Well, here we are, friends.
Another week is upon us as we continue staying home and keeping our distance socially. As a homeschooling mother of two spunky boys, I've been thinking about those parents who are not used to their kids being home all day. I can safely say that no matter what your family is used to, this spring 2020 season isn't normal for any of us!
Which is why I wanted to bring you a handful of easy activities you can do with the kids at home during this time. Bonus: each one is mess-free!! Hey ... Just because you're quarantined doesn't mean you want to clean, am I right? From one parent to another, I'm here for you.
This list is diverse enough to do one daily or weekly. Each of these activities I've have done with my boys a few times over the years. I just so happened to find them detailed with super fun insights on some incredible blogs.
Here are my favorites:
Natural Scavenger Hunt
We may not be able to go to parks (at least not here in Connecticut) but no matter the size, our yards are perfect for playing this simple, fun game! Get outdoors with this list and have the kids check off what they find. A cool addition is customizing your own list on a separate sheet of paper based on things you know the kids will find around outside your home. You can even take a neighborhood walk and spot things in other yards! That counts too!
Activity Source & Photo: https://craftivitydesigns.com/...
What a perfect way to incorporate some science into your day with this super fun activity that only uses four materials! This was a favorite of my oldest, David, because he loves to watch how things work. I'll have to pull this out again for sure during quarantine. If you have leftover party balloons, a straw, tape, and string ... boom. You got this! Throw in a mini-lesson about wind, force, and movement to teach the kids a little about science. Score!!
Activity Source & Photo: http://coolscienceexperimentshq.com/balloon-rocket/
Golf Tee Hammering
If the men in your life are like my husband and his father, there might be a decent amount of golf tees hanging around the house. This is a great activity for those little ones who have busy hands. One day I handed one of my boys a container of golf tees, a toy hammer, and an empty box. They were happily banging for a good hour or more! Let's be honest; it's also a good way to reuse that empty Amazon box from the other day. Not only is this mess-free, but a perfect way to work on gross-motor skills and letting out any pent up energy.
Activity Source & Photo: https://handsonaswegrow.com/ha...
Dry Erase Picture Frames
Okay, this is not just a fun activity but a serious school hack, especially for writing. Dry-erase markers are so versatile! Your kiddos can draw pictures over and over again with very minimal cleanup afterward. They can also practice their letters, spelling, sentence structure, and so much more. If you have a decent-size picture frame currently not being used at home, turn it into a dry erase marker board! Bonus: pop in an activity sheet your child can trace or practice writing. It's no question why this made it into the top 5 list.
Activity Source & Photo: https://confidencemeetsparenti...
Window Ziploc Painting
This last activity on the list is a universal fav around our house! We have a nice big slider door, and I usually tape up the paint-filled Ziplocs there. Pour different color paints into a Ziploc bag, zip, tape, and they're good to go. Be sure not to put too much because having room to spread the paint with their little fingers is the best part, and too much paint can look muddy. This is a great way to introduce color mixing and textures!
Activity Source & Photo: https://laughingkidslearn.com/mess-free-painting-with-kids/
There ya go.
Five mess-free activities your kiddos will love during this time at home ... or anytime, really! You can incorporate these with their current school lessons or as creative brain breaks. Whatever you do, just know you're not alone during this time at home. There are so many resources online and on social media that can help equip you with simple activities you and the kids can do together.
Take a deep breath, Mama. Pull out one of these mess-free ideas. And watch the wonder light up their eyes and smiles as they learn through play.