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Last Updated on May 18, 2018

24 Fun Things to Do with Kids (From Indoor Activities to Outdoor Fun)

24 Fun Things to Do with Kids (From Indoor Activities to Outdoor Fun)

You’re at home with the kids, your spouse is at work and it’s a beautiful day outside but you have no clue what to do with the kids. You’ve already taken them to the park 4 times this week (and it’s only Wednesday), and you and the kids are both getting sick of it.

Or you’re home with the kids, your spouse is at work and it’s pouring rain outside and now the park isn’t even an option, so now what do you do?

Allow us to hopefully spark some new ideas to entertain your kids and you with this list of fun things to do:

Indoor ideas

1. Romp it up

Where I live, my city has a great kids program called Tot Romp. It’s a space at a local community centre where they set up toys, slides, games, and activities for the kids to play with. It’s a great way to get out of the house, play with new toys and meet new families. It costs a couple bucks each time you go so it’s a relatively low cost option.

Check your local community guide for times and locations.

2. Go for a stroll

While it’s super easy to go for a walk to the park, what about when it rains?

One of my favorite places to go in that case is the mall. It’s a great way to burn off some energy and do a little window shopping. Chances are it won’t be super busy if you go midday so you will probably feel more comfortable letting the kids just wander around and enjoy their time there as well.

As an added bonus, a lot of malls now have a children’s play space for your smaller kids to climb around on and interact with other children around their age.

3. MasterChef your house

Did you know there is a Junior version for MasterChef? That’s right–many kids love to cook! So, why not involve yours in creating a meal?

Lunches and dinners can seem like an endless task, and sometimes a challenging one, with the kids stuck inside. What better way to combat those problems than having your kids help? Sure it might get a little messy, but it’s bound to create some fun memories. Afterwards, have the kids pitch in for clean up!

Thinking about what to make with your kids? Check out 40 Easy Recipes To Cook With Kids

4. Bake away

Baking is a great way to get your kids involved, as they can help create any snacks they eat or any other baking that you need to do.

Added bonus – this will help with the kids refining their math skills as they help you measure out ingredients.

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    5. Get lost at the blue and yellow

    IKEA is one of those places that can easily take up a whole day depending on how you plan your trip (and how many times you get lost).

    If your kids are old enough, they can be dropped off in the kids play area and you can shop (or have a coffee and snack for an hour or so). And even if they aren’t old enough, they can still run around the showroom with you, and then you can all grab a cheap bite to eat at the end of the day.

    6. Get creative!

    Put down an old table cloth (or one from the dollar store) and put your little one in the highchair, give them some child friendly paints and let them go to town on some art creation! Feel free to utilize other child-friendly media, such as non-toxic clay, confetti, and gluesticks.

    Whether you use paper, fabric, cardboard, or another material, your kids are bound to have a good time.

    7. Future Olympian in training

    Many communities are great at providing things to do for families, yet we often forget to use them as a resource.

    Gymnastics is one of the best ways for kids to burn off A LOT of energy. It’s safe and fun for them to run and run for an hour or two. It’s often cheap – or free – so it’s worth seeing what your community has to offer.

    8. Switch it up

    With my kids, I’ve noticed that they often are so bored of seeing the same toys, same spaces and same games, so why not switch it up?

    Take your kids to a friend’s place. This will give the kids new surroundings, new toys and new games to play with that will entertain them for a while.

    You can even swap with friends so that one person isn’t always hosting. It gets your child out of the house and provides great social interaction, and hopefully a new friendship or two.

    9. To grandmother’s house we go

    Besides you, chances are that nobody loves your kids as much as their grandparents. We’ve heard it said that being a grandparent is all the fun of being a parent with none of the responsibility.

    My kids love their grandparents and they always have a blast with them so why not let them spend more time with them?

    10. Go on a date

    If you have multiple kids, it can be really hard to get one on one time with them.

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    A great idea is to go on a date with one kid each week. One week mom takes a kid out, next week dad takes a kid out until each parents has had a date with each kid, then start all over again.

    This is a great way to slow things down or speed them up while getting to focus all your attention on just one kid.

    Here’s a sweet video about a dad taking his daughter on the first date:

    11. Kids cafe

    This one is similar to the one above but I know in my area, there is a couple of cafes that have a designated play space for kids and great snacks for parents. They often run different events such as music classes which can be a great day out.

    12. Train your little Michael Phelps

    This one can be indoor or out, but the pool is a great option to burn off that excess energy and it’s super fun for everyone. Just don’t forget sunscreen if you’re outdoors.

    And afterwards, your kids will drop like a rock for a fantastic nap!

    13. Treat yo self

    This one is for the girls. The spa is always a good time, whether it’s just getting your nails done or going for a full spa day with massage and everything else.

    Either plan an at home spa day (which can also be a fun planning activity!) or treat your kiddo and allow the pros to do it. My family tends to prefer the home option: we make homemade facial scrubs, pick up some masks from the dollar store, paint each other’s nails, and eat yummy treats!

