Your Lifeline for the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order with Kids: Ideas and Resources

Indoor Activities

Can you believe this week will mark a month since Illinois closed schools? For many parents, it feels like a lifetime! We on the Kidlist team have been doing our best to help you out with ideas, resources, and easy activities to keep everyone’s spirits up. Connecting with our readers has been an amazing encouragement during this time!

This page is your road map to dealing with the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. It will point you in the right direction for fun activities, how to help, where to get help, and more.

Resources for Navigating the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order with Kids

Ideas for Indoor, Outdoor, and Virtual Fun

Our at-home activity guide is where we’re rounding up ideas for all kinds of fun. We’re focusing on simple, engaging activities designed to make things easier! Plus, you’ll find a bucket list printable on that page; download and print for inspiration at a glance.

More Inspiration for Fun at Home

Encouragement and Help

Groceries and Essentials

If you do order delivery, now would be a great time to tip generously and leave a positive review!

Live Virtual Events Calendar

We switched the Kidlist calendar over to virtual events! There are great events like doodling with Mo Willems, Bring the Zoo to You chats from Brookfield Zoo, kids’ cooking classes, and more . . . all with dates and times so you can tune in.

If you’re looking for an event to tune into regularly, check out this article: Play and Learn Live at These Virtual Events for Kids. The Kidlist team’s favorites include the Shedd Aquarium (gotta love the penguins!) and the Cincinnati Zoo animal videos.

How to Help During This Unprecedented Time

It’s difficult to feel connected to people during a time when we are keeping our distance. But there are many ways we can help each other, our community, our country, and the world right now! We’re keeping our article on how we can spread kindness and ways to reach out to help updated.

Additionally, you can search GoFundMe’s small business page by your ZIP code to see small businesses near you raising funds to help staff, support frontline workers with meals, and more. A few notable ones include Anderson’s Bookshop, I Have a Bean, Westside Improv, and many more.

Keeping Clean at Home

To help prevent the spread of the virus, many of us are taking extra steps sanitize, especially after coming home from school or work. Here are some tips for keeping clean:

  • When you wash your hands, be sure to scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. (My 4-year-old enjoys counting aloud during this time, while my 2-year-old enjoys wailing in despair.)
  • In order for hand sanitizer (look for an alcohol-based one) to be effective against the virus, your hands must be visibly wet while you rub for at least 30 seconds . . . aka, an entire eternity. Count together or sing “Happy Birthday” to everyone in your family.
  • You can find a list of cleaning products effective against the coronavirus on the EPA’s website. Most require that the surface be cleaned first (so that the disinfectant can actually reach the surface.) Then, the surface must be visibly wet with disinfectant for a certain amount of time — often, five minutes, but check your package — to kill the virus.
  • Spots you touch frequently — like doorknobs, counter tops, and light switches — are good candidates for a regular deep cleaning.

Teaching Your Children about the Spread of Viruses

  • Teaching children proper hand washing and about the speed of germs and diseases is an important lesson today and every day.
  • The CDC shares great information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in communities for home and school.
  • PBS has great information for parents and kids along with videos, songs, and episodes about germs and hygiene.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of ideas for fun at home in the coming days — plus resources to help you along the way.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hello,
    Thank you so much for this post and the helpful information you’ve put together!
    I am a mother and a special education teacher in the western suburbs. Over these past several days I have seen how people have come together to help one another. A personal example, yesterday a neighbor put some craft activities in my mailbox for my own kids to do because they thought they might be bored inside. It is the compassion and kindness of others that is truly demonstrated in times like these.
    On that note, I’ve been following all the necessary social distancing protocols recommended by the experts and I would just like to extend my hand to anyone who may need it. If you or someone you know needs groceries or necessary errands to be run (e.g., required medication, etc.), I’d like to help. If you have a child with special needs and you need resources or ideas to help with keeping their routine as stable as possible during this very fluid time, please reach out and I will try and help with the resources I have available. If you are just feeling isolated and would like a drawing or a joke to cheer you up, I know a couple kids who would love to create one for you (sent via text or email)! Please reach out if you need it:


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