At home activities for kids

Sometimes life consists of the mundane. Dishes, bills, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Our children learn from us just by participating in our everyday tasks. Sometimes, however, we need some fresh ideas for how we can interact more closely with our children in order to make memories they won’t forget…or we may just need some new ideas for how to  keep them busy while we get a few extra chores done! Either way, today we’re providing a list of our favorite activities. If it helps you to structure your day, think in blocks of time, having specific activities assigned to each segment. For example: 9:00-9:30–Chores/clean up, 9:30-10:00 -Crafts/Projects,10:00-10:30 – Independent play and so on. The following activities are simple and don’t require a ton of random supplies so we hope that you find these helpful as you continue to love on your kids!

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Outside

– Go on a walk and plan things you are going to look for (red houses, labrador retrievers, old cars, etc)

Go on a walk and flip a coin at every intersection you come to. Heads you go right. Tails you go left. 

– Look around in your backyard and see how many different shades of green you can find. 

– Sidewalk chalk

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Inside

– Read a book out loud

– When reading picture books, talk about what’s going on in the picture: count items, identify characters (mom, dad, baby, etc), identify attitudes. 

-Turn on some music and sing together

– Build a fort out of couch cushions and pillows

– Bake something yummy together

– Assemble a puzzle

– If you have a little girl, paint your nails together

– Have a tea party

– Play musical chairs

– Facetime a friend

– Have your child pretend you’re a mummy.  Tell him he needs to build you a great pyramid by covering you with toys/blankets, etc. Remember, mummies can’t move. You get a nap and your child learns some history. Win!

– Pop some Popcorn and have a family movie night

– Work on scripture memory together

– Bubble Bath

– Play a game such as Dominoes, Uno or Spot It. Check out this post on modifying games for young kids. http://heartsrefreshed.com/2019/07/30/5-games-you-can-modify-to-play-with-your-young-child/

– Play I Spy: use a little plastic animal or person and take turns hiding and finding it. 

– Get wiggles out acting out different animals: milk a cow, gallop like a horse, flap your wings like a bird, slither like a snake, roll in the mud like a pig, and so on.

– Clean the house! More often than not when I am doing some deeper cleaning around the house, my toddler will get right in the middle of it and want to help! 

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Crafts/Projects

– Make crafts out of toilet paper rolls (a simple google search will give you hundreds of ideas!)

– Make paper airplanes

– Draw simple designs such as a flower, tree, house, etc., and then “color” them with rice (mix food coloring into the rice and let dry, then use glue)

– Make a mosaic using cut up pieces of construction paper. 

– Make simple designs from construction paper and then have your child put together the picture. For example: cut out the trunk of a tree, the leaves, and fruit and then glue them together onto the tree you drew.

– For young children learning their alphabet, write out names of family members or friends for them to trace. As they trace the names, point out the different letters.

– Playdough More than likely you have all the ingredients to make your own playdough! Homemade playdough stays soft for so long and is super easy to whip up! I use this recipe – https://www.iheartnaptime.net/play-dough-recipe/

– Color (google “free coloring sheets for kids”)

-Write a letter to Grandma or a friend

– Create your own book- Fold multiple construction paper pieces and then staple together. Let your child write or draw pictures inside to create their own story.

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Independent Play

– Play store with canned goods, cereal boxes, etc. 

-Fill up the sink and let your child “wash dishes”

-Use masking or painters tape on your floor to make roads that your child can drive their cars on. Legos/Blocks can be used for making houses/parks/stores. 

-Listen to an audio book (look on your libraries website and see if you can check out an audio book online).

-Set your toddler inside a large cardboard box and let him color away with crayons or markers

-Finger bathtub paint https://www.food.com/recipe/kids-bathtub-paints-66418

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Online

-Cincinnati Zoo is offering a Facebook Live Safari every week day while the zoo is closed! https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/

-“Scholastic” has put together a great set of free learning resources! https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

-“The Relaxed Homeschool” facebook page offers lots of freebie worksheets that you can print off. https://www.facebook.com/therelaxedhomeschool/ Laminate them or use a sheet protector for repeated use of the same page!  

-Check out this list for 50 ideas on ways to sneak in learning! https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2015/03/50-easy-ways-to-sneak-in-learning.html?m=1


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Helping Your Friend Move

Our family recently went through the process of selling our old home and buying a new one. It was a crazy time of showings, inspections, paperwork and packing. Our new house was in need of some TLC before we could move into it and many of our friends were right there alongside us as we cleaned, painted and moved. We couldn’t have done it without them! Today I thought I’d share some of the things I discovered to be extremely helpful to someone going through the moving process. Trust me, your support and encouragement can make a huge difference! 

