Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Fun, easy, home-based activities for kids

Schools worldwide are closed in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

It is heartening to see author/illustrator friends and children's book publishers sharing free content online to help kids keep brains/bodies active during these newly homebound days:

Here is my small contribution.

Twenty years ago, I wrote a now out-of-print book called 365 Adventures (later repackaged as 365 Things to Do Before You Grow Up).

Starting with the first day my own kids were out of school, I began adding one entry a day to this post (newest at top; not in book order). You are, of course, free to copy/share.


  • Some minor references may now be outdated. But that gives you a secondary activity: look up those references.
  • Some activities require friends. When social distancing is in effect, substitute "friends" with "people who are currently in my house/apartment." (Or perhaps you can do some activities with friends by FaceTime or a similar program.)
  • As the title suggests, there are 365 entries. World, don't make me post them all.

Any questions? Want activities more than once a day? Post in the comments or email me (see "contact" link at top right of blog).

Another suggestion: to start a discussion with kids ages 9 and up about social justice, primary source research, intellectual property/copyright/creators' rights, 20th century history, persistence, and/or speaking up for others, show them the feature documentary Batman & Bill on Hulu. It's the first film based on a nonfiction picture book (Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman). Warning: it's a tearjerker!

The activities:

day 16 - make and take Rorschach test - posted 3/31/20

day 15 - rescue a bug - posted 3/30/20

day 14 - act out the dialogue from a film - posted 3/29/20
(NOTE: "tape" and "VCR" are the medieval forms of Netflix)

day 13 - make a house of mirrors - posted 3/28/20

day 12 - take an animal census - posted 3/27/20
(NOTE: though we're mostly staying at home at the moment,
you can do this by looking out the window!)

day 11 - know your blood type - posted 3/26/20
(NOTE: forget the self-test; just ask your parents!)

day 10 - compare news stories - posted 3/25/20

day 9 - celebrate another country's holiday - posted 3/24/20

day 8 - draw your great-grandparents - posted 3/23/20

day 7 - recite a famous speech - posted 3/22/20

day 6 - toss a rainbow salad - posted 3/21/20
(NOTE: you can also use fruit/nuts/other healthy food)

day 5 - put inventions in chronological order - posted 3/20/20
(NOTE: you don't have to use sticky notes; just make a list)

day 4 - go sled bowling - posted 3/19/20

day 3 - list the Seven Wonders of Your City/Town - posted 3/18/20

day 2 - make a string path - posted 3/17/20
(NOTE: you don't have to start at the front door)

day 1 - hold a no-laughing contest - posted 3/16/20

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