No More Babysitting Blues

Here are ten creative things to keep little kids occupied at home


Source: Pixabay

Stuck watching little kids? It doesn’t have to be a chore! These ten tips will help keep them minds occupied and growing.

Elicia Ramu, Editor

Social distancing and staying at home has everyone going crazy, especially kids. Kids need attention and they need to be entertained. While many parents are now mainly working at home and taking care of their children, others parents are drafting older siblings and teenage neighbors into being babysitters while they work their essential jobs. Luckily, The Scout is here to help any of our readers who have now found themselves in charge of a child and don’t know where to start. Here are ten ideas to keep kids entertained and safe from the virus.


1) Turn the living room into a giant fort: Have the kids grab all the blankets and sheets in the house. Grab chairs and pillows and help them build a gigantic fort. Once the fort is built, grab strings of lights if you have them,  popcorn, board games, and the TV remote to have a secretive party in the fort. It’s perfect for kids because it gives them their own space to play and they can spend all day in a little hideout made just for them. Just make sure to fold the sheets back up when Mom and Dad get home.


2) Just Dance: Just Dance is a fun and entertaining video game that can keeps little ones entertained for hours. They follow a brightly dancer on the screen and try to perfect their dance moves. But if you don’t have the game, don’t worry: many of the songs are free on YouTube. This game not only keep the kids healthy and active but they also get to learn some new dance moves. For little kids, jamming out to some super cool music is one of the best ways to have fun and get their energy out. It also saves you from listening to “Baby Shark,” as Just Dance features Top 40 songs from the past three decades.


3) Teach them to bake: Every kid loves to get their hands dirty. Find a delicious brownie or cookie recipe, have the kids get the ingredients, and teach them how to bake. They get to have fun creating something and you get to enjoy a delicious dessert. It also teaches kids a life skill and might spark a new interest. If you are a little inexperienced in the kitchen yourself, YouTube has hundreds of different cooking channels to help you (even one staring Cookie Monster). Just be careful around the oven and make sure to teach the kids how to use knives and other utensils safely.


4) Teach the pets some new tricks: If the kids have a dog, cat, bird, lizard, any type of pet, work with them to try to teach them some new tricks. There are lists of different tricks on several websites and YouTube (my favorite is teaching dogs to bow to people). Training a pet takes hours and it will teach the kids hard work and determination. They can even put on a little performance for their parents showing them the training.


5) Sculpt something: Kids love to craft things with their hands, so giving them modeling clay is a great way to keep them occupied. Play-Doh is super fun and soothing to little kids, as they can create things and just have fun with it. Play-Doh also comes with some sets like a pizza set, a factory set, a noodle-making set and more. If the kids don’t have Play-Doh, you can make your own by mixing 2 cups of bleached flour, 3/4 cup of salt, 2 cups warm water, and two cups sunflower or coconut oil; adding food coloring; cooking it on medium high heat; and stirring it until it thickens (making this would also be a fun project for kids).


6) Build a tower: Kids love Lego sets. Whether it’s a specific set or just a bucket of bricks, most kids and many adults will be entertained for hours. If you don’t have a specific Lego set to create, have a contest between you and the kids on who can build the tallest Lego tower without it falling over. Kids will love the competition and the chance to be create with their design. If you don’t have Legos around, you can still have tower contests using playing cards, toothpicks with marshmallows, shoes, rocks, or even rolls of toilet paper. Just make sure you clean up after.


7) Make art for the neighbors: A great way to keep kids occupied and make the community a brighter place is by decorating the sidewalk or walkway. Have kids try to make patterns, use shading to make objects look 3D, or write messages of inspiration to neighbors to make people smile when they walk by. If you don’t have chalk, have kids use crayons or markers on paper to make cards for the neighbors.


8) Look in the game closet: Kids love board games like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and Guess Who. For older kids, you can teach them strategy by playing Connect Four, Clue, Monopoly, checkers, and even chess. Kids also love card games like Uno, Old Maid, Go Fish, and Hearts. Game closets also often have puzzles, which are fun and entertaining and can take a while to finish. These should also keep you entertained while you play together.


9) Create recycled artworks: Have any empty cans, water bottles or wine corks sitting around the house? You and the kids can take those recycled items and use them to make something cool, like a mat using wine corks, a bracelet with soda can tabs, or windchimes with bottles and string. A great project wuld be to take an old t-shirt and turn it into a protective mask for going outside. There are lots of cool and fun things that you can do with recycled things if you look on Favecrafts or Pinterest. One caution: make sure the supplies you are working with are completely cleaned and have no sharp edges that can cut little fingers.


10) Go on a backyard nature hunt: Pokemon Go is very popular with kids, but you can have an even better scavenger hunt. Most kids can easily identify a Squirtle from a Charizard but can tell the difference between a robin or a jay or a leaf from an oak tree to one from a birch tree. Have them hunt in the backyard for plants and animals they don’t know the names of, them help them look up what they are.


There are so many other larger projects you could do with kids (with parent permission), such as creating a small garden in the backyard, conducting science experiments in the kitchen, and even fostering a shelter dog. But these tips should get you through the next time you have to watch little kids and don’t just want to plop them in front of the TV. It’s hard to be at home with kids who have nothing to do and are bored out of their minds, but with a little imagination and some common supplies, you will become their favorite babysitter.