15 Fun & Cheap Activities for Kids at Home During the Lockout

Are you having a hard time thinking about how you can take your children’s eyes off their gadgets during the lockout? You’re not alone. Since there is not much to do for them, tendencies are they won’t take their eyes away from their tablets or the television. Although there are ways for them to be productive using the internet and their gadgets, fun, physical activities should not be neglected even though they aren’t allowed to go out and meet with their friends.

Here we have 15 fun and cheap activity ideas for your kids to stay physically and mentally active in the comfort of your homes.

1. Let them cook their meals and snacks

Since the kids are staying home, they are bound to be hungry all the time. Why not let them make their meals with you in the kitchen? Some kids are not up to this, though. Give them a little push by saying something like “you won’t get snack time today if you don’t cook your snacks yourself.” In a less scary way, of course. This will force them out of their computers and give their cooking skills additional points, plus, a tummy filled with yummy food! Here are some kid-friendly recipes for you to try with your kids from BBC Good Food

2. Teach them Origami

Origami is an ancient art of paper folding from Japan. You already know that but your kids probably don’t. With the rise of technology in their generation, paper folding isn’t given much attention anymore. Introduce them to the art of folding papers and help boost their creativity! We’re sure this will help them with a few art classes in school in the future. Here are some easy origami for your kids to try from Easy Peasy and Fun

3. Get them to do Chores in Exchange for “Chore Bucks”

Make a list of chores and attach values to each chore on the list. When they choose to do those chores, give them “chore bucks” in exchange. The kids may use these chore bucks to buy themselves internet time, tv time, snacks from the fridge, and basically anything that they normally get from you for free. It’s the perfect way to get them moving and help them learn the value of work and money. Also, a great way to reduce your house responsibilities. You deserve a break, too! Here are some printable chore bucks from Chore Charts

4. Teach them Gardening

Kids are very curious creatures. One thing they’re probably curious about is plants. “What are those things that are growing in our garden, mommy? How are they doing that?” If you don’t mind your children getting a little dirty, teaching them gardening would be a great way to spend time. Maybe plant some vegetables that they can harvest themselves after a couple of days or weeks. It would give them a different sense of achievement knowing that they’re growing life on their own. There are also a lot of garden activities that your children may find fun. Discover some garden activity ideas from  KidsGardening.org

5. Family Games! 

Of course, nothing beats classic family nights with family games. Play some charades or some other guessing games with them. Perhaps, some Monopoly! If you’re looking for more creative and adventurous games for your game nights, here are the top 12 family board games of 2020 from The Spruce.

6. Build Card Castles

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been curious how to build card castles at one point in our lives. It’s a fun way to teach your kids patience and creativity with the whole family. It will also earn your kids awesome bragging rights once they get to build their own card castles. Take pictures and make sure they show their friends once classes are back! Here’s a tutorial on how you can build a card house from Max Maher.

7. Make YouTube Videos

Your kids are most likely spending more than half of their internet time watching YouTube videos. Let them make their own content and help them explore their interests more by sharing it with the world. Your kid might be the next big YouTube superstar! Who knows? Did you know that YouTube’s highest-earning content creator is an eight-year-old kid who started making videos of him unboxing toys when he was 3-years-old? Yup, that’s right. His name is Ryan Kaji and as of 2019, his earnings have amounted to $26 million dollars already. Crazy!

This is not an invitation to force your children into making videos for money, though. Only introduce the idea and help them do it if they are really interested in the craft. Here’s a youtube video on how you can help your kids set up their own channels so they can start making their own youtube videos from Kimpressions.

8. Build 1000 Piece Puzzles

The ultimate time consumer and great logic exercise for your kids. The puzzles do not necessarily have to be 1000 pieces. They can be more or less. But make sure that it’s enough to get their brains working. Kids are unlikely to be patient enough to finish these kinds of puzzles. But you may motivate them to finish by giving them the promise of an incentive or a reward once they’re done with the puzzle. Maybe give them something that they have been wishing for, for a long time, given that you can provide it. They would deserve it because even adults have a hard time finishing big puzzles.

Here are some puzzles you can buy from Jigsaws Delivered and Puzzle Palace

9. Exercise in Exchange for Rewards

Create kid-friendly workout routines for you and your children. A couple of jumping jacks, some squats, and stretching every day will be good for them. It will teach them the value of fitness at their young ages and keep their bodies physically active even without going out. It’s hard to make some kids exercise so it will be best if you can give them a reward after exercising. Maybe use those chore bucks from earlier! Here’s a youtube workout for kids that you can follow from Little Sports.

10. Play Simple Outdoor Games

Simple outdoor games are very fun and kids love them. They probably play hopscotch and Chinese jump rope with their friends from school. But since they don’t have school, play with them so they can still get that physical activity while having fun. Of course, stay in your front and backyards when playing these! We don’t want our children playing with the coronavirus instead! Here are 30 Classic Outdoor Games that you can try with your kids from Wired.

11. Backyard Camping

Camping is fun. But even when there are not many people in camping areas, it’s best that you don’t risk contracting the coronavirus by going out. Backyard camping is a fun activity to spend with your kids. Let them help you set up your tents and make your camp food. Share stories and watch the stars! Make rules to keep their gadgets away. It’s a nice bonding experience. Here’s the ultimate guide for backyard camping with your kids from Taste of Home while here are some backyard camping ideas that you can try from Buzzfeed.

12. Backyard Picnic Lunch

If you think the backyard camping idea is a bit too much, then you can plan a backyard picnic with your kids instead. Make your meals with them and help them set up the picnic area. Gather some toys so your kids can play outside after eating! Here are some tips on how you can plan a picnic lunch with your kids from Martha Stewart.

13. Make Science Experiments

Science experiments are a great way to keep your kids entertained while exercising their brains. Gather up a few ingredients and tools and start making volcanoes explode inside your homes! You can make play doughs, snow globes, and paper hovercrafts with your kids for them to keep, too. Here’s a collection of science experiments for kids that you can easily do at home.

14. Learn Chess

Chess is the perfect way to help your kids develop their brain and logical skills. Studies from the late 90’s have found that children who play chess scores 10% higher in reading tests than their peers who don’t. If you don’t know how to play chess, then maybe you can learn together. Hitting two birds with one stone! Here are some more benefits of chess for kids from Parents if you’re not yet convinced about the wonders of playing chess.

15. Treasure Hunts!

Kids love treasure hunts! Mostly because they see these being portrayed a lot in their favorite tv shows like Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Fulfill their fantasy of being in their favorite tv shows by making up treasure hunts involving clues and puzzles! Get their brain working and keep them motivated with the rewards that they will obtain from the hunt. You can also use the chore bucks from earlier to get them to buy clues if they’re having a hard time solving your puzzles! Here’s the ultimate guide to make treasure hunts for your kids from My Kid’s Adventures.

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