Try these fun and easy Easter activities at home with your kids this Easter weekend.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that it truly is a perk, if not luxury to be able to work from home, and therefore, be home to help educate my kids during this time. While many of us have complained about trying to do “all the things” at home, I believe we should take the posture of gratitude since there are many moms and dads who have to report for work outside the home and therefore make other arrangements for their children who are out of school. That said, for those of us wearing multiple hats at the same time—here are some tips for this season:
- Have a schedule, but hold it with loose hands: Structure can help kids stay on track with expectations for the day. For example, waking up at the same time each day has helped our family. This means, if you have a child who would like to sleep later than the time identified, go ahead and get them up! Likewise, stick to the same bedtime. Once those two things are established, you can look at other times in the day as blocks of time that serve a purpose, such as: schooling, working, cleaning, playing, cooking, etc. Within those blocks can be a lot of flexibility. Sometimes the schooling block might be reading outside, while other days might be doing assignments from teachers. You might skip the cleaning block one day to extend learning time and vice versa. The point is, keep a schedule, but keep it open enough to accommodate the needs each day presents.
- Get “school” started with each child, each morning: Depending on the ages of your children, they will need you or your spouse to help them get started on learning time each day. Hopefully this leads to a block of time where they stay on task and you, parent, can do some work. Trading off in this role is super helpful if both parents are at home. My husband and I tag team “conferences” with each child every morning to go through emails and assignments from teachers, make a plan, and answer questions. In the evenings, each child reports back with what they accomplished. Having checkpoints throughout the day is also helpful to see if they are staying on track. For younger children, this is more challenging as they need to stay busy and need to be monitored at the same time (which makes those Zoom calls pretty interesting!) Plan multiple stations throughout the house that have things for them to do—much like a preschool classroom. Puzzles at the coffee table, art project at the kitchen table, legos or blocks on the floor, and a fort set up in their room with extra toys!
- Keep technology use to a minimum: This one is hard for any age because when parents really need to crank out a deadline without distraction, the temptation is to put on a movie, or pull out the Ipad. While there is a time and place for this, try not to double-down on it during this time. I’m speaking to the choir on this one since my boys LOVE to play video games—and sometimes it’s just easier to say yes to an extra 30 minutes (or hour or more)!! The heart behind this is to not beat yourself up if you do have to use technology for an activity, but have other things planned for learning and playing to find a great “balance”.
- Keep the weekends! As all the days run together, it might feel like the weekends disappear. I encourage you to mark the weekends with Sabbath rest as much as possible—meaning no working and no schooling; sleep in a bit, watch a movie together, play outside if possible, do something fun! Certainly on Sundays, watch a church service together and participate in any church activities offered through streaming apps or downloads for family devotionals. Above all else, worship together during this time. Your family needs to read the Bible together, pray together, sing together—now more than ever.
- Give yourself grace: The energy we had when the Covid-19 crisis began is more than likely waning at your house—as it is indeed at ours. There are some days that go better than others—and that is ok. We need to all realize that while we may have to live this way for a while, it was never intended to be sustainable long term. If you need a day to “not do school”, take that day—or week. If you need to take a day off from work, you can hopefully do that too. If your child cries during your online meeting, excuse yourself and go care for your child. Your co-workers will understand. We all have our stuff we are dealing with and grace abounds all around us. If nothing else, grace abounds.
Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness. John 1:16a
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Lifeway Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.
Easter may look a little different this year, but we can still engage with kids and families during this important time. This devotional guide is a free eight-day resource taking families through the resurrection week. Parents and kids will interact with stories and pray together throughout the week as they go from the Triumphal Entry to the resurrection.
Click here to download your free 2020 Easter Devotional Guide for Families and distribute it to families in your ministry today.
We hope this devotional is a blessing in uncertain times. May we truly celebrate our Savior’s resurrection this Easter and beyond. Happy Easter!
