At-Home Activities to Keep Kids Busy

The kids are bored but you can't leave the house, now what? Keep this list handy.

With you have to spend the day at home, sometimes the kids are restless. The words “I’m bored” have come out of their mouths more times than you can count. You knew it was coming. Now what? Here are some at-home activities to help cure their boredom.

Let out your inner mad scientist

Science experiments are so much fun! Try out these experiments. You may even have most of the ingredients lying around the house. Who doesn’t love slime? Follow this recipe to make your own with Elmer’s glue, Borax and water.

Read a new book

Here are some great books about our lovely city for readers of all ages. We personally love the “Larry Gets Lost” series.

Use your village

If kids can learn online, the whole family can connect online. “Play” board games via Skype or FaceTime, set up your book club to “meet” in a chatroom, have your playdates over the internet or have dinner on a call with relatives across the country.

Play board games

Teach your kids the games you loved when you were kids. Is your 5-year-old ready to learn Cat’s Cradle, yet? Pull out Candy Land and let older kids change the rules to make it harder.

Cook it up

So many recipes, so little time. Now would be a great time to try something new. Can’t decide? Maybe it’s a good time to try this Portillo’s Chocolate cake copycat recipe?

Bring the outdoors, indoors

For littles, don’t hesitate to bring some of the outdoor toys inside, either. Set up a the kiddie slide in your living room (into a pile of pillows, whee!) or ride the big wheels in the basement, if you can.

Sweat it out

Get off the couch and just move with these free online family fitness workouts. Turn on your favorite jam and have a dance party. Get your blood pumping by exercising. Do push-ups, jumping jacks or crunches. Yoga, anyone? Make a game out of it.

Speed clean

Eck. I know, I know. It may not be the first thing on the kids’ mind, but try to make it fun. Set the timer and see what you can do for 15 minutes. Did you put toy organization on your resolutions list? Try these tips. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish, and it may even be fun. Who knew?

Wake up your senses

Sensory boxes can be so easy to make, plus most of the items you may already have. You’ll be amazed at how long it can keep kids preoccupied.

Get artsy.

Bust out those arts and crafts supplies. Paint your heart out. Even print out a coloring book.

Build something

Do you still have cardboard boxes lying around from the holidays? Make vehicles or houses out of them. Touch up on your fort-building skills and try to make the biggest fort ever with pillows and sheets.

Learn online

There are plenty of digital learning resources available to keep your kids engaged. They won’t even realize that they’re learning while having fun! Browse through podcasts, YouTube channels and more.

Visit Chicago without leaving the house

See how small businesses, museums and other family-friendly places are trying their best to help keep Chicago families entertained at home.

Stream a new show or movie

Looking for something new to watch? Check out the latest family movies and shows streaming this month.

Watch this, do that

Our Watch This, Do That series features family activities to try after watching your favorite movies.

Go on a virtual vacation

You can travel the world without packing your bags. From riding our favorite attractions at Disney parks to seeing animal live cams at San Diego Zoo, you’ll love these virtual vacations.

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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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