Updated: Mar 30, 2020
(Since writing this we've done the following things that you should consider adding to your list: 1. put a towel down in a dry bathtub and then fill a large plastic container up with water to let your kids play with if you don't have a water table (we do not). Chloe had so much fun bathing her animal figurines. 2. Make a "homeschool" area - I put a child's sized desk on either side of my desk and it isn't for crafts, just for school. We did already have a desk and a friend dropped off a second one for us. 3. Paint a piece of furniture. We painted the desk LOTS of colors. Chloe is so proud of it.) 4. Start a YouTube Channel for your kids shenanigans. 5. Legos.)
I'll start by saying that this list was made for my twin six year olds and I and I realize that not everyone has the same resources/schedules/etc - but I hope there's at least an idea or two for you that you can use to pass the time. I'll probably update add to it as this all unfolds.
I wanted to go see Onward with the twins - but school is cancelled, and the whole point is to protect our kids. Taking them to 23509 places will defeat the purpose. One of my twins has Broncho Pulmonary Dysplasia, that she takes meds for everyday. Both have asthma. Both were born in the second trimester. Both are part of that "small" group of at-risk people that some people of the internet is of the opinion aren't important enough to take proactive measures.
I am of the opinion that "safe" is better than "sorry."
So we will be hunkering down.
Years of Florida hurricane seasons have sort of prepared me for this.
Probably the most useful of all of #VicsLists
1. Start a “good things” jar and everyday write down the good things that happen or funny things said or the silly moments. Once the craziness is over take them out and reread them. Today I was singing "Into The Unknown" all crazy like and instead of laughing Chloe goes, "Mom. I'm SO not into that song anymore." Well okay SIX-teen year old sass coming out of my six year old. That's going in the jar, because I most certainly laughed. Jokes on her - Easter Bunny already bought Frozen 2 for them.
2. Make “Keep” “Donate” “Store" "Sell" and “Discard” signs with paper and crayons/markers/watercolor. Kiddos who can write can practice letters. Kiddos who can’t can decorate the papers. The twins will be making these tomorrow since we will use them a few times. I'll update this with pictures later but I can assure you ours will have glitter.
3. Clean out your toys and deep clean/organize the toy boxes and baskets. Use your signs to organize the piles in different areas of the room if your kiddos are mobile and can help put them in piles with direction. It’ll help them burn off some energy walking back and forth. Pro Mom Tip; attach your Fitbit to whichever kid moves the most and feel accomplished at the end of the day.
[Anyone want to buy all of our Build A Bear My Little Pony toys or a Shimmer & Shine Castle? PLEASE]
4. Start a “Books Read” list and display it on the fridge - set a reasonable goal for your kiddos (at our house the goal will be 2-3 small books a day on average). They are learning to read so Dr. Suess and “I Can Read” books are our friends.
We’ve got stickers to use on the page when they add a book but you can draw stars, too.
Prize if the goal is met will be a trip to the bookstore for new books when this all passes. It's mostly a prize for me - I'll be so happy to got to Barnes & Noble when this is all done. PS; I use the Good Reads App to keep up with what they've read, but we'll make this visual just for the sake of passing time.
5. Use your signs to clean out your closets and dressers one at a time. Download Poshmark to sell the things you don’t want to keep once this is over. You can create "drafts" of things now. I saw this meme and felt personally attacked.
6. Start reading Harry Potter or another of your favorite chapter books out loud to your kids - fun for you and for them.
7. Let them help you organize the pantry/food cupboards. Let them use the “Keep” “Donate” and “Discard” signs. Don't be a poop-face and try to sell your food to people who really need it right now. Put the "sell" sign away for this step for sure.
8. Let them help you organize the Tupperware in your home and the pots and pans (matching lids and what not).
9. Use those “Keep” & “Discard” signs to clean out the fridge & freezer.
10. Make a “daily menu” with your kids for snack options (let them illustrate it). Let them order a snack at snack time and pretend to be a waitress.
11. Kid puzzles for them and 12. harder puzzles for you (or for the family to do together). I'll be honest - I bought myself a Disney puzzle "from Santa" and I have been waiting for an excuse to do it.
It's this one.
13. Make a monthly budget for your family.
14. Unsubscribe from things you don't need while social distancing. Bye for now, Spotify and other random apps on my phone I don't technically need to be paying for.
