I'm working from home with my three kids underfoot, so I know how hard it is to keep them busy. If I were willing to let them stare at a screen all day, we'd have perfect peace. Alas, I feel compelled to make them do schoolwork, read books, play with toys, and do other annoyingly wholesome activities. I bet you're in the same boat!
That's why I've put together this list of my favorite recommendations for families; everything is affordable, fun, and ready to add to your Amazon cart. Make dinnertime easier, encourage backyard adventures, and help kids have some good, clean fun (literally!). Read on for 37 awesome ideas you and your kids will love!
We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: we participate in affiliate programs, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.
This Bean Bag Cover They Can Color Themselves
via: AmazonThis bean bag cover has three stages of fun! First, kids color in the design with their own fabric markers or sharpies. Then, stuff the bag with plush toys or other bulky, soft items. Finally, zip it shut and use it as a soft spot while relaxing!
This Chalkboard Decal Makes It Okay to Draw on the Wall
via: AmazonI currently have a mini-classroom set up in my dining room, and this chalkboard decal would be a great addition. It comes in a roll that's 17.8 inches wide and 18 feet long. Line up strips to make a large chalkboard area, or get multiple rolls to cover an entire wall. Includes 10 multi-colored chalks.
This Craft Keeper for School Supplies
via: AmazonSet up for distance learning with this clever craft keeper. The carousel base includes a pencil holder in the center, along with eight removable containers perfectly sized for scissors, glue sticks, markers, and other daily supplies.
This Crunch Cup for Mess-Free Snacks
via: AmazonNext time your kids want to eat breakfast in the backyard or in front of the TV, it's an easy yes! The Crunch Cup holds cereal and milk in separate containers, letting you combine them for each slurpy bite.
This Dinner Winner Plate Turns Mealtime Into Gametime
via: AmazonThe Dinner Winner plate is perfect for picky eaters or any kid who could use a little more fun and encouragement at mealtime. The melamine plate has eight small sections for bite-sized portions of food, plus a bonus covered spot where you can tuck a treat. Comes in seven super-cute designs, including pirate, dinosaur, enchanted forest, and more!
This Dinosaur Habitat Indoor Gardening Project
via: AmazonThis unique craft set provides immediate fun plus long-term satisfaction! The dinosaur habitat includes everything they need to set up a terrarium with two full plant lifecycles, including dinos, fossils, a light-up volcano, lava paint, glowing stones, planting container, potting mix, quick grow chia, wheatgrass and bean seeds, soil scoop, and mister.
These Dot Markers for Toddlers and Preschoolers
via: AmazonWhen my kids were little, I loved dot markers for art projects and everyday coloring. The chubby shape is easy for small kids to hold, and the paint seems to last forever. Seriously, I had a set of these that lasted for years.
This Dragon Cookie Cutter Makes Magical Treats
via: AmazonMake cookies, rice krispy treats, or sandwiches ferociously fun with this dragon cutter! Made of stainless steel and dishwasher safe. Check out the user photos for inspiration--customers are making the cutest dragon-shaped treats!
This EggMazing for Decorating the Coolest Eggs
via: AmazonWhether it's Easter or you just need an activity to keep kids busy, the EggMazing gives them something new and fun to try! Place a hardboiled egg in the spinner, then use the included markers to add stripes of color.
These Hair Chalks for Instant, Washable Color
via: AmazonAdd color to a long day with these hair chalks, a fun way for kids (and parents!) to experiment with hair color. This set includes 10 colors and gets solid reviews for both the vibrancy of color and ease of washing out.
This Warmable Hedgehog Smells Like Lavender When You Heat It Up
via: AmazonGive your little one the comfort of a soft, plush hedgehog that's not only adorable, but doubles as a warm pack. Microwave for about a minute to heat it up and release the calming lavender scent. Can also be popped in the freezer to turn it into a cold pack!
This Hot Chocolate Dispenser for Warm, Frothy Drinks
via: AmazonWarm up a long, dreary day with this hot chocolate dispenser! The 32-ounce dispenser mixes, froths, and heats milk or cocoa. There's also a setting to froth without heat for cold beverages.
This Ice Cream Ball Churns Ice Cream in 30 Minutes of Play
via: AmazonMake kids work for their dessert! Fill the inner receptacle with an ice cream mixture, pack it with ice and salt, then move the ball for 30 minutes. Kids can roll, toss, and play with the ice cream ball, then enjoy the treat after playtime!
This Hover Soccer for Active Indoor Play
via: AmazonStuck indoors? Pass the time and encourage active play with hover soccer! Includes two goals and an "air soccer" with LED light that runs on four AA batteries (not included). Amazon reviewers say that it, "bounces off everything with no damage" and "gets the kids away from the electronic toys and moving without flashing strobes or loud noises."
These Kid-Safe Knives Get Kids Cooking
via: AmazonEven very young kids can help with meal prep with enough patience and the right tools. These kid-safe rainbow knives can help! They're made of nylon with serrated edges, so yes--they do really cut.
