10 things to keep the kiddos busy at home
Most of the country (and the world) is in the midst of an unexpected staycation. While this is a crucial step to combat the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, some of us are running out of things to do with ourselves, not to mention the kids. We are all at home, now what? We’ve come up with a list of things to do that are safe, fun and healthy!
1. Set a Routine
Kids thrive when there’s a schedule to follow. Grab a big poster board and set some parameters for the day. Having a plan that includes quiet time, chores, schoolwork, mealtimes and some rewards (earned screen time, dessert) will make the days a little more structured and help everyone feel a bit more centered. And sure, staying in pj's all day seems like fun, but maybe keep that for the weekends.
2. Keep Learning
Many schools are out for an “indefinite” amount of time, so keeping up with the lessons is crucial for so many reasons. Some schools have online learning set up, but there are also tons of great educational resources posted for free. Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities for kids.
3. Go Low-tech for a Sec
20 years ago, we didn’t have phones and tablets to keep us busy, but we found ways to keep boredom at bay. Remember card games? A game of Monopoly or a puzzle can fill up an entire day. Building forts, art projects and putting on impromptu plays and puppet shows can also spark the imagination and creativity to keep the little minds sharp and active.
4. FaceTime Playdates
Kids have grown up with this technology and can sit and chat with anyone from great Aunt Marge to their BFF for hours. Set up an age-appropriate game - both at their Lego sets and let them build “with” a friend. While you’re at it, lots of calls with grandparents will keep everyone’s spirits up. How about hosting a Skype dinner party? It will feel like you’re together, without all the dishes to do!
5. Storytime with a Star
Celebrities are making the most of this time (they’re self isolating too!) by doing what they do best – entertaining. Have Josh Gad (better known as Olaf to the kids) read them a bedtime story on Twitter or gather around the laptop and John Legend will serenade your household!
6. (Virtually) Travel the World:
It will be a while before we can all jump on a plane to see the different parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t see some of the amazing museums that we’ve been curious about. Travel and Leisure has virtual tours of 12 famous museums and galleries. Aim for one a day.
7. Get Exercise
We all need to move our bodies, and kids tend to have excess energy to burn. Learn a dance routine, make a TikTok video, do a family yoga or stretching session. If you’re lucky enough to have a yard, go play outside! The benefits (from mood to a better night’s sleep) are amazing!
8. Learn/Teach Life Skills
Sure, teenagers are a bit more self-sufficient, but they need some variety too. Why not pick a life skill to pass along to them? Teaching them to change a tire, fold a fitted sheet or balance a budget will be invaluable later in life and give you both a sense of accomplishment.
9. Cook Together
While we’re talking about life skills, great grandma’s cinnamon rolls aren’t just going to make themselves… Get the kids involved in age-appropriate tasks. Just remember that washing hands and wiping down counters is even more important than usual. More tips here!