Running out of activities that are keeping your kids engaged while you’re working from home? I’ve come to realize there are only so many times I can tell my kids, in a given day, to find one of their toys to play with while I work.
Sometimes they need a refresh in their choice of activities. And those activities need to keep their attention for more than, say, five minutes. Here are some my favorite ways to keep kids busy and entertained. Bonus: lots of these products are also educational.
Dry Erase Whiteboard
If your kids love to ask when they’re going to do something, put together a weekly calendar using a dry erase whiteboard (like this one). This way they’ll know when to expect something.
If they’re not reading yet, draw pictures of upcoming activities instead! And if they’re jealous that you have a whiteboard for the family, perhaps get them a whiteboard of their own, which will give them a chance to get creative over and over again. (Bonus: whiteboards are great at keeping kids busy in the car too). This Magnetic Whiteboard is available for $12.99 on Amazon.
Sometimes kids need a chance to get their energy out. If you want the off the living room furniture, get them a mini trampoline.
This 36-inch trampoline, available for $74.99, can be used indoors, and with the bar, even younger ones can have hours of fun bouncing the day away.
One of the fun things about logic puzzles is that many of them are designed to have a variety of difficulty levels. That means that kids in a wide age range can be challenged.
Take Tangrams, for example. They’re great for age 3 to 8, and for all ages in between because kids can start by copying simple geometric patterns and then increasing in difficulty as they get older. Plus, let’s be honest, tangrams are just fun in general. This set of 155 Tangrams are available for $12.99 on Amazon.
Art Bins on Wheels
One of my kids’ favorite spots right now is next to the art supply bins. Each bin contains a different supply: paper, glue sticks, Popsicle sticks, chenille sticks, stickers, markers, and oh so much more.
These art bins give the kids the choice in what they create, and by giving them that choice, they may be more likely to stay engaged. If they do want more guidance or ideas, be sure to include some art kits in your art supply bins! The Honey-Can-Do Storage Bins Start at $66.67.
Roll of Paper
There’s something pretty inspiring about a huge blank piece of paper, and it’s even more awe-inspiring when it comes from an enormous roll! Unfurl that paper and let your kids create. Or, perhaps challenge them a three-marker challenge. Or give them a ‘theme,’ like ‘Once Upon a Time,’ and give them a space to create with all their art supplies! This White Kraft paper roll runs for $15.97 (and 175 feet).
Nat Geo Kid Magazines
Nat Geo Kid magazines are packed full of facts and fun. Similar to the adult version of the magazine, the pages are full of info related to archaeology, animals, science, and geography. Some bonus topics include pop culture and technology. But it’s all presented in colorful, kid-friendly ways. As you can get a $20 annual subscription to Nat Geo Kid Magazine, it’s also the perfect kid activity that keeps on giving.
Or want to encourage your kids to get outside? Try the Nat Geo Field Guides.