If your kids are at home during the day, you may find that you are running out of things for your kids to do at home.
As a homeschool mom to a kindergartner, we are only in “school” for about 2-3 hours each morning. That leaves a lot of extra time during the day.
I found that if I’m not intentional about how we spend our day, the TV gets turned on by default. In turn, my kids become cranky when they watch too much television.
So at our house, I make sure my kids do certain activities before reverting to the TV.
Don’t get me wrong.
My kids LOVE watching television, and we allow it at our house, but I want to make sure their days are well-balanced with several activities.
These ideas are currently what work for my 5 year old and 2 year old. Of course, they are not the “right” or only things kids can do at home, but I hope they give you some ideas.
If you need more guidance yourself as a stay at home mom, be sure to get your copy of the free Motivated Stay at Home Mom Checklist.
Things for Kids to Do at Home
Creative Time or Art
I used to think I had to have a big craft project for my kids to do, and if you are on Pinterest, you might get that impression too. But let me tell ya, those take a lot of work and supplies. I also beleive they limit creativity.
Sometimes, my kids enjoy a simple blank piece of paper and crayons more than a big craft. As long as they are able to get creative and make something, that’s what counts.
Here are some simple ideas.
- bank paper and crayons or water paint
- glue and construction paper
- empty cardboard box and markers
I’ve found that if I don’t get intentional about having reading time throughout the day, it doesn’t happen. So we follow a flexible routine which includes reading.
Here are some tips for your kids to read more.
- Have a book basket or shelf just for kid’s books.
- Visit the library often and let kids get books they want.
- Read books out loud and together as a family.
- Build independent reading time into your daily routine.
We like to read together at breakfast and during homeschool. My kids have time in the afternoon for independent reading. And let’s be honest, some kids like it more than others. My 5 year old doesn’t normally sit still, so he won’t look at books as long as my 2 year old who loves to look through books and pretend to read.
As long as you keep it fun and make it part of your routine, your children will get used to this reading time.
If it feels like you are cleaning up after everyone, you need to make sure your family, especially your kids are helping out as much as they are able.
I know how easy it is to just pick up the toys or sweep the floor yourself because you can do it faster, but in the long run you aren’t teaching your kids how to take responsibility for their lives.
As soon as my kids were able to walk, they started having chores. Yes, even a toddler can do chores!
Watching TV is a great motivator to get your kids to do chores. It’s crazy how fast my 2 year old will pick up her room when she knows she’ll be able to watch a cartoon afterwards!
Here are some chores my kids do before watching TV.
- bed made
- laundry put away
- room picked up
Whenever the weather is nice, I send my kids outside to play and run around before watching TV. Sometimes I’ll join them and other times, I let them play by themselves with my supervision indoors.
- Red Light Green Light
- ride bikes
- chalk paint
- throw a ball
If the weather isn’t nice, I still like my kids to get some energy out indoors.
Sometimes I’ll put on a YouTube exercise video for kids. Or we may play hide and seek throughout the house.
My son also has a small basketball hoop and plastic ball (affiliate link) that we will use to “play” basketball.
Here’s an important lesson I learned after becoming a mom. Kids don’t need to be entertained all day by their parents.
I really felt guilty for a long time if I did something for myself while my son was awake. I felt guilty and selfish. But the truth is it’s good for kids to learn how to play by themselves and have that alone time.
Parents don’t have to entertain their kids all day long. It’s okay for them to get bored. They will find something to do.
I’m all about spending quality time with my kids. And I’ll often go outside with them to ride bikes or draw chalk on the driveway. We read together and sometimes I even draw pictures with them, but I also give them their own time.
At our house, my kids have specific times in the afternoon when they play independently and also throughout the day if they need a break from each other!
But having that quiet time to themselves I believe is essential before turning on the TV.
These activities really fill a day up. Often, my kids don’t even have time to watch television until the evening which works out really well.
Before you go, be sure to get your copy of the Stay at Home Mom Checklist. If you are avoiding the laundry and dishes by watching TV yourself, this checklist will help you get motivated.