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!)

photo: Vanessa Shuster-Raizberg

Indoor Soccer, Dog Baths & Activity Books

“I like doing soccer trick shots and printing coloring/activity books with our new printer.”

—Peter, 6

From Peter's mom: "And doggy bubble baths! He didn’t know poodles could swim!"

photo: LaToya Jordan

DIY Peleton, Drawing & Vicariously Gaming

"Drawing, watching YouTubers play Minecraft and Roblox, and riding my bike inside."

—Billie, 7

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

photo: Maria Ondova Kocisova

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." 

—Gabriel, 9

photo: hannah tasker on unsplash

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." 

photo: Alyson Vitticore

Paper Bag Puppets

"Creepy yet funny and fun. Bag puppets of any kind!...We also LOVE Cosmic Kids Yoga!"

Viola, 6 

photo: Ilana Haas

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! 

photo: Adam Suerte

A New Identity Every Day

"Getting her face painted almost daily."

—Posy, 9

photo: Minecraft

Weekday Gaming

"Getting to play Minecraft and Roblox on weekdays!"

—Benjamin, 8 and 1/2

From Benjamin's Mom: "They are usually only allowed on weekends." 

photo: Mel Wadle Boller

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

photo: Roblox

Family & Roblox

"Spending time with my family, playing Roblox/Bloxsburg and watching YouTube videos."

—Daphne, 9

photo: Crayola

Art, Art & More Art

"This art kit!

—Sabrina, 7

photo: Pixabay

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

photo: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Paddleball, Simply Piano, Dance Parties & More

"Paddle ball with mom in the backyard, Simply Piano app, Storyline Online, dance party in sister's room, Adventure Time." 

—Sofia, 7

photo: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Online Chess!

"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

photo: Photo by Саша Лазарев from Pexels

Playroom Physics

"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."

—Harry, 13

photo: Netflix

The Frizz

Magic Schoolbus Rides Again on Netflix!

—Lucy, 7

photo: The Craft Factory

Choice Time...at Home

 Monster High on YouTube and drawing. And making projects, like 'Choice Time' at school.

—Edith, 8

photo: iStock

FaceTime!

"FaceTiming with friends."

—Caley, 12

photo: Mo Willems via YouTube/Kennedy Center

Silly Videos, Doodling & Smoothies

"Watching funny videos on Youtube, Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems, and making smoothies."

—Zelda, 7

Zelda's mom: "Filling the bird feeder is also a big hit." 

photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Music & Drawing

"'I'm listening to music while I do my schoolwork and I'm into drawing a lot now."

—Aviva, 10

Slime, New Skills & Failed Rollerskating

"Playing with slime." 

—Alice, 7

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..."

—Mimi O’Connor

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