Many churches are pushing pause on gathering their congregants for weekly worship services during this season of coronavirus risk, including children’s ministry classes and groups. While many of us might be tempted to enjoy a break from church, that’s the last thing we really need. At times like this, we desperately need God’s Word to reassure us that He is in control; we need to sing songs that remind us of His power; we need worship.
The Bible teaches us to “watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together (emphasis mine), as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, CSB) We know, as Christ followers, that we are called to gather together as the Church—the bride of Christ Himself. However, as we retreat to the safety of our houses under city ordinances and precaution, we should look around and recognize that the very people we live with in our homes are part of that same calling—our family. We should continue (or start) to gather together to worship as a family.
Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or friendly neighbor, you can still gather together for a worship experience. This may sound intimidating to you, like something you are not equipped for, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact now is the perfect time to start doing a family worship time, and to keep doing long after coronavirus leaves us.
If you read the portion of Deuteronomy 6 sometimes referred to as the Shema, it’s easy to see that family discipleship is a scriptural command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (emphasis mine).”(Deuteronomy 6:5-7, CSB) So, let’s face it. Many of us will be “sitting in our houses”—with our kids or other family members—for longer periods of time than we are currently used to, as some schools may close and workplaces may go to a temporary remote work model. Chances are, your family might be experiencing some anxiety in this unprecedented situation. Use this extra time wisely and talk about God’s Word—the ultimate soother of our souls and healer of our hearts!
Try this to get you started: read, pray, sing—repeat! In his little book, Family Worship, Donald S. Whitney gives a simple formula for how to have a family worship time. Most of us are capable of doing this. Just gather your crew, open your Bibles, read a chapter or two aloud, say a prayer, and sing a song!
- Read: You might choose to go through one of the Gospels together, or read a Psalm and a chapter from Proverbs. The ages of your children might dictate the content you choose. If you have younger children, consider grabbing one of their Bible storybooks and selecting a Bible story to read aloud while showing pictures. Older children and teens can help read aloud portions of Scripture. Everyone can add to the discussion by asking questions and offering comments. And guess what? If you don’t know the answer, that’s ok. Acknowledge the great question and offer to do some research and report back next time. Of course kids and teenagers are really good at asking questions that we would all like to know, but simply won’t have the answer this side of Heaven. It’s okay if that’s your answer too.
- Pray: End your Bible reading and discussion time in prayer. You can ask your family what they would like to pray for. Are they worried and fearful about the coronavirus? Are people you know in your community actually sick with COVID-19 and need prayer? Is anyone in your family lonely and feeling isolated from friends and classmates? Is there too much sibling conflict from being cooped up? Offer prayers of hope and encouragement, repentance, and intercession.
- Sing: Close your family worship time by singing a song or two. Singing together might feel strange if you’ve never done so before. You might start by playing a worship song your family is familiar with from church worship or the radio. Ask everyone to sing along. Or, sing simple hymns that everyone knows—no accompaniment necessary.
Now, repeat the routine. It will get more comfortable each time. Try gathering weekly and work up to bi-weekly or even daily. This habit could change your family forever.
It may be inevitable that your church cannot gather for one or more weeks, but that does not mean you shouldn’t gather as a family and experience the one true God together through His Word, through prayer, and through song. As an extension to your family worship time, my team at Lifeway Kids has put together a family worship experience for you, which includes a Bible story video and life application videos, as well as a discussion guide and activity sheet to download. Simply follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to digitalpass.lifeway.com.
Step 2: Register if you are a new user or log in if you already have an account.
Step 3: Look for Lifeway Kids at Home and Lifeway Preschool at Home in the “Watch Now” section
This article originally appeared on Christianity Today.
By Josh Straub
“Yes, dad, I know,” said our 7-year-old son with a ting of whininess in his voice. “Two times, not just one.”
So, we kept scrubbing our hands, standing together in the restaurant bathroom singing “Happy Birthday” for the second time.
Though he never sucked his thumb, he is one of those kids who struggles keeping his fingers away from this mouth.
