Now that we're rounding the corner on nearly a year of lockdown and in our case with zero school happening face to face, it's been a lot of time at home.
We are so ever grateful for our nice weather year round here in Guadalajara that I post about on the daily, so we can truly get outside every single day.
We've also become quite the entertainers inside as well as most parents have over the last year, so I thought I'd write up a list of ideas to keep you and your little ones entertained off the screen while our wait for the vaccine seems to be eternal some days.
So here's a list of some of our favorite ways to pass the time, any links to Amazon are affiliate links, so feel free to click and know that a few cents will come our way if you purchase.
1. Water Beads
It felt like a sign last week when I saw so many people posting pictures of all the fun they were having with water beads, so I got us some of our own and we've had a ball creating tunnels, funnels, pools for our dollhouse people, filling up trucks, using scoopers and more while enjoying the fun feel of these slippery little beads. Check our video to see all the ways we are playing with these and get some of your own. We ordered a kit with 30,000 balls and what you see in the video is only 1/10 of the container - so much fun!
2. Science Experiments
Our 5 year old wants to be a scientist. We've been googling and using Pinterest to find all the "easy" science experiments that don't require too many extra supplies at home. So far in the last week, we've made a volcano, blown up a balloon from a chemical reaction and our plan this week is to make slime.
I also had to order a science experiment book in Spanish so that Daddy could get in on all this fun, we chose this one.
Here's the slime recipe we are using, we'll let you know how it goes.
3. Frozen Balloons
I'm not sure where this idea was born, it may have been one of their homework assignments. Our kids love freezing little toys in balloons and then taking them out the next day to take off the balloon and watch the ice melt. Sometimes they even like to paint water colors on the frozen ball of water, which adds another layer of fun and distraction.
4. Ripping Paper & Paper Chains
Each month we've filled our window with new art. It helps pass the time and also mark the time for the kids. This past month, we've been focusing on ripping paper and making paper hearts all over our wall. We also like to create paper chains to countdown the days until something "exciting" happens. We are counting down until Valentine's Day at this point. 💕
My.kids love baking all the things, we've done loads of banana bread, cookies, brownies and they are especially into pancakes and waffles these days. They each have their own apron and pretend it's a restaurant when they make breakfast, I'd give them 5 stars even if the service is a little needy and messy at times.
I've been posting and sharing about our favorite toy non-stop, but seriously these magnetic tiles are the constant favorite for all of us. Kids are so creative and we've been doing robots, cars, parades, race tracks, you name it. If you don't have some of these yet, do yourself a favor. It's fun for adults and kids. We got ours on Amazon, this is the most comprehensive starting kit!
Can't go wrong with sidewalk chalk. Obviously it helps to live in a warm climate to use it outside, but we also have an indoor chalk wall which provides lots of artistic entertainment. Our 5 year old is into making race tracks and rainbows outside while our 3 year old is fascinated by using as much pink chalk as possible.
8. Water Games
Who doesn't love playing with water? Our kids have even started helping us wash dishes from time to time, yes it takes twice as long but after you spend 12 months indoors you start to get creative. We also have a water table that we purchased 2 years ago which is still one of their favorite activities outside. They end up dripping wet every time they play with it, but what's the harm in some wet clothes that they can change when finished playing?
9. Recycled Robots
One of the best uses of our recycling before we actually recycle it is making robots and other creations with the cardboard. My favorite over the last few months included packing peanuts as hair sticking out the top of the robot's head. So fun and creative!
10. Plant Walks
Obviously, this is another one for us warm weather families. Our kids are obsessed with going on walks around the neighborhood and taking pictures of all the flowers and plants they can find. This could be done around your home if you have a green thumb with things growing at home. We've been taking nature walks, lots of pictures and then our kids try to draw the plants once we get home.
What about you? How are you keeping your children entertained? These days can feel so long and sometimes, Netflix is a must and we use it too. But we're doing our best to keep them off screens when possible and creating, exploring and using those beautiful imaginations.