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Potpourri of 32 Interesting Gadget -Free Activities to Keep Your Children Engaged and Happy During Forced Vacation 2020

Updated on May 15, 2020
Sowrabha Mahesh profile image

Freelance writer/mother of two,teenager from Mars and a 10yr old fromVenus.Sometimes,I wonder if it’s me teaching them or vice versa.

Vacation 2020. A vacation that started much ahead of schedule and threatens to continue for quite some time. A vacation where resources might be limited, where we are learning new ways of working and connecting, where your dream vacation will remain just that, where the question as to when schools will reopen remains a question mark.

And yet, there are opportunities to connect like never before. There is access to a wide variety of digital resources, a mixed blessing. There are cases where work-from-home has ensured that children have both parents for company.

And in some cases, grandparents are also around and it is a double bonanza. So, with a little bit of creativity and planning, the word ‘boredom’ can be sent on a holiday as well.

Holidays is the time for kids to dabble with a variety of activities without any inhibition. Pursuing activities simply for fun, to experience the joy of creation and not worry about rewards -reprimands. To delve into your inner self and discover latent talents. To discover new connections between yourself and your loved ones.

It is possible to instill sensitivity, creativity, very valuable daily Life-skills and values vicariously through these activities without much fuss. This year particularly, kids have to learn to leverage and get creative with existing resources, a skill that will hold them in good stead always. All we need to remember is that kids like to be involved, taken into confidence and treated like a mini-adult.

There are two things we should give our is roots and the other is wings...
There are two things we should give our is roots and the other is wings... | Source

Taking stock and planning

  1. Get together with your kids and make an inventory of all the art and craft material that they have. Also let them to come up with ideas to utilise these materials. Kids can come up with the craziest and most offbeat ideas. Ditto with story books and toys. This process wakes kids to their own resources. Like my kids invariably say at the end of our discovery session ‘I feel rich. ‘
  2. Decide on what games-apps they are allowed to install and use and decide on the limits. Same with T.V shows.
  3. Kids interested in science and DIY projects can create a treasure chest with all the knick-knack, scraps and leftover, reusable items.So now time to get stared ……. yay!!!!

    Let’s start in the kitchen

    Kids seem to grow an extra stomach during the holidays, no wonder they are always hungry. Also, kitchen is where they can also learn a lot of science. So, a quick dash to the kitchen…

  4. Cooking is fun, brings out creative energy and you have something to eat at the end of all the hard work. Some of the items that kids can try are plain simple noodles with vegetables, sandwiches with variety of veggies, smoothies, simple biscuit cake, fruit salad, chat with variety of fillings, biscuit chat. Kids love baking and can be introduced to activities like beating, mixing, pouring., fermenting, steaming.
  5. Teach your kids how to use some of the kitchen equipments always keeping in mind safety. Could be toaster, food processor, hand held whisker, grater, masher, vegetable cutter. Also, give them a brief introduction into what vessels are used for which kitchen activity, where staples, rice, pulses, spices are stored.
  6. Depending on the age, kids can be taught to set curd, cut veggies and fruits. In fact, you can convert their kitchen time into a MasterChef contest with a timer, a set of activities, a time limit and endless commentary. Some kids really discover their ‘gift of the gab’ in such times.

    Story time
  7. Kids are avid story tellers and though they might not put Enid Blyton/ Sudha Murthy to shame yet, can come with some interesting story lines. Write the names of some popular stories in a chit. Once a chit is selected ask your children/child to change either the beginning or end or any part of the story line

  8. Another variation is to ask them to mix up two or three stories. You’ll be left asking for more. Give them a bunch of characters and ask them to create their own stories. For e.g. your children, their 4 friends, a dog, an old wise man, a banyan tree and ask them to add one more character of their choice
  9. Spin-a-yarn is another popular game. The first person starts a story, the next says the second line and so on. This can be made into a family game where everybody can participate. Something that starts out as a horror story would end up as a comedy. Super fun!
  10. Become quite the storyteller and read out stories. Put lights on dim and make it exciting. Listening to the stories is great as opposed to watching it because it can take children’s imagination on a beautiful ride besides helping them with grammar and vocabulary.

    Drama time
  11. This is taking story time a step further. Let the kids dress up with whatever they have available and enact a play. Kids can be hugely resourceful and some of the costume ideas can leave you in splits. If you have only one kid let him/her enact a mime.
  12. In the night, switch off the lights and create a shadow play. Create animals with nothing but your hands and an own story. Satisfying!

    Mind Games

  13. Brainvita, Puzzles, Brain-teasers, Riddles, Word Power, Jigsaw puzzle,Rubiks Cube are all-time favourites. Introduce kids to games that you played as a child.
  14. Name, place, animal, thing and 20 questions are other popular games. In 20 questions, one person thinks of a personality, place, event and the other person has to use 20 questions to guess the answer. The questions have to framed such that they should only be answered with a yes or a no.
  15. ‘Atlas game’ - as the name goes is where one child tells the name of an obscure city in the atlas and the other person has to locate it within 90 seconds. 5 clues are allowed. This is an under-the -table way of learning new cities, states and countries from the atlas. Smart, right!
  16. Board games such as Monopoly, Chess, Scrabble,Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Carrom Board, Scrabble can bring the whole family together and provide endless hours of fun.

