Springtime is here and the season is changing to sunny days, green grass, and flowers. Typically, during the spring we celebrate the weather and a number of different holidays with picnics, trips to the park, and vacations with the kids. This year, however, things have changed. With the new virus pandemic, many of us have been forced into the quarantine of our homes. Everything from bars and restaurants to malls and shopping centers have been shut down to make sure everyone is staying safe. Some of the biggest shutdowns across the country were in school districts. Many schools have decided to air on the side of precaution and send students home until further notice. As parents, it can be overwhelming to think about how you will keep your kids entertained and busy during this waiting period. However, I assure you that there are a number of different things to do around the house that both you and your kids will love!
Include Them in Chores
Let the kids be a part of the new at-home routine and include them in cooking dinner, laundry, or doing weekly cleanings. Not only will this help you as the parent to get things done around the house, but it will keep them busy, productive, and possibly teach them new skills. For example, you can have the kids help with decluttering and sorting the kitchen pantry. Find a variety of storage containers and bins for your pantry that you think will help keep your supplies in a systemized fashion. Label each container for a specific item in your pantry and assign each child their own container. Allow them to sift through the clutter to find their item and organize it neatly in the container. Continue to do this until the pantry is clean — or until your child is ready to move on to another activity in the house!
Get Creative with Playtime
With the kids being home, playtime may last a little longer than usual so it’s important to just embrace it. Allow the kids to run around a little and drain their own energy with their siblings. While they may be able to entertain themselves for some time, they also may require a bit more of your attention for playtime as well. For this, thinking outside the box with playtime activities will help to keep you and the kids entertained for a longer amount of time. Build an elaborate pillow fort, play dress up, or organize a treasure hunt throughout the house. They’ll love each activity because it’s so different from their typical playtime and of course, they’ll appreciate the time spent with you as well.
Crafting and DIY
Crafting and DIYs are both great ways to keep the kids busy during their time at home because it allows them to think creatively and express themselves through their creations. From making slime to designing their own headbands and accessories, there are plenty of fun kid’s crafts and activities you can try for every child and age group. Get creative with how you implement them to make them fun for the entire family. For example, put your own kid-friendly twist on your adult crafting activities and set up a “Paint and Sip (Apple Juice) Party” in your own home.
Learning Tools and Apps
Even though the kids are home, don’t rule out learning as a way to keep them occupied. In many cases, your kids may love school and genuinely miss it. So, take complete advantage of that and set up times every day for them to learn through workbooks, reading, and online learning services. A popular learning tool for the tween age group is Adventure Academy.
The platform combines online videos, games, and puzzles with education so that the kids can play and you can have peace of mind in knowing that they’re still learning. If your child prefers hands-on learning, you can find at-home learning kits that allow them to try different science and art projects outside of their typical classroom.
Bring Board Games Back
Although they may be tucked away in a closet and covered in dust, this is the perfect time to pull out the board games. Being in such a digital age, many of us have retired our favorite physical board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue. However, with the whole family being home, board games may be the perfect way to keep the entire family entertained. While technology, of course, is still an option when it comes to playing games, it can often encourage your kids to play alone which isn’t always ideal for everyone. With board games, you get the same fun except it’s with the entire family. It’s a great way to bond with everyone!
Field Trip to the Backyard
With many malls, parks, and museums closed, you may be struggling to find ways for your children to get some fresh air as well. Although it’s not recommended to be out in public places at this time, you can still take advantage of the open outdoor space around your home. Allow the kids to explore the back yard and get a change of scenery from being in the house all day. If they get tired of the typical kickball or baseball games with each other, you can try something different like a nature discovery kit to help keep them busy while they’re out there.
Movie Night… Every Night
While you and the kids are home essentially every night, movies may become a part of your routine to keep everyone entertained. Thankfully with services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, you don’t have to worry about leaving your house because you have access to thousands of movies and shows when you enroll in their subscription services. You can watch some of the kids’ favorites like Frozen 2 or Jumanji: The Next Level, or introduce the kids to some oldies, but goodies, like The Sound of Music or Space Jam. Have fun with your movie nights and let everyone get a chance to pick a movie since this may become your nightly routine for a while.
Although it’s sometimes frowned upon, screen time may be just what you need to get some alone time as a parent and that’s okay. Designate a certain amount of time for the kids to watch their own shows and videos so that you can rest as well. However, the kids will love it if you join in on the fun to watch their favorite Youtube videos with them or even make Tik Tok dancing videos, too! Lastly, don’t forget to take this screen time to video chat family members and friends. Even though we can’t be in direct contact with everyone these days, technology has given us the opportunity to stay in touch virtually so we should certainly take advantage of that, too.
Just because the kids are home from school doesn’t mean that you can’t find fun activities for everyone. With crafting projects, board games, and movie nights, you are sure to create wonderful bonding experiences for you and your kids. So, there’s no need to worry about how to keep them busy. Try these quick tips and continue to think of your own creative activities and projects for the kids. Feel free to share them below and keep enjoying your quality time at home with your kids!