As parents, I confess, this is one battle we chose not to fight the past few years. Other than a reminder every now and again to stop eating with or licking his fingers, our consistency in enforcing any rules and tenacity to break the habit was lacking.
When the new novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, became not only a global pandemic, but a confirmed local reality, however, we had reason to start being more consistent in how we parent our children around proper hygiene.
And I must say, it hasn’t taken that long for the healthy behaviors to stick. Our kids just needed parents who enforced habits that were good for them.
Such is where I begin pretty much every conversation when it comes to “parenting” our kids—they do as we do, not as we say.
When we study the data, we can sum up all of parenting research into one primary conclusion: Our kids become who we are.
With that said, here are four ways we can talk to our kids about COVID-19.
1. DON’T PERPETUATE FEAR.
In times of crisis, our kids’ greatest need is to feel safe.
In my book Safe House, I write that self-awareness as a parent of what we’re feeling and why we’re feeling that way, is crucial to how safe our children feel.
In other words, don’t expect your kids to remain calm about the coronavirus while you frantically try to tell them everything will be okay. Our kids feel the discrepancy.
Even worse, the fear lands on them in ways they can’t comprehend because the their parent, the one person our kids should be able to talk to about how they’re feeling, is sending the message that he/she can’t handle them anyway.
If you’re afraid of what’s happening, find a trusted friend, pastor, or therapist who can help you process your fear.
2. SENSIBLY MAKE THE KIDS PART OF YOUR GAME PLAN.
About two weeks ago we stocked up on household supplies and food should we be quarantined into our home for two weeks. We told our kids this was a possibility and why.
Less than a week later, our kid’s school district shut down and has since remained closed. Were our kids prepared? Yes. Are they scared? No. Because we had a game plan.
In an age-appropriate manner, make your kids part of your game plan to not overreact or under-react to the reality of the coronavirus.
As we tell our kids, let’s remain sensible. To teach our kids the importance of not overreacting or under-reacting, these two verses have been on repeat in our home lately:
A sensible person sees danger and takes cover; the inexperienced keep going and are punished. (Proverbs 27:12)
Every sensible person acts knowledgeably, but a fool displays his stupidity. (Proverbs 13:16)
Being sensible is already having a plan for your family should you get a call that school has been cancelled, especially if both you and your spouse have jobs.
Helping your kids know in advance, as best you can, the game plan for such circumstances helps calm their mind when normal routine is interrupted.
3. TEACH YOUR KIDS THE FACTS.
Just as having a game plan calms our fear, so does knowledge.
We can “act knowledgeably” in spite of the impending reality of the coronavirus: Bookmark and review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. They have done a remarkable job stating the facts and keeping it up to date.
Here are some facts we have found incredibly helpful to ease fears for kids.
- As of February 28, 2020, only 2.4% of total cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in those 19 and younger and only 0.2% of those cases were deemed critical. (WHO)
- For kids under 9, no reported deaths have occurred. (WHO)
- Similar to the SARS and MERS epidemics, also coronaviruses, children seem to be the least symptomatic, however, they do carry it and can infect adults around them, which is why hand washing measures are so important. (WHO)
- Most people who develop the virus experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover in a few weeks.
- Print out the step-by-step guidelines from the CDC to protect yourself and others from getting sick and post them in your house. Better yet, have your kids create their own drawings and rules for healthy hygiene.
Finally, since the “Happy Birthday” song was growing quite old in our home, we turned washing our hands into a dance routine, singing songs our family loves for at least 30 seconds.
4. MAKE PRAYER A PRIORITY.
Kids may worry about you, or even their grandparents, since they are at the highest risk for coronavirus.
When your kids worry, you should listen to their fear, seek to understand the questions they ask, remind them of what you’re already doing to stay safe, and help them regain power over the fear, either through knowledge or talking about it.
You can also invite them to pray with you and give their fears to God. We specifically pray Psalm 91 with our kids, a perfect chapter for the current pandemic.
Be sensible, put a game plan together, and know the facts. But at the end of the day, show your kids by how you pray, that you trust God to be the One in control of it all.
