21 Fun Things We’re Doing as a Family While Social Distancing at Home

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working out at home

Let’s make the most of forced family time!

Normally, my crew is running at full speed between work, school, and lots of sports and after-school activities. With all of that suddenly stopped because of the Coronavirus, we have found ourselves with lots of free time on our hands. It’s definitely an adjustment as we navigate everything happening on the outside, and staying entertained and sane on the inside while social distancing!

I’m thinking you can relate. 

family doing a puzzle together

Social Distancing Mode: ON

At my house, we have had more of a relaxed flexible schedule while my husband and I work during the day and then are able to spend some quality time with the kids in the evenings, often making dinner together. Even though my kids are older, they still get bored, so planning some easy activities to do together has been helpful to keep us positive and our moods happy.

Maybe kids can remember quarantine as a time when everyone relaxed more, did some crafts, had a messy house, played with the dog a lot, and ate every meal together. ❤️

boy walking a dog on a leash

Readers have been asking our team for suggestions on what to do as a family that are not school-related.

Here are some fun suggestions that I’m personally doing and/or plan to do with my family to keep LIVING and to make the best of a scary situation. Think of these ideas as a Quarantine Bucket List of sorts.

1.) Get creative and paint art together.

kids painting on outside deck

Now’s the perfect time to encourage your little artists to express themselves through painting art. I actually love to join in too even if I’m not great at painting. It’s relaxing, and fun to sit and create something fun.

2.) Paint kindness rocks!

DIY Kindness Rocks

Spread some love by painting rocks with encouraging messages, and distribute them around your neighborhood for folks to see while walking. We loved creating our rocks as a family as it was a relaxing activity. After painting, use a clear sealer like Mod Podge so the paint will last longer.

Hip Tip: I was able to grab some Sharpie paint pens and acrylic paints for this project this week from my Walmart grocery pickup order without having to go in-store!

3.) Stay busy with puzzles and activity books.

paint by sticker books

We love these paint by sticker books, where you place a corresponding sticker to its number and then it creates a cool design at the end. I personally love adult coloring books too, as it’s actually calming to sit and color!

Hip Tip: If your younger kiddos haven’t filled out My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss yet, now would be a nice time to do it as a family activity!

4.) Get your body moving!

kids exercising at home

This could mean in your front yard playing basketball or indoors by doing a fitness class together. Check out P.E with Joe on Youtube. There are new and FREE episodes each day, and it’s definitely kid-friendly fun!

As another idea, It’d be fun to have the kids create their own CrossFit style workout stations at home as a family activity!

Hip Tip: Be sure to check out our list of free online workouts during closures.

5.) Do some science experiments.

ice cream in a bag science experiment

We like anything to do with food, and this ice cream in a bag recipe totally counts as a science experiment! The best part is enjoying the treat afterward, and it makes for a fun activity.

Hip Tip: If you’re looking for more FREE science experiments to do at home, check out SteveSpanglerScience.com for lots of fun and easy options.

6.) Build the ultimate indoor fort.

building a large indoor kids fort

Grab some sheets, blankets, heavy books, and chip clips to build a fun fort! My daughter and I recently took some time to build a huge fort with lots of blankets and pillows to make it cozy. She actually slept in there for a few nights and read books and watched movies in there.

Another fun idea would be to set up a tent in the backyard outdoors, if the weather permits, and make s’mores!

7.) Teach the kids to cook.

girl holding cooking class book

I’m not sure about yours, but my family has never been hungrier during this time! LOL! We’ve been preparing meals as a family lately and I love that time together. My daughter loves to bake and she cooks from this cute cookbook called Cooking Class that’s perfect for kids to learn from. We love the crepes and lemon bar recipes!

After all of this is over, I may need to social distance myself from the treats! 

8.) Play some fun family games.

kids playing games

We love family game night! Monopoly is a favorite, although sometimes it can get too competitive and out of control for us  😂, but I’m going to share our personal favorites with you in case you’re interested!

    • Smart A**: Ok it has a funny name, but it’s actually a really great fast-moving trivia game with lots of geography, history, and pop culture questions. My husband always wins, but we still try to beat him every time!
    • Hearing Things: This game is sure to bring LOTS of laughs, I promise! The earphones play loud sounds and your partner reads phrases that you try to lip read. It’s hilarious!
    • Scrambled States of America: I originally bought this when my kids were learning states and capitals, but we still play it and I love that you have to think fast to win.

9.) Stay connected to family with video chat or letter writing.

kids on video chat at home

We are finding that staying in touch with friends and family brings joy and normalcy. You can even schedule some face time in advance to have something to look forward to. We are currently using Apple FaceTime, Zoom, and Marco Polo app to stay connected. I am planning to do this with all my mom friends too as a virtual happy hour! 

