49 Fun and Free Stay at Home Activities for Kids

April 9, 2020
Written by:
Courtney Newman

After you’ve already watched Frozen more times than you’d like to admit and your Play-Doh is properly dried out, you are probably dying for new activities for kids to try during this quarantine. Your kids may be at home because of a school closure, or perhaps you regularly homeschool but the co-ops and activities are canceled. Either way, we are all reaching for new indoor activities and boredom busters! Thankfully, we have found a bunch of awesome activities for kids — and toddlers activities — to enjoy!

The Ultimate List of Home Activities for Kids During Self-Quarantine

When public options like the library start closing down, fun activities for kids feel limited and repetitive. After a few days at home, parents start feeling desperate for new family activities. Sometimes, it can seem like your only options are movies, TV shows, or video games, but then you feel concerned about too much screen time. I get it! Whether you are looking for easy crafts for kids or a list of fun activities for kids that you’ve haven’t already done 100 times, we have great ideas for you!

  1. Lunch Doodles with Author Mo Willems. Do your kids love Mo Willems? This is a great resource for indoor activities! Currently, this playlist has 7 videos for families to enjoy.
  2. Virtual Field Trips! Currently, due to all the school closures, there are lots of virtual field trip opportunities for all students. All students are welcome to join this particular “field trip” series with Dr. Kevin Folta. He will be presenting several 30 minute Facebook live videos ranging from science to agriculture for grades 3-6.
  3. Free Met Opera Streaming. This is a great chance to introduce your student to the arts! The Metropolitan Opera is offering daily free streaming of their archive of operas from the past 14 years. Find more specific information here.
  4. National Park Virtual Tours. Thanks to the magic of Google, we can now explore 360-degree views of National Parks without leaving our homes! What a great resource for homeschool social studies!
  5. Virtual Ocean Dives! As with the National Parks, students can see the wonders of the ocean below the surface with these 360-degree virtual dives.
  6. Seattle Symphony Broadcasts. The Seattle Symphony is now offering free virtual broadcasts, streamed through YouTube and Facebook! Visit their website to learn more.
  7. Wigmore Hall’s Streamed Videos. Wigmore Hall is now offering their archive of streamed videos through on-demand services! Wigmore Hall is a London-based concert hall, which has closed its doors for nearly a month. To continue reaching audiences, you can find videos of these inspiring performances on their website.
  8. Take Ivy League Courses. This may not fall into the category of “fun,” but as homeschool parents, this is an excellent opportunity for our older students! Ivy League schools have opened access to 450 free online courses!
  9. Scholastic Digital Learning Hub. As parents, we love the publishing company, Scholastic! Due to the school closures, they have created a free digital learning hub for various subjects of study. Students will be able to explore Language Arts, STEM, social studies, and more through the curriculum.
  10. Peloton App 90-Day Trial. Need an outlet for movement and exercise during your self-quarantine? Many of us are feeling restricted with the closure of public gyms. Peloton is offering a 90-day free trial with their app!
  11. Gold’s Gym AMP App.  You’ll get access to over 600 audio and video workouts!
  12. Yoga Classes. If you prefer yoga, there are a couple of websites offering free yoga class video workouts right now! Work on your flexibility, strength, and meditation from the comfort of your own home.
    1. Core Power Yoga free video archive
    2. Down Dog free yoga classes
  13. Family Board Games. It’s a good time to play board games together! Grab your classic favorites, or buy a couple of new games on Amazon Prime for two-day delivery!
  14. Movie Nights. You can make nights at home extra fun by watching a new or favorite movie together. Better yet, make popcorn and break out the candy!
  15. Baking as a Family. Cookies, cakes, pies, bread…whatever you like, Pinterest is full of great ideas for delicious baked goods. It’s a good time to teach the kids about baking science.
  16. Coloring Books. Coloring never goes out of style. Even if you don’t already have coloring books at home, there are lots of free coloring printables online.
  17. Drawing. Encourage your kids to draw pictures, whether with colored pencils, pens, markers, or crayons!
  18. Painting. Most kids love to paint. This is a good time to lay out paper, paintbrushes, and paint pots. Whether you use paint by numbers or leave it up to your child’s imagination, it will provide plenty of fun!
  19. Bike Rides. Another great idea for exercise is a family bike ride. If you have quiet streets around your home, it can be fun for everyone to ride bicycles together.
  20. Nature Walks. You can practice social distancing while getting fresh air. At least at the moment in the U.S., there’s no reason to always stay in the house — just keep at least 6 feet away from other people. Nature walks are a wonderful way to get outside, release some energy and cramped legs, and maybe even hands-on homeschool science with leaf collecting or nature exploration!
  21. Homemade Greeting Cards. It is always so much more meaningful to receive a homemade card. Family and friends will love homemade birthday cards, anniversary cards, and holiday well-wishes.
  22. Tie-Dye a T-Shirt. Tie-dying is a fun family activity! It’s exciting for kids to see the results of their efforts at the end of the process, and it’s fun to get creative with tying and selecting colors. Here’s how to tie-dye a shirt.
  23. S’mores Night. In addition to barbecuing, enjoy an outdoor s’mores night together if you have a firepit.  Even if you don’t have a firepit or fires aren’t currently permitted in your county (I’m looking at you, southwestern states!), you can still enjoy the fun with indoor s’mores!
  24. Jigsaw Puzzles. Working on a puzzle as a family is always entertaining. Clear your dining table, because you’ll need plenty of space. Start with a smaller puzzle, like a 300 piece, and work up to solving a 1000 piece puzzle together!
  25. Calls to Grandparents. Nothing makes a grandparent’s day more than a call from their grandbabies. Now is a great time to spend time catching up with the grandparents or other relatives.
