Keeping Little Hands Busy When You’re Cooped Up


It’s a little ironic that I’m writing this post when we are having an abnormally warm winter, it’s 60 degrees outside and I have my windows wide open. Just last week snow was on the ground, the first day back to school was cancelled and my kids were CLIMBING THE WALLS. I’m fairly certain I hid in the bathroom a few times just to get some peace and quiet and, by the time my husband got home, I was humming to myself and rocking in a corner. I really wanted to title this post, “I Gave My Kids These Activities To Save My Sanity”…or possibly something that was less appropriate. HA!

I hope that these ten easy activities will keep your kiddo’s hands busy and that they buy you Mamas a few extra minutes in the bathroom alone!

Table Tents

This is one of our family favorites. Grab every blanket in the house and throw them over the kitchen table to create a big tent/cave. My boys love to play Legos under it with flashlights, setting up their Magic Tracks or using it for their imaginary house.

Instant Snow

This is the best sensory experience ever. Instant Snow can be purchased on Amazon, WalMart or Hobby Lobby online. Follow the instructions included in the packet and BAM, you have a snowstorm in your own home. Instant snow isn’t messy, can be vacuumed up easily! It will keep the kids busy for hours. My kids love to incorporate some of their trucks and cars into our water table (where we usually play with instant snow). A newfound favorite idea is taking ice cube trays and freezing instant snow during nap time. When the kids wake up they have “snow blocks” with which to build igloos.

Obstacle Course

Run that energy out! Make an obstacle course for the kids to expel some energy. We like to incorporate an ottoman climb, bouncing on the mini trampoline, rolling up in a blanket and crab walking to the finish line. Naptime will be peaceful for you when you have them release those wiggles.

Cooking Together

Bake some cookies together. Have your kids help make their own lunch or lend a hand with dinner preparation. There are some amazing child-friendly knifes which children can safely use to help you cut vegetables or fruit. We got a really neat one several years ago from Pampered Chef.

Paint Sticks

If you haven’t heard of Kwik Stix, you need to google them right now! These amazing paint sticks dry in under 90 seconds and my kids LOVE them! Our favorite thing to do is roll out butcher paper and make a huge collage of letter writing and drawings. Taping the paper down to the floor makes it less frustrating for the kids. They can be purchased online at Target, Walmart or Amazon.

Gumdrop/Marshmallow Towers

Grab a box of toothpicks from the store (less than a dollar), a bag of gumdrops (around $1.50) and a bag of marshmallows ($1.00) and let the creative juices start flowing! This was a super fun activity for a four-year-old, but the two-year-old just wanted to eat all the building materials. LOL!

Kinetic Sand/Kinetic Rocks

Most of you know what Kinetic Sand is, you know that amazing feeling sensory sand that doesn’t try out has, BUT have you heard of Kinetic Rocks? Kinetic Rocks provide a super interactive and fun sensory experience, and come in a box that also serves as a play container (yay for keeping the mess contained!). Right now I believe they are exclusively sold at Target.

Ziploc Finger Painting

Cut a piece of paper to fit into a Ziploc bag, squirt a few blobs of paint inside, close up the bag and let your kids move the paint around by moving their fingers around on the outside of the bag. This provides a mess-free activity, easy clean up and a neat experience that probably hasn’t been done before.

Temporary Tattoos

Cut up some temporary tattoos, give the kids a damp paper towel and then let them tat each other up. DONE!

Noodle Stacking

For this activity you’ll need some Play Doh, some spaghetti noodles and some penne noodles. Take a small amount of Play Doh and squish it onto the table to create a base of sorts. Next take a spaghetti noodle and stick it in the Play Doh so that it’s sticking straight up. After this, encourage your kids to get the penne noodles onto the spaghetti noodle. This is an excellent for helping develop fine motor skills.

I hope you have found a couple of these ideas helpful for when you’re cooped up with the crazies this winter. What ideas do you have for keeping little hands busy?


  1. This is one of the most helpful and manageable one of these lists I’ve seen! Thanks for providing instructions right within the text and not simply links to other blogs to check out each activity. They all seem like things my two would enjoy!


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