I always have a kid or two home, but on weekends and school vacations I have all three. There are squabbles and arguing. It’s enough to put a sane mom over the edge. For those of us who weren’t too sane in the first place, we’re already ripping out our hair on day one. Maybe you’re a grandparent and the grand kids are coming for a visit. I can understand your worry. They’ll either plop down like the statues from Dr. Who that only move when you aren’t looking or they’ll run around and tear the house apart like in indoor tornado. I get it.
Here are some great activities (tested by kids and given a big thumbs up by mom) to keep kids of all ages busy and out of mischief.
Activities for Toddlers
So long as your toddler isn’t in the “put everything in mouth” phase, this is a great craft. In addition to making the bird feeders, the kids get to watch the birds enjoy them. See the tutorial at Hello Bee.
Educational, fun, and probably free. This car parking numbers game will keep little ones busy (at least long enough to load the dishwasher without help). See the game details at B-Inspired Mama.
Activities for Preschoolers
This bird feeder is similar, but you can make it educational too. You can put the cereals on all hodge-podge or you can sort the colors and make patterns. Plus, it takes care of snack at the same time! See the tutorial at Sweet & Simple Living.
Math and physics for little ones. This game will have kids entertained for a long time. It involves levers and launching. What isn’t to love? See the game details at Munchkins & Moms.
Activities for Elementary Aged Kids
A fabulous way to use up old broken crayons. Kids will love these custom crayons. When they’ve cooled you can expect a lot of great art for your refrigerator. See the tutorial at Bargain Briana.
Do you have a budding scientist living with you? Kids will love this acids and bases test that is basically a mess-free volcano. See the experiment at Really, Are You Serious.
Activities for Middle School Kids
Melted crayon art is a great way to be creative. You can find some beautiful inspiration at DIY Project Ideas.
Dot-to-dot pictures use to be for little kids. Now they have them for big kids too. With 500 or more dots to find, they will be occupied for quite a while. The dot-to-dots at Dot2Dots include superheroes and villains, cartoon characters, and movie characters.
Fun for All Ages
This craft is great for all ages. If you’re lucky, you might even get a high schooler to participate in a totally nonchalant way. I personally love doing tree art. It makes the yard colorful in the winter gloom. See tutorial at Parents.
Supplies for Success
It’s wise to have some supplies on hand at all times. Often I can bring out “the big creativity box” and the kids come up with their own things to do with the supplies. It’s fun to see how each kid can come up with a unique idea from the same materials. Here’s a few things I always keep in the creativity box:
- Empty containers (like yogurt containers, milk jugs, and squeezy bottles)
- Fabric scraps (including old bed sheets – which make excellent indoor tents)
- Kinetic Sand (seriously, even I love playing with this stuff!)
- K’nex (it says for ages 7+ but my 4 year old loves them)
- Sculpy (my oldest makes statues, my middle makes pinch pots, my youngest makes a mess – it’s all good)
- Plus there’s the ol’ standby of markers, crayons, and colored pencils
Stay as sane as you can while kids are home and stuck indoors! If you’ve got some great children’s crafts to share, be sure to share the link in the comments.