1001 Things to do while Self-Quarantined: a Compendium


Colored pasta for crafts

So here we are, stuck at home, the husband and I. We’re

coloring page

Coloring pages to print

fortunate that we can work from home, and I’ve created this blog post for anyone who is forced to shelter in place, social distance and quarantine including children home from school, homebound parents, and others just growing bored. It’s a growing compendium so, please add your own best links in the comments below and I’ll insert it as I edit the page. Bookmark it if you’d like to refer back to and feel free to share.

For All:

Let’s start with Movies: 20 Favorite History Movies, Teach with Movies, Owlteacher.com (which has a massive A-Z list), and Michele Borba’s 100 movies for kids 5 to 17 that teach 9 crucial empathy lessons are chock full of recommendations on popular movies for homeschooling students, parents, and everyone required to shelter in place and practicing social-distancing right now.

For general enrichment, try one of these virtual museum tours, courtesy of Travel and Leisure Magazine. Or TED Talks and TED-Ed where you can build a lesson around any TED Talk. Or garden tours, including Monet’s in Giverny, Kew Gardens in the UK and lush botanic gardens in Chicago and Hawaii. 

Project Gutenburg has more than 45,000 free eBooks, including classic children’s literature. 

Psych – I just played it last night with fellow self-quarantining family members on my IPhone. It’s an Ellen Degeneres game you can download and play via your mobile phone. We had a blast and I highly recommend setting up playdates using this virtual game with your friends and family hunkering down elsewhere.

The USA Today offers a 100 things to do while stuck at home due to a Pandemic list. 

The Chicago Tribune has a good list of links to more things to do, including it’s daily crossword puzzle, live streaming performances by John Legend and others. I’m not sure if it will become an updated thing or just for the day (March 16) that it was published, but hey, it’s entertainment, right?

Writer Daniel Branch has a great list of 50 things to do on a boring day at home.

Remember Skee Ball from the shore or arcade when you were young? Eliminate boredom during lock down and Make it at home! Thanks to Frugal Fun 4 Boys for this one.

Visit the library. Virtually. Here are the 10 best kept online secrets from the New York Public library. And from the Library of Congress, which has, well, just about anything you’d want, the good news is most of it is online! Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, and government closings, many local and county libraries are forced to closed at this time. But yours may have online resources to tap so be sure to check it out!

Learn to cook via Michelin Star Chef Massimo Bottura’s aptly named Kitchen Quarantine live video series on his Instagram page. Unable to watch it live? He’s kindly reposting them to his website here.

Disney virtual rides! Yes, that’s right! It might not be the same as feeling the Space Mountain G Forces for yourself but this video puts you in the seat for the ride all the same. How about Pirates of the Caribbean? Tampa Bay Florida’s WFLA has links to these and several other Disney rides to keep kids and adults alike entertained for an afternoon.

For Children:

Mass Eye Spy idea

Thanks to Cale Park Kitchen for this wonderful idea!

Crafts from colored pasta.

A2Z Homeschooling has a myriad of resources to help with that. If you are looking to further enhance what your local school has provided, also have a look at Homeschool.Com’s 100 Great Places to Purchase Homeschool Curriculum.

Former classroom teachers joined forces at The Activity Mom to share resources and educational activities with parents looking for fun and educational activities for toddlers through elementary age students.

Children growing restless and you hate the idea of them being tethered to their phones? Check out these 9 great ideas from Atlanta Journal Constitution

MommyPoppins offers 50 science experiments for kids as well as a list of 13 sites for children to learn coding. Most of them are fee-based. 

Bone up on Math withXtra Math, a non profit organization’s website dedicated to math achievement.

More than 3,000 Science and Math activities at HowtoSmile.

The Learning Network blog from the New York Times. Civics, social studies, history, current news and events, quizzes, student version of the NYT crossword and more!

Parents of special needs children aren’t left out. Hit this site for articles, curriculum reviews and other helpful resources for homeschooled special needs individuals with autism, learning disorders, ADHD and other special needs.

