The recent COVID-19 outbreak has everyone on their toes, parents and children alike as most schools are shut down across cities. Many parents are now in quarantine with their kids. Their biggest nightmare is to keep their restless and enthusiastic kids busy inside the house.
It can get tough and overwhelming to each day seek new ways to keep your kids busy and this is even harder for those working from home.
Here are 10 ways you can keep your kids busy and entertained at the same time, given the impending chances of quarantine amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
1. Keep a daily schedule for the kids
The first thing would be to make a schedule and stick to it.
While it’s tempting to declare this quarantine a holiday and park them in front of the television, this would not do them any good.
Drastically changing your child’s schedule can also be a source of stress but you have to muster all the parenting nerves you’ve got.
Some mothers write out the day’s schedule on a whiteboard every morning.
However, you might not need to be very detailed.
So, a sticky note or a schedule in a note is fine.
The most important thing for your child(ren) is to have clear expectations of what will be happening that day.
Using a schedule will help them know when they’ll have playtime, reading time, and of course, rest time.
2. Invite the kids to join you in the kitchen
Bonding over food and its preparation process is an activity that all ages can enjoy together.
For kids of lower ages, this is a perfect time to teach knife handling skills and you can always buy smaller knives that are not so sharp for this purpose.
A plastic knife is even okay to simulate the learning process.
Baking would also be a great cooking activity to try this period because baking teaches a great lesson in measuring.
You do not know how much younger children can enjoy dividing the kgs and ounces of ingredients used in baking.
Try baking cookies, cakes, brownies and other snacks together with your kids.
Cooking also teaches children to take ownership.
By assigning them tasks such as defrosting an item or collecting the ingredients from the pantry, they’re learning personal responsibility and also having fun.
3. Teach the kids how to use a fire extinguisher
Your children must have seen extinguishers in the Garage, Kitchen, cars, and maybe bedroom but they don’t know how to use them.
Don’t wait for their Boys Scout and Red Cross camps before they learn how to use this essential tool.
This period is the perfect time to teach them.
If you don’t have adequate knowledge of this, you can enlist the help of YouTube to present a fun, educational video to the kids while using the extinguishers in your home to practice.
4. Engage the kids in sewing
Learning and mastering a new skill can greatly improve a person’s self-confidence.
This is particularly true for kids because they seek acknowledgement and praise, and they achieve both from sewing.
Start with basic stitches and children find threading a needle exciting.
Threading a needle and holding buttons are good means of developing motor skills.
Once they realize that they have created something on their own, the very sense of accomplishment will help them to build their self-confidence beyond the activity itself.
This activity will help them utilise their time properly and learn while at it.
5. Write a letter with the kids to keep them engaged
Break out the envelopes, the stamps, pens, and paper.
No, not e-mails, paper mails.
This would greatly improve their writing and communication skills regardless of their age.
You could keep it fun by asking them to write to their favourite superhero or favourite movie star
It could even be a favourite cartoon character depending on their age and interests.
Bringing it home, you could also have them write to their grandfather, grandmother, aunts, or uncles.
When they are done writing post the letters after the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Here are some post options to explore
- 26 Good Leadership Qualities That Will Lead You to Greatness
- How to Improve Your Productivity While Working From Home
- 8 things to do during this period of a lockdown that will make you rich later
- 14 items you need to create a perfect home office setup
- 10 free online project management software that will boost your productivity
6. Break out the board games
This period will be the perfect time to play board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, Chess, Chutes and Ladders etc.
This is particularly necessary because board games help children develop logic and reasoning skills, as well as improve critical thinking.
It would be best to teach them the rules and play along with them.
You never imagine how much playing board games with your kids can help you bond as well as build sportsmanship.
7. Have an at-home dance class
Who says you need a dance studio to become a better dancer?
The Quarantine period is perfect to take dance lessons with your kids, all you need is a spacious room and a couple of Youtube videos.
Dancing can be fun and good for the body as well as the mind.
8. Read a book to the kids or make them read one
If this is not a good time to get your child into the habit of reading, then I don’t know when would ever be.
They now have a lot of time on their hands as they have nowhere to go.
For younger kids, read a book to them every day, a chapter or more is fine.
This will help them develop their vocabulary and language skills.
For older kids, give them a reading goal for the weeks when they are at home and encourage them to complete it.
Discuss what has been read and for this, a book you already know is preferred.
Encourage the child to use key vocabulary picked up in the text in a sentence or a story.
You can also have them write a summary of what has been read or listened to.
9. Art and Craft
Both parent and child can have fun doing art and craft when in quarantine.
Stock up on a few art supplies and pieces of paper or order them from an online store if you didn’t have them before now.
This activity is perfect to keep your child busy even as you work from home.
It will help your child develop a creative mind as well.
You could go extra by getting the artwork framed once the quarantine is over, and you instantly have new, personalized décor for your home.
10. Work out Together!
Try and get children involved with your daily activities.
If you usually do a morning work out; let them do it with you.
This would be fun as your children learning to do push-ups can be rib-cracking.
You could also try finding new methods of relaxation such as deep breathing, or meditation.
As well as being great ways of calming the mind and relieving stress, they are all activities children can get involved in too.
I believe you can use some or all of these 10 tips to keep your kids busy during this quarantine period.
For more ideas, check this 101 ways to keep kids busy during the quarantine closures.