There's no shortage of ideas on the Internet about how to entertain your toddler all day long. But some ideas require a craft store run (or waiting for long delivery times from Michaels) or items around the house you just may not have right now. We've curated a list of 16 EASY quarantine activities for children. Remember - variety is the spice of life, so even if they don't require too much prep work, these activities can still bring joy and fun to your lives!
1) Do LOTS of Scavenger Hunts
This can be done outside in your backyard or indoors if you prefer. Outdoor items can be flowers, leaves, sticks and rocks - whatever you can think of! Come up with a list of items and either hunt for them with your child or send them on their merry way as you get some chores or work done.
Next level ideas include an alphabet scavenger hunt (find an item that begins with each letter of the alphabet) and a color match scavenger hunt (find five items for each of the colors of the rainbow)
2) Build a Sofa Fort
All you need is a sofa, pillows and blankets. Fun for adults and children!
3) Toy Wash
Get a big plastic bin and fill it up with water and soap. Give your kid a rag or sponge and have them clean some of their toys while you wash the dishes. Good toys to include are Legos and plastic animals or cars. Just make sure to leave them out to fully dry after. Win win!
4) Do Yoga
There are tons of online videos available to stream with activities your kids may enjoy. For some relaxation and exercise, we recommend Cosmic Kids Yoga!
5) The Floor is Lava!
Set down your pillows on the carpet and tell them the floor is lava!
6) Involve Them In Your Chores
Okay, so this one is kind of cheating, but now's a great time to put your kids to work a little! Ask them to organize their Legos, help wash fruit/vegetables for dinner, sort their toys by type - the sky is the limit! Organizational tasks are great for little minds.
Bonus activity - do a chores bingo where every day, they can do one chore to complete the bingo chart!
7) Engage in Sensory Play
All you need is cornstarch and water. Mix cornstarch with water to your desired consistency - play with the ratio! If you have liquid food coloring, you can make different colors! It's best to do this all in one plastic bin to reduce mess.
To make the activity last longer, have your kiddo scoop the cornstarch herself and give him/her water a little at a time to let him/her enjoy the process of mixing it all together.
8) Go Indoor Bowling
You can use some recycled cans, a yoga or baby play mat and an inflatable beach ball for a low cost option! If you have a Pikler Triangle, ramp, or sofa cushions, that can make for some interesting obstacles.
9) Join Virtual Story Hour
Every weekday from 2:00-2:30 PM EST, Brooklyn Library will be hosting a virtual story hour. Join in for half an hour for storytime.
10) Make Some "Music"
If you have a younger child, let him/her bang on some pots and pans. Use different spoons (wooden, metal, plastic) and different types of pots/pans to make different sounds. For a quieter experience, fill up some plastic containers with various items (dried beans, rice, marbles) and let him/her shake them to hear the different sounds!
11) Rotate Toys
So this one isn't really an "activity," but it will help in making your toys go a longer way! Rotate your toys on a weekly or semi-weekly basis so your kids don't have access to the same toys over and over. Fewer toys actually leads to longer and more creative play! It will also make them more excited to see old favorites come out again.
12) Make Bath Time Even More Fun
We need anything we can get to make those activities take up more time. Fill up the bath tub and drop in some play silks for some sensory play. Or drop in some Legos and food coloring for even more color sensory play!
13) Use Painters Tape
There are tons of uses of painter's tape! You can tape down toys and ask your toddler to remove them and put the toys away. You can use tape to make a railroad track for your kid's train/cars. You can use tape to make indoor hopscotch! If the weather permits, make a geometric pattern out of tape in your driveway and color it in with chalk - remove the tape after to see the beautiful design!
Want to improve your drawing skills? Doodle along with Mo Willems in his studio for weekday Lunch Doodles. There are 15 episodes along with downloadable activities.
15) Create Pasta Jewelry
If you're able to spare a few pieces of penne - paint the pasta, thread it on a string and wear it!
16) Play with Shaving Cream
This is best done in the bathtub or shower where clean up will be easy. Add food dye to the shaving cream and make paintings on the shower or bathtub walls!
So you've gotten your MELLA, or maybe you're still wondering about whether MELLA will be effective for your little one. Congratulations! By being here, you're one step closer to getting rid of those early morning wake ups.
Here are 12 tips and tricks to integrate MELLA into your family seamlessly.