15. Movie & Popcorn nights - obviously popcorn needed.
16. Finger Painting / watercolor painting. Hello, Mother's Day & Father's Day gifts for the grandparents.
17. Color coordinate your bookshelves and closets. I mean, mine already is - but I like to redo it occasionally.
18. Alphabetize your DVDs (The Blevins' family inspired this one but also, I don't really wanna).
19. Write letters to your kid’s teachers about what they are learning, to their grandparents about the things they do, etc. show them how to properly address envelopes.
20. Let them color on windows with window markers.
21. Color in coloring books. Or on paper. Or literally anything you don't care they color on.
22. Play school with them even when the school work is done (work on age appropriate things or practice handwriting exercises.
23. Let them round up all of the spare change in the house and cars and sort it. Work on counting money.
24. Have a Dance Party. Spotify and pandora have free versions.
25. Learn popular dances together (like the Macarena or The Wobble.” Or any of these; https://www.yeahweddings.com/30-wedding-line-dance-songs-for-groups/
26. Start planning your flower bed/home gardens and have your kids help make artistic renderings; draw to scale and label / color different ideas for those plans and then make a shopping list for them. Use Pinterest for ideas for different flowers and veggies. If you live in an apartment look up apartment friendly plants / gardens.
27. Have your kids draw a room in your house with as much detail as possible but then have them add ONE random thing into the drawing and everyone has to guess what was added.
28. Pick a stuffed animal to hide around the house. Whoever finds it hides it next. Brave souls, bring back your Elf with a note from Santa that they are being watched while out of school.
29. Help your kids write a story and illustrate it with them. Bigger kids can write small chapter books. Help proofread and talk through brainstorming.
30. Have your kids design and color the cutest or scariest monster, ever. Name it. Have your kids make a backstory or origin story for it. & then everyday have your kids write / say what adventures he or she went on that day in first person.
31. Everyone make a list of 100 things that make you smile. Parents - write these for little kids it’s a lot but it’ll give you lots of positive things to talk about !
32. Look up 15 & 30 day home exercise plans on Pinterest. My favorites are like 30 day lunge challenges or 30 day push up challenges (for me) and let them copy you if they want. My kids love being silly while I'm working out.
33. Download educational podcasts for when you’re cleaning or showering.
I'm game for recommendations - please send.
34. BUBBLE BATHS
35. Go through your makeup and organize it.
36. Let your kids give you a makeover with stuff you don’t care about.
37. Dude. Two words - Nintendo Switch.
38. Pull weeds and hunt for dandelions. Allergy meds are your friend if you’re like us before this one.
39. Sweep the porches / hard surfaces outside.
40. Clean out your shed/storage unit/messy closet. Use those signs again.
41. Paint a few pieces of rock gravel with non toxic paint and hide them in your yard or in your gravel driveway.
42. Do flash cards with your kids (make some if you don’t have any - but amazon has a ton and so do most stores even Ingles).
43. Download educational games to your phone/tablets to let your kids play.
44. Feed the birds / squirrels in your yard.
45. Take a drive with the windows down on the parkway or a back road if it’s nice - let them play outside if you find a place like an overlook with nobody else. I mean - I may regret this but Waterrock Knob is on my list of places to escape to for fresh air. If other people are there? This is the view from the parking lot so it works either way.
46. Let them help clean out your car and wash it.
47. Build a fort together and do a puzzle or watch a movie inside of it.
48. Introduce them to your favorite movies from your childhood.
49. Practice mindfulness activities together (Pinterest has great ones).
50. Play Simon Says. My Simon likes to say things like “pick up three toys & put them away and come back to this very spot without running.” 51. Let them hit rugs with a broom outside to dust them.
52. Let them put on a fashion show for you. Or a magic show. Or a comedy show. Or a play with toys.
53. Make a prayer list together and keep adding to it everyday. We have this sign over our door that a good friend makes.
54. Work on memorizing the presidents of the US - my friend Rocky's three year old can do this via a song. This one was catchy; https://youtu.be/UsePr32vOxA obviously update it to include the last couple! Or find a better one. My google skills are slacking now.
55. Let them help cook meals and learn to do more things than they do now (yeah - messier, but let’s be real you’re gonna want things to kill time so a bigger mess = minutes you aren’t bored while cleaning).
There ya have it - 55 things to do while you're stuck at home!