This post may contain affiliate links. Read my whole disclosure here.
Inside: Discover a list of our favorite lockdown activities for kids that will help you make your days at home more fun for the whole family!
During the last months we all spent a lot more time at home than usual, and this meant that we had to come up with new ways to keep the kids busy and happy.
When we first went into lockdown, in March last year, I created a big list of ideas to try with the kids while stuck at home. Every time I found a new easy and fun idea on Facebook or Pinterest, I would add it to our list, so we ended up with plenty of activities to try!
Having those ideas at hand made those long days of lockdown easier to handle and a lot more fun for the whole family!
Now that we face a new lockdown, I started using that list again, but in a different way. I selected the activities that were our favorites during the first lockdown, and planned to try them again.
25 lockdown activities for kids that the whole family will enjoy
If you are looking for simple and fun ideas to try with your kids while spending time at home, I’m pretty sure you’ll find some inspiration on this list!
I also created a printable poster for you to download so you can have all these ideas at hand and try them with your kids!
1. Start a creative challenge for the whole family
Choose an activity the whole family enjoys (e.g, drawing, painting, building with LEGOs, playing with playdough, etc) and start a challenge of creating something new every day.
Plan 20 minutes for this activity every day and sit at the table together to prepare your creations. You can choose an easy one-word prompt every day (e.g, “car”, “flower”, “blue”, “snowman”) or you can let every family member come with their own ideas and share them with the rest of the family.
2. Watch documentaries about your favorite topics
Staying home for so long means that the kids get more screen time than usual. An easy way to make their screen time more educational is to invite them to watch documentaries about their favorite topics.
3. Go on a “virtual trip” to a zoo or aquarium around the world
A few zoos and aquariums offer live cams you can use to watch the animals from home.
Here are some live cams you can check out today:
– Live cams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California (you can see penguins, sea otters, sharks, turtles, etc)
– Live cams from the Georgia Aquarium (you can see whales, jelly fish, puffins, etc)
– Live cams from San Diego Zoo in California (you can see polar bears, koala, giraffes, elephants, etc).
4. Create a family playlist and start each day listening to your favorite songs
This is a great way to start the day in a positive mood and make the morning routine more playful for the kids!
5. Start a family book club
Depending on your child’s age, you can create the book club in different ways:
- For young kids, put together a list of nice picture books and read one every day. Create a list with all the titles and ask the child to rank each of them by giving them a rating from one to five stars.
- For older kids, choose a few chapter books and invite them to read (at least) a chapter every day. Then every evening ask them to share with you what they read or start a journal to record one nice thing they liked in every chapter.
- For kids all ages, you can create a daily story time and read to them. Use the book as an inspiration to talk about different topics, or invite them to create artworks inspired by the book.
6. Have a “talent show” at home.
Plan a special family night and invite each family member to participate in a talent show and share two of their talents.
The participants can choose to sing, play an instrument, recite a poem, do a magic trick, dance, perform a stand-up comedy act, and show any other talent they have.
Create a program and take turns in performing in the talent show. Young kids can join a parent’s (or older sibling’s) performance if they don’t want to participate on their own.
Prepare mini-prices for all participants and have fun together watching all performances!
7. Start a family project and work on it every day
Here are some ideas: redecorate a room, build a big LEGO creation, create an art gallery at home, read a chapter book together (one chapter every day), create a family movie with several “episodes” filmed during several days.
8. Family movie marathon
Also, after watching the movie with your kids, use them as inspiration for more activities for them to do the next day:
- drawing a picture of the main character or their favorite scene
- building something inspired by the movie
- creating a story where the main character from the movie comes to their house (or a story where they get to visit a place they liked from the movie)
- creating alternative endings for the moviemaking a craft inspired by the movie.
9. Celebrate fun holidays together
Here is a list of ideas to try in January: Special days and fun holidays to celebrate with your kids in January.
10. Play charades
11. Take a picture every day and create a family lockdown album
Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a family picture every evening, before dinner.
Include in your photo any fun projects the kids did during the day (drawings, LEGO creations, games, etc) so you have a photo journal of the things you did during the lockdown.
12. Draw a family portrait
To make this activity more fun, create the portrait together using a back-and-forth drawing.
Here is how it works: One family member starts the drawing by adding a few elements on the paper, then passes it to the next family member who adds their own elements. Then everybody takes turns adding elements back and forth.
13. Play musical statues
14. Try a new recipe together
15. Write letters for loved ones
Invite the kids to write letters, make drawings, or record video messages for close friends or relatives. If you cannot send the letters or drawings to them, take a picture of them and just send the photo.
16. Have a family themed night
Here is a list of 40 family night ideas to inspire you.
17. Disney-themed dance party
When kids spend too much time indoors, it’s important to get them active to prevent their energy levels from getting completely out of control.
An easy way to do this while connecting and having fun together is to prepare a family dance party. We use Amazon Music to play our favorite Disney soundtracks, and they are perfect for burning off energy!
18. Have a daily family check in
This is a wonderful way to connect with the kids and find out how they feel!
Every evening, during dinner, have a family check in by inviting every family member to share their favorite part about their day, their least favorite part, and one thing they are grateful for.
19. Plan a party inspired by your children’s favorite activity
If you want to prepare a nice surprise for your kids, plan a family party inspired by their favorite activity. Invite the kids to decorate the house, dress up for the party, and come up with fun ideas to try together!
20. Watch old family videos
21. Have a family “how to” night
This is an easy and fun idea you can easily put into practice on your next family night!
Here is how it works:
- Invite the whole family to a “how to” night. Each family member will need to teach the others how to do something new (e.g., how to make pizza dough, how to build a paper boat, how to do certain dance moves, etc).
- Ask everyone to prepare in advance everything they’ll need for their “teaching moment” and choose an activity that can be done in less than 20 minutes.
- Take turns sharing your “tutorials” and have fun learning new things together!
You would be surprised how creative kids can be when they have the chance to teach you something.
22. Card game marathon
Here is an easy way to make this activity fun for the whole family: How to plan a fun family game marathon.
23. Have an indoor scavenger hunt
This activity is very easy to prepare, and the kids will love playing “detectives” and finding all the items on their lists.
Here are 3 ways to prepare this activity:
- For young kids: Prepare a color hunt. Using markers, draw small circles of different colors (red, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black, pink, purple) on a paper.
Invite the kids to look around the house, find one object of each color on the list, and bring it to you. The game ends when they find items of all colors.
- For older kids: Prepare an alphabet hunt. Write the letters of the alphabet on a paper (each letter on a different row).
Invite the kids to look around the house, find items that start with each of the letters on, and write them down on the list. The game ends when they find items for all letters (or you can set a timer and see how many letters they find during a specific period of time).
- For all ages (with adult help for young kids): Prepare an indoor scavenger hunt. You can find a printable scavenger hunt you can use at home here.
24. Start a gratitude journal for the whole family
25. Plan a technology-free day
This is a great way to slow down, relax, and enjoy each other without any distractions!
Download the activity poster
To make it easier for you to put these activities into practice, I created an activity poster you can download and display in your home, so you can have all these ideas at hand anytime you need them.
More family lockdown tips and ideas