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Budget-Friendly Online Activities for Kids Stuck Indoors

Article created by Jenny Wise

Every parent knows this scenario — it’s too hot to go outside or the rain is driving everyone indoors. Your task is to figure out a way to keep your kids from sprinting around in circles with cabin fever. You can’t go outside. Yet, you decide to not plunk them down on the couch or in front of a TV, since children now spend an expected 60 percent of their time being inactive. (Which is concerning because data from 2015-16 showed that nearly one in five children or adolescents between the ages of 6 and 19 are obese.) At the same time, you may have read that some studies have shown that technology helps kids multi-task and process information efficiently. So it’s okay to open up your kids’ iPads; just make sure you’re introducing them to online activities that are fun and educational. YouTube Music and Drawing YouTube is the second largest search engine online. One hundred hours of video are uploaded to it every minute. That comes with risks (you don’t want your kids to see all those videos, necessarily), but it can also offer up a ton of good material to choose from. You can start by trying to match your kids’ talents and interests with instructional videos. For instance, if your kids like to doodle, introduce them to YouTube channels that give drawing tutorials on everything from how to draw a sphere to “how to draw.” If you need to find arts and crafts supplies and you’re on a tight budget, make use of a Macys coupon code — yes, believe it or not, Macy’s carries art supplies! — to help keep the costs down. Meanwhile, if your kids are in band or have an instrument, nudge them toward online music lessons. If your kid has an interest in saxophones, for example, pick up one online and find educational videos that are tailored toward learning saxophones. While the merits of online tutorials have been debated, and you may need to eventually find a tutor for your kids if they’re serious about music, YouTube videos are at least a good place to start. Real Estate Lesson Plans Depending on your kids’ age, they may also be interested in real estate. Which, especially if you’re homeschooling your kids and you’ve designed a curriculum for them, is good luck: Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies, and home economics. By incorporating real estate lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science, and so much more. Thankfully, you can find lessons online for free. Whether your kids are homeschooled or not, this subject may be the right segue to educate them about money in a practical sense. Also, if they’re older and headed to college, it could help them impress their professors with their presentation skills. Other Projects Let’s say you are concerned about that childhood obesity stat. All you need to do is load up the best YouTube exercise videos for kids. Don’t think of these as “workouts” so much as fun sessions to get your kids’ wiggles out. They include “Yoga for Kids,” “5 Little Monkeys” (a dance game), and activities for mothers and their toddlers. Meanwhile, if you want to combine intellectual activity with a hands-on activity, consider doing some science projects. If your kids are younger, they’ll probably delight in Jenga, mazes, magnets, or glitter artwork. If they’re older, you might try making a glass of lava with them. All this requires is a drinking glass, food coloring, one-fourth cup of vegetable oil, one to two teaspoons of salt, and some water. With just these materials, you’ll be able to show them the relationship between chemical components and reactions. All that could be enough to instill in them a lifelong love of science — which is, after all, a good way to spend a rainy door indoors. One Tip for Parents Just because rainy days halt your children’s plans, it doesn’t mean you can drop everything on your schedule. As such, you might need to find a babysitter to help at some point during the day. Thankfully, sites such as make it easy than ever to find a qualified sitter at a moment’s nice. So, if the kids are trapped inside while it pours outside but you need to pop out for an errand, you don’t have to put everything on hold to get things done. Although it sounds like a lot of work, it doesn’t take much to keep your children occupied during rainy days. And with a little planning, you can make it fun and educational. Image via Unsplash 

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