May 14, 2024

27 Items To Keep Kids Busy While They Are Off School

We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

These toys, games, and crafts are all parents can attend to their business with only minor interruptions.

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For ages 7+.

Promising review: "My daughter loves it. I already bought two of these. She got one for Christmas, and now she's on the second one. She loves making bracelets for her siblings and friends in school. It keeps her entertained for hours!" —Keilyn

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

For ages 8+.

Pump not included, a bicycle pump is recommended.

Promising reviews: "This is about as simple as rocket science gets. The set-up was maybe two minutes, and the kids (three elementary schoolers and one middle schooler) did it without me. I was pleasantly surprised by the durability. We spent hours and hours launching this thing into the sky, and there's not a crack anywhere. Despite our big, open field, one gust of wind did land the bottle about 40 feet up in a pine tree. The boys eventually knocked it out with baseballs, and it still held up! No cracks or busted parts. We used a mini, battery-powered air compressor in lieu of a manual bike pump (much less tiring). And, it is lightweight enough to make a pretty fabulous game of catch-the-falling-bottle. A great lesson in atmospheric pressure and thrust. A fun way to end our mini-unit on rockets." —Jason

"This is fantastic for fun and learning for kids. However, if you lose the one fin/stand that it comes with, it’s money down the drain. We lost ours over into the neighbor's pasture the first day while learning and experimenting with water amounts and the psi. It was great but really should come with an extra. Otherwise, you’re just paying for a plastic one-liter bottle." —Andrea

Get it from Amazon for $21.99.

For ages 1+.

12-inch wheel size is recommended for kids between 28" — 38" tall, 14-inch for kids 36" — 40" tall, 16-inch for kids 38" — 48" tall, and 18-inch for kids 42" —50" tall.

Arrives partially assembled!

Promising review: "My daughter is 5 and very tall (48'), so finding the right size bike for her was important. This bike not only fit her, but it came with optional training wheels, which she needs because she couldn't practice on her old bike because she was too big for it. I'm so glad this bike came when it did. She is able to ride comfortably now. Assembly didn't take very long. I suggest using a tool kit to help; you won't be able to do it all by hand. I was able to put the bike together by myself with ease. I will say make sure to double-check the front hand-brakes to make sure the cables are connected right. It took some adjusting to get them aligned right. All in all, my daughter loves her new bike." —Ariele B

Get it from Amazon for $192.22+ (available in six colors and four wheels sizes).

For ages 4+.

Promising review: "I gave this to my 7-year-old nephew for his birthday. He wanted to open it shortly after, and we worked together on the spaceship. Turned out great! (Even though we had to go back and refold a couple of times. 😉) Durable paper, plus it was pretty easy to follow once you got the hang of it. It's nice that because of the printed paper, it feels like you've got something before you even start, which is encouraging. The end product is really cute!" —Jodie Jurgens

Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

(Suggested) for ages 3+.

Promising review: "Bought for a 1.5-year-old, and he loves it! Kept him occupied for 2 hours in a doctor's office waiting room. It has different play settings and volume settings. Frogs light up, and it makes different noises, and plays a good amount of different songs. I think it's the perfect gift because green and frogs can be gender-neutral, and the lights will entertain a small baby while the counting feature and game modes are good for older toddlers. This toy goes everywhere with us!" —Sarah Taylor

Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

For ages 8+.

Promising reviews: "I love 3D puzzles and have done a few in the past and was really excited when I saw this one. You do have to be careful with any 3D puzzle because it's easy to break off tabs or bend pieces. I definitely wouldn't get this for a young child, but it would make a great gift for pre-teens and up. The instructions are very clear, and it's easy to assemble and take apart for storage!" —alexismu97

Now this kid gets it...

"My son loved this 3D puzzle set. He is a big Godzilla fan, and he loves recreating scenes from the movie. They really hold up. Pretty good quality. Great value for the money, and my son absolutely loved them." —Leticia Rdz.

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in nine different cities).

For ages 3+.

Promising reviews: "Daughter loved building these birdhouses after she colored them and drew on them. Only real word of advice is to use good wood glue; otherwise, on a windy day, they will fall apart. Other than that, it was a blast building these." —Bobby

"I got this for my young nephews without having a lot of hope that it would work for two rambunctious boys, but they had a blast painting their little birdhouses, and they stayed in one piece (after using a lot of glue). Cheap little craft set that kept them busy for about an hour." —Lisa M.

Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

For ages 6+.

Promising review: "My daughter loves it. I even love it. It has tons of little activities for the kids, and love the added camera. It does drain the batteries pretty quickly, though (about 2 batteries every ten days or so). I wish it could be charged. Super cute." —yestfl

Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in six colors).

For ages 3+.

Note: Each kit comes with four suncatchers (dog, cat, turtle, fish bowl), cut-up tissue paper in a variety of colors, and detailed directions. You also have the option to add contact paper at an added cost.

Punch of Color is an Etsy shop located in Indianapolis, IN, that sells "whimsical craft kits, party favors, and paper art!"

