If your family is home for any amount of time, most kids will be looking for new and fun things to do almost as soon as the last activity has ended. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a huge list of boredom busting, fun and creative activities for kids at home!
Many thanks to North Shore High School for sponsoring our guide. North Shore High School offers students ages 15-21 a Fast Track Diploma Program. The High School also offers training and industry certifications in health care, business, and manufacturing. All new for 2020 the Turney Road Campus in Garfield Heights has a new manufacturing program that will be employing and training local students starting in August, 2020. The school will produce masks to assist community members in need.
Planned and organized by age, the list covers children from toddlers to high school with activities that will entertain your family as they explore, experiment and learn. Many of the activities are fun for all ages.
Ultimate List of Activities for Kids at Home
Toddlers often have short attention spans to match the adorable people they are, but that also possibly makes them the most fun to entertain. The good news is that these fun toddler activities are sure to keep them busy and playing.
With so many homemade recipes available it takes only minutes to find one that your kids will love. Some are edible made with Jello, Kool-Aid or food coloring and others are made with glitter, neon colors or “cloud” dough!
Wash the Dishes
Little kids love to play mommy and this sensory bin activity allows them to “clean” while they explore water, bubbles, and many different textures.
Make a Race Track
Have fun making roads and speedways with cardboard, blocks, Legos, sidewalk chalk, and other creative materials you already have at home.
The ideas are endless. Make a deer, unicorn, chicken, flower, apple, sunshine, and almost anything else your child loves with bright colored finger paints and paper. They make great gifts!
Make Liquid Sidewalk Chalk
With equal parts of cornstarch and water before adding a few drops of food coloring, you can create liquid sidewalk chalk that can be squeezed out of bottles or painted on with brushes.
Color Scavenger Hunt
With simple color blocks on a homemade scavenger hunt checklist, your toddler can check off (or take pictures) of all their favorite things while they explore all the shades of the rainbow!
Pom Poms Shoot
Small colorful pom poms, a paper towel tube, and a variety of clear containers of different sizes make this activity easy. They practice fine motor skills as they sort, drop, and empty in a variety of ways.
Trace with Flour
Another easy fine motor activity can be made with an edged sheet pan and flour. Draw, trace, and erase shapes, words, pictures! Food sensitive? Try this sensory activity with shaving cream, sugar, or even cupcake sprinkles!
Colorful Straw Rainbows
Make cotton ball clouds and arrange cut straw pieces into colorful rainbow designs.
Pillow Stepping Stones
This game is a favorite for kids of all ages when stories are told and played out as kids make their way across stepping stones made of all sizes of pillows and cushions. Watch out for the lava!
Explore the shapes dinosaur feet leave as the toy dinosaurs tromp through the play dough mud! Be sure to make a few fossils and allow to air dry for a fossil treasure hunt later!
Toy Car Wash
Big cars or small, fill a small bin with soapy water and let them clean all the cars they can find! Bonus if they dry them once they're clean!
Window Shaving Cream Paint
Mix shaving cream and food coloring into paints to create colorful window art. Sliding glass doors work great for toddlers. Cleans off so easy, it can be part of the fun!
Fruit Loop Cereal Trees
With paper, glue, a paper towel tube, and cereal, kids can top their towel tube tree trunks with color fall leaves, apples, and oranges.
Rice Sensory Bin
A bin full of rice can be a great at home activity especially if it’s too wet outside for the sandbox. Trucks and construction, dinosaur land, holiday themed and more, mix it up for kids to practice filling, transferring, and emptying with toys, funnels and tubes.
What is more fun than soft, fluffy cotton balls? Create art with glue to make snowman, sheep, bunny, penguin, Santa Claus or other favorite animals. Paint with them. Play the spoon game by balancing a cotton ball and transfer from one container to another across the room. Or just pretend to have a very small snowball fight!
Laundry Basket Toss
Challenge your toddler to a game of toss! Make your own bean bags or make it more fun by using stuffed animals!
Paper Towel People
Cut sections of paper towel tubes into sections and draw on different feet, pants, shirts, heads, hats/hair, etc. Using the paper towel roll holder, help your child stack the sections onto the pole to make the people or animals into different well dressed or funny designs!
Preschools are ready to move, shake, and write while they have fun at home. These simple activities are sure to keep them busy and entertained!
Grab a playlist of some of their favorite songs to get them moving while developing their gross motor skills. Enjoy the dance party, but be sure to freeze when music stops with funny faces and fun poses!
Take the scavenger hunt up a level and include letters, colors, numbers!
Use things around the house to learn their shapes! Trace the object onto paper then name the shape, find other things with the same shape or size. For more fun, turn the shapes into simple animals to color. Do it big with sidewalk chalk outside!