      Outdoor ideas

      14. Take me out to the ball game

      Chances are it’s getting close to baseball season where you live. If you’re lucky, like I am in Vancouver, you may even have a professional or semi-professional team close by.

      Take the family out to a ball game for the night. If you’re on a budget, go to the local park one evening and watch kids play some Little League.

      15. Catch some rays

      Take the kids to the beach. With summer fast approaching, take advantage of optimum beach weather! It doesn’t even need to be summer for this, cloudy days mean it’s going to be less busy and give your kid more space to run and explore! Pack a picnic lunch and you’re basically set.

      There are plenty of great beach ideas to consider before heading out to the beach with your kids.

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        16. Take a ride

        One thing I love to do is go for local drives and find new places to explore. Doing this with the kids can be awesome, as it’s relaxing and full of wonderful scenery!

        Ask them what they see out the window, just make sure your destination has some space to let your kids out of the car so that they can get their energy out!

        17. Search out a new park

        Do you have errands to run in a different part of the city? Google the top playgrounds in the area and make that a pit stop after running your errands.

        Who knows, it might just become a new favorite family destination!

        18. Farmers’ markets

        You don’t need to be a foodie to attend a farmer’s market. Often times there are farmers markets or festivals that are free to attend and will have music and different performances. It’s a great way to check out different interests and businesses in your community!

        And for your reference, take a look at America’s best farmers’ markets here.

        19. Chalk it up

        Chalk is great for a few reasons, it’s super cheap, fun for the kids and harmless on clothing.

        You can pick it up from the dollar store (or make it yourself if you’re really ambitious, another thing to do with the kids) and head out your front door for some cheap fun!

        You can have drawing contests, draw roads or play hop scotch. Don’t forget to bring out the kids toys to play on after or simply sit and play endless games of X’s & O’s. Do a web search to utilize the plethora of ways that you can play with chalk!

        20. Go for a scavenger hunt

        Scavenger hunts are great for kids. It gives them a task that they have to complete. If your kids are as determined as mine are, they will love it.

        There are lots of free lists available online or simply make your own before you leave. Head out for a walk and have your kids either gather the items on a list, take a picture or point them out to you. It puts a new spin on your ordinary walks.

        21. Zoo-m off

        If you have a zoo in your area, go spend the day there. If you don’t have a big zoo, maybe there’s a petting zoo close by. Pack a lunch for the day and head out!

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        Kids love animals and being able to walk around so much, this is a win-win situation.

        22. Go chasing airplanes

        One of the best dates I ever took my wife on was a trip to the airport late at night. We took a pickup truck, lots of blankets and pillow and laid in the bed watching airplanes land.

        Chances are good that there is an airport near you, go spend an afternoon there. The kids can run around while you wait for any planes and then help count them, what colour are they, guess where they came from etc.

        Tip – make sure you have ear protection for children that are really young!

        23. Head to the great outdoors

        Whether it’s in the backyard or way out in the deep woods, camping was always a favorite memory of mine.

        Getting out the tent and sleeping bags and roasting marshmallows is a guaranteed good time for parents and kids!

        Be sure to follow proper guidelines and precautions so that your camping trip is safe and fun for everyone.

        24. Fight the kids

        Have a water fight! Kids love competition, especially if it’s against their parents. Find your inner child, get out your water gun and set teams, maybe even set up barriers and have a good old fashioned water fight.

          We hope this list has given you a few new ideas to entertain both you and the kids.

          This week choose one item from the list that you haven’t done before and go have some fun with your little ones!. No more using weather as an excuse either because we gave you indoor and outdoor ideas.

          After you’ve done it, come back here and choose another one to try out the next week!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          More by this author

          Kyle Enns

          Kyle is a family lifestyle & family travel blogger who runs Adventure Never Enns with his wife Samantha.

          24 Fun Things to Do with Kids (From Indoor Activities to Outdoor Fun)

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          Published on November 7, 2018

          How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

          How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

          In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

          The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

          Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

          How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

          After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

          Figure Out the Laws

          Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

          The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

          Decide on an Approach

          Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

          Supplies/Resources

          Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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          A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

          Find a Community

          Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

          Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

          7 Different Homeschooling Methods

          1. School-At-Home

          Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

          The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

          • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
          • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
          • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

          2. Classical

          One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

          Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

          3. Unit Studies

          Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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          For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

          • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
          • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
          • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

          4. Charlotte Mason

          This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

          Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

          5. Montessori

          Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

          With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

          6. Unschooling

          Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

          For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

          7. Eclectic/Relaxed

          As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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          Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

          How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

          One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

          Email

          Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

          It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

          Google Drive/Calendar

          Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

          With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

          Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

          Ebooks

          Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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          E-Courses

          When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

          From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

          The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

          Some recommendations:

          Youtube

          Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

          Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

          Some recommendations:

          Final Thoughts

          Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

          Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

          Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

          Reference

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