I don't have rolls of toilet paper to give away, but while you're camping out at home for the next couple of weeks with kids who have been pulled out of school, I wanted to give you a list of ideas to keep yourself sane, and not feel guilty about any sort of academic schedule.
So I'm breaking this down into outside activities and inside activities. It's all fun and, often times, it will be educational without your kids even knowing it!
I don't know what the weather is like near you. We had rain all week so the temps are nice and cool, but the sun has come back. If you live in a more temperate climate like us (no snow) then here are a few fun outdoor activities:
- sidewalk chalk: this one is a huge favorite with my daughter. We don't even necessarily always draw on the side walk. Our cinder block fence is another great spot to get out those creative, artistic ideas trapped up in your kids' heads.
- bubbles: whether a simple wand or a machine, bubbles entrance small children every single time! The last time I went to Wal-Mart there was a line for toilet paper, but the toy section was still full of toys, and there were all kinds of bubble machines to choose from! Choose a couple and start a bubble fight!
- outdoor games: Red Rover, Mother May I. Or get more structured with some type of ring toss or corn hole board. If you have a bigger backyard you could even do croquet! Structured games with rules are more educational than you think, so don't rule them out!
- sports: do your kids have a soccer ball? A jump rope? A skateboard? A t-ball set? Hone in on those sportsing skills and practice some cool new moves. There are all kinds of videos out there that can give you ideas of new tricks to try!
- Scavenger Hunt: depending on the size of your backyard you could set up a scavenger hunt and provide kids with clues to find a treasure at the end!
- Obstacle Course: going along in that same vein is creating an obstacle course. It can be as simple or complex as your kids and your backyard allow. It'll be great exercise and a lot of fun to see them work out creating the course and succeeding at it!
If it's too cold outside for you, or you just want a change of pace, here are a few fun ideas to keep you and your kids occupied indoors
- water color: My daughter always tells me she wants to paint. Water colors are fun without all the paint clean up afterwards. Its creative and you can make it even more constructive by giving your kids a story and having them come up with a painting of what it would look like!
- Kinetic sand: I have been told that kinetic sand is less messy than play-doh, which I am all for. You can let your kids tell a story with whatever they create. This will pass the time for hours!
- board games: Games give your kids structure, and can be educational. Especially if you play games like Scrabble (help with spelling and vocabulary.) Another one that is fun and simple with kids is Spot it. You can also check out this post where we list some fun board games to play with the family.
- write a play and act it out: This is a great way to get in some creative thinking and writing, and get your kids immersed in the arts! Come up with an idea and have your kids write the script and put the show together! You've even got a few days for rehearsals and costuming. Make it an event! Film it and share it with friends and family online!
- baking: this is fun where science can get involved. Bake something together as a family. You'll teach your kids how to cook, and work on fractions and measuring, as well as the science of how different chemicals come together to make such delicious things as cookies and bread! You can even do home made pizza night and let the kids choose their own toppings. Making anything with yeast is fun and fascinating for kids, and then you can have a little science lesson on why the dough is rising!
- reading: This really seems like a no brainer. This is a great time to encourage your kids to read something new! We have countless posts on book ideas that range from the youngest reader to the oldest. Search with your family for a new book! Maybe you can even choose one to read together as a family!
- make a movie theater: put up dark curtains, pick out a movie (Hey Disney started streaming Frozen II early for everyone, wasn't that nice?) Pop some popcorn and give everyone their own bowl. It's a fun way to mix up just watching a movie at home. Make it seem like you're still at the theater by making the room extra dark! (For bonus points you could crank up the A/C so you'll all be freezing, but you don't have to!)
- YouTube a new skill: is there something you always wanted to learn how to do? YouTube a how to video and get started! Origami is a great one for all the kids!
I hope this list really helps get you started and if you come up with ideas of your own, share them! We're all in this together, let's make it as fun as possible and take advantage of time to really reconnect with our kids!