Photo via Fun with Mama.

Six at-home activities your children will love more than screen time

With kids out of school and many parents working from home, it’s almost like summer came early–but without the day camps and endless out-of-the-house activities, both of which can be a saving grace. And as if the stressors of parenting aren’t enough, trying to entertain your little ones while attempting to get your own work done can seem like quite the juggling act.

To combat afternoon boredom and additional screen time, we’ve rounded up a few family-fun activities that are bound to help pass the time between now and April 13.

This DIY Fairy Garden is the perfect way to promote imagination and teach responsibility while caring for live plants–we’ll count that as an at-home science lesson.


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FARM SENSORY PLAY 🐷 🚜 Today I’m sharing a fun way to change up play for your farm animal fans at home! My two and a half year old is still majorly obsessed with all things FARM, so we do a lot of sensory play using his favorite farm toys. 👉🚜 My favorite materials to use for farm sensory bins: oats, dry corn, dry beans, rocks, sticks, rice, dry pasta, scoops + tractors and farm toys! ••••••••• This morning, we used our leftover green colored rice as “grass”, a bit of oats, rocks and sticks. It was the perfect combo and provided lots of Saturday morning entertainment 👌 Any farm fans at home?! 👇 ••••••••• ⚠️ Be sure to use a taste-safe option like oats as your sensory base for the littles that tend to put things in their mouths. . . . . . . . #sensorybin #sensoryplay #toddleractivities #finemotor #finemotorskills #finemotorplay #homeschoolpreschool #momblog #preschoolathome #playbasedlearning #preschoolactivities #learnthroughplay #montessori #prek #playmatters #childhoodunplugged #montessoritoddler #toddlerplay #teachermom #sensoryplay

A post shared by LEARN THROUGH PLAY (@littleoneslearn) on Feb 29, 2020 at 10:31am PST

If the little farmer in your life is more into cows than fairies, then try making an at-home sensory box with old toys and a few household items found in the pantry or toy box.


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👾👾Germ Counting Mats 👾👾 This morning we spent some time working on math skills (addition, subtraction, counting) , problem solving and story telling. How did this little girl get so many germs on her hands? Here are some questions you can ask when using the mat: – How many germs are on the mat? How could she have gotten these germs? – Remove two germs, how many are left? How could she have gotten rid of these germs? – add three more.. how many germs are there? How’d she get those? – What happens to the germs if she washes her hands for twenty seconds? (They are all gone)… But what if you touch the bathrooms door knob when you are in a public restroom? The germs come back. I am hoping this activity will make her more aware and make a few small changes (hands out of mouth a little more, opening door knobs with tissues in public bathrooms, etc) Watch the videos to see the activity in use.

A post shared by Nadia T (@funwithmama) on Mar 15, 2020 at 2:41pm PDT

Practicing math skills and good hygiene are made fun and easy with this printable germ counting mat.


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DIY Wheel of Love ❤️🌈 so great for teaching emotions, colors and more! Lovely ice by @nurturinglittlegohs ❤️ check out her feed for more info 🙌🏻 . Tag us @recycleandplay and use the hashtag #recycleandplay for a chance to feature your recycled craft, art or activity! (xx Agnes, @hellowonderful_co ) . . . . #etkinlik #aktivite #okulöncesi #montessori #preschoolteacher #diytoys #playideas #playandlearn #kidslearning #earlylearning #earlyyears #creativekids #kidskrafts #earlychildhoodeducation #montessoriactivity #playathome #kindergarten #learningthroughplay #preschoolactivities #etkinlikpaylasimi #etkinliktavsiyesi #montessorianneleri #montessorietkinlikleri #montessoridirumah #montessorikids #preschoolactivities #playbasedlearning #montessoriathome #earlylearning101 #preschool

A post shared by Recycle And Play (@recycleandplay) on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:24pm PST

Trying to navigate our feelings during a time of crisis can be hard for adults to process, let alone kids. Try making an emotions and feelings wheel for your child to express their thoughts when they might not have the words.


