30 Activity Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained While You Write

  1. Coloring-you can have your children choose coloring books from the store, or print up coloring pages from a variety of sites, like Crayola.
  2. Origami-buy simple origami books for your children to experiment with, or try patterns from a site like this.
  3. Crayon Rubbings-peel the paper off of a crayon, place a piece of paper on something with an interesting texture, and rub the crayon over the paper.
  4. Airplane Wars-your children can make paper airplanes and then see whose can go the farthest or land in a specific spot.
  5. Sock Puppets-give your kids some old socks, yarn, fabric, googly eyes, and fabric glue so they can make their own hand puppets. Then they can go on to put on their own puppet show.
  6. Jewelry Making-provide yarn, string, and beads, and children will make necklaces, bracelets, and rings (only for older kids who won’t swallow the beads, of course).
  7. Painting-this one requires some supervision from an older child to be sure no one makes a huge mess or eats paint. But painting is really fun! Children can paint paper or even rocks.
  8. Dress Up-buy your children a few costume pieces so they can dress up and act out scenes. Even if you have only one child, dressing up and playing out a scene will still be fun. Older clothes can also be modified to make costume pieces, such as making a belt or cape or shawl, or by just cutting the ends into ragged edges (think faerie or street urchin).
  9. House-encourage your children to play house together (or by themselves) by providing them with old pots and pans to use. Buying some fake food can also ensure your child will be entertained as they pretend to cook and eat it.
  10. Dance Party-turn on some music and let your kids dance to it.
  11. Marbles or Jacks-these can be played inside or outside, with a group or with a single child.
  12. Jump Rope or Hula Hoop-the equipment is cheap and will keep your child active and entertained.
  13. Keep the Balloon in the Air-this would keep me and my siblings entertained for a long while. Simply blow up a balloon and hit it into the air. You have to hit it to your siblings and keep it up as long as possible. Since it’s just a balloon, it won’t break anything it hits.
  14. Board/Card Games-there are a lot of board and card games that are simple enough for children to play with each other. Some favorites I had when growing up were Sorry, Mancala, Kings Corner, and Parcheesi.
  15. Charades-kids can have a lot of fun acting out a word or phrase for their siblings or friends to guess.
  16. Video Games-while you probably don’t want your child playing video games all the time, letting them play once in a while can keep them busy. There are a lot of games that are available on the computer, and if you set up a Steam account for your child, you can buy and install games through there for them to play (there are also some free games on Steam, and they often offer game bundles for a much cheaper price).
  17. Active Games-teach your children games like tag, freeze tag (or get really crazy with hide and go seek freeze tag, a personal favorite of mine and my siblings), hide and seek, kick the can, hopscotch, red light/green light, and spud.
  18. Sports-children can play soccer in the backyard, or basketball if you have a hoop. Other games that require less equipment include four square, dodge ball, and water balloon volleyball (no need for a net, just towels and water balloons).
  19. Bubbles-bubbles are easy to make and can keep children entertained for hours.
  20. Sidewalk Chalk-children can make beautiful art on the sidewalk for all to see.
  21. Sprinklers-if it’s warm outside, have your children put on their swimsuits and run through the sprinklers when the grass needs watering. This was one of my favorite activities as a kid.
  22. Cloud Watching-tell your children to look for shapes in the clouds and draw them. They can show you what they drew later when you’re on a writing break.
  23. Dandelion Picking-as a kid, my mom would pay me a nickel for every dandelion we picked from the yard. On a warm summer day, my siblings and I would often be outside, bags in hand, searching for dandelions.
  24. Gardening-you could assign your child a small area of garden that is theirs to tend. They get to pick what to plant (they’ll need help getting everything planted to begin with), and they take care of the weeding (they’ll be able to do this on their own, although they may need some initial feedback from you on what is and isn’t a weed).

Miscellaneous

  1. Reading-go to the library at the beginning of the week and have your children stock up on books to read.
  2. Chores-not so fun, but they need to get done and doing them will teach your children valuable skills.
  3. Build a Blanket Fort-as a kid, I loved draping blankets over furniture to build a blanket fort. When it was finished, my siblings and I would get inside and tell scary stories, read with flashlights, and pretend to sleep. Everything was more fun in a blanket fort.
  4. Lego City-have your kids build a city out of Legos, along with a spaceship for their Lego character so they can fly around the house when their city is finished.
  5. ABC Hunt-have your children collect items around the house that start with each letter of the alphabet. Whoever finishes first wins!
  6. Puzzles-a puzzle is a great way to pass the time. Grab a puzzle that is appropriate for your kids’ ages, and if you have children in a variety of ages, get two puzzles!

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