Have you ever wondered how to keep kids busy at home when you’ve got a whole day stretching ahead of you? If I’m not careful, days with my kids can quickly turn into marathons of their favorite streaming shows and incessant begging for snacks. When I’m on my game, I help my kids come up with ideas to craft their own day well spent. Although it’s important for kids to come up with their own activities, sometimes they need a little guidance about where to start.
That’s why I have created a checklist for kids called “A Day Well Spent.” It includes a balanced mix of creativity, social skills, physical activity, and healthy choices. Not only does this checklist for kids help give them a well-rounded structure for the day and the satisfaction of checking items off a list, it also increases moms’ confidence that their kids’ days have been well spent.
Here are some of the items included on the checklist and some ideas of how to keep busy at home in each category.
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Do something artistic
- Engage with art toys such as these.
- Use sidewalk chalk
- Color pictures, draw, sketch, or paint (see my free coloring pages)
- Create art with items from nature
- Put together a collage from magazines and catalogs
- Play group games such as tag
- Have a dance party
- Do yoga for kids (we enjoy Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube)
- Get active with GoNoodle
- Active video games such as Just Dance or Wii Sports
- Run in a sprinkler, jump in leaves, build a snowman, or ride a bike, depending on the season!
Make or Listen to Music
- Put a kids’ station on Amazon Music Unlimited or your favorite streaming service
- Write a new song or come up with new lyrics to a favorite song
- Use a musical kit such as Melissa & Doug’s Band-in-a-Box
- Sing karaoke (we have this great machine that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth!)
- Assist with chores around the house (Depending on age, you may want to grab a kids’ cleaning set like this one)
- Work with a younger sibling on accomplishing something
- Participate in a simple service project, such as writing cards to military personnel
Solve a Puzzle or Problem
- Create something out of blocks, such as magnetic tiles, Lincoln Logs, or Duplos
- Put a puzzle together (For kids 4 and up, we love the jumbo puzzles by Melissa & Doug! For younger kids, we like chunky puzzles or peg puzzles.)
- Conduct a science experiment
- Work through word or math problems or puzzles
- Go on a scavenger hunt
Learn Something New
- Have your kids come up with questions and research the answers together
- Watch a short documentary or an episode of an educational show
- Teach kids about your own household tasks, such as cooking, laundry, or balancing the budget
- Use simple moments during the day to provide a life lesson
Read a Story
- Listen to an audiobook together (sign up for a free trial of Audible and get two free audio books!)
- Do a dramatic reading of a book
- Get a subscription to High Five or Highlights magazines and read the short stories and poems
- Ensure you’re signed up for Imagination Library if you’re eligible to keep a steady stream of books coming in!
These are just a few of the items on the checklist. Be sure to download your copy and print it for your kids! It includes big checkboxes so that they can mark things off themselves during the day. There is also a space for you to add your own item at the end! What would you add? Leave your ideas in a comment!
Read 40 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids of All Ages for more ways to help your kids fill their day with fun!
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