JOSHUA STRAUB, Ph.D. (@joshuastraub) is a professor of child development and author of two books on emotional safety in parenting, including a kid’s book called What Am I Feeling? coauthored with his wife, Christi. He is the marriage and family strategist for Lifeway.
Parenting is hard.
Newsflash, right? While nobody who has ever had a child is surprised by that statement, what has been consistently surprising to my wife and I is that raising kids seems to get harder rather than easier. We thought it was hard when we had a kid in diapers who needed constant monitoring. Then we thought it was harder when our kids started going to school and we were worried about everything they would encounter out there in the big, wide world. Then we thought it was harder when our kids began to move into the teenage years as we tried to help them navigate the social and societal issues they found in middle and high school. At every stage, we have looked at each other, sometimes in exasperation, and said, “I thought this would get easier.” But it hasn’t. And I suppose it doesn’t.
That can be discouraging. I know it has been for us at times. So as I sit and write this morning, I’m thinking about some things that might have been encouraging for us to remember during those moments of fear, anxiety, and apprehension. What might be encouraging to the discouraged parent this morning? Here are four, if that’s you:
1. None of us really know what we’re doing.
Instagram is not to be believed. Despite the well posed pictures and cute stories of kids making a mess and parents not getting frustrated, none of us really know what we’re doing. We are all, as moms and dads, just trying to figure this thing out one step at a time. That doesn’t mean we can’t glean wisdom from people who have been parenting longer than we have; it does mean, though, that even the most seasoned parents don’t have it all figured out.
Now on the surface, that reality might seem to add further to our discouragement. After all, what hope is there for us if nobody knows the great secret to raising kids who love and are committed to Jesus? But the opposite is actually true. It’s an encouraging thing to remember that if we are confused, if we are questioning, if we are even afraid, then we are not alone. Not by a long shot. Even further, if we recognize that none of us really know what we’re doing it gives us the freedom to lean on each other’s prayer, council, and support and actually try and parent together rather than in an isolated kind of shame.
2. Time is the best gift, and a great ally.
One of the reasons we get discouraged as parents is that we don’t know what to do for and with our kids. Should we give them the piece of technology they want? Should we buy them new clothes? Should we take them on great vacations? What should we give them, and what should we do with them, that won’t mess them up? We can easily drift into decision paralysis, constantly analyzing all our actions to see if we have done more harm than good.
Here’s the encouraging word in this respect – time is the best gift we can give our children. Of course, it’s also one of the hardest gifts we can give. It’s a lot easier to give our kids a phone than it is to carve out uninterrupted hours with them. But nothing will ever replace, I believe, the simple gift of time we are willing to spend with our children. When you accept that as a fact, it simplifies a lot of things. Namely, it means that throwing a ball, or having a conversation, or building a Lego house, or listening to music, or whatever we can do that helps us spend focused, consistent time with our children is never the wrong choice.
Even further, time is not only the best gift, it’s a great ally. I know it can also be discouraging when it seems like time is slipping away from us and our kids are getting older quicker than we are ready for them to. But when we administer consistent discipline, when we say the same things over and over again, when we provide a constant safe space for our children, time is not our enemy – it’s our friend.
3. Principles are more helpful than prescriptions.
Let’s say you read some kind of parenting book. It’s written by an expert with a pristine track record in raising humans, so you naturally try to take everything the author says and implement it in your home exactly as you read it. How’d that work out?
Yeah, not great for us either, and the reason is simple:
Your kids are not the author’s kids. Neither are mine. We are all raising humans, not pets. And because we are raising humans, it means that implementing every detail of someone else’s home is at best, unrealistic, and at worst, destructive, because we are failing to account for the individual personalities, traits, and gifts in our own homes. Or to put it even more harshly, doing so is taking the lazy road of parenting rather than actually doing the hard work of thinking about how these practices would fit into our own homes.
