Keeping the kids busy is probably one of the hardest things to do when we are social distancing during this COVID-19 outbreak. We are stuck inside with nowhere to go or do. Handing them a tablet can be an easy way to keep them entertained. But, with a few simple items, you can keep those brains working and have some family fun!
1. Marshmallow Engineering
Marshmallows and pretzel sticks, that’s it! This idea is so simple and it can be done in many different ways. You can have the kids go at it and create whatever they want. You can also give them a theme like, “Make buildings.” I’ve also done this with toothpicks, grapes, jellybeans and gumdrops. It also makes a good snack afterward – win-win! TIP: Put marshmallows/grapes/jellybeans/ gumdrops in the fridge beforehand, it makes your structures sturdier.
2. Fluffy Slime
Two ingredients, hours of fun! All you need is hair conditioner and cornstarch.
3. Lego Creation Prompts
I simply love these. This gives children a starting point to create whatever they want with Legos. You can even make your own! I use these at the daycare where I work and change it up based on a theme. Here are a couple of ideas.
4. Melting Crayons
Cut up crayons and create new crayons in the oven! TIP: Make sure you get a silicone pan. You cannot use regular bakeware for this. You need a flexible one to get the crayons out easily.
5. How Many Drops Can You Fit on a Coin? Science Experiment at Home!
This can be done with pocket change, literally! All you need is a dropper and coins. You can start with water and move on to any other liquid you may have around the house. Examples: Vegetable oil, vinegar, sunscreen or dishwasher liquid.
6. Marble Tracks
This is fun! You just need toilet paper/paper towel rolls, paper plates, scissors, tape and marbles. Have your children create a track however they want. They can design it, test it and tweak it as necessary. This is an amazing activity to exercise the brain!
7. How Do You Make an Eggshell Disappear?
This is soooo cool! You need an egg, a jar and white vinegar.
8. Easter Egg Towers! Perfect for Toddlers and Preschoolers
All you need for this are plastic Easter eggs. Have your child see how high they can make a tower! Side note: My daughter is in love with those YouTube surprise egg videos. Please tell me some of you know what I’m talking about! I need to remember to stockpile those things when they are on clearance.
9. Clothespins, Binder Clips and Popsicle Sticks
Yep. All you need. Give them a bunch of these and have them go at it! Let them create whatever they want. TIP: It is important to leave these activities as open-ended as possible, with safety in mind. It helps their brains grow! And unlike what the title of this article says, girls can do this, too!
10. Diet Coke and Mentos
This is one of my all-time favorite science experiments. If your children haven’t seen it before, they will be amazed. All you need is a 2-liter (or a couple) of diet coke and a few packs of Mentos. TIP: You must do this outside. It’s messy and fun!
Hopefully, these inspire you to try something new and engaging during this weird coronavirus season we are all in. Do you have any ideas to add to this list? Feel free to share them in the comments below!