15+ Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home

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Looking for things to do when you’re stuck at home? Whether you’re home because of illness in the family, school closings, or because gas is too expensive, you need ideas to help you not lose your sanity and entertain your kids. If you’re looking for things to do at home with kids, we have lots of ideas (because that’s what we do here).

things to do at home

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Write letters or draw pictures for others

Remember those olden days of handwriting a letter, putting it in an envelope with a stamp and physically sending it to someone? How about opening a handwritten letter to you? It’s a nice feeling! We suggest breaking out actual paper and pens and writing a letter – or for the little kids, they can draw or color a picture – for a family member, for someone serving in the military overseas (Operation Gratitude can help with that), for someone in a nursing home here in the Upstate (here’s a list to start with), to local police, or anyone else you think would love to get a sweet letter. 

It’s a good opportunity for kids to be creative and thoughtful in their writing and practice while out of school. 

Make Paper Dolls

You can find classic and modern versions of paper dolls online. Print some free paper doll patterns out and have fun cutting and dressing the dolls. If you have it, cardstock works best!


Starting a garden, whether a little one indoors or something in a larger space outside, is a fun way to get some fresh air and build responsibility for cultivating and caring for plants. So buy some seeds or you can get some from vegetables or fruits you already have handy and start planting. If it’s cold get some potting soil and seeds and keep the pots indoors until the weather warms up, then put them near a sunny spot inside. Then around April, get them in the ground.

Or, grab a gardening book for kids and you’re ready to go.

You can start your garden indoors!

Do a puzzle or play a board game

If you’re able to get out, thrift stores often have super cheap puzzles and games. If not, just reuse the ones you may have lying around the house. See if you can set a record for how long you can play Monopoly!

Here are more than 40 board and card games our readers recommend for family fun!

Clean out the closets

You know all those clothes you’d love to donate or sell, whether it’s yours or your kids’? Now is a great time to do that. Make piles of those clothes to trash, donate, and sell and end up with a much cleaner closet. 

Dance party

Kids need to get out energy, it’s a basic fact, right? Either put on music you love, like the 80s (just sayin’) and dance in the kitchen. Or get a fun YouTube dance video, like KidzBop dance instruction videos, on and follow along together. 

Family movie night

Put the popcorn on and pick out a movie together for a special night of quality time together. You can use a streaming service or rent one from the library.

Learn a new card game or magic trick

Card games are great because you can play them anywhere and magic tricks are fun to learn because they are great for quick entertainment. You can find some fun magic tutorials online or if someone in your family knows a trick, beg them to teach you. There are also many fun magic trick kits you can buy online that are full of neat tricks with instructions.

Adopt A Cop

You can adopt your own cop right here in Greenville and send encouraging cards or letters through the mail or give a small gift in appreciation for their work. Here’s how to do to adopt a cop!

Bake cookies 

I’m terrible at baking cookies because I love cookie dough and rarely get to the actual baking part. Hopefully, you aren’t like that and have willpower. If so, baking cookies together with your kids may be fun. Sugar cookies aren’t just for the holidays, grab some fun cookie cutters and get baking.

Start a journal

If your kids don’t have a journal or diary yet, starting one while stuck at home could give them an opportunity to think of something else, daydream, or write whatever is on their mind and get out some stress or anxiety. You can use almost anything from paper stapled together and decorated with stickers and markers to neat guided journals for kids.

Order a Busy Box

We love busy boxes from Magical Momdom, a local mom-run company that fills boxes full of fun items for kids to enjoy, like cookie cutters, play dough, sparkly rocks and gems. It gives kids a way to entertain themselves while us parents get stuff done.

Do a photoshoot

Grab your camera or phone, get everyone dressed somewhat nicely, use the self-timer and do a family photoshoot. Or just let the kids get totally messy and run around outside and take photos. Some of my favorite photos of my kids are of them jumping around in puddles.

Have a salon day

If you’ve got little girly girls, set up a little salon at home with a place to do hair and nails. Just keep the scissors safely tucked away (speaking from experience….). Need supplies? Grab a Kids Spa Kit for extra fun.

Have a cooking competition

Give your older kids or teens a few ingredients from the pantry or have them pick some and then do a cooking competition! Bonus points because parents don’t need to make dinner then.

Local Greenville blogger, Sarah, who writes at Pimento & Prose, has a great list of kid-friendly recipes that you can try with your kids.

Take a walk and do a scavenger hunt

Simple enough but fresh air is always a good thing. Just Google “scavenger hunt ideas” and you’ll be presented with thousands of ideas for this. And here is info on geocaching. These are some fantastic scavenger hunts you can do outside or indoors at your home.

What other things would you suggest for having fun while stuck at home?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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Bobbie and Amane
2 years ago

We need ideas for inside single child, asthma season is keeping us in. I am running out of ideas. Taking ideas for inside and just Mommy and me ideas.