Promising review: "I usually have no patience for arts and crafts, so I really appreciated being able to choose to have the tissue paper pre-cut, and the contact paper included. My kids (2 and 3) had fun making these." —agotto

Get it from Punch of Color on Etsy for $14+ (available with and w/o contact paper).

For ages 5+.

Promising review: "My son (6) just got this for his birthday. The next day he played with it the entire day! Building with me, building on his own, taking it apart and back together again. My 19-month-old twins loved it, and so does my 8-year-old. My son is contemplating spending his birthday money on another set to combine them and make even bigger and better forts! You do have to be careful to build a proper structure if you want to put blankets. It would hold a sheet in just about any configuration, but blankets are just that bit heavier." —High-Klass

Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

For ages 5+.

Promising review: "Amazing item! All children should learn the skill of letting go from an early age. The lesson is valuable and extremely profound! The earlier one learns, the better! Thank you for creating such a deep tool to continuously practice the grateful!" —Answers

Get it from Amazon for $37.95.

For ages 4+.

Promising review: "The cards are durable, easy to read (especially for beginners), and store nicely in an eco-friendly little drawstring pouch. We take these cards on nature walks, trips to the beach, and play dates in the backyard. This no-fuss, go-anywhere game is such a hit in our house; it’s become a go-to gift the last several years. I think what kids love about it is that it can be both competitive and non-competitive and played in teams or as individuals." —Megan F.

Get it from Amazon for $12.98.

For ages 6+.

Includes an adjustable wooden loom, oversized wooden needle, craft materials, illustrated design booklet, and 91 yards of rainbow yarn!

Promising review: "I purchased this for my granddaughter, hoping she would be able to develop a hobby. It was fairly easy to put together, and we got started right away. Two days later, she had finished a work of art so beautiful that her aunt offered her $50 for it. It’s small but graces my daughter's wall with its cool textures and colors. I just went online to purchase one for myself! This wall hanging is the envy of our whole family now, and everyone has placed an order with our budding new artist. Love it! You should buy it, and some special yarn. You won’t be disappointed." —Linny B

Get it from Amazon for $31.99.

For ages 2+.

Figgy is a woman-owned and woman-led small business.

The basic set includes four base cushions and two rectangle bolsters (6 pieces total).

Promising review: "After doing lots of research on foam couches, I decided to go with the Figgy, and boy, am I so glad I did! It’s the many features that it has that swayed me. From the waterproof liners to the Velcro, it’s truly the best! You can do so much with these. It keeps my kids' imaginations going for hours at a time! Highly recommend getting one!" —Paige H

Get it from Figgy for $269+ (comes in four color options, available with a wedge and/or waterproof liners for an additional cost).

For ages 5+.

Promising review: "This is a very nicely designed activity book. Each page has a perforation, so you can easily remove the pages from the book so that it's easier to place the stickers. We did this activity with my grand niece, who is 8 years old, and my mother, who has early dementia. We all had a great time making the pictures with the stickers. You need to be able to match the numbers (up to about 30 or so) from the sticker sheet to the finished page and then match the rotation of the shape. Most stickers are easy to align correctly on the finished page but a couple can be a little more tricky for the young ones to figure out because their angles and length of sides are similar...In the end, it doesn't affect the end result of the picture too much if one or two are rotated from their perfect alignment." —ladybug

Get it from Amazon for $8.44.

For ages 8+.

Expansion kits and accessories are also available.

Promising review: "Purchased as a Christmas gift for my 8-year-old son. How LOVES it. We have used it for homeschooling science many times. He's built all the tracks in the instruction manual and many more. He brings this out when certain friends come over, and they are occupied for a long while. A friend of ours even purchased a set for their kids based on the play from our house.

We've had this set for a year now, and there have been no broken parts, and we've managed not to lose any parts. This product is well made. The instructions are well written and easy to understand, even for an 8-9-year-old. The price of this set is comparable to its value. I think it's expensive, but I also feel like I've gotten my money's worth. I would recommend it as a great STEM activity. Worth having in any classroom." —KRGarrison

Get it from Amazon for $56.35.

For ages 2+.

Promising review: "I got this for my 2- (almost 3) year-old. My 5-year-old likes it just as much. They play with this all the time. They really like the sound effects that make it more realistic when they are 'cooking food.' It's a good size for two small kids to play together but not too huge that it takes up a ton of space. My only minor complaint is that I wish the cabinet was a tiny bit wider to fit more plates, pans, etc. But the recycle bucket holds everything it comes with and more, so it's not that big a deal. Overall, a great play kitchen. Note: It comes with some accessories: pots, pans, dishes, utensils, etc., which are great, but your kids are going to want some fake food to cook also, so be sure to get some of that too. :-)" —Alisa D

Get it from Amazon for $89.99.

For ages 5+.

Promising review: "This craft was a hit! The fox was very easy to put together and it turned out so cute! You have to make the tutu by tying a bunch of knots but other than that all of the clothes are ready to go and do not require sewing! The fox came with a little fabric bag to conveniently store it for travel. The materials in the craft are good quality and hopefully will last a while. My daughter loved this little cute fox!" —Olivia O.

Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (also available in a bunny and mouse).