Principles are good. Very good. Things we can learn from. But prescriptions are bad. If you are discouraged as a parent because someone else’s prescriptions don’t work in your home, then see if you can isolate the principle behind that prescription. Think deeply about the end game, and then rather than adopting the practice itself, contextualize that principle into your own household.
4. Jesus loves our kids more than we do.
And then there’s this. This beautiful truth. This life-giving reality. This hope-restoring bedrock. Jesus loves our kids more than we do.
One of the reasons we get discouraged as parents is because we have to daily recognize our own limitations. We want the best for our children, but ultimately, these are people who will – and should – make their own decisions. We are frighteningly limited in the end in terms of how much we can manufacture in our kids. But Jesus is not.
Jesus is unlimited in His love, wisdom, and power. And just as He gave His life for us, so also He gave His life for our children. He can do everything that we cannot. When we feel the weight of our responsibility in light of our lack of personal resources, we can look to the Son of God who loves our kids more than we do.
Parents, we have a hard job. One in which we will daily feel ill-equipped to perform. But take heart today. Lift up your eyes. Let that feeling of discouragement point you to the source of our adequacy and sustenance, and ask the Lord for another piece of daily bread.
Michael Kelley lives in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife, Jana, and three children: Joshua, Andi, and Christian. He serves as the Sr. Vice President of Church Ministries for Lifeway Christian Resources. He is the author of Growing Down: Unlearning the Patterns of Adulthood that Keep Us from Jesus, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God; Transformational Discipleship; and Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life.
Free Family Bible Study for Churches Postponing Services
As the concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus have increased, many churches have decided to temporarily suspend meetings and move to an online platform. In response to this developing situation the Lifeway Kids team has created a free, temporary, at-home resource that will allow churches to equip families to watch weekly kids Bible stories at home: the Lifeway Kids at Home and Lifeway Preschool at Home Digital Pass experiences.
Within each Digital Pass experience, families can access weekly Activity Pages, a conversation guide and a series of videos to watch and discuss. Materials include a Bible Story video, Life Application video, a kids connection video, a missions video and gospel presentation resources. New videos will be updated weekly at midnight on Thursday nights so that families can have fresh content every weekend. Families can access the Lifeway Kids at Home and Lifeway Preschool at Home Digital Pass experiences as needed any time over the next 10 weeks through the end of the Spring quarter.
To access the free Lifeway Kids at Home and Lifeway Preschool at Home resources, please have each of your families follow these three simple steps:
Step 1) Go to digitalpass.lifeway.com
Step 2) Log in or create an account (free)
Step 3) Click the Lifeway Kids (or Preschool) at Home icon on the main page of Digital Pass
The provided content is taken from current-cycle material in Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life: Kids broadly graded curriculum for 1-6th graders. Families of churches using this curriculum will be able to remain on their teaching schedule. However, the Lifeway Kids at Home and Lifeway Preschool at Home Digital Pass experiences are available to any family from any church of any denomination, anywhere in the world.
Gospel Project for Kids Users
Print and digital purchasers of The Gospel Project for Kids have new temporary permission to post non-music videos and Activity Pages for their church’s use. No music can be shared with families in the home or online in public because of copyright and royalty restrictions.
FOR ONLINE PUBLIC USE: You may use all Gospel Project resources, including the videos, within a recorded or live teaching time. These recorded or live teaching times may be posted on any online platform for church families and guests to access without needing a password.
Words matter. The words parents use have great power to give life to their kids. Here are 30 life-giving things parents should consider saying to their kids on a regular basis.
In the Book of James we read that the tongue, although quite small, can do great things. We are also warned to control the tongue, because it can just as easily do terrible things (James 3:2-12). When we think of controlling the tongue, we often think of stopping it from saying harmful things, but sometimes the greatest harm a parent’s tongue can do is to be still. It’s not enough for kids not to hear life-taking words, they also need to hear life-giving words. Here are 30 life-giving things parents should consider saying to their kids on a regular basis.
- I love you.
- God loves you.
- I will always love you no matter what, because you are my son/daughter.