    Exercise time
  17. Let your kid/s be your fitness partner. Swap exercises. They teach you and you teach them. Kids make for great teachers.
  18. Kids and Yoga makes for a great combination. Basic yoga exercises including the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) can be helpful in developing concentration and helps in channelizing the extra scattered energy.
  19. Teaching kids some form of meditation is extremely important for the chaotic COVID times we are in. It is important to highlight the linkages between the mind and the breath. When we are angry, our breathing becomes shallow and when we are relaxed our breathing is deep. So, one effective simple method of controlling the mind is through controlling the breath.

    Connecting with Mother Earth
  20. Experience the beauty of Nature by witnessing sunrises ,sunsets and listening to the chirping of birds.
  21. Discuss with your kids as to what measures that can be taken at a family level to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. Discuss the pros-cons of each measure. The time for just drawing pictures captioned ‘Save Earth, Save Water ‘is over. It is time for action.
  22. Learning how to create paper bags of different sizes with newspapers can be a good start.
  23. Kids can create their own pen stands, stationery holder with thick paper and storage boxes using cardboard. Also, coconut shells - sandpapered and painted - serve as beautiful stand/holders for knick-knack.
  24. Pista shells, discarded CD’s, newspapers can all be reused to create things of beauty.
  25. Get kids to create a ‘Electronic junk bin’ wherein go all the unusable electronic items which can only be sent to e-waste bins. Make them in-charge of this bin.
  26. Let kids measure how much water is being used for brushing, bathing etc by a simple experiment. Open the tap for a full minute and fill a bucket. Using the bucket’s capacity, it is possible to then estimate how much water is used for simple activities like brushing when the tap is turned on all the whole while and otherwise. This will make eco-evangelist out of them.

    Building Bridges Between Generations

  27. At least one family meal with all family members together would be a wonderful idea. How about kids also involving in setting the table, serving, cleaning after the meal.
  28. Grandparents are repositories of wisdom and unconditional love. They are also a treasure-trove of stories and wisdom. Spending time with grandparents can be mutually beneficial.
  29. One grandfather I know teaches chess and gardening to his grandson and a grandmother yoga and sewing . And in turn they are coached on using mobile devices by their grandchildren.
  30. Grandparents can share stories from their life, ones they have heard and read. Grandparents can assist kids in creating very detailed Family Tree going back as many generations as their memory allows. They can also create a Family Story Album with stories from the family with illustrations and photos. Sometimes, reality can be more interesting than fiction. Older kids can also create a similar cookbook of the family’s heirloom recipes, medicinal herbs used.
  31. If grandparents or parents know any other language, this is the best time to learn it. Don’t expect mastery, just some basic language skills. Also, this is the time for improved proficiency in mother tongue.
  32. Last but most important, let us all collectively as a family pray for humanity that is reeling under the COVID-19 outbreak and be grateful for all the COVID superheroes.

The family that plays together stays together

Junior Pictionary Mania
Junior Pictionary Mania
an interesting family game

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 sowspeaks


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    • nitinkhaire profile image

      Nitin Khaire 

      4 days ago from Mumbai

      A wonderful collection of activities during the lockdown. Thank you for writing these wonderful ideas. It would be very helpful to keep the kids occupied constructively and be entertaining as well. Great article, Sowrabha.

    • profile image


      5 days ago

      This is superb! You have reminded me of all the forgotten activities which we did as children. You have also introduced many new and creative ideas too. Home is a really nice n safe place to be if we all can stay in hormony n know the value of time, one of the precious gift of God.

    • profile image

      Shwetha S G 

      5 days ago

      Very beautifully written.Thanks for putting up so many interesting and wonderfull activites. It made me go back to the olden days as how occupied we were with these activities. It made me recall many stuff which were completely forgotten over time. Thanks once again for summoning all the wonderful things in one listing to keep our kids engaged.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      6 days ago from Bengaluru

      Thank you Shreekrishna ji for that positive comment. Hope you are getting to spend lovely time with your family.

    • shreekrishna sharma profile image


      6 days ago from MANGALORE

      Nicely presented various activities a child can be engaged during their vacation. Helpful article for caring parents and grandparents who spends more time with children.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      13 days ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Suchi ! Thanks for your lovely comment. How old is your little one. Hope you and your little one are finding happiness in each other’s company during the lockdown.

    • Suchismita pradhan profile image

      Suchismita Pradhan 

      2 weeks ago from India

      A well presented and well researched article.I love the way you have described your profile.

