activities when in quarantine with kids

Hi there! How are you doing? Are you feeling the Coronavirus / COVID-19 anxiety? As a mom of children with wonky immune systems (thanks to the autoimmune disease PANS/PANDAS + Lyme Disease and co-infections) and a person who struggles with anxiety myself, I’ve had to balance being prepared and aware with turning off the news and trying to focus on things here at home and staying positive. I think that, for me, I feel better just surrendering to our circumstances and hunkering down at home with my family,  taking deep breaths, and trying to find the positives in this slow down. I know my husband and I are very lucky because we work from home and are able to do this without too much hardship. I feel for those of you who are facing bigger challenges professionally, economically, and logistically.

For those who will be quarantining at home with kids, I thought I would share the activity list my kids and I made that we’ll refer to when we feel bored or to help keep a bit of structure to our days (my PANS kiddo especially does better with structure because it helps keep his OCD at bay when he’s busy). So here’s our list, along with links to some of our favorite board and card games:



  • play with sidewalk chalk
  • outdoor play-doh
  • nature scavenger hunt
  • paint rocks for garden
  • garden prep and other spring yard jobs
  • plant early veggies and learn about them as we go
  • plan our herb garden
  • plan our flower gardens
  • scooter rides
  • family nature walks/visit metro parks
  • trampoline
  • hop-scotch (can do multiplication hopscotch for older kids)
  • bike rides
  • backyard nature study
  • Mr. Fox
  • wash the car (if warm enough)
  • bug collecting
  • plant identification (I use PictureThis app)
  • make a gnome/fairy garden
  • clean up/open sandbox if weather permits
  • set up birdhouse and fill bird feeders to do some birdwatching — can ID birds with our bird book
  • outdoor painting
  • bubbles
  • kickball
  • backyard DIY obstacle course (can be simple)
  • plant a tree
  • do a weather study
  • water play once warm enough


  • puzzles
  • write a story
  • draw/color
  • pick a topic and then research/read about it (could also ask kids’ Alexa)
  • listen to kid podcasts or audiobooks
  • break out old lego sets and magna tiles
  • write letters to family and start sending postcards to pen pals
  • Nugget fort/play or build a fort if you don’t have a Nugget, set up a tent, etc.
  • GoNoodle (body movement)
  • CosmicKids Yoga
  • Twister
  • dance parties!
  • indoor treasure hunt
  • Charlie’s indoor quidditch game or homemade Minecraft board game
  • invent other new games
  • organize/clean rooms
  • save cardboard boxes from the many deliveries we’ll have to avoid stores and come up with creative ways to use them. Build a robot, make a playground for the cats, etc.
  • Go through old clothes and see what fits and what doesn’t. Make a donation bag. Also go through old toys while playing indoors at home and put in a donation box. Explain where our donations go and how others enjoy them and environmental benefits to second-hand goods.
  • chores (make it a game or contest)
  • workbooks/activity books for littles // homework for big
  • marble run
  • cars/car tracks
  • baking
  • charades
  • reading / read-to-self

activities when in quarantine with kids


Non-Animated Movie Ideas for Bigger Kids

      • Labryinth
      • The Goonies
      • Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (original)
      • ET
      • The Dark Crystal
      • The Greatest Showman
      • Akeela and the Bee
      • The Sandlot
      • The Mighty Ducks
      • Flight of the Navigator
      • The Sound of Music
      • Wizard of Oz
      • Harry Potter(s)
      • The Chronicles of Narnia
      • The Princess Bride
      • Mary Poppins
      • BFG
      • Matilda
      • Newsies
      • Little Giants
      • Hook
      • Honey I Shrunk The Kids
      • The NeverEnding Story
      • Willow
      • The Jungle Book (live action)
      • Lion King (live action)
      • Beauty and the Beast (live action)
      • Pete’s Dragon
      • The Karate Kid
      • Back to the Future
      • Space Jam
      • Rookie of the Year
      • School of Rock (older kids)
      • Spy Kids
      • Free Willy
      • Cool Runnings
      • Jumanji (old and new)
      • Mrs. Doubtfire (older kids)
      • Kindergarten Cop
      • Star Wars (originals and prequels are best for kids)
      • Jurassic Park (Jurassic World for older kids as well)
      • Indiana Jones
      • Holes
      • look for other options on Disney+

These are ones that we have/would let our oldest son watch. He’s 9 but a bit more of an advanced movie lover and won’t really watch animated films anymore. He will flat out tell you that his favorite directors are George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and he pays no mind to swear words — it’s all about the art 🙂 That being said, we may feel ok with letting our kids watch something that you would not, so be sure to check out the movie at Common Sense Media or on IMDB first. Please don’t come blame me when you let your kids watch The Goonies and then they start using new words afterwards 😉

Free Learning/Activity sites:

You can also use code SCHOOL7771 for free access to ABC Mouse, Early Learning Academy, Adventure Academy, and Reading IQ while schools are closed.

Other read aloud sites:,,, (great nonfiction for K-1st), oxford (free access to 250+ books)

Virtual Field Trip Ideas: 

(I did not create this amazing list, just sharing it!)

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals you can watch on stage online:

We can do this! Stay safe and healthy everyone. xx


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