- You are a blessing, a gift from God.
- I am proud of you.
- I am glad that you are my son/daughter.
- If God would have let me choose whomever I wanted to be my son/daughter, I would have chosen you.
- When you grow up, you can be whatever God calls you to be.
- You matter because you matter to God.
- You can tell me anything, and I will listen.
- God wants you to make much of Him right now wherever you are in whatever you do.
- I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?
- I forgive you.
- I trust you.
- I like who you are.
- Mistakes happen.
- God forgives.
- Trust in Christ.
- What are you reading about in your Bible?
- What are you talking to God about when you pray?
- You are an image bearer of God, a person of infinite worth.
- Why you do what you do matters as much as what you do.
- How can I pray for you?
- Have fun and laugh today.
- You have my total attention.
- What do you think?
- (Grades, sports, etc.) is not most important; God is.
- Let’s do that together.
- You give me joy.
Brian Dembowczyk is the managing editor for The Gospel Project. He served in local church ministry for over 16 years before coming to Lifeway. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Depending on where you live, the winter months can be brutal, with temperatures so low that taking the kids outside isn’t an option unless absolutely necessary. Even if you live near an indoor amusement park or an indoor swimming pool, those can get crowded during the winter months—which is also the height of flu season!—and the entry fees and/or costs to play can add up.
On days when you’re all stuck at home, what can you do to keep the kids—and yourself—from getting cabin-fever? While letting your children watch TV or play video games for a reasonable amount of time is fun for them and gives you some time to yourself, plopping your kids in front of screens all day isn’t good for them, can trigger waves of guilt in you, and does nothing to promote your family’s bond.
The benefits of family bonding are well-established and far-reaching. Making time to communicate positively with your children can boost their self-esteem and lower the incidences of childhood depression and anxiety. Moreover, making time to establish a close bond with your children can improve their school performance, problem-solving skills, and relationships with teachers and peers.
There are many ways to spend quality time at home with our children that include bond-building communication and fun, and exclude reliance on screen time. Here are 5 fun (and cheap!) activities to do at home with your kids when it’s too cold to go outside.
At the end of the games, be sure to hand out prizes to each child whether the prizes be homemade medals or, if you can plan ahead, inexpensive pre-ordered gold medals.
- Set up an indoor campground. Bring the sleeping bags and tents up from the basement or down from the attic and turn your family room into an indoor campground. No sleeping bags or tents? No problem. Create a campground by arranging chairs in rows of two in the family room, draping a bedsheet over the chairs to create the tent, and piling pillows and blankets underneath to create a sleep area.
You can make your indoor campground as elaborate as you’d like with items you already have in your home. String Christmas lights across the top of the tent to create a starry night scene. Enjoy the glow of a campground “fire” made with paper towel tubes, tissue paper, and LED candles. Set up lawn chairs outside the tent and serve hot dogs, chips, and trail mix; play cards and board games; or do an easy craft like making beaded necklaces or braided bracelets.
Add to the camping aura by having the kids help you make indoor s’mores in the microwave, oven, skillet, or, for a more “outdoorsy” experience, over a well-ventilated sterno flame.
- Host indoor Olympic games. If you look in toy boxes and closets, you’ll probably find that you have enough games and activities at home to arrange back-to-back and create a challenging obstacle course for your kids to compete in, tantamount to a kiddie indoor Olympic course!
You can kick off the indoor “Olympic games” with an opening ceremony in which each child gets to parade onto the course to a theme song of his or her choosing. Depending on your child’s age, he or she may want to grab a favorite teddy bear to serve as his or her Olympic mascot. At the close of the opening ceremonies, get your stopwatch and scorecard ready and time your little Olympians as they compete in consecutive games of skill and physical fitness such as: a ring or beanbag toss, a mini golf course competition (a broom, a Ping Pong® ball, and a plastic cup can be used in place of a golf club, golf ball, and hole), or a ball throwing competition into boxes of decreasing sizes, with a point given per successful shot for each of these activities:
- a sack race or a boiled egg and spoon race with a demarcated finish line and points given to the first person over the finish line;
- a hula hoop competition with a point given for each second the competitors can hold up their hula hoop
- a pyramid cup-stacking race with points given to the first person to successfully stack his or her cups into a stable pyramid;
- a physical endurance competition where points are given for the number of jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups the child can do in three 30-second intervals; and
- a mad dash crabwalk to the final finish line of the indoor Olympic games.
