5 Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained When You’re Stuck at Home

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This post sponsored by Sago Mini Box but all opinions are 100% my own.

2020 has been an absolutely nightmare in so many ways, and it’s really hard to find people who haven’t had their lives majorly disrupted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Parents in particular have dealt with a lot of upheaval, because they’ve had double the confusion — in addition to keeping themselves from losing their minds during lockdown, they’ve had to put unprecedented time and effort into keeping their kids safe, healthy, educated, and entertained.

A top view of a cup filled with crayons and on the left a child's hand coloring with a green crayon.
Image: Pexels

Every part of that process is difficult, but in this post we’re going to look solely at the last challenge: keeping kids entertained while stuck at home. The more you can manage it, the happier your kids will be, and the easier (and quieter) your life will be! Here are some tips:

Give them challenging activities

Kids like to be challenged, but only when the execution is right. It’s all about finding activities that will get them thinking without feeling forced. This is why conventional so-named educational activities might not work very well: your kids will feel that you’re trying to trick them into learning, and they’ll end up doing the opposite of what you’re hoping for.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find activities that can be enjoyable and educational, though. This is where kids’ subscription boxes become so useful. Something like the sago mini box can show up every month with a new set of puzzles and tasks that your kids will love — and they’ll be so swept up in the fun that they won’t notice everything they’re learning.

Turn chores into competitions

Telling your kids to sweep the kitchen floor might not get them moving, but there’s no reason why you can’t make it a fun competition. If you have a couple of kids, you can give each of them one half of the kitchen floor and see who can sweep their section the fastest — with the winner getting a small prize (maybe a candy bar or a piece of fruit).

If you just have one kid, you can compete with them to see which one of you can find the most pieces of recycling around the house. There are so many things that you can turn into competitions, and having targets to aim for can make even boring things somewhat fun.

Let them play suitable games

While it isn’t the best idea to let kids play whatever games they want while stuck at home, that doesn’t mean you should avoid gaming altogether. There are plenty of games on smartphones and video game consoles that are totally suitable for kids and can keep them entertained without causing any problems.

Look for games aimed at kids. They’ll often involve puzzles and drawing, but try to be discerning and avoid games with predatory elements involving microtransactions. You don’t want to end up with a huge bill to pay or a kid hooked on a game that’s outright addictive. Read reviews, do some research, and choose wisely!

Teach them how to cook

Cooking is a valuable skill, but it’s also a lot of fun — regardless of whether you’re following great recipes or coming up with your own inventions. If your kids are bored, why not get them to start cooking with you? They can help you with your existing culinary projects, or they can take over entirely and you can simply be a tutor.

Three rows of blondies with three in each row. Each topped with bright pink frosting and rainbow sprinkles on a white cutting board on a rainbow tablecloth

As well as being enjoyable, this can help you introduce your kids to new foods and ingredients (particularly vegetables) that can be healthy additions to their diets. And since there are so many different dishes to try, there’s always something new you can work on.

Help them style their rooms

Lastly, there’s a lot of fun in redecorating kids’ rooms, so you could get creative juices flowing by inviting your kids to decide how they’d like to style their rooms. Would they like to repaint the walls? Put up some shelving? Install some new lights? That you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t change your environment, after all.

If you can afford to spend on interesting things, you can go down that route, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of things you can do very cheaply, particularly if you’re willing to upcycle: you can get second-hand furniture online for relatively little, or you can reuse materials from around the house. There are so many options!

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