Make Your Own Book
Starting at an early age you can help build your child’s confidence, self-esteem, and literacy skills by helping them make their own book. Bind your folded book with cut holes and string or a stapler.
Parents need to help with the melting and pouring, but your preschooler can find, sort and prep their old crayons for the project. There are many molds available or use things around the house like cupcake liners or cookie cutters.
With paper plates and simple art supplies preschoolers can get creative making masks for their favorite animals and characters.
Who says you can’t make snowballs in the summer? Paper balls, socks, and/or homemade bean bag snowballs can be a fun way to explore “making a basket” with each type of snowball.
Legos, cars, balls and more, sort them into bins, baskets, or buckets labeled with the color so the kids can learn the sight words as they play.
Indoor Obstacle Course
Practice gross motor skills while having a blast! Using simple materials and toys you already own transform the toy room or any room into an indoor field event to keep them moving! Here is a fun video of how to Make a Laser Maze out of string and tape our friends at Children’s Museum of Cleveland.
Color Eye Spy
Change up the classic game of eye spy into a color game. Challenge them with colors like violet and peach to increase their vocabulary too.
My Favorite Coloring Pages
A quick online search and your kids can go beyond the coloring book to find coloring pages with their favorite characters, color by number, and more.
Paper Bag Puppets & Puppet Show
Grab the lunch bags and art supplies to make hand puppets and put on a puppet show for the family. Get everyone involved and be creative!
Rainbow Writing Salt Tray
Practice writing with color! Line a sheet pan with paper colored with rainbow stripes, fill with salt and trace letters, write words, or draw fun pictures.
Need a simple activity to cool off on a hot day? With a variety of paint brushes and water, your children can paint the patio or driveway or porch then count how long it takes for their artwork to disappear!
Felt Button Chain
Make felt or fabric links with button closures for your kids to create chains while practicing fine motor skills. Make it fun with colors or decorative fabric and it can also be a lesson in patterns.
Ice Cream Math
With paper or cardboard cone shapes labeled with numbers, use colorful pom poms to make ice cream scoops to match. Use tongs to practice fine motor skills.
Make Puffy Paint
With equal parts of shaving cream and white glue your kids can create with puffy paint. Add a few drops of food coloring and paint away!
Turn counting into a reading activity! Read the book Ten Apples on Top and practice counting and stacking paper apples on a paper dog’s head!
Refrigerator Magnet Alphabet Match
Write letters on colorful paper and pin to the refrigerator. Using magnet letters your kids can practice matching letters, simple words, family member names, etc.
Milk Toast Art and Snack
Let them Play with their food! Using sweetened condensed milk and food coloring, children can paint their designs on bread. Blot off the extra milk with a papertowel, toast, and enjoy!
Sight Word Soccer
Write sight words on index cards and attach them to cones or buckets in the yard. Kids can practice kicking the ball to the sight word called.
Have Fun with Cool Science Experiments
Some of our favorite science experiments for preschoolers include: Musical Jars, Floating Ping Pong Ball, and How Colors Are Made. These fun and easy experiments will keep your child’s attention and are sure to be a bit hit. Most can be done with items you already own, so no special trips to the store are needed.
Kids love learning when it feels like play. Many of these at home activities will keep them having fun, learning, and exploring STEM concepts.
Family at Home Field Games
Easy enough for the kids and challenging enough for mom and dad. Create back yard field games like a football throw, limbo, beach ball baseball, agility course games, ping pong ball relays, water balloon toss, and more!
Lego Minifigure Parachute
Using a coffee filter, cord, and your favorite Lego Minifigure, make a parachute and enjoy!
Make a Lava Lamp
Use simple materials and science to make your own lava lamp. For instructions, here is a video from our friends at Nutty Scientists Cleveland.
Grab some paper and markers and have a night of family origami with projects found online. Our friends at Akron Canton Jellystone Park show us how to Make an Origami Tie in this quick video.
Simple designs or get creative to paint on your mini canvas!
DIY Marble Run
Looking for a project to help limit screen time? Using everyday items like paper plates, paper towel or toilet paper tubes, and painters tape, kids can create elaborate marble runs on the walls or tabletop to keep them playing for hours!
Play the traditional version or mix it up and try some new ways including match and spelling practice!
Get dirty! Invite the kids to help with your garden or start a patio or windowsill garden with herbs just for them.
Make Their Own Ice Cream
Find a recipe for their favorite flavor and let them squish and shake a zip top bag for homemade ice cream in minutes!
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Download our printable scavenger hunt and make it a family game to see who can find the most items. To make it more challenging, add a timer!