- Send the kids off on a scavenger hunt. Staying indoors can be a blast when the kids are set off on a scavenger hunt to seek and collect common household items. The scavenger hunt can be subject to a time-limit where each child competes alone or are organized by teams to see which team collects the most items first. Print out a free indoor scavenger hunt checklist listing 40 everyday household items for seekers to find here.
- Throw a costume party. Let your kids raid Mom and Dad’s room for hats, scarves, and costume jewelry to put on a costume party. Add snacks and a tea set to make it a tea party-themed costume party. For a quick and easy costume, take out several rolls of toilet paper and wrap your kids up like mummies (without covering the nose and mouth area). For a fun competition with several family members, split the group up into teams where one person volunteers to be the mummy while the other does the wrapping. The team that can wrap up their mummy the fastest and the neatest wins.
- Hold an art show. Grab smocks for your kids and spread out watercolors and brushes, crayons, markers, and colored pencils on a table along with poster board and construction paper. Provide glue sticks and safety scissors to allow for added artistic touches. Once your little artists have created their masterpieces, hang up the artwork and host an art show complete with glasses of apple juice “champagne” and hor d’oeuvres.
Make spending a cold day at home fun and educational for you and your child with these activities and remember that carving out quality time for your child is important at any time of year, in any weather!
Dolores Smyth writes about parenting and faith. A perfect day for her includes running, reading, and spending time with her husband and three kids. Follow her on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth.This article appears in the January 2020 issue of ParentLife. For more information or to order, visit www.lifeway.com/parentlife.
Winter is knocking on our doors. As you approach this season of long days stuck inside with bored kids, take some time now to prepare for a little fun.
Box O’ Fun
Purchase a tub and fill it with tons of creative supplies. At our house this tub contains:
- Construction Paper
- Blank Paper
- Colored Pencils
- Coloring Books
- Play Dough
- Kinetic Sand
- Washi Tape
- Pipe Cleaners
- Googly Eyes
- Ink Pads
- Glitter Glue
Make a visit to your local dollar store and load up on any craft supplies you can find. Keep the TV off for a few hours and encourage your kids to craft their hearts away! Make thank-you cards for Christmas gifts, use cardboard boxes to make robots, cars, or homes for stuffed animals. The possibilities are really endless and you will be amazed at the creations your kids will come up with.
Living Room Slumber Party
Tell your kids to throw on a fresh pair of pajamas and bring their pillows and blankets to the living room. Pile everyone up on the floor and turn on your family’s favorite movie. Make sure to pop some popcorn and grab a sweet snack to share. When the movie is over, let each child pick a board game to play. Everyone gets a turn! Our favorites include Hedbanz®, SushiGo®, and Chutes and Ladders®. Looking to really surprise your kids? Pillow fight! The laughter is sure to ensue.
Indoor Snow Storm
Keep a spare ream of white copy paper and a large bag of cotton balls around the house just for days like this. Give the whole stack of paper to your kids and encourage them to make as many paper snowflakes as they can. When they’ve finished, tape them to the windows and anywhere else you want! Cover the house in snowflakes. You can even string them from light fixtures, stick them to bathroom mirrors, and attach them to your door frames. When the house looks like a snowstorm hit it, divvy up the bag of cotton balls and throw an indoor snowball fight! Let your inner child come out as you play along with your kids!
Nancy Cornwell is the content editor for ParentLife magazine and the mom of three kids. She is always looking for good ideas to keep them entertained at home.This article first appeared in the December 2019 issue of ParentLife.