For ages 8+.

Coding beginners can use Blockly’s drag-and-drop functionality and then level up to the more advanced coding language of Python.

Promising review: "Bought this as a gift for my 8-year-old nephew who likes computers and video games. He loved it! He was so excited to unbox it and get started. We watched the online tutorial videos for help getting set up, which were super helpful and made the whole process quick and easy. He jumped right into coding after that and has already made it shake, dance, and pee with Blockly! Super cool and well-made product. I think it will get a lot of use!" —Nicholas

Get it from Amazon for $124.99.

For ages 8+.

Includes four high-quality, crystal-filled geodes, safety goggles, a display stand, and a full-color Learning Guide.

Promising review: "My 9-year-old is obsessed with all things gems and geology. We bought this for Christmas. He opened it tonight, and it was so beautiful we ended up cracking them all! He even got an amethyst (he was thrilled as that's his favorite!). I am very impressed. I will definitely be buying again. One tip- definitely score them before cracking, and be a little gentle if you want two halves. My husband was a little heavy-handed 🤣 also, one of them at first didn't seem like much, but I had a feeling there was more inside, so we cracked it in half again, and lo and behold, it was a beautiful geode. Highly recommend!" —Andrea Green

Get a four-pack from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in three different size kits).

For ages 6+ and includes a butterfly, seaplane, dinosaur, peacock, and the Eiffel Tower.

Promising review: "This set of five color-and-build sets is a GREAT value, coming in at under $4 per 'project'! The kit comes with lovely-quality, double-tipped markers that allow kids to add as much or as little detailing as they want or as their coloring skillset allows. Once pieces are colored, the shapes/parts for each puzzle are easy enough to punch out of the foam core boards that the younger set can handle with no scissors needed. Assembly is nice, too, with dry-fit, no adhesive necessary. We bough one set for granddaughter and liked it so much, we bought another as a backseat travel gift for a family friend." —Mimi Taylor

Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (available in three different sets).

(Suggested) for ages 6+.

Includes a base (the box), track pieces, banked curves, crash zone lid, launchers, diverter, and two Hot Wheels cars.

Promising review: "I bought this to entertain my grandsons, ages 4 and 2. They are obsessed with all things Hot Wheels. They LOVED this track! It was pretty easy to set up; even the 4-year-old could slide the pieces of track together to make long 'lanes.' They used the storage case as the starting point to have momentum and speed to have the cars race each other down and around the track that we configured. They also made huge traffic jams with the extra cars we have accumulated and already had." —Merle's Mom

Get it from Amazon for $49.49.

For ages 3+.

Promising review: "Keeps my 4-year-old and even 13-month-old positively and productively occupied. They never get bored building and use them multiple times in a day. It is super quick and easy to clean up (a big plus for me), the tiles are durable, and the quality of the material is topnotch. Enough said. If you want something your kids will thoroughly enjoy and that stimulates their brains and creativity, this is it!" —Sarah

Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

For ages 6+.

Promising review: "The instructions are easy to follow. Great price. The paint and glue wash off of hands easily. My 2-year-old can assemble most parts with help and enjoyed the painting. My 4-year-old was able to put together and paint with minimal supervision. Stickers are cute and fun. Made of real wood and the assembled car does indeed move. Perfect activity to keep kids busy for an hour or longer." —MissKim

Get it from Amazon for $11.84.

For ages 3+.

Set includes colors and shapes, fairy tales, and animals.

Promising reviews: "These activity pads have been a staple in our home for my twins and now my niece. The water pen allows for no mess, which is always a bonus, and its small size is perfect for traveling. A great activity to keep littles busy!" —Sarah

"My kids love them! We use them at home as well when we are put at restaurants. No mess to worry about!" —Kristinamackenzie

Get it from Target for $13.99.

For ages 12+.

Includes a 48-page adventure booklet, a 32-page rulebook for playing characters of levels one to three, five ready-to-play characters (each with a character sheet), and six polyhedral game dice.

Promising review: "We have been playing D&D for years and we love playing new adventures. I found this starter kit and ordered immediately. After reading through and getting it set up to start, it will be very fun. One of our group always wants to talk to every new group or creature we come across. It's always fun and interesting how some adventures is more talking and some are more fighting and you never know what you are going to get...sorry no spoilers." —knightslady

Get it from Amazon for $19.82.

For ages 3+.

Includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ with thousands of ad-free books, games, videos, and apps, as well as a two-year "worry-free" guarantee.

Promising review: "I had a fire tablet that my son kinda claimed as his own, so I ended up buying this one for him, and he absolutely loves it. I really enjoy that the apps can be limited, but at the same time, he has the freedom to download and play games and apps that he chooses without me having to do everything for him. He enjoys the freedom, and it really makes him feel like he's grown up even though he's only 3. The battery last for 4-5 hours of constant use, which is actually a pretty long time. I try to limit his screen time, but it definitely keeps him busy and occupied while I'm working or doing something around the house. The free year of Amazon kids + that's included is a great bonus because I already pay for that." —Victoria A. Lamb

Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in two storage capacities and three colors).

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Promising review: