So…yeah…you’re going to be at home with the kids (and working, being the teacher, making extra snacks to keep everyone healthy, and generally trying not to stress yourself out) for a little while. We’re out here taking it day by day too, and we wanted to share with you a few ideas for how you can make your kids’ day all about play.
In ‘Playing 9-to-5’ we’ll give you eight hour-long activities your kids can do (with or without you) to help fill their day with play. We’ve designed these activities to be flexible so you can add in some time for schoolwork, snack times, or whatever else they need to do. Each activity can last just one day, or stretch over multiple days, whatever works best for you and your family! We’ll get through this together with the power of play!
9AM: Coloring Time!
Coloring is a classic, screen-free activity that kids have loved for generations. If you don’t have any coloring books handy, check out these downloadable, printable coloring kits that you can print at home. Give your kids a handful of crayons or markers and let their creativity run wild. If you have older kids, let them try their hand at water colors, painting, colored pencils, or chalk art. If you want to stretch this activity out over multiple days, have your kids try mixing up which material, colors, or art style they use each day.
10AM: Game/Puzzle Time!
While you sneak away for a quick conference call or work project, have your kids pull out that game you got over the holidays but still haven’t opened. Or, pull out a deck of cards and have them play War, Crazy Eights, or another family favorite. You can even mix things up by putting together a puzzle. A great way to stretch game/puzzle time over multiple days is letting kids pick a new or their favorite game and rotating through different ones every day. That way everyone gets a turn! #ParentingWin
11AM: Silent Dance Party
Let’s be honest: finding a quiet moment with a house full of kids can be incredibly difficult. If you need an hour where the kids are quiet and engaged, throw a silent dance party! To make your silent dance party work, you need a pair of headphones for each kid and something to play music (ideally something for each kid, but that’s less critical). Then, put on your kids’ favorite playlist(s) and let them dance to the music. If each of your kids is listening to a different song, watch the comedy ensue as they dance to different beats at the same time. If you need to stretch the silent dance party out for multiple days, pick a different themed playlist for each day. Just don’t let Dad’s 90’s rock playlist slip in there by accident.
12PM: Movie Club
Okay, so maybe you’ve already watched Frozen 2 over 50 times this week alone, but it’s hard to say no to a nice, relaxing movie every once in a while. Mix things up by having your kids rotate who picks the movie. Break out some of your favorite childhood animated movies that your kids have never seen before, or revisit their favorite films that have been collecting dust on the bottom shelf. Plenty of streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu are launching movies early, so it’s never been easier to watch the latest blockbuster from the comfort of your own home. Don’t forget the popcorn!
1PM: Get Outside!
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean the kids can’t run around in the backyard or you can’t go for a walk as a family. Now’s the perfect time to host your own backyard Olympics, or try these Alexa-enabled toys with our Little Tikes Alexa Skill, take up birdwatching, try these backyard games, teach them to ride a bike, or just shoot some hoops. The point is to get outside, get some fresh air, and let kids burn off all that extra energy they have from being cooped up at home.
2PM: Read Aloud or Listen to a Book on Tape
Libraries across the country have been expanding their eBook libraries and audio book collections, so if you don’t have a library card yet, now’s the time to get one! If your kids are learning to read, have them practice reading a book aloud. Or, if they’re too young, get their favorite books on tape instead. Books are a wonderful way to stretch your kids’ imaginations, expand their vocabularies, and let their minds travel the world. You can stretch this activity out for days (or weeks) by picking your favorite kid-friendly book series and listening to all of them back-to-back.
3PM: Pretend Play Time!
While they’re cooped up inside, encourage your kids to pretend to be somewhere, someone, or something else. We know the value of pretend play and pretend play toys. Pretend play is a great way to for your kids to practice their social skills, learn to see the world from other people’s perspectives, and encourage creative problem solving. Try mixing up the pretend play every day by giving them different scenarios (our personal favorite: have your kids act out what they think you do all day at work) to do every day or different household items to play around with. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the funny stuff they come up with!
4PM: Ask Me Anything
Try hosting an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with your kids. AMA sessions are a great way to let them open up about what they’re thinking and feeling. They might have questions about the world, about how their parents met, about something from school, or about something totally random (we’ll let you decide which questions are off-limits). Just take an hour to sit down and chat about whatever for a little bit. Try changing up which family member hosts the AMA every day and see what your kids want to know from each other!
We did it! We made it through the workday, together! Hopefully these suggestions helped you and your kids fill the endless hours while you’re at home. If you’ve got any other enjoyable, time-passing activities for kids that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them!
Make sure to snap pictures as your kids go about their day of play, and don’t forget to tag us when you post (@OfficialLittleTikes on Instagram, @LittleTikes everywhere else on social media)!
At Little Tikes, we don’t just make toys, we make play. Looking for more great active play ideas? Check out www.LittleTikes.com for all our latest play tips & tricks!