Since our county’s schools announced students would be remote learning, our parenting routine has been thrown off.
Each week we have to adjust and accommodate the kids’ schedule with our own work. It’s definitely been a challenge at times, but even with all the chaos, we’ve seen it’s been an opportunity for us to connect as a family.
It has forced us to mix things up a bit to help stave off boredom and keep our sanity during these unusual times.
A Month’s Worth of Family Fun
With many states having some form at stay at home orders on, chances are your family is looking for ways to keep your kids entertained while still practicing social distancing.
As one mom to another, I want to help out by sharing 30 frugal family activities that you can try together. Hopefully, this month’s worth of ideas will make staying home a little less stressful and give you ways to bond together!
Since I know not every family has a large yard or a walkable neighborhood, I’ve included many activities that can be done either at home or outside.
And the best part? Many of these are family budget-friendly!
Staying Indoor, Staying Busy
Just because you’re inside, doesn’t mean your little ones can’t have some fun.
- Escape the house: Even if you can’t physically leave, there are still ways for your kids to explore the world (and beyond). They can go on virtual field trips to places like the San Diego Zoo, aquariums, Yellowstone, or even Mars!
- Take a dance break: We all need to move and our little ones especially love to stretch their legs. Get your playlist going or join in with others like kid-friendly DJ Mel’s dance parties.
- Stay in touch: Even more than ever, reaching out to loved ones through cards, letters, phone calls or video chat is an incredible way to connect. Have your kids share updates with family and friends.
- Family game night: Whether you prefer board, word, or card games, choose one evening to be your family game night. Skip the regular dinner plans and enjoy snacks and some friendly competition. Besides the usual, there are some wonderful interactive games like Cash Crunch and Forbidden Island that can make the evening go by fast!
- Go online with the library: While libraries may be closed in your area for visitors, you can still check out e-books and audiobooks.
- Build a cardboard fort: If you’re getting plenty of amazon deliveries, you may be able to reuse those boxes. Have your kids create and decorate their own castle or fort.
- Treasure hunt: Want to keep the kids busy for a bit? Have them go on a treasure hunt, leaving clues that they have to figure out before they can find their ‘treasure’ (candy, favorite snack, or small toy).
- Cooking show: This has been a surprising favorite of my kids. We whip up dinner together, but they take the lead and ‘host’. You can then share the recorded video with friends and family or keep it as a digital family memory.
- Painting party: You don’t have to be Bob Ross to enjoy this one. Some basic supplies and a space that is easy to clean up are all you need to let your inner artist come out!
- Make some playdough: Literally, get all hands on board with this project! Raid your pantry and have a fun afternoon preparing your play-dough.
- Hone your musical talents: Whether you start a family band or not, playing music can be an incredible way to explore your creativity and practice some discipline at the same time.
- Learn (or brush up on) a language: Apps like Duolingo or checking out online material from your library can be a smart way to expand your horizons while staying home.
- Make some jewelry: Want an easy project? Grab some dried pasta noodles from the pantry and paint some bracelets, necklaces, and more with the kids.
- Host a virtual film festival: Hats off to Toni from Debt Free Divas with this idea! Have your budding filmmaker create a short film (keep it 3-5 minutes). You can host a zoom meet up with other kids so they can premiere their shorts with an audience.
- Listen: Audiobooks and podcasts can be a great way to unwind. You can catch shows like Story Pirates or But Why and discuss them as a family over dinner.
- Learn to code: Give your kids a fun introduction to coding with options like Scratch and Code Monster.
- Coloring in and out of the box: Coloring can be a wonderful way to relax together. You can buy a book or print out a sheet from online and get started. Don’t forget to share your works of art on the fridge!
- Fashion show: Need to check to see if your kids have outgrown their clothes? Have a fashion show! It’s a fun way to check and see what they need and perhaps remind them of outfits they haven’t thought of.
- Become an animal expert: Have your kids pick their favorite animals and create a show all about it. Gather facts and have them dress up when they present!
- Home tour: My daughter’s classroom had a blast with this one. Kids were excited to make a quick video of their place and family.
The Great (or Nearby) Outdoors
If you have access to a yard or can walk around the neighborhood, make sure you savor it. There are plenty of things you can do outside while still keeping your distance.
- Have a picnic: Go ahead and prepare a family picnic for lunch or dinner. A simple way to enjoy a meal and have a change of scenery.
- Host a s’more night: You can make these out on the firepit if you have one or prepare them indoors and enjoy them outside in the evening.
- Stargazing: This has become one of our favorite ways to appreciate the outdoors. You can use a telescope, binoculars or a stargazing app to catch some of the natural lights around us.
- Grow a garden: This is a fun hobby that can be a huge bonus when your fruits and veggies are ready! Kids can start off with easy plants like herbs and colorful peppers.
- Scavenger hunt: You can take the treasure hunt outside and now include some natural sights as part of the clues. Have them collect items like bird feathers and leaves to have something to remember it by.
- Chalkboard art: If you have a driveway or patio space, give your kids some chalk to create their own designs!
- Hopscotch: Bring out the classics with this game. It’s an easy setup and the kids and you can compete to see who’s the best!
- Race: Speaking of competition, a little friendly game of potato sack (or brown bag racing) can give them some exercise and fun!
- Jump rope: Kids have a ton of energy. They can let some of it out with the jump rope. Make it a family thing and learn some double dutch!
- Go around the neighborhood: Depending on your area, you may be able to walk, run, or bike around your neighborhood. The fresh air will do you good and you can still keep a safe distance between your family and others.
Your Favorite Ways to Connect at Home
I hope these ideas allow you to enjoy some family time while staying safe. I know it took a bit to get into the new routine, but we’ve discovered (and rediscovered) hobbies we love and can share in as a family.
We’re all in this together, so if you want to suggest another idea, please leave it below!