If you have kids, work with kids, or spend any amount of time with kids, you know that they’re in constant need of something to do. Their energy seems to be inexhaustible. So we’ve put together fifteen activities that you can do with little to no previous planning and that are sure to keep them occupied. The steps are simple, you can use household items, and have fun!
What are some activities you use to help your kids stay busy? Leave some ideas in the comments!
Slime has been very popular with kids for a while now. It may seem like just a messy pass-time, but slime is a great educational tool too.
Ways to make slime educational:
- Teach the science behind what makes slime;
- Learn that it’s okay to be messy sometimes and the value of cleaning up;
- Understand how our choices make up who we are: Divide slime into multiple containers before adding food coloring. Each child gets to modify their slime as they wish (with glitter, food coloring, beads). As they decide, explain how the choices we make in our life—good or bad—affect us and who we become, just like their choices affect what their slime becomes. Encourage them to make the best choices for a beautiful outcome.
There are many recipes for slime out there, but here’s a simple slime recipe video to get started.
What do you use as a bookmark for bedtime stories or family worship readings? How about fostering an interest in reading with individual bookmarks!
Here is Tia Erika’s DIY Bookmark video to help guide your craft time. The video is in Portuguese, but the video is very self-explanatory. Here’s what you’ll need to follow the tutorial:
- one white craft paper sheet
- three colored craft paper sheets
“Fishers of men”
This activity pairs well with the story of Jesus and His disciples, who were fishermen until Jesus invited them to become “fishers of men”. (And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19)
What you’ll need:
- one sheet of paper
- one bowl per person
- one straw per person
- pen or pencil
- optional: template download
Fold the paper in half, then in half again, then in half once more. (If using the downloadable template, make sure to fold so that the person outline is visible and traceable.) Draw or trace the outline of a man or woman. Then, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut out the outline. Once you cut through the folded sheet, you should have eight paper men or women total.
Place the paper people next to a bowl. Feel free to share some of your paper people with a friend to have a mix of boys and girls each. Now, each person picks up their paper people with a straw by sucking in air until the paper person sticks. Then, transfer the paper person to the bowl by letting the air out. Practice being “fishers of men” and talk about what it means to be fishers of men in real life!
This activity accompanies the story of David and Goliath.
What you’ll need:
- three smooth stones
- one stone slightly larger than the other three
- tape (painter’s tape works well)
- black permanent marker (e.g. Sharpie)
Make a square on the floor with the tape. Write “Goliath” on the larger stone and place it at the center of the square. Brainstorm about what David needed to overcome Goliath. For example, David needed a 1. relationship with God; 2. experiences with God; and 3. the promises of God to help him have the courage to overcome. Write each thing David needed on one of the smaller stones.
From about three feet away, attempt to remove the “Goliath” stone from inside the tape square using the other three stones. Discuss how we can also overcome our giants with the same tools David used.
One of the best ways to help kids love fruits and vegetables is to let them cook with you!
How about starting with this savory muffin? It’s simple, doesn’t make a mess, and makes a great snack!
2 c vegetable of choice, finely chopped
1/2 c onion
2 c chickpea (or wheat) flour
salt to taste
Zucchini / Cabbage / Corn / Tomato / Cauliflower / Broccoli / Peppers / Carrots / or something your child is learning to like
Paprika / Turmeric / Pepper / Cumin / Onion and garlic powder / Nutritional yeast / Oregano
Coriander / Parsley / Chives / Leeks
• Mix chopped veggies, herbs and spices to make a well-seasoned salad.
• In a bowl, mix the flour, a pinch of turmeric and enough water to form a thick pancake-like batter.
• Add the salad to the batter.
• Pour batter into a greased or lined muffin tin and bake at 350° for about 35 minutes until golden.
• Enjoy ?
Recipe by @maryvegan_
Audio story for bedtime
When I was a child, my parents would play a cassette tape full of stories before bed. It is still one of my warmest memories of falling asleep to familiar stories in familiar voices. Each story had a moral, some had Bible songs that I still remember and sing today.
Try something new for storytime before bed and listen to some stories!
A few options:
Homemade soap bubbles
If you don’t have store-bought soap bubbles handy, never fear! Homemade is perfect too. All you need is one part dishwashing detergent and four parts water.
