The minute a quarantine order was mentioned for our little town, I started searching for indoor activities to stop boredom for my five kids. With no gymnastics, parkour, homeschool choir, piano, STEM academy, or church activities, I wondered what I would I do to help them fill their time.
I’m not a mom who enjoys a ton of crafting, and I still have a business to run from home. I was particularly looking for activities that:
- were easy to execute
- would appeal to ALL my kids
- would bring value to them
And I’m really happy to say that we’ve found some really fun boredom busters that have done all of those things!
I can’t wait to share them with you, so let’s jump right in, shall we?
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Indoor Activity to Stop Boredom #1: Escape Room Kit
Our new favorite family activity have been the escape room kits we were gifted by Escape Kit!
What is an escape room?
An escape room is a game where you work as a team to discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks to reach a specific goal in a limited amount of time. We were given three different game kits and each of them was a blast for all of us!
3 Awesome Kits
Here are the 3 kits we played:
1. Superheroes vs. Dr Villain – in this scenario, the kids were superheroes who were trying to stop Dr. Villain’s bomb from exploding and turning the town into zombies. They had one hour to move from 4 different locations like Superhero Hideout and Secret Laboratory. Along the way they collected clues and solved riddles to help them “diffuse” the bomb.
2. The Sleeping Curse – this game kit was Harry Potter-esque and featured many things from the wizarding world. Using a map of the castle, the kids needed to break the sleeping curse that had been cast over the school. With so many little details, this game was very well thought out. This was my 6 year old boy’s favorite kit for sure!
3. Cursed Treasure – in this kit, the kids were pirates trying to find a hidden treasure on an island. But that particular island only appears in the sea for only one hour every thirteen years! This kit was less scripted than the others, which meant the kids had to not only find the clues, but had to put the clues in order themselves. There was a little more math and logic involved than the other kits. This was the favorite scenario for my 8, 12, and 14 year old kiddos.
About the Escape Kits
Each kit was super easy to download, print, cut out and set up. Detailed instructions made it clear which clues went together in each room, so set up was a breeze. I did take some time to set the ambience, but I’d say the average set up time for each of the kits was about 30-40 minutes.
The kids had the best time time working together to reach the goal for each game!
It was awesome to see them totally immersed and working together. The littles would search for hidden clues, and the older kids did most of the puzzle solving. When I asked them what they thought of the games after we finished, they all mentioned how cool it was that everyone had something to contribute! (every mother’s dream, right?!)
Everyone was completely engaged in solving the mystery. And the awesome music playlist links provided by Escape Kit totally helped set the mood.
We did the first one on Sunday afternoon and my kids loved it so much! They immediately wanted to do the next one the same evening. I knew they were really motivated because they even cleaned their rooms early while I set up the game around the house!
After finishing the third kit, we were back on the Escape Kit website looking at the other kits available. We are now deciding which one we want to do next!
If you have a wide age range of kids, kiddos who love solving mysteries, or who enjoy logic puzzles, I think you’d really love these fun on-demand game kits. They were the perfect indoor activity to stop boredom around here!
Boredom Stopping Idea #2: Theme Days
Our Harry Potter theme days
Another great indoor activity to stop boredom for my kids has been creating theme days.
We are huge (and I mean HUGE) Harry Potter fans, so I decided we’d spend two days doing all things Harry Potter. We played (almost) all of our Harry Potter games – Harry Potter Clue, Harry Potter Scrabble, Harry Potter Codenames, and Harry Potter Headbanz.
To add some educational value, I downloaded a fun set of Harry Potter – inspired Mad Libs from Rock Your Homeschool. These definitely brought a boatload of laughs for everyone.
Other possible things to do could have been putting together our HP puzzles, having a Potions or Charms class, and getting out our Sorting Hat. Of course, we could have also watched the Harry Potter movies or read the books.
Our next theme day: Star Wars
We are all brainstorming ideas for our next theme day, and it looks like Star Wars is the current front runner!