These Headphones Have Over 5,000 Ratings
via: AmazonKeep your shared space quiet by hooking up each child with their own pair of headphones. These are kid-sized, foldable, highly-rated, and affordable.
This String Art Kit Makes a Star-Shaped Lantern
via: AmazonA unique craft kit with a gorgeous result, this string art lantern includes everything they need to make a one-of-a-kind accessory. Amazon reviewers say it's easy to do, though younger kids may need help.
This Outdoor Adventure Set for Backyard Fun
via: AmazonMake walks and backyard playtime more exciting with this outdoor adventure set. The 9-piece set includes binoculars, magnifying bug catcher, and more, all packed in a bright yellow backpack.
This Pusheen Cross Stitch Kit for Quiet Crafting
via: AmazonOne benefit of so much time at home is that kids can learn new skills and spend time on crafts. This Pusheen kit is a fun way to learn how to cross stitch, and includes everything you need to complete two adorable projects.
This Roll & Play Game Encourages Active Indoor Play
via: AmazonPerfect for ages 1-5, the Roll & Play Game encourages fun indoor play. Roll the soft, oversized die and follow the corresponding activity card to make animal sounds, act out simple motions like waving, and more.
This Kinetic Sand Comes in Four Yummy Scents
via: AmazonKinetic sand is prized for providing sensory play while staying neat. This set takes the fun to a new level by including four packs of brightly colored, scented kinetic sand: vanilla, cherry, apple, and chocolate.
This Scooter Board Can Be Used Indoors or Out
via: AmazonUse a scooter board to get fun, zippy exercise inside or out! Holds up to 175 pounds, so it works for any kid who can sit up safely. Comes in four colors and is surprisingly affordable.
This Scream Saber for Making Your Own Star Wars Sound Effects
via: AmazonMy kids love this thing! The Scream Saber lets you record any word or sound and transform it into a light saber sound effect. It also comes preloaded with awesome Wookiee and Droid sounds.
This Sensory Sox Has a Calming Effect
via: AmazonMany kids find the smooth, elastic sensation of the Sensory Sox to be very calming. Wearing it increases body and spatial awareness, and also inspires new, creative ways to play and relax.
This Shark Blanket Is Dangerously Comfortable
via: AmazonShark-loving kids will get a kick out of the shark blanket, a soft, plush sack perfect for lounging. Amazon reviewers say it "holds up well" and "looks exactly like the picture."
This Soap-Making Kit Combines Science and Crafts for Good, Clean Fun
via: AmazonWinner of the National Parenting Center award, this soap-making kit is fun and educational! The instructions include scientific explanations so kids learn about the chemical reactions taking place while they melt and mold up to 10 custom soaps.
This Robot Kit Turns Any Soda Can Into a Working Robot
via: AmazonRecommended for ages 8 and up, the soda can robot is a fun and educational project. Start with any soda can from your recycling, then use the kit to transform it into a cute motorized robot. Requires one AA battery (not included).
These Story Cubes for Creative Fun
via: AmazonStory Cubes are one of my favorite games, since they encourage creativity and work with all ages. Toss the dice to reveal a set of images that the player stitches together into a little story or scene. Kids can even play alone, but it's more fun in a group.
This Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers
via: AmazonThere's a lot of fun packed into this compact Scavenger Hunt Game. Twenty double-sided cards on a ring give a variety of pint-sized challenges for little ones to try. They'll hunt for books and buttons, sing a song, practice their colors, and more! One mom, who gave the product five stars, says her "2 year old son is obsessed."
This Visual Timer Helps Kids Manage Themselves (and Bug You Less)
via: AmazonMy youngest has been asking me constantly if it's time for a snack...time for TV...time to stop schoolwork...and it's driving me just a little nuts. I think this visual timer might help. Use the audio alarm, visual alarm (a bright light), or both.
This Water Mat for DIY Sensory Play
via: AmazonThere are two parts kids will enjoy about this water mat. First, they put it together it by inflating the mat, soaking the water beads, and putting the beads and sea creatures inside. Then, kids can poke and prod the watery contents for a soothing sensory experience that stays neat and contained.
This Wikki Stix Playset for Creative Quiet Time
via: AmazonThis Wikki Stix set has everything I love in a toy. It inspires open-ended creativity, promotes hands-on fun, and comes with its own storage box!
This Window Bird Feeder Brings Wildlife to Your Kids
via: AmazonOne unexpected bonus of sheltering in place is getting to see more wildlife around our home. We've had an abundance of birds and squirrels visiting, so I think this window bird feeder would be a lot of fun right now. Suction it to the window or patio door to let kids get an up-close view of any creatures who come to check it out!
This Wobble Cushion Helps Kids Focus
via: AmazonIf your kiddo is wiggling and bouncing during schoolwork, a wobble cushion may help! Lots of teachers, parents, and occupational therapists rely on these to give kids sensory input, which can help them concentrate better.