Does quarantine have the family feeling a little (or a lot!) crazy?
You’re not alone. With millions of Americans under some sort of stay-at-home restriction, Moms and Dads are having to tap into their creative sides to keep the kids entertained in between home school sessions.
Build a fort? Been there, done that. A lemonade stand? Not the best time, considering the social distancing and public safety measures in effect.
You can spend hours scrolling through Pinterest boards to find something new and exciting—an activity the kids won’t roll their eyes at or turn away from shortly after you set it all up—but many of these crafts are highly complex, requiring you to stock up on one-off supplies that’ll probably never again see the light of day.
This isn’t ideal for many families on a budget, as is the hawk-like supervision these crafts require from parents who are desperate for some “me” time away from the madness.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 3 kid-friendly DIY projects you can do at home.
They’re fun and functional, offering a meaningful way for families to fill their time during quarantine, summer vacation, or whenever you’re feeling bored at home.
1. Plant a Garden
Everyone can use a little vitamin D (but be sure to apply SPF before heading outside!).
Being outdoors benefits physical and mental health, plus gardening gives kids the chances to play in the dirt and get their hands dirty—without getting in trouble for making a mess or dragging mud inside!
At first, gardening might sound more like a chore than a fun project, but it’s all about spinning it in the right light.
You can choose flowers known to attract butterflies, plant vegetables they can grow and eat, or teach the kids about drought-resistance species and the value of water conservation.
Need a whimsical twist? How about transforming a garden into a magical world of fairies and gnomes?
As children tend to the garden, it can instill a sense of responsibility as well as pride and accomplishment when they see the end result of their hard work.
Plus, once you help get the plants in the ground and they develop a knack for their green thumb, parental supervision is pretty hands off—meaning Mom and Dad can finally work on that outdoor deck they’ve wanted to get around to while the kids get their garden on.
2. Take STEM up a Notch
With many schools out of session during the pandemic, many parents are finding themselves moonlighting as stay-at-home teachers—a new job that doesn’t exactly always come naturally, and might feel more like pulling teeth than effective education.
How about injecting some fun into lesson plans with silicone mold making? This hands-on approach to STEM learning teaches kids the basis of chemical reactions and how they can be used to create real-life products around the house.
From fizzy bath bombs to themed LEGO molds, erupting volcanoes to DIY coloring crayons, the list of things you can make with silicone molds is nearly endless.
Add them to your educational toolkit and watch the kids light up when it comes time for science class.
3. Create Home Décor
Popsicle stick frames and paper-cut snowflakes may be cute on display for a day or two, but a couple craft projects later, and suddenly your kitchen fridge turns into a Jackson Pollock hodgepodge of art (and not in a good way).
Rather than revisiting the basic arts and crafts projects we’ve all grown accustomed to over the years, why not create kid-friendly décor you can keep up all year—without crashing your home aesthetic!
You may not be inviting guests into your home during these times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance the appeal of your personal oasis in the meantime.
Quarantine season might have your kids feeling the paint-by-number kits that allow them to transform a semi-blank canvas into personalized pet portraits or breathtaking landscaping.
Why the hype? First, the kit contains all necessary materials, including paint, brushes, and even hardware fixtures to hang upon completion.
So long as your kids know numbers and how to color inside the lines, they’ll be able to follow the simple instructions with impressive results.
And, sort of like a big jigsaw puzzle, it’ll take a good amount of time to complete—but they won’t get bored half-way through
What are you doing to entertain the kids while they’re out of school? Give us your best suggestions in the comments below!