Isolation has struck plenty of parents these days unprepared. Maybe you’re one of them, who used to have an out-of-home routine with a few hours of quality time with kids. You had your routine and it was working well, up until the quarantine.
These days, working moms that turned into work-at-home ones rely on experienced SAHM’s on one thing: ideas. What in the world can you do all day with children stuck at home, without losing it?
If you have a yard, make the most of it
A couple of weeks ago, my family and I made a bold move and moved back to our old house in the countryside. I was previously stuck on the 18th floor in a big city with a small baby, the elevators became a possible risk, so I didn’t really have anywhere to go. Once we moved here, we decided to make the most of our existing yard: we installed a baby swing that our son adores! He really enjoys the fact that we’ve got a dog here, too – animals can truly be wonderful companions for little children!
Here are some tips on what you can do in your yard:
- put up a swing, tree house, or any kind of playground gadget you can think of
- let your child play with the animals, if you have them
- teach your child new words, names of the flowers, trees, whatever you have around you
- any kind of craft project that would make a mess inside: painting, playing with water, sand, dirt, building something…
- do some exercise! find a fitness class for kids online and engage in some light physical activity, while teaching your kid about healthy habits
- have a picnic outside
- play ball
- if it’s hot where you live, you can play water games or have kids pool set up
- if you have more kids (or willing players!), make a mini sports, singing or any kind of competition
- hide and seek
- jump rope
If you know some other easy yard activities, share your ideas in the comments!
Book time has always been an important and fun activity. These days, it becomes crucial – it will help your kids stay distracted, while developing their imagination and critical thinking. We’ve got internet, and that means endless resources even when you can’t go to a bookstore or library: reading from your phone or tablet is perfectly fine, and you have unlimited choice online! Electronics can be great is used in awesome purposes, right?
Projects and presentations
If you have an older child who is extremely bored, give them a project to do based on what their interests in.
Maybe they love dinosaurs. Great! Have them make a fun presentation or a collage and let them present it to your family!
If they like chemistry, you can suggest making a lava volcano or performing any simple (and safe!) chemical experiment designed for kids to have a blast and learn something!
If they’re more of a reading/writing type, they can write a poem, an essay or a story on a certain topic. Again, give them a spotlight in front of your family. It’s a great bonding activity!
Let’s not forget the sporties: if they like to dance, for example, have them perform a short choreography. It’ll be fun for all!
If you’ve got a little chef, involve them in making lunch, afternoon snacks, even in online grocery shopping. This is a perfect opportunity for your children to learn a thing or two about how to make something. It will develop appreciation for meals if they were a part of the creation process. I promise you, they’ll think twice before they push away a plate full of food and say NO!
Cleaning the house
Kids are never too young for this – at every age, they can learn how to do something. Putting the toys back into their place, throwing the trash into the trash can, taking their dishes to the sink or dishwasher, putting their clothes into the laundry basket, light dusting – these are all very useful chores that even small children can learn how to perform. Now is a great time to implement those habits into your daily lives – it will make post-isolation life a lot easier!
Getting rid of pacifier, bottles, or potty training
Is there a habit (or a state) you’ve been avoiding getting rid of or going through? Now is a good time to make a positive change in your family. Since you’re home all day, regardless of whether you’re working or not, it’s a great opportunity to get rid of diapers in a few days, or teach your little one how to finally use that sippy cup!
Watching movies, TV shows, documentaries
If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you know I’ve got nothing against screen time for kids – especially in these circumstances. If you’re the one picking the content, there are no distracting ads and the program is actually useful to the child, there’s no reason not to snuggle on the couch for an hour a day, while watching something useful! And even if it’s not too educational, so what? Give yourselves a treat and watch that cartoon you couldn’t go to the movie theater for. Enjoy!
Oh, and if you’re looking into screen time as a way to help your little one learn a second language, here’s an awesome video with plenty of tips on how to help your child become bilingual!
Some BONUS activities that don’t require additional explanation, but are just as fun and simple to do:
- dress up
- bath time
- brick building
- tea party
- pretend play
- board games
- scavenger hunt
- hand shadows
- educational phone apps
- blow bubbles
- scary story time
- take pictures
- make videos
- play cards
- watch the sunset or sunrise
- magic tricks
- play with animals
- wash the car
- climb a tree
- water the plants
- make a gift for a family member
Did I miss anything? Write in the comments! Happy bonding!