1. Pray for them. Moving is draining, both physically and emotionally, and your friends need the extra prayer support from you. Pray that they will have extra energy. Pray that they will have extra patience with their kids. Pray that they would have extra compatibility/humility towards their spouse as they work together on a lot of decisions/details. 

2. Ask if you can come over and wash the dishes for them while they work on packing.

3. Offer to bring some food for any cleaning/moving helpers they may have on moving day, etc. Let your friends know you will bring fresh fruit, bottled water, a veggie tray, etc. for everyone so your friends have one less thing to worry about during this process. 

4. Provide them a meal. Drop off soup and bread. Stick a freezer meal in the freezer that they can pull out on a day when they are so busy unpacking/setting things up that they don’t have time to restock groceries. 

5. Give them gift cards for Subway, Little Caesars, etc. 

6. Supply them with a huge supply of paper plates, cups and plastic silverware. This will come in handy over a time when the dishes are packed in boxes, but it will also help to ease the load in the days following the move when your friends would rather be hanging those curtain rods instead of doing dishes. 

7. Put together a housewarming basket with practical things like dish soap, scrubbing pads, toilet bowl cleaner, tape, a candle, etc. Your friends  may not know where some of those items got off to during the move and having someone to supply these things can really help make everything seem a little more like home for them. 

8. Offer to help babysit their kids. 

9. Tell them you want to help with cleaning/packing/moving and that they are to just give you the time and place and you’ll be there! Repeat your offer so they can remember and know you meant it. 

10. Offer to come over after the moving day to help them unpack boxes and move furniture. 

11. Ask what they need from the store, whether it’s the hardware or grocery store, and offer to pick it up for them on your way over.

12. Show them you care! Ask how everything is going. Ask how they are feeling with all the changes and if there is anything else they need that you might not have thought of.

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Ways to serve in church

The local church is so much more than a building and its purpose is much deeper than just a “community get-together.” It is a body; the bride of Christ. Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

The gathering of believers within a church building is just one opportunity where we can “consider one another” and  “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” It is a place where we encourage one another to “hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering” until the day Christ comes back for us, His bride. How we go about encouraging one another might look different from person to person but the goal should always be the same; stirring each other up to love and good works so that we might pursue Christ and His Kingdom. 

“But I’m not good at teaching, playing piano or singing a solo,” you might say. True. And God has not called everyone to minister in these ways. Yet, God’s command to encourage/stir up our fellow believers remains. 

There are many, many ways we can go about obeying this call but we’ve collected a list below of ways that may, or may not, even be on your radar.

 

Be welcoming

  • Be friendly. Introduce yourself to new faces. 
  • Greet people at the door. Serving in this way makes people feel welcome and opens the door to get to know them and better serve them.
  • Pass out the bulletins.
  • Make an effort to sit with the single or widowed people in your church. Invite them to share the pew with your family. 

Lend a helping hand

  • Help in the nursery.
  • Help in the children’s classes. Whether that is teaching or just being an extra set of hands.
  • Help with music.
  • Help in the kitchen during church functions.

Care for the building

  • Arrive early/stay behind to set/clean up.
  • If you’re handy with maintenance, be available to take care of small maintenance projects around the church building. 
  • Like to decorate? Volunteer to help with decor. 
  • Sign up to clean the church between services.
  • Help with seasonal cleaning. 

Give supplies

  • Provide snacks for the children’s ministries. You don’t even have to make them yourself – a case of animal crackers from Costco will do perfectly!
  • Provide cleaning supplies or diapers and wipes for the nursery.
  • Provide supplies for children’s ministries.
  • Line up meals for moms with newborns, someone grieving, or for the sick/elderly.
  • Offer to arrive early to make coffee or bring refreshments. Quality fellowship often happens around food 😊

Serve the people

  • Pray for your church leaders. 
  • Pray for ministries your church puts on.
  • Be quick to offer your home for traveling missionaries, evangelists, etc. 
  • Arrive on time. Being late to practice, teach or perform nursery duties can really inconvenience others. 
  • If nursery isn’t provided, offer to help keep an eye on the young children of church leaders who have responsibilities during the service.
  • Express your gratitude to your pastor and church leaders for their ministry  
  • Offer to visit the sick/elderly/home-bound. 
  • Send birthday cards. 

 

See something that needs done? Volunteer to do it! No task is too small. If it is something that needs done, it can be a way to serve!

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