10.) Encourage your family to keep a journal of this time.

boys writing in a journal in a tree

We are currently experiencing something unprecedented, and encouraging the kids to write down their thoughts in a journal is a productive activity that will be invaluable to read in the future.

11.) Write messages of encouragement on your driveway in chalk.

girl writing messages using sidewalk chalk

Lots of neighbors have been creating inspiring chalk art on their driveways in my community using sidewalk chalk. It can be a fun activity to do as a family and will help you stay connected with your community. It’s neat to walk, while social distancing, and look at everyone else’s messages!

Hip Tip: Try this awesome stained glass chalk art project using painter’s tape to do with the family!

12.) Purge and organize your home.

amazon under the sink organizers

This idea may not seem as fun of an idea, but it can be a great time to purge unwanted items as a family, focus on home organization, and donate things you may no longer use. I recently organized my bathroom cabinet and it’s spurred an entire home purge for us, which is good because I’m participating in our Hip2Save Declutter Challenge!

13.) Decorate your outside windows with construction paper hearts.

kids decorating door with hearts during coronavirus

This is a trend that’s popping up in neighborhoods around the world and I think it’s so beautiful. The idea is to decorate the outside of your windows or garage doors with colored paper hearts that can be seen from the street as a sign of hope and solidarity to the neighbors and community surrounding you.

If you need ideas or even just a nice pick-me-up, be sure to visit the new Facebook group “Hearts in the Window” for inspiration.

14.) Practice some self care.

family in beauty face masks

Since salon visits are not an option, do pedicures, manicures, and face masks at home! The other day I did a mini facial on myself with goodies from my Fab Fit Fun box and I hardly ever take the time to do that! My tweens are into Biore pore strips and charcoal masks.

With all this constant hand washing, my hands are super duper dry. I highly recommend this AHAVA mineral hand cream that I’ve been using since it was featured in FabFitFun. I also like using a homemade hand scrub to get rid of any flakiness before moisturizing.

Hip Tip: Check out this Indian Healing Clay Mask that my sidekicks are raving about!

15.) Make a fun dance video.

doing social media videos with a dad

If you’ve got older kids, you likely know all about the app TikTok and how users dance and lip-sync to music. Consider joining them in one to make a fun video as a family. My kids are wanting us to learn some moves and do one!  😆 And of course, you can always record a dance video on your phone for fun and not put it online at all.

16.) Teach Life Skills 101.

kids doing the laundry

This could be an opportunity for kids to catch up on some basic life skills around the house we’d normally be too busy to discuss.

Some ideas could be:

  • laundry
  • how to sew a button
  • how to change air filters
  • how to check air pressure and other car maintenance
  • putting together a first aid kit

Hip Tip: Check out this fun and FREE printable Chore Bingo for kids to participate in!

17.) Read a good book out loud.

girl reading in an air sofa

The other day I found my daughter on facetime reading a book out loud to her friends and they were actually listening intently. The next day they even picked up where she stopped. So she was staying connected to friends while also reading. This can be done as a family, too!

Hip Tip: These fun air couches have been a hit with my kids, and my daughter enjoys reading in hers. Also, don’t forget to check out all our latest book-related deals HERE!

18.) Play a round of cornhole outside.

bean bag toss game

This fun bean bag toss game is our favorite family outdoor backyard game. We get pretty competitive, so games can get intense! My husband actually built our cornhole set following these directions years ago, however you can purchase Cornhole sets online.

19.) Make tie-dye t-shirts as a family.

We made these patriotic shirts one 4th of July, and they were pretty easy to make. Check out this other fun Tulip tie-dye party kit deal via amazon.com!

20.) Have an epic movie marathon.

kids holding dvd movies

Now’s a good time to watch all the movies you want and not feel guilty! We watched the Back to the Future trilogy last weekend, and it’d be fun to re-watch all of the Harry Potter movies, and of course Star Wars! If you’ve got older kids, watching all of the John Hughes 80’s movies would be a fun goal. We’ve been crossing a few of those off our list.

Hip Tip: Write a bunch of movie titles on pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. Let your kids pick from the jar each evening.

21.) Create a DIY escape room.

diy escape room for kids

An escape room is like an epic scavenger hunt where you’re usually trying to solve a puzzle to unlock a code or lock at the end. My kids love them, and when they had the idea to create one for my husband and me to solve last week, it was so fun! If your kids are younger, then consider creating an escape room or scavenger hunt around the house.

In our made-up scenario, the kids were pretending there was a zombie apocalypse and we (my husband and I) needed to find the code to unlock the house (using our smart lock on the front door.) The kids set up clues in our front yard and that kept them busy for a while. It was fun!

