50 Best Activities For Kids in the Coronavirus Quarantine
It’s hard to find activities designed to keep kids occupied at home. On a normal day. Things get a lot more desperate when you can’t get out of the house, stuck inside because of the coronavirus quarantine. When you’re staying indoors all day long, you’re gonna have to come up with activities for your kids in the quarantine. How do you expect to do that and stay sane by the end of the day?
As parents, whether you’re working from home or just waiting around for the business to pick back up, we realize you probably have a lot of time on your hands. And without school, football practice, music lessons or the playground, we know how much more time your kids have, and with nothing to do. Activities for kids in the quarantine need to be engaging, because of course you can’t have them glued at the TV all day long.
Hear ye, hear ye, all you parents who have reached their wit’s end in these trying times. We’ve compiled a list of 50 of our best ideas for activities for your kids in the quarantine that are just losing their minds. Links can be found in the images.
We’re adding more every day! Check back in for new activities and ideas.
1. Quarantea Party with Friends and Family (5 to 10)
We all know the most important thing during the quarantine is to stay at home and away from people, which means no school, no sleepovers, and no…tea parties? Wait that doesn’t sound right. Of course you can have a tea party. A Quarantea Party!
Let them dress up in their favorite costumes, ready the teapot and cups, and have a private tea party over video call! Invite family or friends to this strictly black tie event.
2. DIY Lava Lamp (5 & above)
Lava lamps look cool and futuristic, but it’s actually surprisingly easy to make them. You can just use some water, oil, food coloring and alka seltzer tablets. Darken the room and you can shine a light from underneath.
3. Sewing Lessons (5 & above)
Sewing isn’t just a really fun and creative arts and crafts skill, but it’s incredibly useful in daily life, too. Teach your kids how to sew buttons and threads into various shapes and faces. And if you can’t knit, you can learn it with them!
4. Go on Nature Walks and Collect Leaves for a Scrapbook (5 & above)
While you can’t meet other people, it’s perfectly safe to take your kid on a short nature walk in the nearby woods or park. Collect leaves and flowers from different trees and plants to put in a scrapbook. After all, activities for kids in the quarantine don’t all need to be indoors. Just be careful out there.
5. Build a Gallery Wall (5 & above)
Underlyn has a large collection of art prints for kids which you can use to decorate their room. Use our signature gallery wall creation tool to help them plan out where they want their pretty new artwork in the room. Animals and birds in stunning archival prints and handmade frames make for great collectibles for children.
6. Keep a Quarantine Journal (13 & above)
Very few of us know what it’s like to be stuck at home because of a situation outside that’s out of our control. Kids see the situation very differently than we do, and it’s healthy for you to understand what they’re thinking. Keeping a journal of their thoughts and experiences through this difficult period that could help them cope better, and would be interesting to have as a keepsake for them to read in a few years.
7. Lunch Doodles (3 to 7)
After the coronavirus outbreak, bestselling children’s book author Mo Willems started a series on Youtube where he teaches little kids how to draw at 1 PM EST every weekday. They’re a super fun activity for young kids that keeps them occupied for well over the 20 minutes the videos usually last. You can view the entire series here.
8. Macramé for Kids (7 & above)
Macramé is a unique and incredibly colorful craft made using only thread and beads spun and knotted together to create all kinds of weird, wonderful shapes that your kids will love. You can learn to do macramé with your kids here.
9. DIY Laser Maze (5 to 10)
Using red streamers and masking tape, cover a narrow corridor in an obstacle course that looks like a motion-detecting laser maze. Your kid has to carefully make their way through the course without tearing any of the streamers. Try it with them!
10. Start a veggie patch (5 & above)
If your house has a backyard with a garden, you and your kids can start a vegetable patch. Carrots, beans and tomatoes are some of the easiest to grow and maintain, and it’s a good way to teach them to take responsibility and care of something together.
11. Virtual Visit to the Louvre (10 & above)
You can’t visit the real Louvre Museum in Paris, but we’ve got the second best thing: a virtual tour of the entire museum online! Teach your kids about art and history as you take your kids through the massive, labyrinthine corridors of the world’s most famous museum.
12. Bake a Different Bread Everyday (4 & above)
If you have the ingredients and a small baking oven, you can have a fun bake-off with your kid. Make one new type of bread every day or every other day, and you can even teach them about the science of baking as they watch the dough rise in the tin, filling the kitchen with that wonderful bakery smell. You can find 100 recipes for bread here.
13. Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari (1 & above)
At 3PM EDT, the Cincinnati Zoo goes live on Facebook for 20 minutes, showing a stream of your favorite animals in one of the oldest zoos in the US. And if you can’t manage the timings, they upload every livestream to their Youtube channel each day.
14. DIY Jellyfish (3 to 10)
Homemade jellyfish are probably the cutest and most wacky DIY project that’s also incredibly simple to make. Just take a paper plate, hang some colorful streamers or thread from the underside like tentacles, paint the plate or give it googly eyes, and voila! You have your very own non-aquatic jellyfish. And if you don’t have paper plates, don’t worry. Just take and umbrella and make the tentacles much longer. Simple!
15. DIY Slime (3 to 10)
This is one of the more gross but hilarious activities for kids in the quarantine. They just love playing with squishy, sticky toys that can be moulded into whatever shape they like. But you know what they like better? Making it themselves. DIY slime is super easy to make, it’s colorful, it’s fun, and your kids will be absorbed for hours just playing with it like Flubber.
16. Origami Animals (5 & above)
There’s a million things you can do with origami, but have you ever created a zoo full of paper animals? Or an aquarium? How about a patch of mushrooms or a field of tulips? You can do literally anything with folded paper, and you can give your kids a chance to get clever with new designs and learn how to make their own toys from scratch!
17. Alphabet Naming Game (5 to 12)
A is for Apple and B is for Ball, but what else could your kids name with those letters? Pick a different letters for you and your kid, and go around the house naming as many objects you can find that start with those letters. Write it down so you don’t forget. After 20-30 minutes, count who could name more objects with their letter, and give the winner a prize! Just…go easy on them.
18. Write Letters to Family and Friends (5 & above)
While the quarantine makes it necessary to keep yourself physically isolated, there’s no reason to cut yourself off socially from friends and family. It’s especially important for your kids. Which is why you should make them write letters to their friends and extended family about what’s going on in their lives. They can decorate the letters however they like, and you can either read or send a picture of the letter to the recipient. And when the quarantine is over, you could actually give them the letter, making for a lovely little keepsake from a difficult time.
19. Fashion Show of Color (3 to 10)
Challenge your kids to a fashion show where the person with the most colors in their costume wins. Count each color one by one, awarding a point for each new color. Bonus points if they can name every one!
20. Write a Letter to a Historical Figure (5 & above)
Imagine for a moment if Albert Einstein were still alive. Or George Washington. Or even Julius Caesar. What would you say to them? That’s what you should ask your kids when you teach them history. Then make them write a letter to that person, telling them about our world in the future, and asking them about their lives so many years ago. You can even follow up by writing a letter back as that historical figure, continuing the conversation. It’s a great way to get your kids to learn and appreciate history.
21. Chalk Your Walk (5 & above)
As more and more people participate in social distancing, the lack of human contact has a direct effect on people’s mental health and their ability to stay positive. Help spread some cheer in the neighborhood by taking your child for a walk and writing motivational messages in colorful chalk on the sidewalk. It’s a great way for your kids to stay connected with the people around them, even if not directly.
22. Q-Tip Dandelion Painting (3 to 10)
If you happen to have an empty toilet paper roll lying around, some white paint as well as a whole load of Q-Tips, these dandelions are an incredibly fun and silly way to spend the day.
23. Ping Pong Ball in a Playdough Maze (2 to 10)
The great thing about activities with kids is that while it does take some imagination to come up with something new, the best ones are often the simplest, most ridiculous thing you can think of. Just like the ping pong ball in a playdough maze. Spend hours designing all kinds of weird maze designs and different rules to make the game harder for your kids.
24. Learn a New Dance Routine (3 & above)
Making your kids dance is a great way to get some movement into a day that suddenly doesn’t have your kids going to PE or sports practice. It’s also the easiest way to get them nice and tired so they go to sleep like little angels (instead of bouncing off the walls at 2 in the morning). Teach your kids one new dance routine a day, using videos like this to help you choreograph something fun. When it comes to activities for kids in the quarantine, it doesn’t get much active than this!
25. Marble Run with Cardboard Boxes (7 & above)
Even a piece of cardboard is enough each your kids about the wonders of gravity and the physics of falling objects. Take the panel of cardboard, raise either side so the marble doesn’t fall off, and use little scraps of cardboard or paper to create angled platforms that bounce the marble this and way and that. Whoever guesses which cup the marble falls into wins! Find out how to make this here.
