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Keeping kids occupied with fun activities is a great way to stimulate their minds, get their bodies moving, and slip in some educational components. From arts and crafts to outdoor games and volunteering opportunities, this guide will help you plan days of fun at the drop of a hat.
500 Arts & Crafts Activities: From painting and drawing to sculpting and cooking, this site has over hundreds of creative outlet ideas for kids.
Kids Crafts: Felting, fuse beads, foam work, origami and jewelry top the artistic kids crafts on this website.
Suncatcher Crafts: These faux stained glass crafts can be made in a variety of ways depending on your child’s age.
Treasure Hunt Riddles: Here is an extensive list of categorized treasure hunt clues that can be done inside.
Build Your Own Board Game: If you’re bored with your board game cabinet, try having the kids invent their own game using this guide.
18 Ideas for Rainy Day Fun: From making jet packs and light sabers to building structures with toothpicks and marshmallows, these activities seek to make use of items you already have at home.
10 Fun Scavenger Hunt Ideas: This step-by-step guide walks you through how to set up an outdoor scavenger hunt and provides example lists of items to find.
50 Simple Outdoor Activities for Kids: For those days when you just can’t think of anything to do, these simple ideas will inspire fun, outdoor activities.
10 Awesomely Messy Ideas for Kids: Sometimes it’s healthy to direct that mess-making fun to an appropriate activity. These 10 ideas will give your kids the outlet they need.
5 Best Backyard Water Games: There’s no better way to cool off in the heat of summer than playing with water. These games will keep the kids active on the hottest of days.
11 Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids: From art to science, these activities will introduce a whole new way of looking at the nature in your own backyard.
Educational Activities: These fun activities sneak a little education into the experience. They are organized by age and grade level as well as subject.
Education World: Here are ideas for introducing the science of light, musical instruments, nature and more.
40 Ways Kids Can Volunteering: From toddler to teen, this article gives ideas on how to help kids give back to their communities.
10 Kid-Friendly Volunteer Service Projects: Older and younger kids can both benefit from participating in these service ideas.
Children’s Volunteering Resource Guide: Using Volunteer Match and other online searches, you can find kid-appropriate volunteering opportunities.
We chose most of these activities as ones that can be done inexpensively at home. You do not have to go out or pay for expensive movie theater tickets or arcades to have fun. Once you learn to seek fun in your own surroundings, you’ll be surprised how many activities there are that don’t even require electronics.
Play to your kids strengths with some activities, but don’t be afraid to help them expand their horizons. Your artistic little one may benefit a lot from learning how to play an outdoor sport. Similarly, your budding jock may find peace in expressing him- or herself through art. Try to mix it up, especially if you have sibling groups.
Invite the neighbors to participate. You can share the expense of some crafts by rotating hosts or dividing the cost into a few dollars per child. Sharing in these activities is a great way for kids and adults alike to make new friends.
Expand your junk drawer. Designate a plastic storage bin with a lid to be your crafts or rainy day bin. Keep all left over pompoms, pipe cleaners, glue, paper towel rolls, tissue paper from gifts, and other bits and pieces you might otherwise toss. You never know when they could come in handy for a craft project. Even broken, old crayons can be melted down and made anew! This way, you save money rather than having to go out and purchase supplies, plus your items are at-the-ready.
Many of these activities are a great way to introduce life skills. Gardening, cooking, and baking help kids become more self-sufficient. Other activities like hosting a car wash or lemonade stand help kids learn to manage money. Just be careful to not focus too much on the “need” to learn something. Keep it fun!
Along with developing their own life skills, volunteering can help teach kids important values like empathy, compassion, and self-sacrifice. There are plenty of volunteer gigs that are quite fun, too, such as working on a community garden, helping to clean a local beach, or making friends doing crafts with the elderly.