and let them sleep the night for real. Just make sure to check up on them every few hours. You’ll get extra brownie points if you make a fire to cook some marshmallows with them.
Introduce the Kids to Eliza, the Chatbot
Eliza is one of the first chatbots, and it was created around 1964. The AI is super fun for the whole family. All kids have to do is type a question and Eliza will respond, and boy does she have some answers! Eliza is great for younger kids as the replies aren’t very complex.
But don’t worry! There’s another chatbot that’s perfect for teens.
If You Have Older Kids, Then Try Mitsuku
Unlike Eliza, Mitsuku is far more advanced and is capable of responding to all types of complex topics such as world history and even some of today’s current issues. This makes it the perfect chatbot for older kids.
Learn How to Do Shadow Puppets
Shadow Art is an incredible app that teaches kids how to do shadow puppets with their hands. The AI will decide if their shadow puppets are a hit or miss by using the camera on the mobile device to analyze the position of their hands.
Treat the Whole Family to an At-Home Spa Night
Get rid of cabin fever and all the stress that comes with isolation by throwing an impromptu spa night for the whole family. Everyone can take turns giving each other neck rubs, hand and foot massages. You can make your own DIY massage oil at home, order some online, or use run-of-the-mill moisturizer.
Look for easy DIY face and hair masks using kitchen ingredients like avocados, honey, and oatmeal. It won’t make everything better but it will certainly leave the whole fam feeling super relaxed.
Build the Greatest Lego Castle Ever
There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube that teach people how to build an epic castle with LEGOs. The great thing about LEGOs is that you can expand your designs and modify them as you go. Fair warning, though! You’ll need a LOT of LEGOs for this one, so make sure to look for bulk sales on Amazon, Ebay, and any reputable sites.
This one isn’t just for the kids, though. Get the whole family involved!
NASA’s Site Has Some Badass Activities
NASA’s Kid’s Club offers online space games and learning modules that kids can enjoy. Even the European Space Agency started a thread on Twitter with tons of links to space science related activities that are bound to keep the kiddies fascinated for a while.
Sing Your Lungs out With the Quarantine Choir
People all over the world are getting together via the internet to sing together and spread joy.
Make a Fort in the Living Room
Get the kids to make the ultimate fort out of bed sheets, pillows, quilts, or recycled cardboard. With a lot of imagination and creativity, the kids will make one of the coolest forts ever. But make sure to add an incentive like whoever wins gets their favorite snack as a reward.
Try Ted Talks’ Free Website to Keep Kids Stimulated
Ted Talks’ Ted Ed is a free website that offers hundreds of animated video lessons, not to mention the ability for parents to create customized lessons. This is a great way to keep your kids’ minds active until schools re-open.
Try the Freddiemeter, a Karaoke AI
The Freddiemeter is a karaoke AI that rates how well a family member sings songs by mega icon Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of the popular band, Queen. But it’s not just for kids! Anyone in the family can get their inner Freddie on!
Try Cooking Something No one Has Tried Before
Chicken Taco Pizza? How about chocolate chip peanut butter and banana sandwiches? And a yummy brioche bread? Cooking something new is not only delicious, but it’s also fun for the whole family. There are tons of recipes available online, but make sure everyone gets to play a part in the cooking process.
Try Cat and Dog Yoga With the Fam
It’s not easy to stay active when all the gyms have been shut down. Fortunately, there are tons of yoga videos on YouTube. So, gather the whole family and get active.
Do Outdoor Sports to Kids Moving
Say the word exercise and some kids will freeze. But there are fun ways to get everyone to exercise without even realizing it like playing football or soccer in the backyard. A little game of hide and seek, tag, or freeze tag can burn a ton of calories and it’s all kinds of fun.
Learn How to Play Trading Card Games
Introduce your kids to the magical world of trading card games such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or Magic The Gathering. The rules are pretty straight forward, (though you might want to watch a few tutorials first!) You’ll have to order a beginner’s deck online, but they’re usually not that costly. If you’re on a budget, the next tip will probably make you crack a smile.
Play Cards Online Free of Charge
But keep in mind that in order to have access to better cards, players will have to buy a few cards online. If you don’t want to spend any cash, your kids can just play with the free cards they’ve been dealt with.
Look for Old Board Games or Fun Objects Collecting Dust
Head to the basement or the attic and go through every box. There’s likely an old board game lying around or a musical instrument waiting to be played. There might also be a puzzle or a crafting project that was never finished that could help pass the time.
