Recently, many of us are stuck at home and looking for ways to keep our children entertained. At the same time, I am a homeschooler, and I am used to being home with my children, this new inability to leave the house, and visit museums, movie theaters, parks, historical landmarks, even sports or extracurriculars is new for all of us. That is why I am taking my experience and sharing some simple ideas and resources to help you create some fun family learning activities for your children when stuck at home
With the schools closed, and not being able to leave the house, you may be struggling. Your routine is thrown out the window, and if your children are anything like mine, all you need is a few minutes of idle time before they are jumping up the walls and getting into arguments.
It won’t take long before you are begging them to find something to do with themselves.
As a homeschool mom, I know not only how to keep my children busy and entertained, but also learning in the process.
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Surviving life with children, when being stuck at home
It is time to set up a new routine; your routine is unique to your family and your circumstances. If you are working from home, then your routine will look a lot different than a family who just has time off. Creating a routine, though, will help everyone transition into this time at home.
While all routines are unique and only you can take them for your family, I do have some suggestions. From my experience and conversations with friends, many parents are a little bit relieved that their busy schedule is forced to slow down a bit, they are relieved that they do not have to run to soccer, ballet and baseball practice like a chicken without a head. Take this opportunity to catch up on sleep, let your children sleep in while you take care of business, or squeeze in some self-care in the morning. Sleep is so important, and letting your children and yourself catch up on some zzz’s is not a bad thing.
An idea for how your routine may look:
- Wake Up/ Free Time
- Morning Chores
- School Time (If your kids have school work from their school this is the perfect time to do it when they are full of energy, if not, then maybe they will like to do some independent reading)
- Outside Time (If weather permits and you have outside space, take advantage of it, even if it is just going for a walk around the block, getting outdoors is a good idea).
- Fun Indoor Activities (If the weather doesn’t permit, and you’re a force to stay inside then take out the games, puzzles, and art projects)
- Lunch Time!
- Afternoon Chores (This may look like cleaning up after lunch)
- Fun Family Learning Activities (I will share below.)
- Screen Time (This can be a movie, show or game)
Routines help children know what to expect and help to provide order to your day, especially if you work from home. I am a homeschool mom who also works from home, and I wouldn’t be able to function without a routine. Let’s Jump into the Fun Family Learning Activities you can do with your children to keep the learning and entertained, creating magical memories during this kind of scary time.
11 Fun Family Learning Activities to do at home
The Brave Writer 7 Day Blitz
The Brave Writer 7 Day Blitz is an activity that I do with my children every year at the beginning of our homeschool. It gets them ready to jump into our writing lessons for the year but in a unique and fun way. These seven days of free writing activities are so fun your children will not even realize they are learning! Sign up for the Free packet of 7 Days of activities here.
Audiobooks are everything! Whether this is for independent reading or reading together as a family, audiobooks are delightful for everyone. Gather around and listen to an audiobook. You can do this anytime! Maybe you want everyone to calm down at lunchtime, play a chapter or two of an audiobook as your children eat, or place some coloring sheets or plain paper and crayons as your children draw while they listen. It helps to have them have something to keep their hands busy while listening to audiobooks.
Have no idea what audiobooks to share with your kids? No worries, I have got you covered with a list of some of our favorite family-friendly audiobooks. Again audiobooks are perfect for kids of all ages. You can enjoy these titles together or let the kids listen with their headphones or an Amazon Dot.
If you don’t already have an Amazon Audible membership, then grab one and download a title or two right away. You can always cancel later. If you are looking for a completely FREE option, visit your local library website for the Overdrive or the Libby App, which provides rental of audiobooks with your library card.
STEM Learning at Home
STEM is a favorite focus among teachers and children. The concepts taught in STEM are tons of fun and help teach problem-solving skills. While you try making your own hand sanitizer at home and explore the world of germs with a black light, you can also tinker with household items (try these makerspace cards for ideas) or try your hand at some simple experiments, a few of our favorites are the rainbow jar experiment, and the rotting apple experiment but there are a ton on the site, just search science. For added fun, you can purchase a STEM Kit to try out at home. (Amazon is still delivering, right?)
Another favorite with the children is to create art. Art projects are sure to delight children who are stuck indoors.
