We'll address the elephant in the room first: video games. Yes, it's OK to let your kids play longer than usual considering the circumstances. Don't worry about screen time right now; there's no need to add anything else to your plate.
After all, video games are the true embodiment of social distancing -- in the physical sense, that is. They're actually incredibly social: The whole family can enjoy a console game together or kids can play online with their friends. In fact, if you have chores or are telecommuting, you can use the free time to catch up on your own work. Check out our top picks:
With plenty of family-friendly titles and multiplayer games, even adults have a blast with the Nintendo Switch Lite. We're big fans of "Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe," whose multiple gaming modes and wealth of bonus content keep players on their toes. While the original version of the Nintendo Switch console is sold out on Amazon, you can still get the handheld version right now.
Kids can hop on Xbox Live and chat with their pals during games and parents can even use it as a streaming device when it's not in use for gameplay. If your family are big basketball fans bummed out over the suspended season, pick up "NBA 2K20."
Just like Xbox, parents and kids can enjoy both gaming and streaming on the PS4, so it's another versatile console option. Check out "Need for Speed Heat," where players can take victory laps in their customized rides.
It's not unusual for kids to miss gym class, sports, or trips to the park. That's why it's a good idea to bring some of their favorite activities inside. If your active kids have ants in their pants, you'll love this roundup of products hand-picked for busy-bodies. Best of all, it's an easy way to boost their moods and energy levels.
Kids can scoot through tunnels or hide in the tent of this versatile pop-up jungle gym that you can set up in a larger room or a backyard. Its ball pit holds approximately 500 balls, which you can purchase separately here.
This toddler-friendly bowling set has bright colors and easy to hold pieces, ideal for developing hand-eye coordination. There's no ball return, so little ones get a fair amount of exercise retrieving their ball and setting up pins each round.
Introduce kiddos to a calming yoga practice with pose cards featuring friendly characters. This set comes with two soft dice to roll to customize challenges. And yes, you can do the poses with them if you miss your own yoga classes.
Take hide-and-seek to the next level with this indoor-friendly infrared set that will keep kids entertained. It comes with blasters and vests for four players -- and we suspect it won't be too hard to tag you in for this activity.
Kids really work up a sweat when they try to bust moves in time with this dancing game mega-hit. After all, it's hard not to smile at the goofy avatars rocking out to their favorite jams, and kids love trying to keep up with them.
Kids are typically always on the go between school, sports, and extracurricular activities -- which means new hobbies don't always fit into schedules. Now is a good time for kids to tap into their creativity and dive into new projects and pastimes. Here are some of our favorite arts and crafts kits to keep little hands busy:
Give your kids this kit to stay healthy and hydrated in style by coloring their very own BPA-free water bottle. It's a fun and easy project that scores major points with parents as an eco-friendly accessory.
They'll doodle for hours with this no-mess coloring mat that can be placed on the floor or hung on a wall. The blank slate opens the door to plenty of creativity and drawing games, and it can even double as an educational tool.
Weave a rainbow pom-pom hat and cup cozy with this beginner-friendly kit. Once kids get the hang of it, they'll love expanding their horizons to make other projects on the versatile loom with other types of yarn.
Board games and puzzles
Peaceful coexistence means being able to communicate well with one another -- especially when you spend a lot of time together (and can get on each other's nerves). Consider adding a daily board game or jigsaw puzzle session to your schedule. Not only will you have fun as a family, but kids are also able to practice their sportsmanship and interpersonal skills.
In this game, you play as mayor of a tiny town in the forest tasked with building a thriving society. It tests kids' capacity for creativity and strategy, and each game is quick so young minds are able to maintain focus.
This 3D puzzle features Disney's signature castle and beloved characters. With the puzzle's Easy Click technology and numbered piece, kids can assemble the castle over the course of a couple of afternoons.
Just the name of this game causes giggles. It's a witty, fast-paced game that encourages kids to think on their feet. You might even find adults playing it on their own when the young ones head off to bed.
Set up a card table and let the whole family go to town. This lively 500-piece puzzle rocks an Americana road trip theme, featuring vintage signs and license plates. It's busy and challenging -- and plenty of fun for all ages.
Adorably magical, this spin on an old favorite is nothing short of dazzling. After all, who doesn't love unicorns and llamas? Kids will love the board's vibrant colors, which are uplifting and engaging.
There are some pretty great toys and tech for kids that have come out recently, so it's a good time to stock up on a few extras to pique your kids' interest. Let their imaginations run wild with open-ended play with some of these gems we found. These picks offer a reasonable degree of tactile stimulation, which means kids can take a mental break from schoolwork.
Kids can enjoy music, educational games, and storytime with their very own Echo Dot. It even comes with parental controls, plus it naturally filters out explicit content so that little ears only hear what they're supposed to.
Building forts has never been quicker to assemble or more fun. Set up any standard box fan to blow up this 6- by 4-foot carnival tent fort available in six designs. Kids will love turning it into their new favorite sanctuary for reading or handheld gaming.
Dash is touted as the ultimate open-ended learning platform, as kids can flex their coding muscles to give this little robot a real personality. They can create voice commands, loops, events, and sequences -- and even integrate it with other toys like Legos.
Interactive toys reach new heights with Osmo, and this starter kit has plenty of artistic and educational applications. Simply dock your compatible device in the base in front of the Creative Board to enjoy drawing, games, challenges, or integrated STEM lessons.
This brand-new Lego set lets kids enjoy building a toy store, cake shop, or flower shop. They'll love the working plane ride, multi-story buildings, and fancy details like skylights and awnings. It's fun for imaginative play, especially when siblings play together.
As one of the first "The Mandalorian" toys to be released, this gauntlet lets kids live out their live-action dreams as a Bounty Hunter. They can work on target practice indoors, so you might find yourself dodging darts around the house.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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