5 Ways to Entertain Your Kids at Home

School's out for summer and now more than ever, kids need activities to keep them preoccupied at home. With the young ones at home for the summer, it’s essential to have a few go-to activities that are safe, kid-friendly, and fun for the whole family.
Famed psychologist Jean Piaget once said, “play is the work of childhood.”
Children are most engaged in an activity when they are active participants in the activity. Kids build developmental skills best when challenged to build, create, and invent in safe and meaningful ways.
With this sentiment, we’ve created a list of five ways to entertain your kids during  quarantine that is sure to bring the family closer together and build skills necessary for their development.

1. Get Out the Stuffed Animals

Children love the act of pretend. If you have a toddler at home, you know this first-hand. You may have experienced the way that nearly every long object can become a sword or how every stuffed animal needs to be invited to the tea party.  

Kids live in a world of make-believe, and this is no more apparent then when you get down on the ground with the kids and a group of stuffed animals. Instantly, their brains fire up with main characters with quick-changing plot lines, admired protagonists, and evil villains. 

Sit down on the floor with your son or daughter, and in no time, they are talking, acting, and sounding just like that little girl Bonnie from Toy Story 3.

Stuffed animals are a great choice because they are soft, easy to carry, and can be used anywhere in the house. They take virtually no time to set up and can be picked up in minutes.

 When you get on the floor and play, let your child create the storyline. Let them go in whatever direction they choose, and chime in when you can. They will love you for it!  

You’ll be amazed at how fifteen minutes of pretend play with stuffed animals can calm a child down. A quick note here, once you do this with your child, they may want to make this a routine, so don’t say we didn’t warn you!

2. Release Your Child’s Inner Chef or Baker

Nothing smells much better inside the home than a fresh batch of homemade cookies. If there is one thing children love just as much as a snuggly teddy bear is the joy of helping out in the kitchen.

 If you think your child is too young for the kitchen, that’s okay. You can always choose parts for them to dump in ingredients far away from the stove. Honestly, that’s a child’s favorite part anyway. Kids love to feel confident with a new skill, and pouring in flour and mixing is a great way to build confidence. 

We’ve researched the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie!  

Here are all the delicious ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect cookie:

1 cup bread flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter (melted and browned)
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
2 eggs with the yoke
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 oz dark chocolate

    How to make the dough:

    1. Mix in dry ingredients by sifting your bread flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda.

    2. Melt and brown your butter on the stovetop. Keep stirring until it is a rich brown color, then pour into a measuring cup to cool. Set aside for a few minutes. Add water if needed to get liquid to 1 cup capacity.
    3. In another bowl, mix the dark brown sugar, white sugar, melted butter, vanilla, espresso powder, and two eggs. Beat with a blender.
    4. Add in flour a little at a time to the wet ingredients bowl. It’s okay not to mix all the flour.
    5. Add in the semisweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks.  

    How to bake the cookies:

    1. Preheat your oven to 350°

    2. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes.

     These cookies come out soft, chewy, and oh so gooey. You’ll love them! Enjoy!

    3. Build a Fort

    There’s no getting around it. Kids love to build forts. Young and even older kids love to create, play, and chill in forts. While it turns your living room into a convoluted mess of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and possibly some electronics and lights, it’s so worth it! 

    Here are a few ways to make the perfect homemade fort for your home:

    Use Cardboard
    Cardboard is a great invention equalizer. It’s light, flexible, and easy to use. Your child will love creating a homemade fort or castle. So gather up those Amazon Prime boxes and get started.
    Blanket Fort
    Use some chairs, a couch, or some window curtain rods to prop up a few blankets to create a special space just for you and your child. Fill it with more blankets, pillows, air mattresses, stuffed animals, and some fun materials.
    Light & Breezy Clothesline Fort
    Use a clothesline and some long flat sheets to create a whimsical, breezy clothesline fort. Your kids will love the high ceilings and extra space, as you can incorporate even more of the room into a fort—turning your living room into a fort oasis. 

      Some Tips: Keep in mind to make areas for play, naps, and vegging out to watch YouTube from their device or in line of the television. That will allow the activity to be an extended period of relaxation after the building is complete.

      4. Make a Cardboard Race Car

      With a few materials and a little bit of time, you can create a cardboard race car for your child and then test it out in parts of the house.

      Things you’ll need:

      Paper & Pencil (to design - optional)

         To start, sit down at the kitchen table and design your perfect race car. Let your child’s imagination explode. It would be a good idea to show them the materials as a parameter for their vision.

        It will help them use STEM techniques that even engineers use when building new cars. Once they have an idea, let the building begin. Work together to make their vision a reality.  

        Tie a string to the car as an easy way to pull it around the house to test out their driving skills!

        5. Turn Your Stairs Into a Slide

        With some tape, string, cardboard, and some pillows, you can turn your stairs into an indoor slide. There’s no doubt that this one is not for the faint at heart, but if you can handle your nerves, in about 20-minutes of setup time, you can have an area of the house made for indoor play. Your kids will love it!

        Here are a few ways to go:

        Create a Tunnel Slide
        With a set of 15 boxes that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot for a couple of dollars each, you can create a tunnel slide. Open up the box and slide it into another box at the flaps. Here is a video showing how it’s done
          Flat Box Slide
          Using the same set of boxes, open up the boxes completely, tape them together, and create a flat slide that runs down the whole staircase. Here is a video example of one in action! Make sure to leave some space so the kids can get back up to the top. 

            It can be hours of fun, especially if you have several kids in the house. Get those boxes, get some tape, and get creative! Your kids will love you for it! 

            Your Kids Need Time to be Kids !

            Give them activities that will help them experience play indoors that builds their development and brings you closer together.

             We live in unprecedented times, and our notions of indoor play need to adapt to meet our kids’ lifestyle. So get on the floor and build some memories!

            *All activities should be adult supervised. Do not attempt any of these activities if you feel the activity is unsafe.