It’s raining, it’s pouring; don’t let your kids stop playing.
Us parents need to be prepared whenever the children have a day off school. We need to provide them with activities whether we’re at home or out and about. Maybe they could sit at home and hang out all day (in front of screens,) but we’re all more likely to have a good day with a little direction, some places to go, and a list of things to do.
Suggested: How To Get Kids Off Screens and Into Play
It can be incredibly tough whenever all our children are off school. We’re out of our routine and everyone wants to do something different. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of 50 things to do for kids of all ages when school’s out. You can do these things anytime of the year!
We’ve divided the activities into several categories for different age groups. Check them out below.
12 Things To Do with Pre-Schoolers and Under
If you have children in this age group, it’s best to come up with a schedule that includes everyone’s naptimes, snacks, and meals for the day.
- Go on a scavenger hunt!
Give an extra fun twist to your visit to the grocery store or wherever you might be going. Make a list of things they need to find. For example, their favourite food, or rocks from the local park. You can even do one at home. While you’re at it, you can add missing items to the list. Who knows, your child might be able to reunite you with some of your long-lost stuff.
- Go on a nature walk!
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Connect with nature. Go to peaceful areas like local parks, fish ponds, botanical gardens in your area, or your very own garden in the backyard. Bring a bag or a carton and bring ‘nature’ home. This can be anything from unique-looking rocks and sticks, to flowers and dandelions.
- Go on some play dates.
School breaks are perfect to get some one on one playtime with their classmates and neighbourhood friends!
- Visit a different park each day.
If the weather’s nice, it’s a good idea to go to a different park each day. They’ll have a different experience each time. While you’re at it, you can make a rating sheet for the children to fill out so you know which park you should revisit in the future.
- Have them help with cleaning.
Share some simple tools with them and have them help. They can wipe down all kinds of surfaces using a spray bottle filled with a mixture of vinegar and water. They might even get a kick out of polishing silver, dusting baseboards, and hunting for toys under the furniture.
- Sensory activities.
- Create a mini garden.
It can be incredibly exciting for the little ones to see the growth of something that they planted. Your children would surely love to get their fingers dirty for this.
- Visit museums.
There are tonnes of museums out there with toddler and pre-school friendly areas.
- Dance party
Plenty of children love to boogie. So get together with family and friends, and dance to some kid-friendly tunes.
- Go on a visit to the library.
Visiting the library is an awesome way to find some new reading material. Plenty of local libraries hold storytelling sessions to keep children occupied while the adults can catch up on the latest bestseller.
- Create your own book.
This activity is not only fun, it also stimulates your child’s imagination and creativity. They don’t have to be an artist or know how to write. Have them make some pictures and narrate a story to you.
- Conduct simple science experiments.
Satisfy your children’s curiosity and broaden their understanding of how the world works through simple science experiments. Float or sink is a fun one to play in a baby pool or the bathtub while Mentos and soda will bring amazing looks from your little people.
17 Things To Do with Children from Elementary Age to Middle School
- Go for a photo walk.
Enjoy a walk with your loved ones as you appreciate nature. Have everyone capture images of the same thing to see what kinds of different results they get.
It may not be as fun as the other activities in this list, but since school’s out, it’s the perfect time to declutter everyone’s rooms. While you’re at it, you can get things ready for donations or a yard sale.
Suggested: 4 Tips for Green Decluttering
- Introduce the children to classic TV shows.
- Play board games.
Playing board games all day is a wonderful way to bond and have fun with your loved ones. Most families have plenty of board games but almost never use them. Since your children aren’t busy with their studies, now is the perfect time to dust them off.
- Let everyone choose an activity.
Let everyone choose an activity that the whole family can do over the break. If you have plenty of children, then you’ll have a pretty busy schedule. The good news is that it’ll guarantee that everyone will have fun.
- Have a movie marathon.
Pick out movies you haven’t watched before and add in some of of your children’s favourites and watch them together. This activity is great for rainy days!
- Try out new restaurants.
If there are new restaurants in your area, then this is the perfect time to try it out with the whole family! Who knows, you might find something new that your family would want to visit regularly.
- Be a tourist for a day.
When you’re a local, you tend to skip over plenty of things that are often visited by tourists. Now is the perfect time for you and your loved ones to see what your area has to offer!
Geocaching is the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website. Geocaches can be found all over the world. It might not be a good idea to let your children run around with your mobile phones. Unless you plan to be with them every second anyway, we recommend giving them a hand held GPS device.
