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May 24, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

20+ Activities for Kids Stuck at Home

We've got great links for creating Easter gnomes plus super-fun ideas for all of the kids feeling cooped-up all day.

Cab • in fev • er
noun NORTH AMERICAN informal

1. Irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during any season.

The fears of Covid-19 are causing another malady — cabin fever — which affects temperament in the family arena. Cabin fever — the sense of being cooped up with no solution — can lead to aggression, and it can actually set in quickly, after just one or two days of isolation. Here are great ways to keep that cooped-up feeling at bay:


20+ Creative Activities for Kids Stuck at Home

1) Get'em going on Easter Crafts … Which Means … GNOMES!


DIY Bunny Gnome Pattern & Tutorial

How to Make an Easter Gnome

Easter Gnomes Tutorial

2. Construct a house of cards. Pull out the playing cards and see who can build the tallest card condo. Or, two or more children can work on the same house, each taking turns adding the next card.

3. Create a nature collage. Collect small, natural objects in your backyard: grass, sticks, flower petals, seeds, nuts, leaves. Glue the objects to cardboard to create a collage. Make a picture of them or have the kids make their own original design. Add paint or marker designs as you wish.

4. Go through family photographs and decorate rooms with them. Designate one hallway in your home as the Family Hall of Fame. With your kids, go through those bins and drawers of photos and select the ones you want to hang. This makes for a treasured activity.


5. Paint rocks. Transform ordinary rocks into garden markers, paperweights or gifts. Collect medium size rocks and wash them in a big bucket. Use tempera paint or markers to bring designs to life.

6. Make a worm terrarium. Use that old aquarium in the basement to make a composting ecosystem. Tear black and white newspaper into strips and moisten with water. Line the bottom of the aquarium. Cut vegetable and fruit scraps and rinsed eggshells into small pieces and add about a one-inch layer of the mix, stirring into the paper. Purchase red wiggler worms and gently add them to the top of the mixture — they will wiggle down. Keep a lid on the container but provide an air hole. Watch the wigglers transform the mixture into compost for the garden and house plants. Keep it moist — not wet.

7. Start planning your garden. 

8. Make your own play dough. Mix one cup flour, one-half cup salt, one-half tablespoon cooking oil, two tablespoons cream of tartar, one cup water and food coloring (if desired). Cook over medium heat for two-to-three minutes. When cool enough to handle, knead until smooth. Store in an airtight container.

9. Get into a book. Make it fun and let your kids pick their spot in your yard, porch or house where they want to read, what they want to read. Just let them know it has to happen every day!

10. Tinker in a tent. Throw a large blanket over a table and let kids play underneath, or set up a real tent. There’s nothing like “camping” outside.

11. Videography fun. Kids are crazy for videos — let them make their own.

12. Take a hike together. You've got to get out of the house a little bit!

13. Park it. Enjoy the great outdoors at your local park. Have fun on the playground, embark on a nature hike.


14. Bake together, only make it harder than a cake in a box. Turn up the aptitude on your child's baking ability by getting out the rolling pin. Make a pie or roll-out cookies.

15. Theme days. Kids love it when Mom or Dad gets into the day with a theme in mind: Mon: camping; Tue: Game Play All Day; Wed: Dress Up & Talent Show; Thu: Slumber Party; Fri: Backwards day.

16. Listen to a story podcast for kids.

17. Set up an arts and crafts table and let'em at it.

18. Does your kid love toy cars? Have a car wash in the bathtub!

19. Play restaurant. Have the kids make a menu from what's in the pantry. Decide who are the cutomers, who are the restaurant workers and divvy up the activities. Build up the imaginative play!

20. Hold a talent show at home.


About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.