When you're staying home with family, it can be helpful to have a list of ideas to spark ideas. This big list of stay-home resources is my own collection of useful, fun and sometimes much-needed ideas and links to keep everyone in the house happy, healthy and entertained.
Whether it's a long weekend, summer break or a mandatory quarantine, finding things to inspire ideas or share insight can really come in handy. The resources below are links from smart, creative people I know and resources I personally use. You'll find links and ideas for recipes, crafts, organizing, homeschool, fun online and more.
Staying at home, isn't usually our normal, but sometimes we've got to hang out at home without driving each other crazy. That's the key.. home together for an extended time… happy.
You don't always need to head to the store or buy brand-new supplies to have fun at home. Use what you already have and try something new.
BONUS – many of these listed sites are home businesses. They are run by people that earn their money when you visit their site, share the link with a friend or buy their products. If you shop online, shop through their links and they will earn a commission. So by visiting, you get the free finds they are sharing, and they get to help support their families. Thank YOU for helping support all of these amazing people!
A loose “time block” schedule may sound restricting, but it will be a lifesaver…or a sanity-saver! Do it. It will help kids know what is next and increase their independence.Holly Homer, Kids Activities Blog
You might want to also check out this great list of ideas from Kids Activities Blog Absolutely Everything You Need if You are Stuck at Home
I love watching YouTube just entertainment's sake, but it's especially great when the videos give me inspiration for new crafts!Jessica Hill, Mad in Crafts
Free Things To Do Online
It's okay to have a little screen time.Katie Clark, Clarks Condensed
- The YMCA is sharing 60 free classes you can watch online.
- Over 20 ways to stream kids movies and television shows for free
- 12 Famous museums offering free virtual tours
- Play online games – Roblox and Mini games in Minecraft are favorites in my family right now.
- 6 Italian Museums to visit online for free
- Virtual Tours of Famous Museums, National Parks, and Historic Sites
- Learning European Art History for Free with Amazon Prime Video
- Watch Video Tutorials to learn new skills
- Learn how to play guitar with Fender.
If you or someone you know need help with internet costs, this is a great article about low cost and need based internet access programs available.
It's fun to be an armchair traveler.Nicky Omohundro, Little Family Adventure
Get together in the kitchen and make it into a game.Michelle Price, Honest & Truly
- I have a few favorite dishes in my own Recipes section including butternut squash soup, apple donut snacks and easy mango salsa.
- Meal Plans for Kids with free printable worksheets
- Ideas for Cooking with Kids and make sure to try this Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe
- Easy recipes for a busy family
- Amanda's Cooking – delicious home cooked recipes made easy
Extra time at home means everyone can cook! Let the kids be involved in meal planning and cooking.Jana Seitzer, Whisky + Sunshine
My food finds saved to Pinterest
You don't have to be a certified teacher to help your kids with school at home. If you find yourself having to help with school, here are some great resources, tips and ideas for homeschooling. The first place I would start is to get out all the tools and info you need and sit down to come up with a schedule to help you stay on track. Here are suggested schedule ideas from Khan Academy for different age groups.
Just Remember: “One day at a time, and we can only control what we can control.“Paige Levering, High School Teacher, MS School Counseling
Also, don't try to cram too much into one sitting. Think of the schedule your kids have at school. They get breaks throughout the day. They get up and move around, shifting from one subject or discussion to another. Allow this same time of flexibility at home.
- Khan Academy – over the years this has been my family's goto school help resource.
- Online learning resources from Scholastics
- Cool Math Games – games for all different ages and skill levels, FREE
- Homeschool help from a mom who homeschools and a curriculum overview guide
- Educational printables and activities try this fun Emoji Mystery game
- If you're just looking to keep the kids busy with something other than video games, I've also got some school themed crafts to try.
- Science Education Resources for All Grades
- Learning a language? Try Duolingo for help.
- Resources for Spanish Immersion Students – this is also a great list for students learning Spanish as a second language at any grade level.
If you realize it’s not working….THAT’S OKAY TOO!! You know your children best, and you obviously won’t let them fail at learning and reaching their potential.Meredith Hazel, Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home
My friend Ana has a fun kid project idea, watch this video for ideas.
Books and Reading
- Children’s book authors reading aloud – free story times to share with your kids.
- Digital Book Collections from the Library of Congress
- Audible.com – Audio books for download. There are plenty of regular free titles as well as those to purchase. While school is out now, there are kids books to listen to available for FREE.
- Project Gutenberg – a growing collection of free digital books to download and read.
Homeschooling help and Ideas from Pinterest
Activities and Games
Whether you are looking for game and inside activities or outdoor adventures to have in the backyard, here are some ideas to get you started.
Going outside isn't canceled!Cori George, Hey, Let's Make Stuff!
- Fun Games for Preschoolers – I love this DIY bowling game using recycled cardboard tubes (TP rolls anyone?)