  26. Writing Snail Mail. Even in today’s technology age, kids get so excited to see their names on mail. Have your child write a letter to a loved one or friend, or help them write it if necessary.  Your recipient will love receiving the note, and your child will be giddy with excitement as they anticipate a response.
  27. Card Games. There are so many different card games to play together! Whether you just use a classic deck of cards or a game like Uno, this is a good time to bring out the cards.
  28. Magic Tricks. Do you have a budding magician on your hands? It can be fun to learn magic tricks together, and you have plenty of time to practice! Whether you have a magic tricks kit or just some YouTube videos and household items, your kids are bound to have fun.
  29. Face Painting. It’s a well-known fact: kids love getting their faces painted. They will pretty much jump on any chance they get! Why not harness that excitement by having a face painting session at home? It doesn’t matter how artistic you are, the kids will still have a blast. And, you can always try again! 
  30. Plant Seeds. It’s the end of March, which means it’s warm enough in many areas for planting seeds! Even if you are quarantined at home, you can enjoy the beautiful spring weather by planting flowers, bulbs, vegetables, herbs, etc. You could create that flower bed you’ve always wanted, or start a vegetable garden for home-grown food!
  31. Preparing International Cuisine Together. This coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone around the globe. As you discuss the various countries struggling with the virus, consider planning themed international cuisine nights in their honor! It is always fun to try a new cuisine, it creates wonderful memories to cook together, and everyone can learn about different cultures.
  32. Home Workouts Together. Still need ideas for letting out pent-up energy or relieving boredom? Exercise together! There are hundreds of free workout videos on YouTube. You could even follow this 14-Day Quarantine Workout Plan from Blogilates! Even better, all of the exercises in that workout plan are apartment-friendly!
  33. Homemade Pizza and Games Night. You could lay out a spread of toppings for a pizza bar! Everyone chooses their toppings on certain slices or for personal pan pizzas. Along those lines, you could also have a taco bar — or sundaes for dessert!
  34. Create an Enormous Domino Line. One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was playing with dominoes. You could always play actual domino games, like Mexican Train or Chickenfoot, or challenge yourselves to build a domino line around the house!
  35. Kite Flying. Make use of the spring weather by flying kites together! Even if you don’t have a large yard, you can fly kites at a public park field.
  36. Makerspace Fun. Have you heard of makerspaces? All this downtime at home can be a great chance to build your own for STEM creativity with your kids!
  37. Paint with Bubbles. Have you heard of bubble artwork? This is an incredibly unique and immersive activity for kids to try. Not only that, but the results are amazing!
  38. DIY Slime. If you’re a parent, you likely didn’t make it out of the slime phase of 2016-2017 without hearing about making your own slime. Kids (and adults, too!) are obsessed with it! I’m looking for things to do at home, so it sounds like a good idea to me!
  39. Study Geography. Learn about the countries around the world, the 50 U.S. States and those most affected by COVID-19.
  40. Home Scavenger Hunts. When all else fails, nothing beats a good scavenger hunt. These are a timeless activity for everyone!
  41. Duolingo Lessons. Take advantage of this free time by learning a new language! Duolingo is free and easy to use. You can also consider these other free options for helping your kids learn a foreign language.
  42. Fort Building. Kids pretty much love nothing better than building a cool fort. Whether you choose to build on in a bedroom, the living room, or even out on the porch, this is a good home activity that the kids are sure to totally flip for.
  43. Chalk Driveway Drawings. As a child, I remember loving drawing on the driveway with chalk! Again, at the moment in the U.S., we can get fresh air as long as we still stay away from close contact with other people. So, grab the chalk and head outside!
  44. Make Your Own Playdough. Sure, you could just use store-bought playdough, OR, you could use the extra time on your hands to learn how to make your own and have fun with the process! As a bonus, you know exactly what ingredients your kids will be playing with and don’t need to worry about any nasty chemicals.
  45. Homemade Paper. Most of us have never thought about making paper, but it’s a fun activity to try with the kids and a great learning experience!
  46. Learn to Make Animations. Ever tried your hand at animation? It would be a fun project to learn and create an animation featuring your kids! Even better, help your kids learn simple animation and then let them have at it. Hours of entertainment!
  47. Blow Bubbles. Blowing bubbles is exciting for all ages. Even if you don’t have bubbles at home, you can make your own with water, corn syrup, and dish soap!
  48. LEGO Building. Challenge your kids to build something they’ve never made before, or find instructions off the internet! You could even order a kit off Amazon if you want to get serious about it.
  49. Build a Bird Feeder. Personally, we think bird feeders are more fun than bird houses because birds actually enjoy them! Though it’s last on the list, one of our top activities for kids is building a bird feeder kit! After it’s built, your kids can paint it, fill it with bird seed, and then enjoy watching the birds discover their new buffet!

Thankfully, staying home from school or public places does not mean staying inside. There are several activities for kids to enjoy right outside your door, whether at the local park, on your patio, in the driveway, or even a balcony. Though these are stressful times, the Vitamin D and fresh air will do all of us a lot of good. And, when you simply cannot spend time outside due to bad weather or lack of options, we hope you can enjoy several of these indoor activities as well. Stay safe, friends!

Courtney Newman

Courtney Newman is a homeschooled graduate with a love for writing. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health Science at University of the People. Other than writing, her hobbies include reading, yoga, visiting the beach, and meditating. She lives with her husband and pets in coastal Virginia.