- Start an “Ice Cream Day” tradition
Spend a day or two driving around and trying out the products of various ice cream and frozen yogurt shops around your area. This is a fun way to find the perfect kind of ice cream for your loved ones the next time they crave for something cold and sweet.
- Create an obstacle course.
You can create an obstacle course in your yard with various items like balls, and bats. It’s a wonderful way to have some fun and a bit of exercise.
- Bust out the hose.
This is the perfect time to play some sprinkler games. You can also do some car washing. Who says that can’t be fun?
- Give back.
Since you all have some free time, why not use just a little of it to give back to those in need? You can visit a retirement community or donate some time to the local animal shelter.
- Have a spa session at home.
Start the tradition of having a spa day with some nail polish, massages by mom, and facials made from fresh ingredients.
- Hotel stay at home.
Have a special evening with your loved ones by pretending to be in a hotel while in one of your house’s rooms. It’ll be excellent to have a turndown service, and warm cookies before bedtime.
17 Things To Do with Children of all ages.
- Build a fort
Every child loves building forts. For plenty of people, it remains a favourite even as they get older.
- Create photo albums
Have them help as you celebrate and preserve wonderful moments by creating scrapbooks out of photos. It can be a wonderful way to look back on the past year and discuss the little ones’ accomplishments.
- Create glitter jars
This fun activity can help any child create something that helps them calm down. Here’s a tutorial on how to make calming glitter jars.
- Paint some pottery
It’s a great way to kill some time and express your child’s creativity. Your children might even be able to use this opportunity to create gifts for aunts, uncles, grandparents, or even you.
- Tour local factories
Every child is curious about how candy is made. Going on a tour of a candy factory or something similar will surely be a wonderful experience for them.
- Build something enormous
This activity is great for your child’s creativity. Have the whole family take part in the activity. Whether it’s train tracks, Legos, or blocks it’ll be fun for everyone.
- Create a pop-up book.
Creating your own pop up book is a wonderful way to reimagine your child’s favourite story, or bring life to a homemade one. Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own pop-up book.
- Clean rooms
This might not sound very exciting at first. But if some of your children’s toys (or some of their parts) are missing, then this activity can pretty much end up making them happy. You can also take this opportunity to toss out broken toys and gather supplies for a yard sale.
- Go on a day trip to somewhere!
It’s a good idea to go to somewhere you haven’t been to before or some place your little ones love visiting. With some careful planning, you won’t have to spend a fortune for it!
- Exercise together!
Go for a hike, ride bikes, or simply go on walks after meals. These activities will surely help strengthen your family’s bonds.
- Cook with the children
Most children are interested in helping out in the kitchen. Some of the little ones even try to imitate what their parents are doing using imaginary utensils and pans. Not only do they get early access to some of the food, they’ll also get to learn something new. You can find recipes and ideas for all ages from toddlers to teens.
- Make your own videos.
Crafting your own videos can be a lot of fun. You can capture any moment, from your 2 year old singing Adele, or your teen talking about games like Minecraft. You never know, your child could go viral!
- Clean out the junk
It’s very likely that your children have several bins or baskets of mismatched game pieces and toys. Just dump the contents of your junk drawer, bin, or basket on the floor and have your child sort them out and find a home for everything. It’s also the perfect opportunity to find and throw away any broken ones.
- Create a kid art gallery
Celebrate your child’s creativity and display their masterpieces! You can use poster strips, , clothespins and wire, or even frames you may have lying around to make your own art gallery.
- Create a veggie garden
Like we mentioned earlier, it can be incredibly exciting for your children to observe the development of something they planted and cared for. All you need is a good patch of sunny land, and some seedlings or seeds.
- Chalk drawings
Creating scribbles and intricate designs using chalk is another all age favourite! The young ones in particular will love making race tracks for their toy cars and scooters.
- Invent your own unique game.
If left to their own devices, children are great at coming up with ideas to keep themselves entertained. With a little time, they’ll be able to create their own games or find weird and fun ways to play common ones.
Things To Do with Children of High School Age and Over
- Spend time with them
At this age, your children will probably have their own agenda. However, you might be able to squeeze in some time for a lunch date, a shopping trip or an outing for a day. Make sure to consider they would want. It can be a very rewarding activity for everyone involved.
If none of these things interest you, you can always scour deal sites for things to do.
It’s also important to note that not every child is the same. Some might appreciate it if they could just spend a day doing as little as possible. It can be fun for some (even for adults) to sleep in and stay in PJs all day.
Well, that’s it for our list. We hope that you found something that your little ones can be excited about and look forward to every once in a while!