26. Learn a New Hairstyle (7 & above)
Girls will simply love the idea of learning a new hairstyle everyday, especially if it means they get to flaunt it to all their friends when schools open again. Give them a head start on that by teaching them new hairstyles everyday! Find all kinds of beautiful hairstyles for young girls here.
27. Make Your Own Play Dough (5 to 10)
You know what kids love even more than playing with play dough? Making their own. It’s incredibly simple and easy to make a bunch of play dough, requiring only basic ingredients. And the best part? Now your kids have all this play dough you can be sure they’ll spend hours making all kinds of weird, colorful animals that they can truly call their own.
28. Backyard Picnic (2 & above)
It’s hard coming up with new activities for your kids in the quarantine. Sometimes you just want to take some time to relax with them. If you live in a house with a backyard, look for a day with good, sunny weather and take your kids for a picnic. Pack some lunch or light snacks, a few games, and you can spend all day long with your kid and your little picnic set up. Get more ideas for it here.
29. Family Tree with Thumbprints (2 & above)
Help your kids draw a family tree (or do it for them if they’re too young), marking each new branch for a different member of the family. Let your kid dip their thumbs in various shades of either green or yellow and press down along the branches. Bonus points for your kid if they can name every member of your immediate family. Because sometimes connecting with the family can be the most enriching activities for kids in the quarantine.
30. Protect the Egg! (7 and above)
It’s time for a challenge. If you have some eggs to spare, hand them to your kids and tell them to use any small household item to create a parachute or protective layer around the egg to stop it from cracking when dropped from the first floor. It’s an opportunity for them to get creative and test out different ideas, so make sure you award more points to the most imaginative solution.
31. Finding and Sorting (2 to 5)
Here’s one of our favorite activities for kids in the quarantine that’s also educational. The find and sort game is easy to do and even easier to spend hours doing. Just give your kid a few buckets in different colors and tell them to collect objects of those colors around and put them in the corresponding bucket. And if you don’t have multicolored buckets, just slap on a piece of paper with the name of the color written in crayon. As an added challenge, you can tell them to only bring you different numbers of items for each color.
32. Homemade Bath Paints (2 to 5)
Giving your toddler a bath can be a huge pain, especially when they’d really rather be watching TV or running around the backyard. But since you can’t not give them a bath, let them make a colorful mess while they’re at it! Homemade bath paints are a great way to make bath time fun for both you and your kids. This recipe you can whip up in less than 5 minutes is safe for babies’ skin and just so fun to play with.
33. Ice Painting (2 to 7)
Back in my day, ice candies were meant to be eaten. Now parents get to do even weirder stuff with ice that’s even easier than taking the kids to the mall. Check out this super-easy 5 minute guide to making ice paint “brushes”. Do as many colors as you can, find a large sheet of paper, and just let your kids go nuts.
34. Make Your Own Pop-Up Book (5 to 10)
Pop-up books bring stories to life the way ordinary books just can’t. And while they’re a whole lot of fun just to read, who knew how much more fun it is to make them? They’re not as simple as your ordinary book, but that makes it all the more fun and rewarding to put one together with your kid. Think of a cute story you want to tell (or take one your kid already loves), and get to work using this handy guide to help you out.
35. Scavenger Hunt (5 to 12)
Looking for lost treasure is as exciting to a kid as it to a one-eyed pirate sailing the high seas. And Treasure Island is your home. Make a list of objects that your kids will have to really search for to find, and send them off to find them. If you want to take it one step further, make each item a riddle that they have to figure out to find the object, and make them dress up as pirates to really sell the theme!
36. Build a Box Fort (5 to 10)
Have a lot of Amazon boxes lying around with nowhere to go but the trashcan? Great, because you’re going to need them. Using these amazing ideas for indoor box forts, you and your kids can build great big forts, telephone booths, buildings, what have you. The best thing about them is that you can go as simple or elaborate as you want. And if you want to make them look really good, get out your paints and brush and go wild!
37. Listen to a Story Podcast
After a long day, it’s nice to just relax and unwind with something fun and pleasant to listen to. Brew a nice, hot cup of hot chocolate for the whole family, gather everyone around the living room, and choose from this list of story, science and history podcasts for kids. They’ll laugh, they’ll be engaged, and most importantly, they’ll learn something new.
