Tisha B'av

Ridiculously Easy Ways to Keep Kids Busy on Tisha B’Av

Elisheva Blumberg July 4, 2020

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After months of trying to entertain your kids at home, you might feel you’ve exhausted every activity idea out there (and most likely, exhausted yourself in the process).

Maybe you’ve already purchased every single craft kit on Amazon. Stacks of board games from Target. Scores of books, balls, baking supplies. What else is left?

Lots, as it turns out.

With Tisha B’Av coming up, keeping our kids occupied is more important than ever. With that in mind, we’re sharing a bunch of easy activity ideas for all ages.

The best part? All these ideas can be done with supplies you probably already have in your house. That means no shopping required!

1. Cardboard box playhouse

For ages: Toddler – age 8

You’ll need: A large cardboard box, tape

Any parent will know, sometimes all a child needs is a little space of their own.

Follow these basic instructions to make a collapsible playhouse from a cardboard box. Then give them stickers and glitter glue to decorate the playhouse. Once they move in, they may never want to leave!

2. Cardboard box car ramp

For ages: Toddler – age 6

You’ll need: A large cardboard box, duct tape, plastic straws, hot glue gun

For another brilliant cardboard box hack, check out how to create a car ramp for toy cars. He’ll want to use this again and again. And again.

3. LEGO sensory soup

For ages: Toddler – age 3

You’ll need: LEGO, large plastic bin, kitchen utensils

A sensory bin filled with LEGO, water, and kitchen utensils (like a ladle, slotted spoon, and a whisk) will stimulate your little one while you supervise on the sidelines (in a horizontal position, of course!).

4. Fun with balloons

For ages: Toddler – age 8

You’ll need: A pack of balloons

Additional supplies (optional): Plastic cups, a plastic baseball bat

Ever see how excited kids get with just one balloon? Multiply that by 10 or 20 — and you get one super engaging activity.

Some easy balloon game ideas:

  • How long can you keep the balloon in the air?
  • Balance balloons on plastic cups (how many can you get before they fall down?)
  • Balloon baseball

5. Kotel craft 

For ages: Ages 3 – 7

You’ll need: Construction paper, safety scissors, glue stick

It’s always tough to impart the meaning of Tisha B’Av to younger children. An easy hands-on Kotel collage can help them begin to visualize the concept of the Beit Hamikdash and Western Wall.

6. Story time 

For ages: Ages 2 –10

You’ll need: An internet-enabled device

For those moments when you need some quiet time, take advantage of the many free Jewish audio stories available online. Have your child cozy up on the couch, listen to a story, and learn something while they’re at it!

Try these sites for free, kid-friendly Jewish stories:

7. Book swap

For ages: All ages

You’ll need: A friend to trade books with

With many libraries closed, why not organize a book swap with your child’s friend(s)? Kids will love having a fresh stack of books to dive into come Tisha B’Av.

8. Story stones

For ages: Ages 3 – 9

You’ll need: A collection of relatively smooth stones, paint, paintbrushes

Your child can create and decorate his own story stones with illustrations of things like flowers, designs, vehicles, or animals. Use these stones as prompts for storytelling.

To relate this activity to the fast day, suggest that your child paint the stones to look as if they came from the Beit Hamikdash, or use the pictures on the stones to tell stories related to Temple’s destruction.

9. Painter’s tape activities

For ages: All ages

You’ll need: Painter’s tape or any other easy-to-remove colored tape

One roll of colorful painter’s tape = plenty of immersive indoor activities.

  • Balance “beam”
  • Maze
  • Letter and number formation
  • Hopscotch grid

10. Pick a wildflower bouquet

For ages: Ages 3+

You’ll need: A private yard or nearby outdoor public park

Let your kids enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors and challenge them to create their own wildflower bouquet from the different “weeds” they can find in your backyard or public park.

Please note: If your kids can’t recognize poisonous plant species, have them don a pair of disposable gloves when they do the picking.

11. Laundry basket skee ball 

For ages: Ages 3+

You’ll need: Cardboard box, duct tape, laundry baskets, ball pit balls or other lightweight balls

Using a few items from home, you make a DIY laundry basket skee ball.

12. Underwater “fireworks”

For ages: Ages 3+

You’ll need: Water, oil, food coloring, drinking glasses

The cool and colorful effects of this underwater “fireworks” activity will mesmerize kids of all ages.

13. Make your own ring toss

For ages: Ages 3+

You’ll need: Paper plates, paper towel roll, tape, safety scissors

Additional supplies (optional): paint, paintbrushes

While younger children will need some help, older kids can create this simple ring toss game on their own. To make the game more exciting for older children, assign a point value to each ring so they can play competitively with siblings.

14. Snack bag shrinky dinks

For ages: Ages 6+ (adult supervision required)

You’ll need: Empty chip bags, baking tray, parchment paper

Did you know you can shrink snack bags in your oven? With only a few household items, your kids can create miniature versions of their favorite snack bags. The adorable results, which harden as they shrink, can be used as jewelry charms, keyring accessories, or dollhouse decor.

15. Cook the break fast meal 

For ages: Ages 9+ (adult supervision required)

You’ll need: Ingredients for your chosen recipes

Kids love learning new skills — especially ones that make them feel like an adult! They’ll jump at the chance to prepare food on which the adults can break their fast.

Kosher.com’s Nosh & Nibble cooking demos include kid-friendly video recipes like Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas and 3 Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies.


There are countless ways to keep kids entertained on the upcoming fast day. With household materials and some out-of-the-box thinking, you’re sure to find easy activities to keep the young ones occupied so you can focus, fast, and pass the day in a meaningful way.