There’s no doubt that everyone who’s been snowed in, had no transportation, or experienced a power outage before has eventually grown bored. Were those people hanging solo, or did they have people with them? Whatever the dynamic, I bet they all have different stories to tell of how they kept themselves from going bananas. It’s almost a guarantee you’ve become stranded at home some time or another, too. Consider these 16 creative and age-appropriate ways to keep yourselves entertained the next time you’re stuck at home and have nothing to do!
1. Do a Devotional
What better moment than this to spend quality time with God! Settle down, pick a passage from the Bible or a chapter from a devotional book, and take a moment to reflect on Him. You can do this alone or with family, and it can open doors to questions, discussion, acknowledgment of blessings, and prayer.
2. Read a Book
Do you have a favorite book that you just couldn’t put down? Reread it! You could also start on the towering stack of books you haven’t touched yet. Pick up that book of short stories or Shakespeare’s poetry. Devour the content from cover to cover. This tip may just spark your creativity and inspire you to write your own musings.
3. Play Games or Cards
My friends and I used to joke that Solitaire is the loner’s game, but it can be useful on days you can’t go anywhere. Play it all by yourself with actual playing cards, on a computer, or, hey, there’s an app for that! If there are people with you, play board games—Monopoly, Sorry, Trouble, Settlers of Catan, Risk, and Clue are popular—or other card games, like Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and Kings on the Corner. If you run out of board games, try playing Charades or Hide-and-Seek. You can even play I Spy or put together a puzzle. A thousand pieces can keep anyone busy for hours!
4. Have Your Own Concert
Who hasn’t wanted to slide across the floor on their knees with a guitar? If you or your family is musical, find your instruments and have a jam session. It doesn’t matter if they’re homemade drums, a recorder, or even a penny whistle—make it a battle of the bands! As my grandma always says, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Now’s the time to sharpen your skills and have a blast doing it.
5. Make a Fort
Revisit your childhood or expand your children’s creativity by building your own clubhouse out of pillows, blankets, sheets, or anything else you’d like. It makes for a cozy spot to spend time together. Encourage the kids to play pretend! The fort could turn into a ship that sails the seven seas, a bakery that makes the most exquisite desserts, a circus tent, or just a fun place to curl up and catnap.
6. Arts and Crafts
Is your Pinterest board overflowing with Do-it-Yourself ideas? Maybe your kids keep asking for that sparkly slime from the TV commercials. This is your chance to drag out your canvases, paint, scissors, glue, and household ingredients to experiment. Trace your kids’ hands and feet to make shapes of animals or just paint masks on their faces. Finish that wall decoration you’ve had stowed away. Make snowflakes or paper people. Cut out hearts. If all else fails, coloring is a soothing way to get out pent-up stress. Who doesn’t want a huge box of Crayola crayons?
7. Make Goodies
Not only is this a fun way to pass the time, but it’s delicious, too. If your power is still available, keep your house warm by rolling dough and baking cookies, brownies, or gingerbread men. Now you also have an excuse to play with your food—have a gingerbread house competition to see who can build the biggest or tallest graham cracker structure. Make little campfires with crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows, and pretzel sticks. The possibilities are endless.
8. Watch a Movie
Because you haven’t seen Frozen a million times yet, right Mom and Dad? Use your newly-built fort to cuddle together and watch your favorite movies. Have a marathon in your pajamas with popcorn and all the goodies you’ve spent time making. Let yourself go on adventures with beloved characters, like Peter Pan or Paddington Bear.
9. Talent Show (and Tell)
Everyone likes to take the spotlight once in a while. Gather in the living room and show what you got. You can take turns singing, doing magic tricks, juggling, and revealing anything else you’re secretly good at doing. Once you’re finished showcasing your talents, you can turn this into a show-and-tell where you feature your pet rock collection or your impressive button stash that’s hiding in the kitchen drawer.
10. Fashion Show
Do you have any new clothes you’ve been waiting to wear? You might have a shirt you’ve not put on in months that you want to drag back out. This is a suggestion for the whole family, especially those who love to accessorize. Put your styles to the test! Make a few categories for kinds of attire (i.e., Sporty, cool, goofy/tacky, etc.) and see what everyone comes up with. There’s no better reason to laugh than at yourself.
11. Play Outside/Exercise
If there’s snow on the ground, take advantage of the weather! Make snow angels, have a snowball fight, make an igloo, or build Frosty the Snowman. Even if there is no snow, use this time to swing or slide. Run around with your dogs or children. Do jumping jacks and pushups, race each other in the backyard, play soccer and football—or any other sport. This will get the whole crowd moving, and you can’t go wrong with an activity that allows you to exercise and have fun in the process.
12. Play with Toys
There is nothing like Barbie, G.I. Joe, Legos, Hot Wheels, Play-Doh, and Matchbox cars. Put down your phone or tablet and play with old-school toys! Build a racecar track or decorate Barbie’s house. Make the Empire State Building with Legos. You can’t ever beat the classics, and this gives your kids (or even yourself) a break from technology. Rest your eyes and imagine together.
For an older age group, this may be an opportune moment to tinker with real “toys.” Learn how to change a tire, the oil, a headlight, etc. on a car. Take apart a computer, a radio, or a TV and put it back together again. It’s never too soon to build a life-size racing kart either.
13. Have a Scavenger Hunt
I don’t know too many people who don’t enjoy hunting for items on a list to beat another team searching for the same materials. Someone in the group can make a list of things that the others have to locate and take a picture with. Set a time limit based on how many things there are to find then have everyone come back to check off what they have when the time is up. Whoever has the most items on the list wins!
14. Make Lists
You’ve been so busy that you haven’t had a chance to sort out what needs to be done or what can wait. Write down everything you want or have to get done. Get your grocery list in order (no one likes to run out of bread, eggs, or milk). Write out your schedule for the rest of the week or even weeks in advance. This will keep you on track and, hopefully, relieve some stress.
15. Organize Your House
If you’ve skipped out on your spring cleaning for too long, you finally have time to organize. Get rid of things you don’t need or use anymore. Make way for fresh things. Arrange what you have left for efficiency and practicality. This will relieve tension and deplete any energy you have left over from a packed day of awesome in-house activities.
16. Catch up on Sleep
If you’re stuck at home, take this time to rest! Relax in the tub or in your comfy bed. Take a nap on the couch with the warmest, softest blanket you own. Get your beauty sleep. After doing all the fun things in this article, you’re going to need to recharge!
There’s never an excuse to be bored when there are a million things you can do to keep yourself and others occupied! Sometimes, all it takes is a little imagination and brain stimulation. Next time you’re stuck at home, don’t forget to pull up this list and enjoy your day off doing something exciting.
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