Hip Tip: If you’re needing some escape room ideas, visit LockPaperScissor.com for lots of inspiration!

family on the couch with dog

On a personal note: I’m thinking of you all. ❤️

I know things are uncertain and frightening, and I’m personally feeling all the anxiety and concern along with you all too. I’m grateful for our wonderful readers here at Hip2Save, the opportunity to work from home, and am wanting to thank all our essential workers during this time.

There’s a lot happening that’s out of our control, but we can control how we are connecting at home with kids and help foster some positive memories they can take away from this time. And don’t forget to give yourself some grace if all you can do is snuggle on the couch with your family! Take care.

Check out more ways to keep kids entertained at home during the Coronavirus.

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 59

  1. eemommy

    Thank you! Definitely going to try some of these.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Ivan

    Good info…thanks! And #4 reminded me to dust off the Wii console we haven’t used in years.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes!! We did that too – the bowling game lol still fun!

    • Jen

      We love Just Dance…..so much fun and you get a workout in!

  3. VickiL

    It started with people drawing rainbows and putting them in windows for the kids to scavenger hunt. Now all the neighborhoods around me are putting bears in windows so when families walk, the kids can go on a bear hunt. All ages enjoy it.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yep! So fun. I love the bears idea ❤️

  4. krystalknight

    Thanks for the list! Just found a set of canvases to paint while cleaning up my desk area (online schooling area now) it will be a good thing to keep them busy and a keepsake to hang on their wall after! Big thank you for the all the essential workers. Not just the drs nurses and the like, but to the little guys too, the cashiers at the grocery store, out trash and recycling ppl, and cleaning crews who I’m sure are now working round the clock! Thank you to y’all and ur family’s.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh fun! I love that idea for doing art. ❤️

  5. CJJ

    These ideas are awesome…BUT any ideas for older TEENS stuck at home with Mom and Dad?

    • Jaci1717

      Ha ha i just coming here to say the same i have two of them needless to say they r not happy

    • Jlinsey

      Not sure if they are driving and you want them to, however there are some local teens that back their cars up in a big circle and sit in trunks or on top more than six feet away and talk and hangout. Nice way for them to stay connected with friends yet still practice social distancing outside.

      • CJJ

        I would love to let them do that, but we live in NJ and it is too risky to be out. We are AT HOME unless it is essential. Any at home suggestions (that they would be least likely to roll their eyes at)? I would love to do things WITH them like we used to when they were little and not too cool for parents! 😀

      • Anne

        Not allowed in our area… this is classified as unnecessary travel and anyway this is what teens do in my area in normal times but don’t observe the six feet away. Not a good idea!

    • bjwebster

      I have 16-year old twins, and they enjoy playing games as a family. We’ve played Uno, Uno Attack, Clue, and Apples to Apples so far.

      • CJJ

        I forgot about UNO – such a simple game and my sons love to make up different rules for that. Great idea.

        Keep them coming, Moms of Teens! (I know you’re all out there and wondering what we can do to engage them more) 😉

        • Jen

          Yahtzee and Boggle also! I’ve got 4 in my house ages 21 down to 12 and they love them all. I was debating on buying some more games… Clue, Pit, Mille Bornes.

      • jen

        Standard deck card games are the best! We played BS last night. Spoons and Speed are also so much fun.

        • KellZoll

          Spoons is for all ages. My kids and their cousins (who are in their 30s) enjoy playing spoons at family get togethers. Any age can play, but it does get pretty rowdy. Pig is the same concept. You put your finger on your nose when you have a match. The last one to put their finger on their nose gets a letter. P-I-G-S instead of S-p-o-o-n-s.

    • Allyson

      I came up with a kahoot game at Christmas for a family party. The teens especially loved it because they use it on their phone. You can personalize it with any type of questions.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Oh that sounds fun! Thanks for sharing Allyson.

    • Barbara

      Those teens though! I’ve got 2 teen boys and a tween son. If it doesn’t involve sleeping, gaming (not board) or eating, they’re not into it. Sigh…

    • Suzanne

      Something we just found on YouTube is “Art Hub for Kids”. It has been the first family activity that my teenaged son hasn’t complained about and really enjoys. We each take turns choosing which thing we want to draw, then all draw and color it together. We’re all hooked now.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Yes I love them too! My kids have been watching and doing those art lessons for years – thanks for sharing!!

        • Suzanne

          Lina, thank you for this wonderful post! I’ve saved several of your ideas to do with my family (definitely going to check out P.E. with Joe!). I appreciate the thoughtfulness you and your team put into what you share.

          • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

            Oh thanks Suzanne! We appreciate your nice feedback ❤️ thanks for reading!

  6. J.H.509

    We will be doing the ice cream today!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh fun! Enjoy 😉

  7. oreostevens

    Love this post! Thanks for the great ideas!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay- Thanks so much!

  8. TJ

    Thank you Lina. I needed this post.

    Also wanted to add that we have Hearing Things and it is SO much fun. Last summer we took it on a beach vacation with extended family. It was hysterical. Our ages were 7 the whole way up to 85 and everyone was doubled over laughing.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Haha YES!! It’s so fun!! Thanks for sharing and stopping by TJ <3

    • CJJ

      I never heard of that but looked it up on Amazon and they had a video of it. They were sold out, but I thought, I can save $25 and just use our noise reducing headphones and make our own lines up! Perfect (and free!) Thanks!

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Oh my gosh HAHA YES!!! So fun <3

  9. Nicole

    I love all these ideas! I made a trivia game very similar to jeopardy on a tri-fold poster board. It had 5 categories and 5 questions for each category with points ranging from 100 to 500. My family split up in teams and the winning team won a small prize. There was even a lightning round lol It was fun!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh my gosh I love that so much!! Great idea- love the lightening round ❤️ lol way to go Nicole!

  10. Shannon

    We played indoor balloon volleyball/handball using our hands at first then using our head and feet only later. So much fun and hilarious.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I love that! Thanks Shannon!

  11. Lori

    Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. And a thank you to ALL the essential workers out there! By the way Lina your beautiful family looks so happy together.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aw thanks Lori! It’s a good thing we like each other most of the time! Ha- lots of togetherness. 😂

  12. Theresa D

    I sell Color Street 100% nail polish strips …. …a bunch of my friends that have girls picked up some sets and did manicure nights this past week 😊

  13. markiesluv

    Thanks for the great ideas! Just wanted to say thanks for sharing and for making it a family event! Your family looks amazing! Do those kids resemble their parents or what!! Lol! BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!!!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh thanks so much for your kind words ❤️😉

  14. Jen

    If you are into Escape Rooms, here’s one you can do at home:


    The first mission is free then the other three are $.99 each. I have only done 2 so far and enjoyed them.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      oh thanks for sharing that tip!

  15. Justine

    This is one of my favorite H2S posts. Thank you Lina! With all those fun activities and quality family time, your house looks like THE place to be! I love the variety of your ideas, and I will be referencing this post in the days/weeks to come with my own family.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aww yay!! That made my day. I enjoyed writing this and am so excited you found it helpful in some way Justine! <3

  16. Belinda

    This list is great! I remember making ice cream when I was little and always wanted to try it with my kids, thanks for bringing it to my attention. Also lots of great links, I already sent the diy cornhole set video to my husband.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Belinda! Have fun making ice cream again ❤️

  17. Carrie Sink

    I have a young teen and a few things that has worked with her is I let her teach me something. I don’t game so I let her teach me how to play Mario Cart and now we play as a family. My scores are always the worst but it is great to see the kids cheering me on:)
    We also have her working with the dog, as in training our do to sit and stay. Been great for both of them. You can even make your own treats;)
    Love all the ideas, keep em coming:)

  18. Alexandra

    Thanks! Great ideas!

    Big jigsaw puzzles?
    Scavenger hunts?

  19. jen

    VUDU is offering a special weekend deal right now on about 30 or so different movie titles to purchase for $4.99 each. I jumped at buying Labyrinth! They also offer deals once in a while where they’ll give you a credit of say $2 when you watch a “last chance for free” movie. Great time to buy some more movies and to use up any credits.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks, jen!

  20. KellZoll

    Spoons is for all ages. My kids and their cousins (who are in their 30s) enjoy playing spoons at family get togethers. Any age can play, but it does get pretty rowdy. Pig is the same concept. You put your finger on your nose when you have a match. The last one to put their finger on their nose gets a letter. P-I-G-S instead of S-p-o-o-n-s.

  21. mrlange

    Love this post! A few other game ideas that our family loves: It’s In the Bag, Double Ditto (this game is an easy one to play via FaceTime – our family plays and invites a friends to play with, via FaceTime), Code Names.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh thanks for the fun ideas!

  22. Ivan

    Awesome ideas Lina! I recently launched a printable escape room kit called Houdini’s Secret Room ( houdinisecretroom.com ), I’d like to offer you a free copy to test the game if you want

  23. Nancy Commet

    We watched Battle Bots on TV the other night. To make it more interesting we wagered on each round. We used money, but you could substitute whatever your teens would like. Snacks, coupons for extra sleep time, no chores, etc. If your not into wagering you can just play for fun!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh fun love that!

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