We love everything from Masterpiece Society, we have used their art appreciation sets in our homeschool and have learned so much while having tons of fun. However, Alisha also has Seasonal Mixed Media Art Projects available. These projects are tons of fun and help your children to express their creativity in the process. The seasonal Mixed Media Art Projects are amazing, and each course comes with video lessons for more than 20 art projects you can complete at the comfort of your own home. The projects require basic supplies such as acrylic paints, paintbrushes, mod podge, and an art journal or canvases.
Another program we love is Art History Kids. Art history kids is an excellent resource that helps you introduce your children to art. It invites them to come to their own conclusions and encourages them to tap into their own individual creativity as they make art. Art History Kids offers affordable art guides devoted to specific artists, studio membership where you learn about an artist each month, and experiment making art inspired by that artist. They even offer free resources to help excite your children about learning about art as well as a plethora of goodies on their blog. We have been loving the March 2020 lesson on Mary Blair, which ties in perfectly with watching movies and shows on Disney+.
Another great art resource we love to do in our homeschool is YOU Are an Artist. We love to follow along Nanna as we create beautiful paintings with chalk pastels. I love adding a chalk pastel lesson to whatever topic we are working on. There is a wide variety of chalk pastel projects for all ages on their site. Check out their blog for free projects or purchase a few to tie into your child’s lessons.
You are bound to find a topic that your children are super interested in or are already studying in school. Having fun, creating art will make time at home a little more magical as well as reinforce their learning.
To do a You Are An Artist, chalk pastel project all you need is a set of chalk pastels, construction or computer paper and some wet paper towels or baby wipes. While fixitive spray is not required, I do find it helpful to preserve the chalk paintings, make sure to spray it outside, away from any wind as well.
Watch Something Together
In this digital era, where any show, movie, or documentary is basically at your fingertips, take advantage of whatever streaming services you have. If you have Disney+, they have some fantastic shows and documentaries on NatGeo, which offer learning and entertainment as well as just some great shows, movies, and cartoons you can watch as a family and discuss. While Amazon Prime and Netflix also offer amazing show and movie options, we have found a deep love for Curiosity Stream. For less than two dollars a month, you will have access to over 1500 documentaries. Grab it this month and cancel once the children return to school if you don’t use it, but I am pretty sure you will all fall in love with it and catch up with some fun documentaries in your spare time.
Get in the Kitchen
If you don’t already cook with your kids, now is a perfect time to get them in there and help with cooking duties. Not only will you give them the life skills needed to feed themselves and their family in the future, but you can also work on math skills. Whether it is baking a cake or a pan of brownies, or making their favorite meal, getting the kids in on the action of preparing meals is educational and fun. If you happen to have a picky eater, this may also get them interested in trying new foods.
Did you know that you can teach, pretty much every single subject using games! Games are so much fun and help teach so many skills, as well as help, teach subjects that may be difficult to get the children excited to learn. In the world of homeschooling, we call this gameschooling, and it is when we teach a subject only by using games, and it works! Check out these fun games to try at your home.
Listen to a Podcast
Just like audiobooks, podcasts can be a great way to teach children and just excite something in them. Browse through a plethora of podcasts available for children on a variety of topics.
Some of our favorites are:
- The Big Life Journal Podcast
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Podcast
- Story Pirates Podcast
- But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids
- Dream Big Podcast
Learn Geography through Stories
Have you heard of Around the World Stories? It is a great way to go on an adventure in Europe or Asia without leaving the comfort of your home. Each story pack includes over 40 original stories that will entertain your children while teaching them about different countries, and they will not even realize they are learning.
Add even more fun by using the suggested extension activities and videos after listening to the stories; their blog also has a ton of fun ideas to extend learning as well.
Teach Your Kids How to Sew
Sewing is another great life skill to teach while you are stuck indoors. All you need is some extra fabric and a needle and a thread, look up youtube videos or check out these beginning sewing posts we have. Sew an Emoji Pillow, Create a Book of Needles, Apple Pincushion.
Do a puzzle together
Puzzles are an excellent way for your family to bond. Not only are they tons of fun, but they also offer numerous benefits. Research indicates that engaging in puzzles enhances spatial skills, promotes memory retention, and improves collaboration and cooperation. Here is a list of some of our favorite puzzles.
Fun Family Learning Activities for Your Children When Stuck at Home
While this can be a scary time, creating a new routine and making happy memories in the process will make all the difference. I hope these learning activities for your children when stuck at home help you and your family out. Remember to go easy and be kind to yourself and your family. This transition can be difficult for everyone involved but you can do it.