At-Home Activities In Case of Quarantine During a COVID-19 Outbreak


Well, it’s official. All New Mexico public schools are closed for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16. 

Since COVID-19 has spread to our state, many of us are imagining what our lives might look like should quarantine (whether self-imposed or not) become inevitable.

We aren’t discussing this topic to create hysteria. It’s possible to plan for the worst, but still hope for the best. The wise thing to do is to be prepared for the possibility of quarantine and be thankful if we never have to use the plan. 

If you’re a parent who works outside the home, you have even more considerations. Check out this resource: What’s a Working Parent To Do If Schools or Daycares Close Due to COVID-19?

Perhaps you’ll decide to self-quarantine if you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus. Or maybe you’re just playing it safe and staying home a little more than usual these days. Whatever the reason, below are some things to save your sanity if you’re homebound. 

 Ideas for What To Do at Home During a Possible Quarantine for COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus)

Ideas for What To Do at Home During a Possible Quarantine for COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus)

I polled our ABQ Moms team and asked them what they would plan to do with all the extra at-home time. And here’s a list of what we’ve come up with. 

Arts & Crafts Type Activities

  • Sensory bins full of rice, beans, marbles, water etc. (Search sensory bins on Pinterest to blow your mind.)
  • Water colors.
  • Make your own play dough. We like this recipe. 
  • Print free coloring pages from Crayola. 
  • For older kids, use drawing tutorials on YouTube. My two youngest love Art for Kids Hub. The family who run this YouTube channel teaches kids how to draw hundreds of things. The only materials you need are paper, markers, and a Sharpie. 
  • Sensory bottles.
  • Practice letters/shapes/words using shaving cream or sand on a baking pan.

Outdoor Activities

Assuming you do not have COVID-19 and have not come into any contact with anyone who has contracted the virus, you can still go outside. Just make sure to practice social distancing. According to the CDC, social distancing involves “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.” 

  • Sidewalk chalk.
  • “Paint” cinderblock, wood fences, or sidewalks with water. This one used to keep my boys busy for hours, and all you need is a bucket of water and a paint brush. 
  • Bubbles. 
  • Ride bikes. 
  • Go on a hike. 
  • Create a ninja warrior obstacle course in your backyard. 
  • Nature scavenger hunt. 
  • Collect leaves and do crayon leaf rubbings. 
  • If you have multiple children, have them create scavenger hunts for each other. 

Media Activities

  • Schedule movies or TV shows  into your day so it’s something to look forward to and kids know it’s coming. 
  • Board games. Lots and lots of board games. 
  • Put reading time on your schedule. 
  • Use your library card to download audiobooks and digital versions of books via Hoopla or Libby. 
  • Have fun on the GoNoodle website. GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
  • Podcasts for kids. My kids love Smash Boom Best, Brains On, and Six Minutes. Here’s another good podcast list for kiddos. 
  • Go on a virtual museum tour of 12 Famous Museums. 

Around the House

  • Spring cleaning.
  • Plant your garden. 
  • Baking. (In addition to toilet paper, I stocked up on brownie mix and muffin mix.)
  • Give your older kids cooking lessons. It’s always one of our summer goals for each kid to learn a simple recipe. That can be a springtime goal too!
  • Playtime in the bathtub. 

Certainly being at home with our kids without a break for long stretches of time is inconvenient. But when times get tough, we can appreciate the service that quarantine and isolation does for our community. And I know we can be grateful that our kids are healthy. I’m hoping you all do stay healthy! 

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At-Home Activities for a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Quarantine