I’ll admit it. I’m a prepper. But not in the way you might think. Regrettably, I didn’t think to buy hand sanitizer (now sold out nationwide). Instead, I was busy freaking out about how to entertain my little ones if school closes or if we need to quarantine ourselves. Looking back, I probably should’ve made a better decision there!
Spring break is coming up, and I’d already been squirreling away fun activities for the week. But now that MIT, Harvard, and other colleges are shutting down for coronavirus, I decided to kick my kid activity stash up a notch. Couldn’t hurt, right?!
I stocked up Dollar Tree, Aldi, and Hobby Lobby this week, but many items can also be shipped from Amazon or Target. In case you need inspiration and want to prep yourself, I’ve included my list below.
Kid (and Mom!) Approved Activities for a Coronavirus Quarantine
Pipe Cleaners and Magnets
My kids love this one. Trim pipe cleaners into 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces and place in an empty cola or water bottle. Tape a magnet to a dowel (or stick of any kind) to make a wand. Wave your “magic wand” up and down beside the bottle and watch the pipe cleaner pieces follow along!
Fruit Loops Rainbows
Sensory Bin with Rice
Sensory Bin with “Snow” Baking Soda
We did this awhile back, and it was a hit! Fill a plastic food storage bin with baking soda, sprinkle in a little glitter (if you’re brave), and pop it in the freezer for a few hours. Pull out the cold “snow” bin, fill it with your tiny Frozen dolls (you know you’ve got them somewhere), and let your kids play in Arendelle. I also like to put in a small mirror so the dolls can “ice skate.” Tiny marshmallows make a fun addition as snowballs.
Don’t overthink this one. Buy a bagged cookie mix, let the kids add fun mix-ins (like chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, or nuts), and let them pretend they’re bakers in a bakery. I also like to buy refrigerated sugar cookie dough and let them cut out shapes with cookie cutters. I’ll take real dough over play dough any day. Which leads me to . . .
Play dough: the bane of my existence. But desperate quarantine times call for desperate measures, right? I usually only let them pull out play dough on special occasions (like rainy days), so it’s a bit of a treat for them. Buy a few extra play dough cups to have on hand for this very purpose.
Easter Church Craft
Another Hobby Lobby score! I bought this craft set of milk carton shaped Easter churches. I bought the similar craft set of gingerbread houses at Christmas, and my kids had a blast. It helps if an adult sets up the actual structure for them, and the set of 12 churches comes with stickers for kids to decorate.
Easter Egg Hunt in Your Own Yard
Plan an Easter egg hunt in your own backyard, or better yet, set one up indoors like this one!
Popsicle or Lollipop Bath
New Educational Apps
We love Endless Alphabet and Khan Academy Kids at our house. I’ve heard good things about Sight Word Adventure and Quick Math, Jr., so I plan to download those to add in the mix.
Movies and Popcorn
Since we won’t want to get out to the movie theater if we get sick, I bought some microwaveable popcorn that we can pop and watch Disney+ while snuggled on the pull-out sofa. We rarely pull it out, so when we do, the kids view it as a treat.
More Dollar Tree Ideas
Don’t Panic, Just Prepare!
We’ve heard people say over and over not to panic but to be smart. While my immediate family is not considered to be in the high risk zone, we have lots of extended family and friends who are. We are happy to do our part to help “flatten the curve” by staying home to quarantine when necessary.
How about you? Do you have any kid activities to add to our quarantine activity list? If so, please let us know in the comments below!