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Long-Lasting Activities for Kids at Home: Keep Your Kids Entertained for Hours

Long-Lasting Activities for Kids at Home: Keep Your Kids Entertained for Hours

Some days, it seems like your kids move from one activity to the next with lightning speed. As you struggle to keep them entertained, do you ever wonder why kids activities can’t last a little longer? There is a solution! Long-lasting activities for kids at home can keep them busy and entertained for hours at a time. Whether it’s during a break from school, a rowdy sleepover or just some weekend fun for the kids, parents or babysitters can try out some of these new games, projects and activities.

Toddler Activities

Keep in mind a toddler’s attention span and energy levels. While each activity should theoretically last an hour, toddlers go from full-speed ahead to naptime in seconds. Toddlers require close supervision and your involvement during these activities.

  1. Sensory Board Fun
    One great way to keep your tot quietly entertained is a sensory board with lots of fun things to explore. Alternative Learning’s DIY board has different types of locking mechanisms, chains, lights, a mirror and textured fabrics for your little one to experiment with. The best part? When your child figures out how to work all the components, it’s easy to swap in new items.
  2. Toddler Bowling
    Hands On as We Grow features a simple bowling game made with empty plastic bottles that keeps toddlers active and busy. Set up the pins and use a lightweight ball. For a more challenging game, give values to each pin and set a score for the toddler to reach.
  3. Treasure Hunt
    Hide objects indoors or out and send your toddler searching on his own treasure hunt. Give him simple clues and keep some objects easier to find to help him stay motivated. Better yet, use the directions from And Then We Saved for a paint chip hunt around the house. By using colors instead of written items, you won’t need to help little ones read a list.
  4. Pretend Camp
    Make a tent or fort with sheets for your toddler to “camp” inside. Let her set up her camp and create her own adventure while you supply a few key items, like a flashlight. You can even create a pretend campfire with help from No Time for Flash Cards.

Preschool Activities

Kids ages 3 to 5 still need a lot of guidance and supervision to keep them busy when they’re home. These diversions require your supervision, but you can easily catch up on some light reading while the kids play for an hour or two.

  1. Pool Noodle Race Track
    Create two race tracks by cutting a pool noodle in half, as Ramblings From Utopia does. Have an assortment of cars ready. Turn pool noodle racing into a game by finding the fastest car after each child takes a turn.
  2. Life-Size Board Games
    True Aim shows you how to recreate a chalk version of kid-size board games for active, outdoor fun. Make large dice from boxes and paper. The kids are the “pieces” that move around the board. The larger and more challenging the game, the longer they’ll play.
  3. Ice Block Treasure Hunt
    Keep the little ones busy as they chop through ice to find assorted treasures. Use new dollar-store toys to keep them interested. This icy treasure hunt from Macaroni Kid requires supervision and parental assistance if you let the kids use real hammers.
  4. Yarn Maze
    Craft a winding yarn maze for your little one to get through, like Fun at Home With Kids does. Once kids tire of crawling through the maze, have them wind the yarn back up as they untangle the lines.

Elementary Activities

Older children will stay busy for hours with these activities for kids at home. They’ll require minimal supervision, but do stay within earshot to mediate disputes, answer questions and help as needed — or play along for some family fun.

  1. Bike Wash Sprinkler
    A great way for kids to spend an hour or two on a hot afternoon is playing in a sprinkler. Add a new twist by making a car wash sprinkler, like this one from Mom Endeavors. The kids will cool off in the spray and get some exercise riding their bikes. Don’t be surprised if neighborhood kids join the fun!
  2. Pom-Pom Races
    To keep competitive kids busy all afternoon, set up a pom-pom race with tape, as seen on Frugal Fun for Boys. Hand out straws and see who can blow their pom-pom through the track the fastest!
  3. Obstacle Course
    Build a backyard obstacle course to keep school-aged kids busy for hours. Use boxes, traffic cones and ropes to create an obstacle course challenge, with directions from Playing and Learning Begins at Home. Give kids a chance to make their own course to challenge one another.
  4. Make and Fly Kites
    Make a day of building newspaper kites, like Living Well Spending Less does. Supply some water color paints, ribbon, stickers and colored paper for decorations. You could even have the kids spend a rainy morning making the kites for flying on the next clear and windy day.