Now that COVID-19 has been deemed a global pandemic, schools across the world are closing down to keep our kids safe. We're all stuck at home doing our best to "flatten the curve", but that's easier said than done when you have ankle-biters running around complaining about how bored they are.
No matter how rambunctious your kiddos are, there are still ways for them to learn and have fun while practising social distancing. Read on for some of the best kids activities to keep your family engaged—and help you stay sane—while you avoid the coronavirus.
Make a Mess
When you're a kid, there isn't much that's more exciting than being allowed to make a mess. Some of the best ways to engage in messy play with easy clean up afterwards include:
- Shaving cream in the bathtub
- Making homemade play-dough, slime, or oobleck
- Fingerpainting with water-based tempera paints
- Playing in the mud in the backyard
- Blowing soap bubbles
- Searching for "buried treasure" in a sandbox
As a bonus, messy play is great for helping toddlers and young kids develop important sensorimotor skills!
Practise Your Spy Skills
What kid hasn't dreamt of being a secret spy or super sleuth at some point? Take advantage of this and create a fabulous mystery adventure for your kids.
If your children have a favourite book or movie with spies and detectives, consider basing the scenario off that. If not, try planning a "heist" where they have to steal a snack from the "vault" (a fridge or pantry) without getting caught.
They'll have to start by assuming secret identities, of course. Have your kids dress up in disguises and come up with a fake name and short backstory. Then, lead them through a series of scavenger-hunt style puzzles as they uncover clues that lead them to their final destination.
Look up some classic substitution ciphers and use them to write coded instructions, or try colouring clear plastic with permanent markers to make your own red-reveal messages. You can even make an obstacle course where they have to crawl through "air vents" (couch cushion tunnels) and avoid "motion detectors" (don't touch the floor). When they get to the final spot of the heist, use yarn and tape to make a laser maze they must navigate to reach the prize.
Fun Crafts for Kids
There's nothing like some good old fashioned arts and crafts to get the creative juices flowing while you're stuck indoors. Here are a few that suit kids of all ages.
Young kids are easy to please when it comes to making crafts. One of the simplest and cleanest ways to keep them occupied is with stickers. Draw a simple picture on a piece of paper and have your child fill in the scene with stickers or place them carefully along the outlines.
Young school-aged children love pretending, so encourage that by helping them make masks they can use during playtime. Paper plates with eye holes cut out make a great base. Have them colour the plate with crayons and markers or glue on construction paper and yarn to make their favourite animal or superhero.
Kids ages 8-12 can often be trusted to use scissors without supervision, so collages are a great way to keep their attention. Provide them with a stack of old magazines, construction paper, paint, and glue and let their creativity run wild. For even more fun, add in 3D elements like old buttons, sequins, or pipe cleaners.
Ages 13 and Older
Older kids will have a blast building a Rube-Goldberg machine. Give them an arsenal of leftover recycling, tape, paper, and game pieces, and have them build a contraption that completes a simple task, like dropping a ball into a cup. If you have multiple children, have them compete with each other to see who can build the largest machine or one with at least 15 steps.
Even though it's best to limit screen time, there's no harm in letting your kids play games online while they're home from school—especially if it gives you some much-needed peace and quiet. Why not let them learn some new things while they're at it?
These sites have plenty of fun and educational activities for young kids:
Most of the activities on these sites are free and all of them are safe for kids of all ages.
What to Do When Your Kids Are Sick
All of these fun activities for kids are great when they're feeling 100%, but how can you keep them entertained even when they're feeling under the weather?
If you want them to have fun while still monitoring their temperature, FeverMates fever monitors could be the answer. They stick right onto your child's forehead and give you an accurate read of their temperature for 48 hours. These patches come in four fun animal shapes (lion, elephant, zebra, and frog), so use that as the base for a fun activity!
Let your child choose which animal is their favourite and stick it on their forehead. Then, play a game of make-believe! Do a quick internet search or use a book to learn more about the animal, and have your child use that information as they pretend to become the animal themselves.
If they're pretending to be an elephant, have them crawl around and use one arm like a trunk. If they chose a frog, try a healthy snack of flies-on-a-log (a celery stick with peanut butter and raisins on top). Little zebras can put on striped clothing and eat some leafy greens, while lions can practice their roars and "hunt" stuffed animals.
Once all the playtime is done, it's time to cool off. Placing a FeverMates Cooling Patch on their forehead can help your child settle in for a lie-down in comfort.
Don't Let the Coronavirus Get You Down—Give These Kids Activities a Go!
Even though being kept at home isn't most people's idea of a good time, you can still have fun while practising social distancing. The extra time you spend together as a family in these upcoming days may even create memories that you'll cherish forever. So put on your favourite comfy outfit, try out these fun kids activities, and let FeverMates take care of your little ones if they get sick.
For more ways to keep your children healthy and entertained, make sure to check back with our blog often!