How to Survive Covid Quarantine with School Aged Kids

Covid rapid test negativ and positive result

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You Can Depend on These to Keep Kids Entertained

Covid rapid test negativ and positive result
  • What: Survive quarantine with kids
  • When: 5 years and up
  • Why: Keep you wits
  • Where: At home

Got a kid who popped up positive on their recent covid rapid test? Not looking forward to spending five days at home together unplanned? If you need to stay at home to keep others safe, but still don’t want to lose your mind or hear unending refrains of “I’m bored!”, check out this list of ways to keep yourself and your kid entertained. 

When part of our family recently tested positive, we decided to divide and conquer. We used an empty Airbnb to stay completely separate. By splitting our quarantine day into distinct activities, the time passed much faster. From morning and afternoon games to outdoor explorations and project time, we used these things to pass the five days.

Books: If you’ve got a reader, make sure they have a stack of books. Diary of a Wimpy Kid rarely goes out of fashion for any one of my three kids, ages eight, ten, and twelve. We took a stack with us to read, though my daughter finished all her books on the first day. Pack more than you think you will need, just in case.

Uno card games in teenage mutant ninja turtles and jake neverland pirates side by side size comparison

Uno: You can adjust the rules of this classic card game to fit the amount of time you need to occupy. Want the game to last longer? Draw cards until you get one you can play. Need a shorter round? Start with fewer cards and only take one card from the deck when you can’t use a card from your hand. Either way, this game works with two or more players and can tick a lot of time off the clock. Just make sure everyone agrees on the rules before you start playing.

Trouble: This game also works well to pass the time without requiring complex setup or complicated rules. Two players can each choose one color. Use game variations like starting a piece on the board when someone rolls a one or a six, and decide whether players get to go again if they roll a certain number. Want even more fun? Decide whether players can knock themselves out, if you’ll use warp spaces, or let players have more than one color and see where the fun takes you.

Ultimate Coloring National Parks horses colored in by ten year old

Coloring Books: These advanced coloring books can help pass the time in a pleasant way. Work together on filling in a page, or let your child choose one to design. Use markers, pens, pencils, crayons, or whatever you have on hand to finish these unique works of art. The tiny spaces mean kids get lots of practice holding writing utensils and the final product can be displayed or saved to share later.

Zeus on the Loose: This basic counting and math game uses the powers of the gods to up the excitement. Greek god cards add special skills. Add and subtract the number on the card to the total of the discard pile, but watch out for those special cards. Place cards on the stack to reach 100, and be the player holding the Zeus figure when that happens. 

Epic Books: If you, too, run out of books, don’t despair. Instead, download the Epic Books app onto their electronic device or log in on a computer. This site gives kids access to thousands of books and lets them earn rewards for reading more and acing quizzes. It also features read aloud books so you can take a break. Send kids books you think they might enjoy or let them explore all the titles on their own.

Movies: Feature films go a long way to absorbing time. Pick a flick to watch each day. Choose from favorites or try something new, especially if your child has a movie they love to watch over and over.

SanDisk Clip Jam MP3 Player for kids 3 with black ear buds

MP3 Player: This tiny device offers lots of different ways to keep kids listening (and quiet, in case you still need to get work done). From music to audiobooks, kids can choose what they love. Download some new material whenever you need to keep it interesting. Or let them use the radio function to tune into nearby stations. They can even add podcasts to their listening lists.

Paint Your Own Castle Nightlight

Paint Your Own: If you need an idea for project time, look no further than these paint your own options. Order from Amazon, or use one you already have but never had the chance to complete. Each one comes with everything you need to finish the project, like paint, paintbrushes, and a ceramic item in various themes. Even if you get stuck in a hotel room with no arts and crafts supplies, these self-contained projects can go a long way to keeping them busy.

Virtual Socializing: If your kid wants more time talking to someone who isn’t you, try Zoom or Facetime. Even if their friends stay in school or activities, you can try evenings or weekends to let them catch up. And try calling a relative in a different time zone and give kids a chance to connect with people they don’t get to see as often. Either way, kids get to talk with another person so they don’t end up feeling too isolated.

Got more ideas you use when days get long? Share them in the comments. Here’s to passing the time quickly for you and yours.

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