Children will love to play with the Moon Sand you make from this recipe via Lessons Learnt Journal.

Steve Spangler Science – videos of experiments, science fair projects, printable instructions, you name it!

Education.Com offers

K12.com offers courses, supplemental learning programs and more for those in K12 (to year 12 in UK).

Got Lego? Make a marble maze.  Thanks Little Bins for Little Hands for the inspiration!

Kids getting bored? Ignite fun with these minute to win it games from TeachMama.

Slime. The kids can make it! Here’s a recipe from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

For those with Pre-Schoolers, help them learn colors and create a Twister Game too. Thanks to Pint Sized Treasures for this tip.

Kids need exercise and want to watch YouTube? They can do both withthese links provided by Spark and Pook.

Create an indoor obstacle course for your kiddies. Hands On As We Grow has great instructions here.

For Adults:

Want to be productive at home and support your local community? Refinery29 has a few solid recommendations for this.

Assuming you have internet ordering capabilities to purchase supplies, HGTV suggests you learn to arm knit a blanket, make a batch of essential oils, a wreath, a fabric-wrapped storage bin.

Satisfy your sweet tooth and make candy treats. Here are some great recipes from Mr. Food.

Weave something. Start with a woven work of art. Instructions at Brit.Co’s site.

Any other ideas with Links for activities you can do during home quarantine time? Leave them below. Now for a laundry list of ideas you can create as you wish:

  • Create toy parachutes
  • Play balloon volleyball
  • #Windowchat with your elderly neighbors (idea courtesy of @Artulove on Twitter
  • Trace your family tree.
  • Build a website – learn it and go via WordPress.
  • Host a virtual book club with friends. Use SurveyMonkey free option for questions that can be discussed, or Kahoot.
  • Weed the garden and prepare for spring.
  • Start seeds indoors using deli containers, paper cups, egg crates and other items for mini greenhouses.
  • Have a dress up day for the kids.
  • Dive into your music library.
  • Catch up on magazines and then make rolled magazine art with the pages. (Brit.Co) 
  • Redecorate.
  • Clean out and organize your closets. While doing so, donate old shoes to Soles for Souls.
  • Write a note or letter to someone not nearby.
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle. Swap with neighbors (spray with lysol first maybe).
  • Take up knitting, crocheting, quilting, other crafts.
  • Start a gratitude journal.
  • Start or update a scrapbook.
  • Organize your photos / videos.
  • Use toilet paper tubes (when they’re used up) for bowling.
  • Use red solo cups (when they’re used up and washed) for a carney game.
  • Exercise.
  • Color. Print these great adult coloring pages from Pop Sugar.
  • Try a new recipe.
  • Make soup.
  • Make bread.
  • Make cookies, a cake, a pie.
  • Meditate.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Video chat with an old friend / relative who’s homebound and lonely.
  • Hold a video game tournament.
  • Sleep in.
  • Have an at-home spa day.
  • Tackle the DIY projects you’ve been putting off.
  • Sort the socks.
  • Clean out the junk drawer.
  • Have an indoor picnic.
  • Write an email to a company commending someone  you interacted with recently.
  • Write a positive Yelp review about a provider you interacted with recently.
  • Draw portraits of the pets. Draw portraits of the kids. Draw a self-portrait.
  • Hold a dance contest.
  • Tell ghost stories.
  • Make up new fairytales.
  • Make a movie.
  • Have a family talent show.
  • Write little notes of love to one another each day for a week and store them to read later.

I truly hope these tips help you find ways to make the most out of this strange time we are in. If you have other great tips, please leave them below or email me and I’ll be happy to edit this list and include them too. We can do this!


About Maura Satchell, contemporary artist and writer

Contemporary artist, seeker, writer. Curious to a fault. I let the fates take me where they will and never say no to an adventure. That has led me on some heart-stirring journeys and impetuous choices. I regret nothing.
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