Let’s face it, this pandemic sucks. Although schools are reopening, a lot of parents have still chosen to keep their children at home. A lot of us are at home with our children which is great, but if you have children you know this is not a breeze.
Kids need to keep active, their attention spans can quickly shift and if they get bored, then this just creates more difficulty for you to get things done. Especially, if you are working from home.
Here are 11 ideas to help keep your kids engaged and active at home during this crazy time:
School Work 📖
Just starting off with this one makes me laugh. I’m sure it does the same for you. The last thing your kids want to do is sit at the table and do school work.
However, it is necessary and having them work on their school work consistently will keep them learning and engaged with school in general.
School work can be challenging. This is great for little growing minds. Ensuring that you are spending adequate time with your children on their school work, is essential. Just because they may not be in the actual school facility, does not mean that school gets pushed to the side and corners can be cut.
It is extremely important to maintain this discipline and consistency within your children. This pandemic is only temporary and the last thing you want is for your children to get distracted with what is important in their lives right now, which is their education.
Get Outside ☀️
Being locked up in a house all day without going outside is not healthy. We need to get sunlight, see the sky, the trees and take in natures beauty. In our home, we make sure we get some time outside each day.
A change to the outdoor environment is great for children. Being outside is a great way to burn off their excess energy that gets built up from sitting down and attending virtual classes.
Go For A Family Walk 🚶♀️ 🚶 🐕
We go out for daily family walks. We ALL need it. Especially, our big dog Asia, she loves her walks.
If she doesn’t go outside to get her time to disconnect, she can get quite cranky herself. Except in her case, she just starts terrorizing around the house. Eating things she shouldn’t be eating, just to let us know that she is not happy at all. She gets her point across very well. Too well, if you ask me. 😤
Play Board Games ♟
Board games are a great way to pass time together as a family and get some great laughs along the way. Our favorite game is Monopoly.
As a parent, board games open up conversation and Monopoly is a great way to teach your children basic math. My little one (5) is already learning how money works, and she loves to count and move her pieces around the board.My older kids get to learn about real estate, investments, trading, negotiation, and of course how not to be a sore loser.
There are more lessons that come out of a simple board games, but these are just a few to demonstrate that this can be a great way to pass time and connect with your children.
Watch A Movie Together 🍿
Now a days, we have so much access to movies and tv shows at the click of a button. Classic Disney movies are readily available like never before. If you have a monthly subscription to a streaming service, take some time to find a movie that you all will enjoy together, and just sit back and enjoy.
Watching movies with your kids is going to be something you will enjoy. Not to mention, if your kids are small like mine are, you will regret not soaking up this moment later on in life when they are big.
Take in these moments and enjoy them whenever you can.
Arts & Crafts 🖼
In our home, we love arts and crafts. We got into this space simply because our youngest child was writing all over our walls in our home and cutting clothes, homework, and hair with scissors. 🤦♀️
We figured she must have some creativity floating up in her head that we needed to channel. So, we gave her a place to let that out properly without destroying things.
We ended up purchasing a few things that we can all work on and enjoy each others company. We started by buying a pack of different scissors. She loves scissors😂. The act of slowing down her brain and cutting designs out does something for her little brain. So, we bought different materials to do Arts and Crafts projects at home.
A few days ago, we spent nearly half the day at our dinner table as a family and we created a 3D picture out of construction paper with scissors, stickers and glue. Time flew right by us, and we all had a blast working together and laughing.
Build Something 🔨
On YouTube, my daughter found a video on how to create a cat house using cardboard boxes. We had a few cardboard boxes in our garage from previous Amazon orders, so we decided to put them to use.
I Forgot to mention, we don’t even have a cat 😂. But building a cat house is something that they wanted to do, and I gotta say it turned out pretty cool.
The time we spent building and painting it, was a great way for us to spend time together and to keep the kids minds occupied.
Cook & Bake 👩🍳
In our house, we love to eat. I would have to say mainly because my bear-like husband doesn’t stop eating. We need a side job just to feed that man. If you have a man living with you, you know what I’m talking about. Thank God we had girls. I can’t imagine 3 boys eating up the whole house.
If you have children, you know they are miniature food monsters too.
It is impossible to go a day without hearing “I’m hungry” 10 times a day 🙄
Just thinking about it makes me want to go hide in my closet.
Instead, what I have done is slowly teach them how to make their own meals. I gotta say they are getting pretty good at it.
Getting your kids involved with cooking is a great opportunity for them to express their creativity and learn how to fuel themselves properly.
When we want to be a little naughty — we bake!
Kids and sugar shouldn’t go together, so you need to be careful with this one. But, this one can be super fun for them. There are tons of fun recipes out there.
My oldest daughter has been developing her cake making skills and according to my husband, she has a gift 😂 Then again, he will eat anything in front of him. But, I think he’s right, she’s getting really good at it.
If you are at home with your kids, you know that in just a few hours they will turn your house upside down. Mine, are walking tornados🌪 . This is an area that as parents, we need to get better at keeping them in check. But, cleaning and organization is absolutely necessary.
Although, they can’t stand picking up their rooms because it is “boring” — they know the importance. Rally up your kid(s) and give them time to pick up their rooms and organize any sections of the house they have destroyed. Us parents picking up their mess will only lead them to thinking that this is ok — it’s not.
Plus, it gives them something to do.
Read Together 📚
Reading time is a staple in our house. My husband is a book worm, so luckily he has passed the gene on to the girls. Our daughters love to read books and take occasional trips to the library. They love to check out their own book choices and come home and read together.
I believe it can be tough for some children to pick up the habit of reading on spare time. For us, I think it became so easy and natural just because they have seen their father doing it for so long, they just picked it up.
Regardless, taking time to read to your kids is important. I like to read to them each night before bed. They have this strange obsession with staying up late, so, I use this little time to make them think they are staying up late and I read to them. My husband and I rotate nights where we put them to sleep and he does his reading to them as well.
Pray Together 🙏
Praying together is important. Kids need to understand that life is so much more than just them. They need to begin to see all of the small things in life that we take for granted each day. The simple fact that all 5 of us woke up this morning is a blessing in itself. We like to give thanks to God for our family, our home, our dog, our health, our transportation, our jobs, our friends, and pray for those that are less fortunate.
Praying together, is an opportunity to allow your children to slow down from all the craziness that is taking place around us today and stay focused on what is important. If we don’t teach these things within our home, it will be more difficult for your children to visualize this when they get older.
So this one is on our To-Do List.
We haven’t gotten around to this one just yet, but my husband built my father a vegetable garden out of wood. My dad filled it up with soil and has been growing fresh vegetables in his backyard ever since.
I loved the idea so much, and so did our kids. We are planning to buy the materials and make another one for our backyard soon.
Gardening seems to be a great way to relieve some stress and teach our kids something new, while keeping them occupied and engaged.
Final Thoughts 💭
We are going through a difficult time right now. People have had to adjust a- lot just to adapt. When you throw children into the mix, things become more delicate.
In my opinion, this is just temporary. Eventually, things will get easier, but for now, we must keep our children’s mental and emotional health top of mind more than ever.
By keeping your children engaged and active through their days, you can help ease this transition in their little lives and help them understand that life will change and things come and go. But, the real value is sticking together as a team and finding ways to keep moving forward.