Don’t have a wand? Use your hands! Cover your palms with some homemade bubble solution and slowly bring your hands apart while blowing into your palms.
Or, use a straw and a plate. Pour some bubble solution onto a flat plate or table surface. Dip a straw into the bubble solution and blow slowly. You should get a small bubble at the end of your straw. Gently transfer the bubble from the straw to the plate. Keep blowing gently to watch the bubble grow!
Treasure hunting (search for promises in the Bible)
Grab your Bibles! The Bible has many treasures and learning to find them is very important. Sit together comfortably, each with a Bible in hand. Thumb through to find some of the Bible’s most well-known and dearest promises. Depending on age, consider different Bible translations to facilitate understanding. Talk about the importance of studying different translations.
Example promise list:
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (GNT)
“Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (CEB)
“I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20 (KJV)
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3 (KJV)
“The grass dries up. The flower loses its color. But the Word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NLV)
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
Bible Scavenger Hunt
Let’s go outside! Download our Bible Scavenger Hunt list and go for a walk outside. Find treasures!
Make some room on the driveway or sidewalk and bring out the chalk! Practice balance, counting, and spend some energy outside with a fun game of hopscotch. Consider a hopscotch carpet for rainy days or apartment fun.
Use your creativity and imagine other hopscotch directions instead of numbers. For example, add a square where you have to twirl, or touch your toes, jump three times, or sing a song.
Develop your children’s public speaking skills in a safe place with an audience that cheers for them the most: family! Set a date and get the whole family involved ahead of time. Put together a program of who will present what, then print out programs, set up the stage and audience seats, and select an announcer.
Family members can recite a verse, play a song, sing, or present something else they’re excited about. Practicing this way may help children feel more comfortable participating in young people’s meetings and school activities too!
Thank you cards
There are so many people who help make our lives a little easier and brighter. Why not take some time to notice them and give them a “Thank you” card? You can make homemade thank-you cards with construction paper and creativity, or you can purchase a pack of thank-you cards from a dollar store and customize each one!
Ideas of people who may really like your thank-you card!
- garbage disposal workers
- cashiers at your grocery store
- postal workers and delivery workers (Amazon included)
- building maintenance workers and landscapers (if you live in an apartment building or condominium)
- your pastor
- church cleaner
- Bible worker
- school janitor
Rocks of joy
Next time you’re at a park, select a few smooth rocks. At home, paint the rocks and write encouraging messages and verses on them. Leave them on park benches, trails, or other strategic corners where others will see them.
Some verses to consider:
“Instead, be kind and merciful…” Ephesians 4:32
“Peace I leave with you” John 14:27
“Joy cometh in the morning” Psalm 30:5
Sabbath Bible Lesson Study
Make it a habit to study the Sabbath Bible Lesson together. Whether it’s in the morning, evenings, or on Sundays, this investment will yield eternal rewards. Study and pray together, and show your children by example that you take spiritual enrichment seriously. Begin early with Bible stories and devotionals, then the Sabbath Bible Lessons. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can purchase the children’s lessons according to age via the links below.
Purchase the Children’s Treasures (Age 5-8) here
Or purchase the Junior Searcher (Age 9-12) here
Prayer Chain (Pray Together)
While it’s tempting to think that children don’t notice the big things, the truth is they do. They notice when we’re worried, anxious, and they hear about the big things happening in the world too. Sometimes, instead of shielding them, it’s an opportunity to teach them the power of prayer. Decide on a specific theme to pray over (someone who is sick, your local hospital staff, a church family going through a hard time, your own family or a relative, etc.). Set a daily time for prayer, even if you’re not together at the time.
If your kids are older, set times during the day when each member of the family will be praying. For example, mom will pray at 7 am, dad at 8 am, sister at 9 am, and brother at 10 am. Set times according to your schedules (for example, during lunch period) and then set alarms on your phones. Remember that it’s possible to talk to God even if we can’t kneel down at the time.
If the kids are younger, set a specific time in the day to pray together. Then let each one say a prayer one after the other.
“Prayer is the channel of communication between our souls and God. God speaks to us through His word; we respond to Him through our prayers, and He always listens to us. We cannot weary or burden Him by our frequent heart to heart communications.”Pr 3.2