There are probably tons of hidden treasures scattered around the home and you don’t even know it!
Get Everyone Involved in Arts and Crafts
Make an emergency run to a craft supplies store and grab a bunch of glue, stickers, color cardboard and markers. You can also order on Etsy and Amazon, of course! Then get together with the whole family and start working on making a scrapbook full of fun colors. A drawing or painting project is not out of the question either.
The sky’s the limit!
Read a Book Together
Grab a family-friendly book and gather the whole family around the fireplace, the dining table, couch, bed, or rug. Have everyone take turns reading. Audiobooks work, as well and they can be a really fun way to relax together.
Who can say no to listening to Dr. Seuss’ adorable verses? So, check out sites like StoryNory. They have lots of fairy tales and more.
Write a Letter to Relatives Who Are Far Away
Being at home during this situation is rough, especially for kids who can’t reach out to their grandparents or cousins living in another city or state. So, have everyone in the family write a letter, a poem, or have them draw something, scan it and send it to their favorite family member through e-mail. Google drive lets you scan documents using your phone’s camera and it’s hella easy to use.
Come up With a Bucket List of Places to Visit Once This is Over
Ask everyone in the family to write down all the fun places, theme parks, and cities they would like to visit once it’s safe to go out. Get your kids to explain what they plan on doing once they get there, and when everyone gets the all clear, turn the bucket list into a reality.
Learn a New Language on Your Phone
Learning a second language should be a family goal, but who has the time for it? Well now there is. So, download a language learning app like Duolingo, MemRise, HelloTalk or Babbel, which offer people the chance to try them for free. Since most of them are gamified, they provide hours of entertainment as you learn.
Film a Home Movie and Get the Kids to Edit It
Help the kids write a super simple sketch. Then, record it on your phone. Sit down with the kids and have them edit it the video with a free video-editing program like InShot.
The usability is super easy to understand. Once they get the hang of it, let them to add some music and a couple of special effects and transitions, too.
Throw a Family Movie Night
Netflix and chill isn’t just for couples anymore. Having a family movie night is a great way to connect with your loved ones. So, make some popcorn, grab a big blanket, sit on the couch and prepare to binge-watch all those fun family movies that have been in your bucket list for months! Oh, and if you have Disney Plus, they released “Frozen 2” on March 15.
Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Company CEO, said during a press release: “Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time.”
Get Some Fresh Air
Going to a park is probably not a good idea right now, but the patio or backyard isn’t off limits. You could walk up and down the street, that is, if your country isn’t in complete lockdown and the streets are empty. So, grab some rope and challenge the kids to a rope skipping competition or run up and down the street with your dog.
Just make sure to stay up to date with the current developments and be safe.
Try the Emoji Scavenger Hunt App
The Emoji Scavenger Hunt starts out by displaying an image of a key, so kids will have to go looking for an actual key around the house. Once the object is found, the AI will use the camera to verify if they chose the right object. Kids will continue to find real-life objects that look like the images displayed in the app.
It’s insanely addictive!
Play Quick, Draw! It’s Just like Charades But With an AI
Quick, Draw! is an online game that’s perfect for kids of any age. All a child has to do is draw something and it will be up to the AI to figure out what they drew. It’s a great way to pass the time and even mom and dad can join in.
Perform a Musical Rendition from Your Window or Balcony
People in Italy are singing and playing music right from their balconies and everyone’s loving it. So why not grab a flute or guitar and start singing out the window? Maybe grab a couple of pot lids and use them as cymbals. Just make sure the neighbors don’t get too annoyed, keep it short!
Try to Solve the Hardest Puzzle in the World
There are lots of puzzles out there that are difficult to solve, but the Ravensburger Krypt Silver 654 Piece Blank Jigsaw Puzzle is seriously challenging! There isn’t an illustration or photo that could help you solve it visually. Oh no! There are different shades of blue and light blue that will leave you scratching your head. And to make things worse, a lot of the pieces fit in various places.
This one will definitely keep the whole family busy for hours!
Conduct Your Own Orchestra Online
The Semi-Conductor website allows users to conduct an AI orchestra right from their browser. All they have to do is click start and then move their arms. The AI will immediately read the movements through the device’s camera.
So the faster the kids or grownups go, the faster the orchestra will play.