Yes, it’s a bit tough to be a New York City parent right now, to say the least. Give yourself a big pat on the back for continuing to keep on, keepin’ on. We’ve come to realize that making sure everybody has a chunk of time to chill out, tune in, get crazy (i.e., “have fun”, whatever that means to them) is essential to staying sane right about now. And that of course, includes kids—especially kids! We asked around to find out what’s keeping NYC kids happy (or distracted, or laughing or engaged) these days, and are passing along our findings, because hey, one of these might be just the thing your kid needs! Read on, and be inspired! (P.S. Here’s what local kids businesses are doing online, and you can find tons more fun on our calendar of virtual events!)
Indoor Soccer, Dog Baths & Activity Books
“I like doing soccer trick shots and printing coloring/activity books with our new printer.”
From Peter's mom: "And doggy bubble baths! He didn’t know poodles could swim!"
DIY Peleton, Drawing & Vicariously Gaming
"Drawing, watching YouTubers play Minecraft and Roblox, and riding my bike inside."
Note from Billie's mom: "We set up her bike as a stationary bike [by] putting the training wheels in a pair of my husband's big sneakers, based on a viral Facebook post. We just started doing Peloton classes together or sometimes she'll get on her tablet and ride."
Food Fun, Rock Painting & Planting Seeds
"Making faces or animals out of food. Rock and shell painting, making structures out of paper recycling, planting seeds, looking through old pictures or documents."
—Rosalind, 5 and 1/2
Skateboarding at Night & Rock Painting
"Going outside when nobody is outside—like a vampire—on his beloved skateboard, painting rocks, going on scooters in the park and finding the place where are people are away and playing frisbee."
A Classic with a Twist & Eggs
"Jumping off the couch onto an air mattress...and making scrambled eggs."
—George, 7, Natalie, 6, Kensington
Note from George's mom: "He loves cracking the eggs."
Paper Bag Puppets
"Creepy yet funny and fun. Bag puppets of any kind!...We also LOVE Cosmic Kids Yoga!"
Arts & Crafts Delivered!
"Arts and crafts stuff. We have beads, plaster craft painting from a local store who delivered, coloring pictures."
—Elizabeth, 6, Lyla, 3 and 1/2, Samantha, 2
Editor's note: That's Party Plaster Place on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills!
A New Identity Every Day
"Getting her face painted almost daily."
"Getting to play Minecraft and Roblox on weekdays!"
—Benjamin, 8 and 1/2
From Benjamin's Mom: "They are usually only allowed on weekends."
Putting on a Show!
"We act out a book or story—so far PJ Masks and Piggy and Gerald—with costumes, props and scenery and record it weekly."
—JJ, 3 and 1/2 and Mickey, 6
Family & Roblox
"Spending time with my family, playing Roblox/Bloxsburg and watching YouTube videos."
Art, Art & More Art
Baking & Concert Promoting
"Baked banana bread. (Mashed bananas!) Also—started a band. Played no instruments but created a logo and made amazing signs for the band and taped them up around the apartment."
—Aaron, Five and 1/2
Paddleball, Simply Piano, Dance Parties & More
"Impact Coaching Network daily chess tournaments."
—Hunter, 8, Jackson, 6
Forts, Mom-led Kickboxing, Heading Up to the Roof
Band practice and songwriting sessions over Zoom, making forts, Wii Dance, mommy-led kick boxing workouts, playing Risk over the internet with friends (fun for adults too). Sitting on the fire escape and going up to the roof for the first time!"
—Jack, 10, and Eli, 11
Hanging with Daniel & Elsa
"Watching Daniel Tiger and Frozen!"
—Evelyn, 2 and 1/2
"Launching baby dolls [in the air] and trying to catch them."
—Charlotte, 6 and 1/2
Pokemon, Inside & Out
"I'm barely seeing my kid because he's playing some online Pokemon game with his friends, whenever school's out. Sometimes we play Pokemon Go outside, which gives him the chance to lecture me about various Pokemon characters while I sneak in a little exercise."
Magic Schoolbus Rides Again on Netflix!
Choice Time...at Home
Monster High on YouTube and drawing. And making projects, like 'Choice Time' at school.
"FaceTiming with friends."
Silly Videos, Doodling & Smoothies
"Watching funny videos on Youtube, Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems, and making smoothies."
Zelda's mom: "Filling the bird feeder is also a big hit."
Music & Drawing
"'I'm listening to music while I do my schoolwork and I'm into drawing a lot now."
Slime, New Skills & Failed Rollerskating
"Playing with slime."
From Alice's mom: "We're taking the opportunity to learn some new skills: we're making our own Roblox game and she's learning to play guitar! We tried inline skates but they're too loud in an apt..."