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10 Simple Ways To Keep Young Kids Busy Without Screens.

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I think it’s safe to say the past few weeks have been a time of transition for all of us. At our house, we have navigated canceling all of our plans for the foreseeable future, began homeschooling, and Jarred has started to teach from home for the first time. I’m sure some of this sounds all too familiar to you.

Because we are not able to go to playdates or to the park, our kids are getting bored sometimes. After school time is done, we don’t want to rely on screens very much, so we have brought out some of our favorite at-home activities for our kids.

Most of these activities don’t require special supplies, it’s all materials we usually have around the house. I hope some of these activities help inspire you if you have young kids at home. We’re all in this together!💙

1. Puppet Show

If you don’t have puppets make your own! You can use lunch bags, socks or just cardboard cut out and taped to a pencil. Get creative! Find something in your house that your kids can duck behind and let them put on a show!

2. Mini Eraser Counting and Sorting

This is courtesy of my mom-in-law, Mama V. She was an elementary school teacher for many years and comes up with great ideas for our kiddos. Every season or holiday she finds mini erasers that coordinate with the season. When she comes to visit she has the kids sort them, count them, learn addition and subtraction and also just play and pretend with them. Our boys also discovered they make great pretend garbage for their garbage trucks. Whatever works right?

3. Cookie Sheet Work Yards

I also have a blog post that is dedicated to this idea. Right HERE. This idea has kept our boys entertained for countless hours over the past few years!

pasta construction site

4. Bubble Wrap “Sleds”

One winter day a few years ago, I had a vase delivered that was carefully wrapped in a ton of bubble wrap. As per usual, my kids tried to pop it but no matter how hard they tried this bubblewrap would not pop.
So we came up with a new idea. Sit on it and slide down the stairs like a sled. This proved to be hours and hours of fun that winter.

5. Painting

Our kids don’t really love to color, but they LOVE to paint.

For a little variation, you can buy paintable toy kits.
Okay, okay these aren’t free BUT they do entertain our kids for a long time! They love creating designs and then they get to play with the toy when it’s dry!

6. Toy Bath

This is so simple but our kids are always entertained by it. They round up several toys, (like plastic blocks, large builder blocks, toy trucks, etc.) I check to make sure they are waterproof, and we dump them in a tub full of water. I hand each of them a dish brush and let them “bathe” their toys. Once we are done we lay out several towels on the bathroom floor, lay the toys on top, and let them dry. It’s entertainment but it also helps me with some of the household cleaning. It’s a win-win!

7. Card Making and Sending

Bring back the old fashioned art of sending mail! Have your kids make a card for a friend or family member to let them know they are loved. Let your kids get creative and have them write a little message too. This could really brighten someone’s day!

8. Sink Carwash

Get some vehicles that are waterproof and put them in the sink with water and bubbles. Grab a scrub brush or an old toothbrush, and let your kid have some fun!

washing toys in the sink

9. Tape Roads for Vehicles

You don’t need road tape like THIS to make roads for your kid’s cars. You can use painter’s tape or masking tape to create roadways and parking lots. Get creative! They’ll love it!

This week we pulled out a bunch of our wooden train tracks, a mat we had with roads, and vehicles and used painters tape to create one big, epic, village complete with a parking lot and a farm! It was a fun family project and it kept our youngest busy for a LONG time.

tape roads for toy vehicles
tape roads for play cars and trucks
Activities for kids
parking lot for play vehicles

10. Indoor Snow Play – Even without snow!

pretend snow play

I have an entire post that goes into more detail. You can check it out HERE!

Bonus activity: Cooking and Baking!

Let your kids help in the kitchen. Yes, it will be messy and yes, tiny fingers might be in your food. It’s okay! 🙂
It is so valuable to get your kids comfortable in the kitchen. It gives them a lot of confidence!

cooking with kids

We make our chocolate chip cookie recipe together all the time! If you’re interested here’s the link:
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hope you’re hanging in there, having young kids at home isn’t always easy! What you are doing to entertain your kids during this time?

One Comment

  1. I love these ideas. My kids are a little young for some of them, but I’m saving this post!

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