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🔡WORD FAMILIES🔠 Nicky (5.4Y) is learning how to read and I’m just feeling all of the emotions 😭😍🤯🤗😱🥳. I can’t believe she’s at this stage now. She grew a natural interest for it and her amazing teachers have been working with her a little extra to help (is there anything better than teachers?! 😭🤗). She was so excited about her progress with the “-at” word family that I made these fun learning tools for her. Change the first letter to make new words. These are great for practicing reading. • 👉🏼YOU’LL NEED: -Paper rolls -Markers -Knife -Craft sticks 👉🏼INSTRUCTIONS: 1️⃣Use a marker to write “at”, “is”, “ad” on the paper roll. One word per roll. 2️⃣Cut out a square window using the knife. Also make a cut right above and below the square cutout. 3️⃣Write letters going down the popsicle sticks. You can use both front and back sides of the sticks. 4️⃣Insert the popsicle sticks through the slots and slide it to make new words. • ❣️I’d love to hear some reading strategies your little ones used ❤️ You can find more recycle play ideas on @recycleandplay #recycleandplay #mothercould #howto . . . #kidsactivities #preschool #montessori #teachersofinstagram #homeschoolingideas #earlylearning #teachermom #learningthroughplay #preschooler #iteachtoo #toddlerfun #playmatters #diy #homeschoolpreschool #homeschool #invitationtoplay #everydayplayhacks #playathome #montessoriathome #toddleractivities #kindergarten #playbasedlearning #busytoddler #etkinlik #diytoys #earlychildhoodeducation

A post shared by PLAY AT HOME & EASY RECIPES (@mothercould) on Jan 21, 2020 at 6:14am PST

Make reading and spelling exciting with these DIY word rolls. Not only do they make for a fun educational game, but you also only need four supplies to make them.


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Fizzy surprise 🌈 . . . It’s raining for the next few days so we’re starting Saturday with a fun & fizzy science experiment! The good old baking soda + vinegar but with a twist inspired by Susie @busytoddler 🌈 . I put drops of food colouring in the muffin tin and hid it with baking soda on top. When the boys poured vinegar into it, a surprise colour would fizz up! They used water droplets at the start but then wanted to pour water straight from their jugs to see it fizz and overflow. 🌈 . They loved it and asked to do it over and over again! I poured the liquid back into the tuff tray so that they could redo it with the remaining baking soda in the muffin tin. Swipe across to hear their “whoah’s” and contagious little giggles! 🌈 . . . #scienceonsaturdays #scienceforkids #learningthroughplay #playathome #playathomemummy #playideas #play #playmatters #letthemplay #earlylearning #earlylearning101 #creativeplay #learnandplay #stayathomemom #toddlerplay #preschool #preschoolactivities #toddleractivities #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolingideas #prepschool #littlesibsplay #siblingplayideas

A post shared by Jess | learn & bloom 🌺 (@learnandbloom) on Mar 13, 2020 at 5:59pm PDT

I’m getting flashbacks from my high school chemistry class, watching these little guys get their fizz on.


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⭐️DAILY SCHEDULE⭐️ “What will our day look like?!” (LINK IN PROFILE @busytoddler TO FREE PRINTABLE) This is the number 1 question I’ve been flooded with over the past few days, and here’s my best shot at an answer. This jolt to our system – many working parents home, kids out of school, events cancelled, normal home routines derailed – it’s a shock but we will make it & we will find normal and balance soon enough. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To help you try and visualize what a day might look like – here is my daily schedule adjusted for social distancing and school closures. This isn’t what my normal day to day life looks like but it will be my new-normal for the time being. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I remember so vividly being a first year kindergarten teacher and wondering what I was going to do with 21 five-year-olds all day. I learned quickly that short, predictable blocks of time were the way to go. So that’s what I’m sharing with you here. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Will this work for everyone? Goodness no 😉 Adjust, modify, consider what’s best for your family. I always say that the best routine is the one that’s best for you – and that still applies. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Remember this is SURVIVAL MODE – no one expects a perfect day every day. Some days will be better than others so give yourself lots of grace through this. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ FOLLOW THE LINK IN MY PROFILE @busytoddler to read more about this routine (info on play, screens, reading, activities) and to download the FREE PDF to hang on your fridge. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We will walk into this new normal together – you are certainly not alone ❤️

A post shared by Susie Allison | Busy Toddler (@busytoddler) on Mar 15, 2020 at 11:02am PDT

And although this isn’t an activity per se, popular mommy blogger Susie Allison is here to save the day with a detailed schedule to help you navigate your day during this “new normal.”

Let us know how you plan on keeping your kids busy and what you want to see more of this month in the comments below.