Ideas for When Housebound – Covid-19

Updated: November 5, 2020

Whether you or members of your family are restricted to home due to health or government quarantines, you will no doubt be looking for activities that you and your family can do together.

In the following pages you will find some ideas that staff at The Ehlers-Danlos Society have put together for all ages with emphasis on Kids and Teens. These include:

The following types of activities may be of interest to you and your family. If you find other examples, share them with your community. Enjoy!

Museum and Other Tours

  • Enjoy virtual tours of twelve museums.
  • No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to your screen.
  • This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.
  • This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.
  • Travel online to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip.
  • Take a live look at Colonial Williamsburg.
  • Tour England through this 360 video.
  • Go on a virtual field trip to Ellis Island.

Livestream Performances 

University Courses

Wildlife and Nature

Here is a list of activities that may be of interest to younger children. If you find other examples, share them with your community. Check out the Kitchen Fun, Arts and Crafts, and other activities listed in “Activities To Do From Home” Have fun! 

  • Use all of building toys to create one giant structure
  • Facetime grandparents a lot, as well as other relatives, friends, and neighbors
  • Write letters and draw pictures to mail to family, friends, and local senior centers/nursing homes
  • Card games
  • Family puzzles
  • Team up and really clean and organize each kid’s space, making a donation box for each (Parents included!)
  • Have a massive board game tournament with all the board games you own
  • Kids can also make their own games! Board games, card games, you name it!
  • Draw maps of places in the house or yard and then make directions from one place to another to see if someone else could follow them.
  • Create scavenger hunts, indoor treasure hunts with written or picture clues through the house to a “treasure” at the end (could be candy, a movie,a fun snack, etc.),
  • Have a glow stick party
  • Have a popcorn and movie marathon
  • Listen to podcasts and audiobooks
  • Have an Olympics with a bunch of event competitions – funny ones like egg tosses, helpful ones like cleaning a room or a car, and fun ones like minute to win games
  • Design a new spacecraft, draw plans, then create out of Legos or household items
  • Pretend you’re on different planets with different gravity
  • Have a shadow show in a tent made from blankets over chairs or a table.
  • Puzzle races: put several puzzles (20+ piece puzzles) in a paper bag and shake it up. Pour pieces out and give each person the puzzle box they are to put together. Go! (Cooperation tends to be a result as pieces are traded.)
  • Play with favorite show characters and learn too
  • Do that thing you’ve been putting off for years, but want to try
  • Learn how to make maps and cartograph your neighborhood
  • Learn how to do magic tricks, such as making a coin disappear or knowing which card a person picks
  • Your child can play games, learn fun facts, and find out how to turn coin collecting into a hobby
  • Miscellaneous games for all subjects k-8
  • News and more for kids
  • Indoor Activities for busy toddlers

Here is a list of activities that may be of interest. If you find other examples, share them with your community. Check out the Kitchen Fun, and other activities listed in “Activities To Do From Home” Happy Creating!

  • Create stop motion animation with playdough
  • Sew, using stuff we have on hand, pillows, stuffed animals, clothing, or heating pods
  • Create card and scrapbooking projects
  • Collect tape, markers, and cardboard boxes. Use these materials to create anything
  • Beading
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Create self portraits using crayons, pencils, paint, or pasta
  • Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc
  • A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art
  • Crafts, projects, science, recipes for young children
  • Crafts, activities, bulletin board designs, and finger plays for early education teachers and parents to use with kids
  • Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design
  • Online photograph jigsaw puzzles. You can set the pieces from 6-1000+
  • Online digital coloring pages
  • Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art
  • A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art with “the MET
  • NGAkids interactives offer an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history
  • Quick & easy at home projects curated for kids 2 and up
  • Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities
  • Try these three downloadable coloring books provided by Romero Britto in three different languages: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3
  • Free arts and crafts resources

We must look after food stocks but baking bread and cakes etc., can be fun and a great skill to have – have fun with the kids making things. Check out the Arts and Crafts, and other activities listed in “Activities To Do From Home” Happy Cooking!

  • Cook or bake something you wouldn’t normally have time for or you always wanted to try
  • There are a few easy “kitchen chemistry” type science experiments that are easy to do, like making slime, baking soda and vinegar reactions, etc.
  • Put food coloring and then baking soda in a mini muffin pan and drop vinegar in. You can then see the colors!
  • Experiment to learn what each ingredient does for a cake. Make a cake following the recipe. Make a cake without eggs. Make a cake without milk. Make a cake without vegetable oil. Make a cake without baking powder. Compare and contrast the different cakes. Determine what each ingredient does.
  • Dig through cabinets and figure out recipes for that thing you got at the grocery store and thought “this is interesting surely it can be used for something!” And then make it!
  • Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science
  • Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home

We all have our different levels of ability. Don’t over-work your physical activity, but also don’t stop activity that you can do from home. Here is a list of activities that may be of interest. Check out the Kitchen Fun, and other activities listed in “Activities To Do From Home” Happy Moving!

  • Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans
  • At home OT, PT, and ST resources designed to build skills in children through movement and play
  • Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout
  • Educational brain breaks to help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. Best for ages 4-8
  • Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts
  • Guided movement, relaxation exercises, and deep breathing exercises
  • Zumba or Dance-along videos on YouTube 
  • Hypermobility Movement Therapist, Jeannie Di Bon, has decided to offer 50% her online hypermobility movement program until December 2020.  The program will now be half price to help keep our community moving, pain-free.


  • Use sidewalk chalk to draw wonderful pictures outside
  • Go for a walk – if you can and are allowed
  • Have the kids / family do races of various kinds in the backyard (hopping on one foot, crabwalk, walking backwards, etc.)
  • Inventory the plants & wildlife (from bugs on up) in your yard / garden / park
  • Learn the parts of plants/flowers & how they function (bonus if they learn the Latin names)
  • Have the family help with yardwork, tidying the garden ready for the next season
  • Guide to gardening for kids
education for all ages image

Age Group Specific Ideas

Math Exercises


Reading and Writing

  • Have each kid pick a topic they’d like to learn about and spend 30 mins each day on that topic
  • Spend one day reading every single picture book you have in the house
  • Have each kid write a letter and/or emails to a different friend or family member each day
  • Create a folding picture story. One person draws a small picture across the top of a paper. The next person writes a sentence that describes that picture and folds over the paper to cover the picture. The 3rd person only sees a sentence and they have to draw a picture. They fold over the sentence. Continue until the paper is completely covered or when each person has had a turn. Unfold the paper and see your picture story.
  • Write a short story and illustrate it
  • Learn how to do simple book binding and bind a book of short stories or poems you write and illustrate
  • Write a story cooperatively. One person picks a character and the other picks a setting or one person starts the story and the other writes what comes next
  • Math and reading games
  • Phonics skills
  • Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss
  • 300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens
  • Math and reading games
  • Math and language games
  • Games to get “into the book
  • Favorite kids’ books read by famous people
  • Spelling 1-4 grade
  • Phonics and learning to read
  • Phonics worksheets for kids
  • Free stories online ages 3-12
  • Course sets (Levels 1–5) that combine phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use course
  • Critical Thinking resources for K-6 students
  • The Shurley English program for grades K-8 provides a clear, logical, and concrete approach to language arts
  • Engaging reading games for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game
  • Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish)
  • Grammar practice for middle grades
  • Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions
  • Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customized to any student’s needs including creating flashcards for other subjects
  • Poetry and music
  • Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice
  • Online curriculum that builds better writers
  • Teaches students how to write a paragraph through interactive online tutorial
  • ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12
  • Sight reading and sight singing practice exercises
  • Spellingcity is free right now with code VSCFree90
  • Interactive games based on the book series
  • Work on the 8 parts of speech
  • Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure
  • Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters
  • Short videos and readings that answer various burning questions for students.
  • Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world
  • Create a reading tent from blankets over chairs or a table and read books inside
  • A safe research site for elementary-level readers. They are offering — free 24/7 access
    • USERNAME: read (case sensitive)
    • PASSWORD: read (case sensitive)



Computer Science

Test Preparation

  • Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc
  • Brainscape offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable

Advanced Learning for All Ages

web banner sub - ideas when housebound music

The following types of activities may be of interest to you and your family. If you find other examples, share them with your community. Enjoy! 

  • A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students
  • Music practice transformed
  • The Theta Music Trainer offers a series of online courses and games for ear training and music theory
  • Music is for everyone
  • Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators
  • Prodigies is a colorful music curriculum for kids 1-12 that will teach your kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune & how to understand the language of music! 21 for free
  • QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home
  • Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos
  • Watch hand washing videos on Youtube and vote on your favorite video. Discuss why each video is good, helpful, or funny.
  • Pick your favorite song with a 20 second refrain or verse perfect for hand washing length of time.
web sub banner - things to do when housebound learning new languages

There are lots of sources of material for learning new languages. Here are just a few:

In addition, The Ehlers-Danlos Society provides the following resources and opportunities:

We also know that in very challenging times like this we all need coping strategies and to look after our mental health. Some helpful links to advice on coping and mental health can be found here.

Shani Weber, Rebecca Gluck, and Alan Hakim, on behalf of all the team at The Ehlers-Danlos Society.