Things to Do With Kids When School is Closed Due to COVID-19

We’re living in interesting times. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, aka the Novel Coronavirus, many people’s plans are changing. Spring Break trips were cancelled. Schools have cancelled classes across the country. With recommendations to stay away from close contact with other people, what in the world are you supposed to do with your kids when school is closed?

We’ve put together a great list of ideas!! Have some other good suggestions? Let us know!!

Things to Do With Kids When School is Closed

Around the House

Spring Clean.  There’s nothing quite like a pandemic going around to make you want to clean your house! Make it fun and get everyone involved. Turn on some dance music. Have a competition: whoever cleans their room the fastest gets a prize. Which person got their side of the sliding glass door the cleanest? Who can pick up the most toys in a minute? You get the idea. The house gets cleaned, you kill some time, and there’s fun to be had. Win-win! Check out our Spring Cleaning Checklist + FREE Printable!

Wondering what to do with your stuff you don’t want anymore? Check out Where to Donate Your Stuff in Cedar Rapids.

Learn a new task. Our team has talked a lot about not wanting screen time to take over on these days when the kids are stuck at home. So how about making screen time your friend? Want to learn more about photography? How to make a Boston Cream Pie? Make a stop motion LEGO movie? Write and draw a comic? Make a time capsule? Read a classic book and watch the movie? Learn a foreign language? Learn to draw or sew? YouTube and OutSchool could totally be your best friends when it comes to independent learning in something they are passionate about!

Read. Reading is the perfect way to spend a little downtime. Head to your library and stock up on some great new books. Don’t want to head out in public or the library is closed? Visit your library’s website and sign up for the Overdrive app. You can check out all the same great books and audio books, which can be read via the Overdrive app or Kindle app on your favorite device for FREE! We also love Epic for kids, which is basically Netflix for books. For a small monthly fee you can set their profile up to ensure they get age-appropriate materials that include audiobooks, read-to-me books, regular books, and videos! Bonus: you can create multiple profiles if you have kids at different levels! {Want more ideas? Check out our Guide to Where to Get Free Books and Movies When The Library is Closed}

Watch a good show. Stay in your pj’s, pop some popcorn, and take a day to binge watch your favorite tv shows and movies. Libraries are a great place to rent movies for free. Redbox provides low-cost rentals. And of course there are tons of streaming options now as well. Check out this guide: Streaming Guilt-Free Shows For Kids of All Ages.

Do some educational activities. If school is out for an extended period of time and you’re looking for some ways to supplement your child’s education, you can find some worksheets on education.com. Some other moms have recommended code.org and duolingo as great options as well. Here’s a HUGE list of educational companies offering FREE subscriptions!!

Here are some more great resources + ideas!

20 Indoor Boredom Busters for Kids
11 Sanity Saving Activities for When You’re Stuck Inside
5 Fun and Fast Waiting Games for Kids
4 Easy Slime Recipes
How to Beat Cabin Fever Without Leaving the House
6 Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers
“Trash”-terpieces: Creating Art from Found Things 
5 Fun and Easy Game Night Games for Preschoolers
4 Ways to Teach Computer Science to Kids
STEM Resources for Kids: Making Science + Math Fun
Teach Your Kids: 5 Easy DIY Flash Card Games
7 Social Media Accounts to Follow for Educational Ideas

Get Outside

One of the best ways to keep kids busy (and deal with a case of boredom or the grumps) is to get them outside! Fresh air and exercise will go a long way toward making everybody happier!

Make some art. Give your kids some sidewalk chalk and let them go to town! Don’t have chalk? Grab some paint brushes or rollers and have your kids “paint” with water on the driveway or sidewalk! Spray bottles work great for this too.

Have a toy wash. Similar to a car wash, grab a bucket, some soap and water, and some washcloths or sponges and let your kids clean their bikes and other outdoor toys. While you’re at it, you may even want to wash your car too!

Do some yard work. Now’s a great time to plant some flowers, rake the yard, pick up sticks (or dog poo…), and get a jump start on your outdoor spring cleaning projects.

Play. It seems like kids are so busy with structured activities these days. Here’s a great excuse to send them outside and let them figure out something to do! If you need some ideas, here are 22 Easy and Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids.

Get some exercise. Go for a walk or jog together. Ride your bikes or roller skate. Heading to a local trail can get you away from the house and into nature without a big crowd. Here are two resources to get you started: Our Favorite Cedar Rapids Parks with Trails and Hiking Eastern Iowa: 3 Trails to Get You Started.

Need some camaraderie to get you through? Be sure to join our Cedar Rapids Mama Sisterhood to connect online to other local mamas! We can’t wait to meet you!

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