20 stress relieving activities to do at home with kids.

March 16, 2020

With the country on the verge of a mandatory quarantine, I spent the weekend trying to get organized for schooling our kids at home, and having boredom busters on hand so we all still like each other at the end of this! I hope this list is helpful. We can do this one day at a time! Included some things you can order online as well so you don’t have to leave your home…

1.Family game night: Qwirkle, Sleeping Queens, Jenga, Catan Jr., Sorry, Monopoly deal, 500 piece puzzle, etc.

2. Activity Trays – This was really helpful last summer for my toddler aged kiddos. I used white acrylic trays to change out different activities for the morning hours. If it’s warm enough outside you can create a water sensory bucket as well. I used this set for Rocco and Azelie as pictured above. Busy Toddler has some fantastic ideas for stationary activities.

3. Yoga for Kids show – It’s a little quirky, but totally fascinates the kids and is a good way to direct their energy and exercise indoors without bouncing off the walls.

4. Write letters to grandparents or far away relatives. We have cousins and relatives that live across the U.S. that we plan to write to. 

kiwi crates

5.Cooking and baking – Everyone help to make a family recipe. Veronica has the old American Girl Doll cookbooks and Max has been looking through my other favorites. Foodstirs has some really fun food baking kits for kids as well. We use these kids knives so they can help with chopping:)

6. Backyard obstacle course – I realize this isn’t possible for everyone, but if you have a basement or yard space, setting up a mini obstacle course makes your kids feel like they are the next American ninja warrior Jr.

7. Kiwi Crates are fantastic. They have everything you need in a box for a science, engineering, or play and my kids have loved them. Gabriel (10yrs.) looks forward to his engineering box every month because they are a good construction challenge for him. They have different age range activities starting at 12 mo. through 14 yrs. ($10 off coupon here.)

Forts are always a good idea.

8. Home library – Something my younger kids love is when I set up a little home library for them. You can set up rows of books for them to choose from, have lounge areas to read, and even have a check out station.We have a play cash register with a scanner that scans their “library cards” and books they decide to check out. For library cards we use old rewards cards or they make their own.

9. Home grocery store – Similar concept, except we set out all of the play food and the home kitchen with cart for them to shop and pay for groceries with their cash register.

10. Dance freeze party – It it’s raining out, we do this after dinner to get their energy out. Every time we pause the dance music, you have to freeze. If you move after it pauses, you are out. Last one standing wins.

11. File activity folders – Crediting this idea to my mom, who was an incredibly creative former teacher who tested all of her fun ideas when we were little. Using manila folders, she would print out black and white copies of learning sheets and laminate them inside the folders so that we could re-use them over and over. Pinterest has a bunch of resources for these. Just search “file folder activities.”

12. Baking clay activities – Veronica got a baking clay and bead box for Christmas and is using some free time to make keychains and necklaces. We also have tried making mini foods. Here is a basic Baking clay kit + tools set.

13. Building station – I’ve talked about these before, but we probably use magna-tiles, legos (this is a good builder set), and lincoln logs are our most used toys. If you have any of these set up a simple area with building challenges your kiddos can try depending on their ages.

Faces from foliage

14. Painting with music – my kids are never more quiet than when I put on a good playlist and get out some watercolors. It’s not as messy as paint, and can be washed up and cleaned pretty quickly. some good starting materials for the kids: Paints, brushes, paper
For you (because yes painting is therapeutic for everyone even if you think you have zero talent): Watercolors, brushes, trays (you can use tupperware lids or mochi containers), paper pads

15. Go for a walk, collect foliage, and make fun faces! Check the hashtag #facethefoliage on instagram to see how many different ideas people have done so far.

16. At home cinema – If you have a projector, set up a little at home cinema with tickets for popcorn or treats and cozy blankets and pillows on the floor.

17. Land of Dough – Ordered a few tubs of this fun sensory dough! A lot of fun options. This is another great small business you can support too! Or if you want to make your own play dough we like this recipe.

18. Nature hike scavenger hunt – we are lucky to live near a small mountain hike trail so I have a list of things to look out for on our hike to turn it into a scavenger hunt game for the kids.

19. Roller rink – Have an unfinished basement, garage space, or driveway? Put on some music and encourage your kids to rollerblade or skate! (I used to do this with my sisters when I was little, and we would have so much fun.)

20. Screen time – Might I recommend Disney+? 😉

What else would you add to this list? Leave you ideas below so we can all benefit from them!

Leave a Comment

  • These are all awesome ideas! I’m honestly really excited about having my kids home and just going with the flow with them!


  • Thank you for sharing all these ideas! We spent the weekend planning ahead as well and it’s been helpful to incorporate my own exercise (for sanity), to make sure they are helping with chores throughout the day (simple stuff, but keeps the house from becoming a dump), and letting each child “lead” an actively each day. We can all do this! Attitude is everything!

  • Thank you for these great ideas! I also like to create potato stamps and create great images with colors and stamps! They can also draw on top of them. 🙂
    You can also buy textile colors and stamp on bags or shirts.

  • Schoolbox Co!

  • What a great post Anna! So many fun ideas. I was reading lately All-of-A-kind-Family, a sweet little read aloud, and after Jane and Theo spent the whole afternoon playing library. They made such a sweet little scene with a cart for books and they pulled the cash register out too. I truly wanted to just go play instead of making dinner. I have no idea why “library” has never been played here before but it was a hit! You’re littles would enjoy this book if they haven’t read it.

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