Paper Airplane Contest
Have each family member choose and create different paper airplanes for a challenge everyone will enjoy!
Create a Time Capsule
Using a coffee can or other airtight container, encourage your kids to make and bury a time capsule. Don’t forget to make a treasure map to find it later!
Make Homemade Sprinkles
Sprinkles are delicious and a tasty activity when you make them yourself! Get instructions and a short video from Bake me a Leader here.
Make Life Size Portraits
With large pieces of paper, trace an outline of your child to cut out and color life size portraits of themselves.
Have a Spa Day
Pull out your fluffy robes and enjoy makeovers, nail art, foot soaks, facials, and more.
Using sidewalk chalk, make a colorful bullseye, and take turns throwing wet sponges for points!
Bowling at Home
Indoor or outdoor bowling is always a good time. Don’t have a bowling set? Get creative and use what you have and try different kinds of balls.
Build a Fort
Boxes, blankets, pillows, and more, make a fort for hours of fun!
Make Your Own Jewelry
Upcycle and be creative using items you have at home or try this simple Bangle Bracelet demonstrated by Best Bib and Tucker.
Challenge the kids to make a map of the yard. Include landmarks like the trampoline, basketball hoop, and rose bushes. For more fun, create a special map where X marks the spot for a surprise and make it a family treasure hunt!
Make and Decorate Rice Krispies Donuts
Whip up a batch of rice krispies treats, cut with cookie cutters, top with icing and sprinkles.
Learn about Animals
Choose an animal of the week and learn all about them. Books, videos, games, and more. Many zoos and nature centers have zoo cams where you can see animals in action! To help get you started, here are some short videos featuring some very interesting and amazing animals from Outback Ray.
Read a Great Book
Find a great book or a series of books to read. The older kids can read them on their own or read them together as a family activity.
Encourage the kids to put on a talent show for the family or make it a family talent show and take turns entertaining each other!
Older kids will enjoy these boredom busters that will help them be creative, have fun, and learn life skills. Many of these activities can be done alone, but others they can enjoy with the whole family.
Create a Stop-Motion Movie
Encourage your children to get techy and download a stop-motion app. Using family members, Lego Minifigures, household objects, or whatever they need to let their imagination create a movie of their own.
Bake and Decorate Cookies
Pull out your favorite sugar cookie recipe or search for a new one to try and enjoy!
Learn to Type
Touch typing can be challenging but easy to learn at home. With a little practice, it is also rewarding.
Let Them Do Your Hair
Style or color? Serious or wacky? Warm up the curling wand or flat iron and let them have fun!
Minute to Win It Games
Seriously fun family time! Let the teens pick the games!
Colorful, layers, scented, hidden treasures, the options are endless!
Trying something new and learning from home can be fun. Let them sign up for an online class or find a photography book to help. Here are some photography and video tips from Five Five Photography.
Board Games Marathon
Who is happy with just one game night? Challenge your family to do a different board game every night until you’ve played all of the games you own.
Upcycling and making their own clothes is a fun way to learn a new skill and create something new out of things they already own.
Older kids are more mature and able to handle more serious tools. Encourage them to broaden their skills and try more complex projects.
Not as easy as it looks, but a rewarding and yummy skill worth trying. Download a digital book from the library or find free tips online.
Give engineering a try with robotics. Buy them a kit or try building something from things at home.
Learn to Play the Guitar
Online lessons or work their way through an instructional book to tune up their musical skills!
Put their screen time to use by finding a new way to pick and watch a movie. Instead of by genre or interest, choose a series of movies by their favorite actor and watch them all.
Try making their own cosmetics. Easy recipes for flavored lip balm, essential oil scented lotions, and more are easy to find. Or buy a kit to keep it simple.
Life Skills Challenge
Make a challenge chart with life skills everyone should know. Cooking, laundry, sewing on a button, ironing a shirt, etc.
Try a New at Home Workout Routine
Try a new workout routine or encourage them to create one of their own to try. Here is a simple one from our friends at Play: CLE.
Recreate Famous Art
Have fun recreating childhood photos or famous art and share on social media.
Make a Vacation Bucket List
Encourage a fun way to develop research skills. Teens can make a list of vacation spots they’d like to visit then get online and plan it out including transportation, places to stay (hotel, air b&bs, etc.) and activities while there. Don’t forget to include a budget!
Play Like a Kid or With one!
Kids' games can be fun even if you’re older. Encourage your tweens and teens to play a game with their younger siblings. Water balloon fight!
These are just a few of the many, many fun, and educational activities for kids at home. Do you have other favorite activities that keep your kids busy while having fun? Share them with us in the comments!