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15 Ways to Play in May

Fun ways to keep the kids learning and entertained

Devon Hammer

Published on: May 01, 2020

little girl holding a chick

Despite all the frightening uncertainties in our world these days, there is one thing we can be certain of — our kids need to play! With better weather on the horizon, more virtual resources available than ever before and some new routines (hopefully) established, this temporary way of life is feeling slightly more manageable.

Everything is closed, but our ever-curious, ever-active little sponges are still desperate to soak up new experiences and news ways of learning — plus every last ounce of your patience, eh?

For your playtime inspiration, we’ve gathered up 15 ways to play in May. With outdoor activities, virtual experiences and ideas for celebrating upcoming holidays (happy Mother’s Day, all you sweet mamas out there!), we hope this list can help make this time more enjoyable.

little girl painting on the ground


How does a zookeeper use grape jelly? Would a salamander call your yard home? Go on a zoo-themed scavenger hunt inside or outside of your house for an educational adventure. 

The COVID-19 health crisis has given us all a new appreciation for the work that nurses do. On National Nurses Day, May 6, have your kids make a sign for your window or draw a picture to post on social media thanking nurses for all their work.

Have a girl-power movie night and watch a film that features a heroic female lead character. Check out our list.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. Warm a mama’s heart with a homemade gift, a home-cooked meal and a beautiful card.

Have your kids emerge from quarantine with a new skill. Use our guide to help your tots get pedaling on a two-wheeled bike. 

Messy art projects once saved for school are now being conducted in our homes. Ack! Try a super messy project outdoors and save your sanity. Cleanup is just a hose spray away! 

Missing your child’s favorite museums? Explore these resources in a new way with Curiosity at Home from Pacific Science Center, Burke from Home with the Burke Museum or Take Flight at Home with the Museum of Flight. 

National Eat What You Want Day is May 11. Forget about the food pyramid for a day and go wild with mealtime. Cereal for dinner is always a winner. 

Turn a stroll into a nature treasure hunt with our list of items you might spot around the block or over at your neighborhood park.

Get the kids cooking up some mud soup with an awesome backyard mud kitchen. Our guide has lots of ideas, simple to deluxe. 

Paint a rock, hide a rock, find a rock. Painted rocks combine creativity, craftiness, kindness and being outside in your neighborhood. 

Get “together” with some friends for a Zoom scavenger hunt game night! Take turns calling out something to go find from your made-up list (i.e., something yellow, a spatula … you get the idea). The first family to show the item scores a point.

Fuel the creativity of your crafty tweens and teens with an armload of supplies and links to trendy tutorials on macramé to crochet. 

Memorial Day is Monday, May 25. Show your appreciation for the people who serve and have served our country with family-friendly activities on our list. 

Longing to hear the pleasant clucking of hens and enjoy fresh-from-your-yard eggs? Our Chickens 101 guide will help get you started. 

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