11 Essentials to Buy Right Now to Entertain Kids While Stuck at Home

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With the news of the spread of Covid-19 over two weeks ago – toiler paper, hand sanitizer, and bleach wipes were quickly being purchased and became sold out of stores everywhere. And suddenly I realized that I should also load my cart with necessary items. However my essentials happened to be things I bought to entertain my kids. So I quickly put the following in my cart:

 *a good mix from Amazon (delivery, but delayed shipping dates), Love of Character (local delivery), and Target (pickup – best thing ever when you need it NOW). Some of the links below are affiliate links, but I have personally purchased all, and my kids love every item on this list.

Perler Beads – I actually ran to Hobby Lobby the moment I heard schools might not come back in session after Spring Break. Perler Beads were my first purchase and a whole tub was only around $7 (with that trusty 40% off coupon). The great news is, Amazon also has a ton of options. These keep my kids busy for hours – even my 5 year old who is nearly impossible to engage for long periods of time. I also got the square peg board and this book with tons of options to create. 

Paint by Number – Confession: I don’t love a mess. So these are perfect because they are “painting” with stickers. They also work with numbers, so great to go along with a math lesson as well. 

Sidewalk Chalk – *currently sold out. Eek. I panic-purchased on this one. I realized we had a lot of sidewalk chalk leftover from last year, but they were all little nubs. So I grabbed a big tub of chalk on Amazon and also picked up some Painters Tape (sold out at Target) to use to make those cool mosaic chalk arts that have been circulating on social media. Tip: this can be done on a sidewalk, fence, or poster board (with paint) for inside fun!

Lego Sets – I got several sets from Target because they were having a 20% off sale (wait for one of those!) and the best part is I ordered through the app, and they brought them to my car. These little Disney sets were awesome for my 5 year old (and only $7.99 each), and my 7 year old loved this one ($23.99 on sale). 

Journals + Pens – a good friend had the suggestion of having our kids journal everyday during this historical time. It’s so simple, and my first grader is already used to journaling daily. SO I contacted Mary at Love of Character because I knew she was doing deliveries, and I got the cutest rainbowjournals for each of my daughters and ooly brand pens (my favorite)! *Journal entries so far have included: things we are thankful for, what I love about my home, and things I want to learn in “mommy school”. 

Bubbles– Does anyone really ever get tired of bubbles? Every chance we get, we go outside. And my kiddos love blowing bubbles, bubble wands, and bubble machines. 

Puzzles – I accidentally got a little ambitious and ordered a 1000 piece puzzle ($16) from Love of Character. But here’s the thing, we have a lot of time on our hands. So our goal is to work on this puzzle every night as a family. And again, it showed up on my doorstep. 

Roll of White Paper – Never underestimate the power of a giant roll of paper. We have created a zoo, posters for our windows, our We Got This Challenge Sign, and plan to use it for painting and drawing for the next month or two. 

Games – I saw Settlers of Catan Jr. while doing my weekly grocery run at Target (but also, car pick up works for this). And it turned out to be such a great purchase! Both my girls, ages 5 and 7 ask to play this almost daily. Here is a list of some of our favorite board games. 

Jungle Gym – We don’t have anything in our backyard except grass. So it was time. We wanted something fairly inexpensive and when we asked our girls what was most important in outdoor play for them – they unanimously said “climbing”. So we bought a backyard jungle gym. 

Gymnastic Mats – My kiddos were already driving me crazy with all the cartwheels and flips in the house. So I finally pulled the trigger on a gymnastics mat to throw in the basement so they can cartwheel to their heart’s content. (On sale on Amazing for $89 .99 and only one week shipping time. 

What kiddo essentials have helped you survive quarantine?