21 March, 2020

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home

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How do we engage kids these days without them being bored?

Like all other mothers, I have been collecting a lot of information on Educational apps, interactive online learning programs, different activities and exploring the family movies as well from the past 1 week. 

So, Here is the list that I finalized which might help you as well if you have kids around 5 to 8 years of age.

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home

1. Educational Activities / Apps
2. Entertainment
3. Games
4. Creative Fun
5. Books
6. Free Play
7. House help and Learning
8. Hobbies or Learning New skills
9. Physical exercise
10. Cleaning up and Recycling

I have divided all activities into these 10 categories. There might be a bit overlap between each one of them, but they sure make your kids busy and engaged.

1. Educational Activities / Apps

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home
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Recently, all our social media exploded with shares on Global learning resources and apps for kids both free and paid. I have got a big list which I collected from multiple sources.

Online resources:

- BrainPop
- Curiosity Stream
- Tynker
- Outschool
- Udemy
- iReady
- Beast Academy (Math)
- Khan Academy
- Creative Bug
- Discovery Education
- Adapted mind 1-month free trial
- Scholastic Resources
- Freckles
- Lexia

I am sure you can find a lot of other resources as well online. 2 to 4 hrs a day on these platforms might be good to engage them.

2. Entertainment

There are a lot of good Children and Family movies in multiple networks/channels. I need not tell much if you have Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription. Options are a lot.

We are watching one good movie a day these days and here are some of our favorites:

  • A Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • National Treasure
  • Indiana Jones - All parts
  • Jumanji
  • 2012
  • Monster House
  • Back to the Future - All parts
  • Bee Movie
  • Leap
  • Chicken Little
  • Kungfu Panda - 2 parts
  • Hotel Transylvania - All Parts
  • Trolls - All Parts
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Up
  • Incredibles
  • Bolt
  • Richie Rich
  • Spiderman
  • The Karate Kid
  • Gnome Alone

The list is soooo big to type here. We also watch some good Netflix series. Read this post to know our favorite from Netflix

One more option is unlimited free videos on Youtube. Youtube has some educational and learning options as well. Here is a list of good options from youtube

3. Games

We have many options for the card and board games to play at home as a family. While games like Scrabble and  Monopoly  take hours and hours, it is easy to get kids engaged for a long time. JengaConnect4Scrabble, ChessLudo, Chinese Checkers, Battleship, UNO etc., ensure fun. 

We also like word building, anthyakshari, spending time on legos, building blocks and all other toys from cars to drones.

We don't encourage games on phones and tablets to avoid strain on the eyes. 

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home
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4. Creative Fun

I love spending time making crafts with my kids. I feel Origami is easy to follow and learn quick. I usually search for craft ideas on Pinterest and try to make them. We use a lot of waste material for crafts like Egg cartons, toilet rolls, pistachio shells, Ice cream sticks, straws, etc., 

Check this awesome book to get ideas on crafting and my review here.

Got this book for review and we are yet to try all the Origami exercises in this book:


Also, check these craft related books from Amazon:

5. Books

I love the library system in USA where they allow us to checkout 10 to 20 books each. Also, try downloading some books on Kindle. There are many free books available on Kindle.

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home
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We enjoy reading books every day for at least 1 hr. My elder one even reads out stories to the younger one. I feel so proud of watching their interest in books.

I loved this cursive handwriting book. My 8 yr old practices cursive writing with the exercises given in the book.

This book is very useful - 300 write and learn sight words for my 5 yr old.

Logic puzzles for Clever Kids by Molly Lynch is very useful for my 5yr old to work on puzzles on his own without my guidance.

Got this book for review too - Creativity for Kids by Trisha Riche. It is lovely and detailed.

We just started reading this Holiday Stories by Ruskin Bond and these stories are amazing!

So, those are some book suggestions from me. Check it out!

6. Free Play

We need not be organized and go by schedule every day right? So, we leave our kids for free play at least 2 to 3 hrs a day. They do a lot of imaginative play as well. Since they cannot play hide and seek or tag inside the home, they build castles with pillows and blankets and imagine ruling in a kingdom.

They build cities, roads, structures with legos and building blocks and play treasure hunts. I am happy that they think creatively when they get time for free play. Once, they built tankers and created a war scene with soldiers and canons. Cool, Isn't it?

Top 10 activities for kids
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We just came out from a walk around our apartment and they enjoyed a snowball fight. Never underestimate the free play as it is good for their imagination.

7. House Help and Learning

I never helped my mom in my childhood. But, I don't want my kids to make this mistake. Fortunately, they have an interest in learning cooking and helping me with chores. 

My kids can make cheese sandwiches, popcorn in the microwave and eat their snack when I am busy. The elder one wanted to learn to make an omelet but I am telling him to wait for one more year. Nowadays, setting up the table for dinner is completely their job. They are able to help me in the laundry and bring hangers while arranging clothes after laundry.

Since we are at home now as schools are closed, I feel this is a great opportunity to teach kids some life skills. Don't you agree?

8. Hobbies or Learning new skills

We all love painting. So, I usually play Youtube painting tutorials and encourage my kids to paint. I am also teaching my elder one the technique of Zentangle. My younger one is still 5 yrs, but there is a lot of material available for them to paint like animals, birds etc., with step by step instructions on youtube. We also enjoy coloring.

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home
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My kids are learning Spanish in school, so we are watching Beginner level videos to improve on that. I also teach our mother tongue Telugu at home, So they are working on learning that language at home. My next plan after 2 years is to start teaching the Hindi language. 

My elder one is learning music too and I believe, the arts like Dance and music should be introduced to kids right from 6yrs of age. These will help them in improving their focus and memory in the long term.

9. Physical Excercise

Physical exercise has hit hard after schools are closed. How can I ensure kids get enough physical exercise at home?

One option that we can consider is yoga / Aerobics. If we cannot take them to swimming classes, at least we can make them do aerobic exercises or yoga. Simple warmup exercises like jumping jacks and stretches might help too. Anybody using skipping rope these days? 

Top 10 Activities to engage kids at home
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10. Cleaning up and Recycling 

At last, since schools are closed, we got time for some cleanup. Many old toys that are not being used, which are damaged, cannot be fixed or which will not be played again are sorted out and separated. Cleaning up of toy room is the biggest task always for me. This time, both kids participated in the activity and finished it successfully.

We are also working on a few things that can be sent for recycling - old batteries, plastic bags, old clothes that can be donated etc., I think, everybody should spend time on this activity. 

Cleaner rooms, Fewer items, less clutter implies Peaceful and Happy home, right?

So, these are my suggestions to keep kids engaged at home. Any more ideas? Please do share in the comments.

Until next time,

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  1. This way a great post. I actually wrote a post with 101 fun activities to do with your family. This list is not just for kids it's for us women too. This post was a great list so I actually included this post in my post. You can check it out here. https://allmodernmommy.com/100-family-activities-to-do-while-at-home/

  2. Thank you for sharing these excellent resources. It's hard to work and keep kids engage at the same time. This will help a lot Parents

  3. This is a great post. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive list.

  4. Wow! You seem to have aced keeping the kids busy in this time of lockdown- hats off to you Ramya!

  5. Those are some fun activities and I liked that you have got things covered so well. Good one, Ramya! Take care!


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