We plan to play our Star Wars board games and make some of the fun light sabers featured here on Kids Activities Blog. Other ideas include finding printable Star Wars Mad Libs, and creating a Star Wars trivia game for our relatives to play via Zoom. I will look for some easy Star Wars treats to make. Right now we’re planning to have this all ready for Star Wars Day which is on May the Fourth (get it?).
Other theme day ideas
Putting together a theme day is super simple. Start by choosing a theme that your kids love – Disney Princesses, LEGO, science projects, or baking would all be great ideas.
Start by looking around your house to see what you have to support that theme. If it’s something your kid really enjoys, it’s likely you’ll have things to pull together to support a fun theme day.
With LEGO for example, you could hold LEGO building challenges such as blindfold building or one-handed building. Everyone could build the same thing out of LEGOs, such as a car or castle, in different corners of the room for a set amount of time and then compare their creations when time is up.
Watching the LEGO movies, reading any LEGO books, making LEGO cupcakes like these from Mommyhood Life, or taking a virtual tour of a LEGO factory on YouTube could all be possible activities for your LEGO theme day.
Although your kids may have already watched the movies, read the books, played with the toys, creating a theme day will make it feel special and will be a great indoor activity to stop the boredom they might be experiencing.
Indoor Activities to Stop Boredom Idea #3: Create a Staycation
While vacations aren’t happening for any of us, staycations are the next best thing!
A trip to Hawaii
My sweet friend, Andrea G, created an adorable staycation to Hawaii for her family. She concocted Hawaii themed treats, made flower leis, and had everyone in the family pretend that they were on a trip to Hawaii.
They did things like hula dancing, drank virgin pina coladas, had a luau, and swam in their pop up pool. The boys wore Hawaiian shirts and the girls wore grass skirts and flowers in their hair. How fun, right?!
An indoor camping trip
Another amazing staycation idea is one I saw on the awesome blog, The Growing Creatives. Christine created an indoor campout for her family – complete with a paper fire, tin foil dinners, paper binoculars, and flashlight story time. This is something we’ve done as a family before, and it was a hit with everyone! Check out her blog here for more details!
There are so many amazing places I’ve been thinking about taking my kids on staycations to. Right now, Italy is at the top of my list. I’m picturing personal homemade pizza and gelato, painting like the Old Masters, pretending our pool is a canal in Venice, and taking a virtual tour of the Colosseum.
Boredom Stopping Idea #4: At-home Mommy and Daddy Dates
My husband and I have taken our kids on one-on-one dates pretty regularly for a few years now. Each of our kids loves these opportunities to get a little one-on-one time with either mom or dad.
Typical activities have been things like going to the Family Fun Center, playing tennis, visiting the library, or getting pampered at the hair or nail salon.
With everything being closed due to quarantine, my 4-year-old was asking if she’d ever get a chance to have a date again. (You may know how dramatic a 4-year-old can be! Ha!) I felt sad that I couldn’t really give her an answer.
At home dates
Just last week, I had the idea to have at-home Mommy and Daddy dates! (*Thinking to myself, hello! Why didn’t this occur to me sooner?!) Instead of going somewhere, we let one child at a time stay up “late” and choose an activity to do with us after the others have gone to bed.
It has been so fun to see what they’ve picked.
Our 8-year-old girl choose to have hot chocolate, play the board game Villanous, and read in the living room. Our 6-year-old boy picked to watch the Disney documentary Penguins on our bed with us. And our little 4-year old choose to watch The Little Mermaid and have hot chocolate.
The older boys are next in line and are formulating their ideas for what they’d like to do. Having a special night to plan has been a great way to give our kids something to look forward to during our shelter-in-place weeks at home.
A little encouragement
I’d love to hear what fun indoor activities to stop boredom you’ve tried with your kids! And if you have questions about the Escape Kits, please let me know – I’d be happy to answer them!
I know this is an odd time, but I want to encourage you, mama. You CAN find simple indoor activities to stop boredom – activities that will appeal to all ages and that your kids just might remember forever.
Related article: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Homeschooling