So the kids have been home for a month and you’re running out of fun ideas. Never fear! Bartell’s is here again with another set of fun kids activities that you can pull together quickly and easily.
Sure. Bartell Drugs has a crazy array of stuff to entertain your kids, including board games, puzzles, Pokemon cards, plushes, arts, crafts, LEGO and more. But first and foremost, we want you to stay safe and comfortably distanced, so you’ll likely have most, if not all, of the suggested supplies in your pantry, or simply from the little piles of things strewn haphazardly about the house.
Did we mention the kids have been home for a month solid?
It’s classic and can be played nearly everywhere in the house. Basic concept: spread pillows or other items around the floor, and tell your kids the floor is not “hot lava”. They can only hop from one item to another, without touching the carpet. Now from personal experience I’ll say that in the past, this game was constantly on the precipice of being shut down by my wife and me as my kids threw pillows on the ground to use as stepping stones and our pillows got smooshed with dirty feet. As they say though, trying not to get yelled at is the mother of invention.
These days we’re using dirty laundry. Not super dirty. You know. The right kind of dirty. Parents, I know you get it. Kids will relish the opportunity to throw laundry all around the floor, you’ll enjoy the lack of little toe prints on your throw pillows. Have them lay out a course around the house and do time trials. Then have them put all articles of a particular color (i.e. blue) or category (i.e. socks) back in the hamper and re-run the course.
Once the course has been run a few times, everything goes into the hamper. We took things a successful step further and taught our seven-year-old do laundry. It’s now a distinct point of pride. We’ll catch him trying to quickly drag hampers past us to do surprise loads. Surprise laundry. I can’t be more proud.
Diet cola and Mentos? Spectacular and super sciencey. Despite some popular urban myths, the explosive reaction between this dynamic duo is a physical reaction, not a chemical one. Here’s a great explanation of what is happening in the bottle as the froth fountain forms.
Rather not waste 2L of caffeine and/or your rum’s best friend? Go retro. Visit ghosts of science faires past and create a baking soda volcano. Sure there are recipes with fewer ingredients, but the extra bits, like the dish soap, really add the zazz to this classic chemical reaction. Get as crafty you want with the exterior, or eschew it all together and go straight for the reaction. It’s all about the gratification bay-bee! #QuarantineLife
Already checked these off the list? Here’s an awesome list of experiments that can be done with stuff around the house.
Yes. I know, you’ve already had the kids plant seeds and watch them sprout. Yay! Now’s the time when things get violent. It’s time to start weeding and as we all know, weeding is war. I’ve successfully gotten my children to understand that weeds if left unchecked, will ruin our plans and spoil the work we’ve already done. Weeds steal sunlight, moisture, and other resources from the plants you are intending to grow. Both of my kids relish their role as defenders of the ‘good plants’ and vanquishers of the ‘bad ones’. They like being invested in the outcome and progress their plants make and understand that part of that progress is dependent on keeping the garden as weed-free as possible. Additionally, It doesn’t hurt that the weather has been great, or that dirt is involved. My kids are big fans of dirt.
You haven’t even started planting? Ok. No judgment. If that’s the case, then have the kids round up their fist-sized rocks out of a designated area of the yard. This will set you up for future success in two key ways:
1. It clears the way for future planting.
2. Medium-sized rocks are good for creating garden borders, weighing down things like tarps and buckets. You’ll be surprised how handy a known pile of rocks can be around the yard.
This one’s a perennial favorite around my house. Here’s how I do it, but once you get the idea, I’m confident you can freestyle it to suit your particular kiddos.
1) Write out ~a dozen major landmarks from around your home.
2) Cut the appropriate number of sheets of printer paper into 4ths. (i.e. if you choose a full dozen, you’ll need 3 sheets of paper)
3) Use pencils, pens or crayons to draw representative pictures of your landmarks.
4) In each drawing include an “X”
- The X will be the location of a clue or prize so place it in a spot that would be realistic for your landmark.
5) Once you’re done with your landmark clue sheets, you can begin to place them around your home.
- Start by placing your end prize. My kids enjoy the journey, so a small stakes prize like a quarter or a piece of candy will be worth the exercise.
- Then, place the clue that leads you to the prize, and then work backward from there creating a logical string of clues.
1. The prize is next to the toaster.
2. Place the clue that leads to the toaster on the dryer
3. Place the clue that leads to the dryer under their pillow
4. Place the clue that leads under their pillow in the vegetable drawer of the fridge
5. And so on.
PRO TIP: To make it more ‘piratey’, use a brown paper bag to replicate parchment. Colored pencil looks great on brown paper if you go this route.
And there you have it for this round. We hope you and your family continue to stay safe and healthy, and look forward to bumping into you out there in the real world, in the near future. Fingers crossed!
More is better! Please share your favorite family-fun activity with us in the comments below!