      My little one is struggling due to this lockdown Iam sure this article is going to help me.Thank you so much for for sharing.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Swati, I am sure you are a great mother and will have lot of fun playing with your kids this vacation.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Rajinderji ,thank you spending time at my hub and highlighting all that was of interest to you. This particular holiday is unique in that kids have to entertain themselves completely at home. But thankfully there are lots of activities that can be enjoyed at home.Happy that you could relate to it and am sure that your wife will find it very useful. Take care and stay safe at home.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi AndazeAkash, your comment reveals your sensitive nature. Thank you for connecting to my article and taking the time to drop a comment.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Nikhil !Great to know that you are playing cricket with your cousins getting fit and them feeling happy ..what a great combination. Indeed there is a lot that we and the kids can do staying at home even with the lockdown. Thanks for your warm comment.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Arnaba ! Thanks for that comment.True, I hope that kids realise that they can have fun even sitting at home .And Atlas is one game that I enjoy playing even now with my kids. And we were truly a blessed generation and hope that we can at least share a few the younger generation.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Thank you Prateek for those words of appreciation. I believe that this holiday is the right time to bond and we should take full advantage of that.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      3 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Chitrangada ! Thank you so much for the warm welcome and wishes.

      Happy to know that you enjoyed the article. Let us make the best of this time with kids.

    • sachnikh profile image

      Nikhil Sharma 

      3 weeks ago from India

      Hello Sowrabha.

      We may not realize it, but there are countless, amazing things, and games to engage your children during vacation or difficult times like lockdown. Be it doing simple yet effective exercises at home, connecting with nature, to spending time playing games, you've beautifully written this article and has provided us with a lot of information.

      Since the lockdown has implemented, and I have been playing cricket on the terrace with my little cousins. And this has immensely helped me too to stay fit and healthy. Thank you for writing such an awesome article Sourabha.

    • Arnaba Saha profile image

      Arnaba Saha 

      3 weeks ago from New Delhi

      Hi Sowrabha Ji, this article reminded me of my childhood. Thankfully, I come from the last generation (I think) that was blessed to enjoy these fun-filled and exciting activities indoors. Nowadays, it is all about smartphones and computers.

      Personally, I am a huge fan of board games. And the Atlas game; it was my favorite game that I played all through my growing up years with my father and brother.

      Honestly, I would be enthralled if even two or three of these activities inspire the young generation to stay at home and enjoy family time. Yeah, coronavirus has compelled them to be confined in their homes. But I wish they start appreciating the best staying at home.

      Thanks again Sowrabha for this wonderful hub.

    • AndazeAkash profile image


      3 weeks ago

      You had provided such a wonderful information. I liked all the points but I liked the point Building Bridge Between Generations the most. It is the need of today's era as many of us are going far away from the family. It is also very important for our children to connect with nature. They also have to know the value of health. Wonderful.

    • Kh swati profile image

      Swati Khandelwal 

      3 weeks ago from Nainital

      Hi sowrabha, as a mother it is very difficult to get kids engaged in activities, I know it very well, sometimes it becomes a topsy turvy land but the way you explained how we can engage our kids in various interesting activities is super awesome. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I find we just do not have enough time in the day to play play play. We missed scrabble and almost bike riding today. My boy's in home school work takes a lot of time.

      Great article.

    • talesofvikram profile image

      Vikram Brahma 

      3 weeks ago from Assam, India

      Hey you have shared so many activities for kids to do in vacations. I am sure if any parents will read your article will definitely going to try. Thank you for sharing so many activities for kids.

    • PrateekJain24 profile image

      Prateek Jain 

      3 weeks ago from Madhya Pradesh, India

      Wonderful articles mam, you have noted down some practical and important points. These activities are really very important for an overall development of every individual. This is the perfect time to inculcate these habits in children. Your thoughts are really pure, that are reflecting in your article. Keep writing and keep sharing these kinds of valuable information. Thank you mam.

    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

      Very good and suggestions shared in the article.. will wait for many more articles from you.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR


      3 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Muralikrishna ji you just made me smile with that comment... all of us mothers are always looking to banish the ‘bore’ word .Also because of the lockdown and social distancing kids can’t play outdoors nor visit their friends but this is an excellent opportunity for parents to teach , instill values and bond better with their children this summer.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent article, with wonderful suggestions to keep the children engaged during these times, or during the holidays. I can relate to it, and I am sure that many readers will benefit from your well written article.

      Thank you for sharing. Welcome to HubPages. Wish you great times ahead.

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      3 weeks ago from South India

      A fantastic plan for a vacation with a perfectly categorised and balanced package, Ms Sowrabha, I wonder if you do vacation planning like this, then I must get a chance to see academic planning also!

      Your apprehension and idea to remain with the kids for having entertainment and fun are very good. But I would rather suggest that if they are a good company of similar age group, you leave them on their own. They will have a lifelong momentous holiday this time.


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