38. Rock Painting (5 & above)
“The world is your canvas.” And I mean that literally. There’s really no limit to what you can do painting on rocks, from making them look like bugs to gemstones to animals. You can paint on smaller or larger stones, and depending on what you and your kids can manage, it can be easy or complex. Just go to your backyard or local playground, pick up a few rocks and get painting!
39. Homemade Musical Instruments (3 to 10)
With kids, it’s less about how good the music is and more about how loud and funny it sounds. With just some common household items, some paint (optional), and a whole lot of imagination, you can make your own set of drums, a harmonica, flute, or even a guitar! Just…don’t use them in your audition to Juilliard.
40. Balloon Tennis (5 to 12)
Get ready for more of the active activities for kids in the quarantine. Blow up some balloons, get out the old tennis rackets, clear out some space in your living room or go to your backyard, and play the classic game of balloon tennis. The balloon shouldn’t touch the ground or you lose a point. For a more serious game, place something in between as the net, and if you don’t have a racket, make one! (Or you know, use your hands.)
41. Do Some Science Experiments (3 & above)
Science is actually really fun when you teach it the right way. And no age is too young for a fun, silly science experiment that’s both great to watch and learn from. There are simply dozens of easy science experiments that you can do with everyday items, and the science has real-world applications that are fascinating. And if you have them, get out some swimming goggles to wear for the mad scientist look.
42. Make a Bird Feeder (3 to 12)
With no one leaving their houses during the quarantine, there won’t be anyone to feed the birds in the neighborhood. You and your kids can rise to the occasion and make an adorable bird feeder to hang outside your home or in a tree. Using this comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide, fashion your own little avian oasis to keep the local birds fed, healthy and chirping all day long. This way you’ll know your project worked!
43. Do Some Yoga (5 & above)
Yoga may not be the most exciting activity for your kids, but once you get them started, they’ll definitely notice the calming, therapeutic effects of yoga. Using videos like this one, you can do 15-20 minutes of yoga every morning, making sure they get that minimum amount of healthy, positive activity in the day.
44. Make Some Elephant Toothpaste (5 to 15)
It’s kind of weird how fun it is to make a mess. But you know what’s even more fun? Making a mess with science! Using this easy-to-follow recipe, make your very own bubbly, frothy mixture that makes so much past only an elephant could use it all. Just…make sure you do it somewhere you can actually clean up (definitely not the carpet).
45. Take a Virtual Tour of the Yellowstone (3 & above)
The Yellowstone National Park may be closed to visitors right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go there. Using the National Park Service’s online virtual tours, you can see the park’s world-famous geysers, the colorful hot water springs, and towering mountains overlooking sweeping valleys. Your kids are sure to love all the weird, wonderful things nature has to offer when you just decide to seek them out.
46. Learn How to Code (5 & above)
It’s easy to look at computer code and dismiss it as some sort of alien language only programming nerds can decipher. But in reality, it’s just a series of logic-based instructions that a computer can understand. Using websites like Kodable and Code.org, you can teach even your kid in kindergarten the basic principles of coding using fun little games that teach logic and problem-solving. So get coding!
47. Make Pasta Jewelry (3 to 10)
This is one of weirdest, most fun activities for kids to do in the quarantine. Using pasta, food coloring and string, fashion your own colorful pasta jewelry. Use this super-easy guide to help your kids make necklaces, bracelets, crowns and tiaras from different shapes of pasta. You can even use pom-poms and craft items to give it some flair. It’s safe, easy and incredibly silly. Kids will just love it!
48. Listen to the Story Pirates (2 to 6)
If you’re looking fun but passive activities for the kids in quarantine (we feel you), The Story Pirates have your back. They’re a media group that have been creating funny, novel and engaging content for kids for years. They’re best known for their podcast, which can be found here. You and your kids can listen to them tell exciting stories for hours on end, and you can be sure they’ll love every second of it, too.
49. Check Out BrainPOP (6 to 12)
In case you’re worried your child isn’t getting enough to learn when they’re away from school for so long, we’ve got you covered. BrainPOP is an online learning resource that teaches kids a variety of subjects, from science and maths, to art, music, health and even social studies. So when they’re back in school, your kid will be right ahead of the curriculum.
50. Make a Vision Board (8 & above)
Even kids need to set goals for themselves sometimes. Having a good idea of what you want to do and where you want to be by the end of the year is a great way for anyone to add structure to their lives. This goes especially for kids, who are naturally prone to distraction. By helping them make a vision board, you can teach them about planning, setting goals and working towards a tangible result over time. And who knows? Maybe you too will gain something in the process.