DALLAS — Many parents in Texas and across the nation are in the same boat. People have their kids home for an unexpected period of time.
There are plenty of ways to keep everyone entertained right inside your own home.
The easiest way is to think up of games, which don't have to involve boards or cards.
You have the classics like I Spy, 21 Questions and Charades. If someone wants to test how closely his or her kids listen, Simon Says can also do the trick.
Four Corners is another creative options. This involves having one person assigning numbers to each corner of a room and then sitting in the middle of the room blindfolded. Then everyone else chooses a corner to stand in quietly. The person in the middle picks a number and anyone in that corner is out. The game keeps going until there is one person left as the winner.
Don't forget about Hide-and-Seek and Sardines if you have enough space. No matter how much area you have, parents can get musical with "Name That Tune" and see which kid can figure it out the fastest.
TIME TO GET ACTIVE
A lot of kids will want to keep working out their motor or mental skills. There are plenty of ways to do that.
If you have paper in the house, you can always have a paper airplane competition. Once you're done and your kids are old enough, writing letters to family and friends can keep them focused for a good amount of time.
Some kids want to get a little more messy (pending parents' approval). If there is Diet Coke and Mentos in the house, mixing those two things together in the backyard can create for some fun moments. Even if you don't have those items, simply cooking or baking with your kids is always an intriguing challenge for everyone involved.
Have any old clothes in your closet? Some shirts and pants from decades ago? You can always let your kids play dress-up with your clothes or their own.
When you need something to do after dinner to get your kids ready for bed, why not do some indoor camping? Grab a tent and sleeping bags or just pillows and blankets. With the right outdoors soundtrack, you can create the perfect mood for a night in the wilderness (indoors).
NO, NOW IT'S REALLY TIME TO GET ACTIVE
There is obviously going to be a lot of pent-up energy in a lot of households. Your kids can still remain active without going outside.
Why not try some balloon ping-pong? Tape a paper plate to a popsicle stick, blow up a balloon and let the games begin!
Pull out the tape and start marking off squares for some hopscotch. You don't need concrete to hop away.
Pillow fights. Enough said.
And if things starting getting a little messy, why not give the "cleap-up race" a try? (Don't deny it, you've done it before).
Here are some ideas from the Fort Worth Moms social media group:
- 31 at-home activities with mostly household items
- Fort building fun
- 25 at-home quiet time activities
- 12 Springtime Fun Activities
- Activities to keep your kiddos busy during this extended break
- Baking tips and tricks
- Cake baking hacks and an easy homemade icing recipe
- A few of Fort Worth Moms' most favorite cookie recipes to make at home
- Spring themed books to read with your kiddos
- 100+ family-friendly movies to watch
- 5 podcasts for kids
Here are some educational ideas from the Plano Moms social media group:
- Mystery Science: offering free, easy to do science lessons (no sign up required) -- https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning?fbclid=IwAR20xxzx9blFyVpnmuOdd1yhUdUak35dejYRklPczK_sjyy2FtU_p31x47g
- Brave Writer: offering daily writing tips including 100 free writing prompts -- www.bravewriter.com/tips
- Khan Academy: always free educational classes -- https://www.khanacademy.org/
- YouTube: Art Hub for Kids, Cosmic Kids Yoga