- Family Movies You Watched As A kid that your kids will love
- Need some ways to entertain and educate your preschooler from home? Here are TONS of great ideas!
- Back Yard Scavenger Hunt with Free Printable
- Boredom Busters for Middle School and Teens
- Board Games To Add To Your Collection
Younger kids aren't the only ones that need boredom busters. Have some creative ideas for teens and tweens ready too.Carla Schauer, Carla Schauer Designs
- Indoor Rainy Day Activities
- 9 ways to bring the Disney Magic home
- Best Board Games for Kids of All Ages
- No Child Left Inside – fun ideas to do outside including a hiking scavenger hunt
- Best Outdoor Games for Adults
- Kids Games including this fun Printable Donut Tic Tac Toe game
Getting outside is guaranteed to help combat cabin fever.Nicky Omohundro, Little Family Adventure
Printables and Coloring Pages
Coloring pages calm the nerves and occupy the mind all at the same time.Vanessa Brady, Tried and True Creative
- Coloring Pages for Preschoolers
- Coloring Pages by Jen Goode
- Uplifting Coloring Pages
- Coloring Pages for Kids plus this Hexagon Kaleidocycle printable
- My list of Printables from Pinterest
- My list of Coloring Pages from Pinterest
- Big list of Disney Coloring Pages
Use what you've got and get creative with your kids!Jamie Dorobek, C.R.A.F.T.
Craft projects and ideas are my own personal go-to. Here at 100 Directions and in my house. I think it's helpful and calming to be able to take a pile of supplies, put them together and have something new. Don' worry about “getting it right”. Sometimes DIY and crafts is about the process, not the end result. Browse around and see what catches your interest.
Kids crafts are like eating ice cream without a spoon. They are most likely going to get their hands and all things dirty, but the end result is so cute and sweet, it makes it worth it.Alli Ward, Made with Happy
- Craft Projects and Ideas – check out the paper crafts, painting crafts and printables you can craft with.
- Use simple items that you already have on-hand to make our quick and easy craft projects for kids and have some family fun!
- Colorful Kids Crafts you can make at home – make sure to check out this picture flower craft with free printables.
- Learn how to make a Spring bird house
- Creative Ideas for Teens and Tweens
You don't have to be “crafty”to get creative with your kids.Heidi Kundin, Happiness is Homemade
- 20 Kids Crafts in 20 Days from C.R.A.F.T.
- Crafts, Printables and Fun Activity Ideas for kids from Red Ted Art
Use recycle items from the junk drawer, scrap bins, and old cloths for fun, family activities and projects.Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Crafts
- Crafting Green with Recycled Objects from 365 Days of Crafts
- DIY Crafts with a fun extra set of DIY Disney Movie Crafts for all you Disney fans from Simplifying Family.
A project a day keeps the boredom away!Heidi Haakenson, TREND enterprises, Inc.
Cricut Crafts and Cut Files
- Cricut Projects by Jen Goode Plus Free SVG cut files
- Learn How to Use Your Cricut with Cori George from Hey, Let's Make Stuff.
- My Pinterest board for Cricut Projects and Ideas
Art history is a topic most kids are underexposed to, but it's full of engaging stories that will entertain your kids while they learn!Nancy Nally, Chasing Dust Bunnies
Learn a New Skill
This is a great time to learn a new hobby for yourself or with your kids! Hand lettering together can be a fun and relaxing way to pass the time.Amy Latta, Amy Latta Creations
- Hand Lettering Instruction – starting with the basics with Amy Latta Creations
- Bluprint – Learn a variety of handmade and artisan skills. Currently there is a 14 day trial, perfect for checking it out today.
- Lynda.com offers classes in all areas of skills from different software programs to photography and editing.
- Duolingo – learn a new language, free
What better way to spend some time than organizing spaces around your house? A clean, organized house can make it more cozy when everyone is home. You'll be able to find the things you need, have room to enjoy time together and easy put things away after all the fun ends for the day.
- Make your own planner or get your current planner updated for your at home schedule.
- Decluttering and organizing ideas plus a great list to start off your day with 8 things to do before 8am from Simplifying Family
- Non toxic homemade cleaners and disinfectant spray
- I also have a small collection or organizing printables and worksheets. Perfect for meal planning, todo lists and saving money.
If you find yourself working at home with the family around, here's a great resources to help you build a productive work at home schedule.
If you set a timer and cleaning chores a race, it can actually be fun.Nicky Omohundro, Little Family Adventure
There are online retailers like Amazon, we already know and love, that ship right to your door. BUT If you don't have time to wait for shipping, the following retailers offer buy online, pick up at the store for many items. Some will even deliver to you at your car so you don't have to go inside the store.
- Target – from what I hear, the app lets you tell them you've arrived and they will bring your order to your car.
- Instacart (for various grocery store brands) – there is an option to request “drop off at door” so you don't have to answer the door.
If you know of a resource you'd like to recommend to include here, let me know. Please leave a comment below!