If you’re anything like me, you might be looking down the now blank calendar for the next seven days with a fair amount of anxiety. I love my children dearly, really, I do, but being around them 24 hours a day for one full week already has proven to be my greatest challenge as a parent. On top of that, I’m low-key super anxious about current events, so my energy to find new activities ebbs and flows. I’m trying hard to take it day-by-day, week-by-week. There are a lot of hours to fill, even if you the usual games you play, maybe some learning activities, movies, and letting them be bored into account. A LOT.
So I took to the greatest source of knowledge I know – other moms – for ideas of what worked last week! There are A LOT of lists of ideas circling the internet right now. Those lists are great, but I wanted real parents to give me their best ideas. Tell me WHAT WORKED LAST WEEK. I’m looking for GRAND SLAM ideas that are going to buy us the most time and happiness in close quarters this week. And of course, these moms delivered. Thank you to everyone who shared their most helpful ideas!
20 Proven Grand Slam At-Home Activities for Kids Under 5:
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Creating a map on a big piece of paper and incorporating your local favorite spots (i.e. zoo, Target, car wash) and other houses (e.g. Bat Cave, Princess Castle, etc.)
- Sensory bin with water beads, dried rice, pinto beans or kinetic sand (all options were given high praise!)
- Structure building with toothpicks and marshmallows
- Making a “toy wash” with two empty bins, one filled with soapy water, and one with clean water.
- Glow stick baths
- Letting the kids take turns helping make lunch
- Collecting and then painting rocks
- Making a zoo or playing animal hospital with all the stuffed animals and figurines you can find.
- Building a giant blanket fort and using flashlights to play and read in there
- Gingerbread houses from graham crackers and anything else you can gather from the pantry
- Hopscotch (outside or inside!)
- Wand making using pencils, ribbons, and hot glue
- Painting with unusual objects (sponges, marbles, cars, trucks, etc.)
- Nature walks…or really any walks!
- Online story times through the local libraries
- Playing with slime
- Go Noodle App to get the wiggles out!
- Tracing sheets in a binder sleeve with dry erase markers
- Homemade playdough