Spending this time safely at home with your kids is something to cherish, but it comes with its own set of stressors; their rambunctious energy, for one! Keeping kids entertained is no small task, especially when your home is their only playground. So, we have compiled a few ways to keep the little ones occupied for hours, as well as things you can all enjoy together as a family during these less than normal times.
Crafts are always a good go-to, and with many of us missing loved ones, crafts can be a great way to build a connection with those we care for most, but from a safe distance. Care packages are an easy craft that can be made from simple items around the house and decorated with personalized designs.
Get a few boxes that can be painted with non-toxic paints and let the little one’s design one for each person they miss. Then, have them scavenge the house for items they want to add to each bag. Make it a game of who can find three items first, for added fun. Have them design and write a card as well, that includes a thoughtful message and once the packages are complete, take a little drive to drop them off on the doorsteps of each person, practicing proper safety measures. Or, mail them and jump on a video call to share in the opening of each package. This activity is a great way to spread kindness and check-in with those who you miss most!
Cooking and baking are another at-home craft activity that can keep the kids entertained for hours as they learn their way around the kitchen. Begin with searching for a healthy dinner recipe that can be made with pantry staples or whatever you have on hand. Let your kids have input, taking into consideration their differing tastes. Before heading into the kitchen, get crafty and let them design their own aprons out of old t-shirts, and once hands are washed, start gathering supplies to start cooking! Make it a cooking-style game show to keep them engaged, with the winner getting to pick what is for dessert! Be sure to include them in the clean up as well, teaching them proper sanitation and cleanliness methods as dinner cooks. Move on to baking next to make dessert. Cookies are an easy go-to and give you the opportunity to teach them how to follow and measure a recipe along the way. Once the cookies are ready, let them get creative with the decorating! Use up old frosting, sprinkles, or other sweets laying around in the pantry to make a yummy dessert your kids will be proud to share.
Quiet time together is important to unwind, reset, and bring some calm during these unnerving times. Fill this time with reading, whether it is out loud together, or quietly with your favorite reads. Take time to hunt through the bookshelves and pull books that have been on your to-read list and give your kids an opportunity to do the same. If there aren’t any that grab attention, look into eBooks from your library through the OverDrive app or audiobooks you can all tune into together. Find a comfy, well-lit area of the house that has minimal distractions, and take thirty minutes to an hour getting lost in the stories you each picked. Then, have a little discussion afterward about what you read to share in each other’s reads, or, for added fun, have the kids act it out!
Quiet time is also an opportunity to do some educational activities. Research different engaging lessons or crafty experiments that align with their current curriculum and intertwine them throughout the day to prevent monotony and fidgeting learners. This is a great way to connect with your kids and teach them something new. Think of some unconventional learning opportunities as well to mix things up and keep it interesting for your little learners. Teach them how to play music or take a walk and hunt for plant varieties or animal species, big and small, and explain each one’s purpose. Or, do at-home experiments with common pantry items, and do not be afraid to make a mess! Learning can come in many forms, so find the best ways to make it interesting and keep your kids engaged for hours as they learn something new.
Design a Space
Having a designated space for the kids to play can be a great way to distance yourself for a bit to get chores or work done without interruption while they entertain themselves. Create a play area out of a spacious spare bedroom or a finished basement. Paint it bright, fun colors, letting the kids help design the space with wall decals of their favorite characters or add a chalkboard wall for extra creativity! Look online for storage bins to keep their toys tidy and organized and include easy to clean surfaces and flooring options to ensure cleaning is a breeze. Invest in comfy seating like bean bag chairs, and tables for crafts, or even a nap time corner for when they finally run out of energy.
Think about designing a space for yourself as well. Create a reading nook or at-home spa with a few updates to the bathroom. Having an area to make your own and step away from parenting for an hour or two can help to clear your mind and feel more centered when it comes to taking care of your kids. With the need to spend more time at home, it is important to find ways to still find alone time, and these are great ways to create that space. But, with times being a little more financially difficult for some, it can be tough to design the playroom of your kid’s dreams or relaxing space, but there are a few options. Consider looking into different ways to afford a design project, like utilizing your home equity to make home improvements you have been waiting to do. With more time on our hands, get creative, and take your time with making your home a place you not only need to be but want to be.
Fresh air can do wonders for tiring little ones out and gives them plenty of space to work out that pent up energy. Play sports in the backyard or go for a walk on local nature trails. Get out of the house while still practicing proper safety measures and relieve some of that restlessness from sitting in your home. Take time to teach your kids new sports or outdoor activities like gardening. You might find they have a green thumb! Teach them about being self-sufficient with homegrown vegetables and fruits or let them help design a beautiful flower bed.
Create little greenhouses out of recycled bottles or jars to teach them how to sprout new plants from seeds. They will love watching them grow and seeing their hard work bloom! Check out our article about ways to keep your garden looking great all year round for more helpful insights into gardening. Having dinner as a family during these uncertain times is also a fun idea that can bring a sense of normalcy and be taken outdoors! Have a night spent grilling some of the fresh veggies from your garden and favorite meats you have on hand, then gather around a picnic table to enjoy a meal together.
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Written by Anonymous
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