Activities for Sequestered Kids

I did some thinking, reached out to some parent friends, and pulled together a list (an evolving list) of activities, exercises, crafts, activities and oddities for kids both large and small to consider while sequestered at home. Just threw it up here, on my still-very-nascent blog, for parents and caregivers to use as a resource. Thanks to everyone that provided suggestions, advice and inspiration!

And I can’t help but think, and hope, that a few decades from now we’ll see this spike of particularly talented writers, knitters, programers, painters, book-makers, singers, CAD-designers, linguists and dancers and realize that they all fell in love with their respective crafts when they were kids, sequestered inside because of COVID-19.

Wether on a tablet or via a ‘real’ book, kids stuck at home can read, read, read and… read! They can also reconnect with giant, tubby cats too.

In no particular order:

  • Cook
    • Cooking classes with an available parent, baking, try new recipes, making a meal (cold or hot)
    • Or, how about a chef challenge where you set them up with certain ingredients and have them combine them into something interesting
    • Make ice cream, try new smoothie recipes
  • Exercise
    • Walk the dog or play in the yard
    • Yoga or workout videos
    • Set up an obstacle course inside or in the back yard; a stool to jump/step onto, a mat for burpees/mountain climbers, small weights, an area against the fence for wall sits, etc.
    • Movement videos like at
    • Hike trails in a neighborhood nature area
    • Get a start on the garden by clearing beds, starting planting or plant some trees
    • Plant a “pizza” garden with tomatoes, basil, garlic, onions and other veggies to make pizza (or consider other gardens like a “butterfly” one)
    • Meet dad in the basement at his new squat rack for some (light, kid-friendly) free weight training (sorry, that one is my own)
  • Arts
    • Draw, paint, sculpt

      Explore new worlds, build a business, construct a fort and more with your old cardboard boxes
    • Try a progressive drawing where each person draws one part and you take turns
    • Make a stop motion animation film (Legos, etc.)
    • Type up stories and then illustrate, or make chapter books
    • Make a regularly posted on-line tv show for your friends, and have your friends submit segments to add to it
    • Learn to crochet, knit or sew
    • Take photos, learn to edit them and learn to make online photo albums
    • Cardboard boxes (need I say more?)
  • Play
    • Purge your old toys. No, wait, rediscover your old toys!
    • Build the greatest pillow fort EVER (then build an even BIGGER one)!
    • Play airplane by setting up chairs in a room, serve snacks, kids watch a TV show or do activity (thanks to Charles McCool of McCool Travel for this one)
    • Two words: LEGO city

      Kids stuck at home can attempt new LEGO creations – and submit them to LEGO Inc for consideration
    • Put together a music trivia contest and have friends/adults play via live stream
    • Home scavenger hunt (with real items or taking photos) or ‘bingo’ board of activities
    • Create a play for your parents in 30 minutes – then the parents have to create a play for you in response to yours, but they only get 10 minutes
    • Good old fashioned dance party – take turns choosing music/music videos
    • Good old fashioned games like Scrabble, which teaches spelling and critical thought, and Monopoly, which teaches how to plan your way out of bad luck – and not screw up good luck
  • Compute
    • Use an online program, like, to learn how to type
    • Learn to code via sites like Scratch, tynker and tynkerCAD
    • Start a podcast
  • Learn
    • Check out some free online classes
    • Use an app like Duolingo to learn a language
    • Tour a museum virtually, for free, or check out these 20 virtual field trips
    • Search for local attractions (like zoos) doing local Facebook Live sessions daily
    • Download Merlin Bird ID and learn how to identify local birds (and make a bird feeder out of old Tupperware to bring them to the window)
    • Interview grandparents or parents, even by phone, to really learn and connect (and record the interviews too)
    • Get your Rube Goldberg on by emptying a junk drawer and seeing what they can build
    • Research the coronavirus, social and environmental issues associated with it, world politics, etc.
    • Interview tourism boards, tour operators and travel agents about the crisis and how they’re responding
    • Make a map of every destination that you’ve been to yet – and all the ones you want to see in your lifetime
  •  Adult
    • Research and present new options for family tv shows
    • Write letters/cards (perhaps one per day) or send artwork to grandparents, deployed military or the elderly in local nursing homes, most of which are closed to visitors (note: please do not actually lick the envelopes, either use a wetted sponge or just tape them shut)
    • Have live feeds of kids playing instruments, doing skits, etc. for the same folks noted above
    • Scan some stacks of old photos (and ask questions about them too)
    • On-line driver’s ed courses
Families stuck at home can rediscover ‘old’ toys, games and puzzles

Looking for more great ideas? Then check out some of these great sites too:

‘Chez’ Chesak is an award-winning travel writer, tourism consultant and 25-year veteran of the outdoor and travel industries. He is Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and formerly was the Vice President for Business Development for the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Executive Director of the Family Travel Association. He has been serious about his writing since about age eight. He also runs the Central States Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers. He’s lived all over the U.S. and traveled to some 36 countries but has the most fun when he’s exploring with his wife and two daughters. An avid outdoors person, he’s happiest on a trail, on skis, or nestled into a sleeping bag. He deployed to Iraq with a U.S. Army line unit in 2005. His works have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,, Good Housekeeping, Rachel Ray Every Day, Fatherly, Yahoo Travel, Family Vacation Critic, and many others. He also does periodic travel segments for the morning show of his local FOX affiliate and on American Forces Radio.

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