We were looking for something to do. So we came up with these five activities to entertain ourselves. Luckily they’re free! Also, most can be done in with just a couple of people at home or over a video conference call with friends and family.

5. HAVE AN AMATEUR ART CONTEST

To keep idle hands busy, indulge your family’s inner artistic talent (or lack thereof). The moderator (parent? grandparent? aunt?) takes the lead. Have the kids find art supplies while the moderator comes up with an idea for the prompt. Try basics like drawing a house, something more advanced like drawing a plant as a person, or search online for “art prompts” like Eledris’s Art Prompts (scroll down to see prompt). Give the contestants a time limit – less time can be better and be strict with it. It’s much more fun and less artistic pressure if they don’t have time to make a masterpiece! Then choose your favorite creation. This works with any art media from Play-Doh to basic ballpoint pens. Make it more social by using video chat with friends, family, classmates, and neighbors. Fun for parent ‘artists’ too!

4. WATCH SOME CUTE CAT VIDEOS

Calm your stir crazy family with short YouTube video clips of adorable cats like this one. Play these video compilations consecutively to entertain even those with short attention spans for a longer duration. Relax and laugh while admiring what these kitties like to do for fun. To add some variety try searching online for “cute cat memes” or “cute cat animation” or think outside of the box with other animals like squirrels, birds, or even monkeys!

3. ENJOY A CLASSIC TV SHOW MARATHON

Introduce your children to a classic TV show that you loved as a child for some quality bonding time. Make it a marathon while snuggling on the sofa and chomping on snacks including, of course, freshly popped popcorn! You may also find this provides a great opportunity to introduce your child to history. Take the opportunity to discuss what things were like when you were young. Explain any jokes they don’t get or scenes that confuse them (do so sparingly — lest you lose your audience). Several sites allow you to stream the entire series of these public domain programs including the Classic TV site of the Internet Archive and RerunCentury. You can have the kids scan the list and pick the one that looks most appealing to them (the Classic TV site has pictures with the program names).

2. COOK WITH YOUR KIDS

Cooking is a fun (and practical) activity to get kids away from their screens. Plus, it helps them work on basic math concepts like measurement better than any worksheet ever could! Even if you already cook with your kids, you can use this as an opportunity to up their game by giving them more advanced levels of cooking to undertake (under supervision of course). To get yourself started, enjoy a FREE Soup’s On Cooking Kit from Kidstir.com while supplies last. Use cooking time as an opportunity to show your kids how their favorite meals are made and teach them the recipes your family has been handing down for generations! If you (or your child) have a favorite chef or cooking show you (or your child) can search that name online and the word ‘kids cooking’ to find some great ideas too! For example, the Food Network has all kinds of amazing resources for cooking with kids. PBS’s Cooking With Kids section has a layout for recipes with images of each item that is easy for kids to explore. There is no shortage of great sites out there and some like Epicurious.com even has recipes that kids can make entirely on their own.

1. USE WRITING PROMPTS

The idea of a writing prompt is simple and addictive!

Read the full post here.

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Let us know what you’ve tried, and share some stories with us!