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6 Keep-Em-Busy Kids Activities (So You Can Actually Get Work Done!)

6 Keep-Em-Busy Kids Activities (So You Can Actually Get Work Done!)

By: Elisheva Blumberg, Lubicom Marketing Staff


There is no shortage out there of kids activities. Elaborate crafts, multi-step cooking projects, complicated educational worksheets. These activity ideas are all great — but there’s only one problem…


…these awesome activities often require a parent on hand to facilitate every step of these projects. 


But what happens when said parent doesn’t have the opportunity to hand-hold and lead the child through the activity?


Amid COVID-19 craziness, many parents find themselves working at home and desperately seeking ways to keep their kids occupied, even if it’s only for small chunks of time.


We compiled 6 activities that’ll keep kids of various ages busy for anywhere from 30 minutes to over 1 hour — so you can actually get your work done!


One thing to note: Depending on your child’s and developmental stage, you may have to set up your workstation nearby so you can supervise the activity as needed.


6 Keep-Em-Busy Kids Activities 


Play-doh “bakery”



Recommended ages: 3-9

Supervision: required for younger kids

Materials: Play-Doh or similar modeling compound, a few dollars in change


As “bakers”, your kids will be in charge of molding various kinds of Play-Doh “treats” for their “bakery” (think: cookies, muffins, cupcakes, truffles, etc.)


After the kids create a lineup of bakery items, they can make signs with prices per item (ranging from 1¢ to 25¢ each).


When they’re all ready to open shop, have them invite you to browse their offerings. Buy the most impressive ones with actual money, and let the kids buy something with the pocket change they earned. All in all, it’s super cheap babysitting.


Car color & wash



Recommended ages: 5+

Supervision: required for younger kids

Materials: Washable chalk markers, water hose, buckets, sponges, soap


When the weather gets warm, it’s time to ready the water hose! 


For this two-part activity, kids will have a blast decorating the family car with chalk markers — and then have even more fun washing it off!


For the car wash part, have the kids dress up in ponchos and rain boots, because when you add water + kids, there’s bound to be some splashing.


Backyard obstacle course



Recommended ages: 3+

Supervision: required for most ages

Materials: This will depend upon what obstacles you include in your course. These can range from car tires to hula hoops, wooden planks to crawl-through tunnels. Creativity counts!


You’d be surprised at how simply you can construct a DIY obstacle course. What you won’t be surprised at, though, is how busy this will keep your kids. 


This activity will take time to set up, of course, but once the series of obstacles are in place, the kids will be able to do this every day.


Some activity ideas to include in your obstacle course:


  • Tire walk-through
  • Balance beam
  • Hula hoop hop
  • Hopscotch
  • Limbo challenge
  • Timed jump rope


See here for more awesome ideas for an at-home obstacle course.


Sensory bin 



Recommended ages: 1-4

Supervision: close supervision required 

Materials: Storage containers, sensory bin fillers (these will depend on the age of your child) 


When it comes to the little ones, you can’t get any more immersive (literally!) than a sensory bin. Start with a large storage container. We recommend the under-the-bed storage bins as your child can actually sit inside the bin itself.


Fill the container with a mix of safe and age-appropriate items. 


Some possibilities: 


  • A small amount of water
  • Water toys
  • Foam blocks
  • Sand
  • Large lightweight balls (like those in a ball pit)
  • Linking rings
  • Rice grains
  • Pompoms
  • Very large dried pasta shapes


You’ll need to provide constant supervision with this activity, so be sure to set up your bin where you can keep a close eye on your child.


Mommy/Daddy dress up day



Recommended ages: 2+

Supervision: required for younger kids

Materials: Clothing and accessories from your own closet


Which kid isn’t enamored by their parents’ closet?


For a kid-thrilling version of dress up, simply mine your own closet for adult clothes and accessories that your kids can play with. 


Girls will love dressing up in:


  • Scarves
  • Costume jewelry
  • Printed dresses and skirts
  • Heeled shoes
  • Nail polish and makeup, depending on their ages


Boys will love dressing up in:


  • Ties
  • Blazers and suit jackets
  • Various hats and baseball caps
  • Patterned socks
  • Hiking boots or other shoes


For extra entertainment, give the kids a camera and have them make a fashion photoshoot of themselves in different outfits.


At-home escape room



Recommended ages: 10+ (best if you have teenagers to help out)

Supervision: If the kids are old enough for this activity they should not need extra supervision

Materials: Purchase an escape room in a box or make your own escape room tailored to your kids’ ages and abilities. 


For kids who enjoy a challenge, look no further than an escape room challenge! Kids can spend an hour or more working out the clues toward their escape, while you get your own “escape” — i.e., some time to finally work in peace!


At under $15 each, you might consider a ready-made escape room board game, such as these Exit games (in themes such as The Secret Lab and The Sunken Treasure).


You can also make a DIY escape room — just be sure to leave a lot of time for advance planning. Search “escape room kids” for endless ideas on themes and challenges that will keep your kids on their toes!



With schools and many entertainment venues still closed, the demand on many parents is higher than ever. We hope these activities succeed in giving everyone a much-needed break — so parents and kids alike will stay positive — and productive — during these unprecedented times.