Keeping kids entertained is often a struggle, especially for parents who are trying to balance a lot on their plates. While some may joke that the easiest way to get a few quiet hours is to call your sweet little angel over to do chores or homework, sometimes you need to help the munchkins entertain themselves. We’ve pulled together a list of ideas to help you out when you’re feeling uninspired.

Plan Your Day Together

Make some time in the morning or the evening before to plan out your next day together. While this one may need to be reserved for older kids, it’s a good way to get them used to the steps it takes to plan an effective schedule.

A Picture A Day

Have them draw a picture each day that represents how they’re feeling.

Sensory Baskets

For younger kids, it can be cool to set up a basket with interesting textures and colors (and maybe smells or sounds, if you’re willing). If nothing is very messy you can really let them go to town.

Memory Matching Games

This is just one good example of the many kid-friendly games you can play with a deck of cards. For older kids, maybe it’s time to teach them poker.

Learn to Make Their Snacks

While it can be a little daunting to to get little kids into the kitchen for making dinner, just getting them to learn to make their snacks can be great.

Have Them Research An Animal They See Outside

Have them look up an animal they’ve seen outside and learn some interesting facts about it. It can be a bird, a squirrel, a bug or any number of creatures.

Hunt for Broken Toys

Want help cleaning out their toys? Give them the job of finding broken toys. You can determine together at the end whether they should be fixed or tossed.

Science Experiments in the Kitchen

This one is much more hands on for you, but it can be a cool way to keep their brains active.

Work Out Together

Do a little yoga with the kiddos, or maybe try to include them when you pop on a workout video.

Have a Party

Host a tea party (or another type of party) together with your kids and give them an opportunity to dress up. Plus, it gives them an event to look forward to, even if it is at home.