10 Activities to Keep Your Children Busy

I know that I am always looking for ideas to keep my kids busy when we can't get outside. I look for activities that are easy to do and that do not take a lot of money or resources to do them. Most things that we find to do, are done using things that we already have at the house. Here is a list of my 10 favorite things to do with my children.

1.) Play board games and hand out small prizes

Any kid game will do. My children love Gone Fishing!, Trouble, and Bingo. Find small prizes or make some up. For example, make a coupon to get out of a chore or one that allows dessert before dinner. Kids love the games and it makes it a little more fun when a prize is offered. Just make sure that each kid gets a prize...to be fair.

2.) Build a fort out of blankets

My children love this activity. We gather all of the blankets that we have in the house and build a fort with them in the living room. We have even used big boxes when we have them. Kids love the “secret” feeling that the fort offers and this is guaranteed to keep them busy for hours. They may even protest when it is time to clean things up!

3.) Hold an art contest

Gather up some paper and crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paint. Have your children (and even yourself) create a great masterpiece. Have someone “judge” the art to see who is the best. The winner could get a small prize. The winning piece could get framed and hung for everyone to admire.

4.) Make some snacks and pop in a movie

This is another one of my children's favorite activities. We make popcorn, pick one of the kids favorite movies (who cares if you have seen it a million times), and sit down and watch the movie. Make the room dark and turn up the volume so that it gives off a movie theater vibe.

5.) Bake

This doesn't have to be an elaborate task. I always have a cake mix or cookie mix laying around. When we have nothing else to do, we bake! Kids love the hands-on activity and it really makes them proud to make something others will enjoy. Let them get dirty! Have them do it all (with your guidance of course). When it is all ready, sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor together.

6.) Follow the Leader

Have someone be the leader and lead you and the other children throughout the house. The ones behind the leader have to go everywhere and do everything that the leader does. Have the leader do silly things like look in the mirror and fix their hair, stop to pet the dog, etc. Set a timer so that everyone has a chance at being the leader. This can be quite a silly game and children love it!

7.) Have a silly dance-off

Put on some kid-friendly music and have a dance-off. Everyone start dancing and who ever is the last one dancing is the winner. My oldest son loves to dance and listen to music. He also has a lot of energy. This activity wears him out, but he loves it!

8.) Play I-Spy

Have someone be the “spy” Have them say I spy_______. They give clues as to what it is. When someone guess what they are spying, then that person has a go at it. This is an activity that could keep a group of kids busy for hours!

9.) Develop a craft bin and have craft time

The craft bin doesn't have to be elaborate. Ours has paper, crayons, finger paints, markers, glitter, play-dough, stencils, and miscellaneous craft items that I had laying around. Get the craft bin out and look for craft ideas (there are tons online for free). Create beautiful crafts. The crafts could be given for gifts or kept to display around the house.

10.) Make up a play, dress up, and act it out

Make up a play. Something simple, maybe a spin-off of the kids' favorite story. Have them dress-up in the characters using things around the house. Have the children act out the play. If company comes over, the children can act out the play for them. Some families make this a holiday tradition, but it is good to do anytime of the year.

There are many, many more activities that can be done using very little money or effort. All it takes to make any activity successful is a little time and a little love. Remember that children are not perfect and the activities do not have to be perfect. The idea is to spend time with your children and enjoy the innocence they offer everyday.


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Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

I love these tips - especially the baking, where everyone gets involved and the Follow the leader as this is something that will help them in future.

Would definitely refer to this again for summer school or when I'm baby sitting my friends kids.

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