With schools officially closed until further notice, many parents around the country find themselves in a unique dilemma: What will the kids do at home all day?
It’s one thing to keep children entertained on weekends and holidays, but filling in their weekly schedule for an indefinite period is an entirely different story. Kids get bored quickly. And when they do, they become restless.
Even if you’re not working from home these days, you need to come up with ideas to capture your kids’ interest, so you can get things done around the house. These high-impact activities will keep the kids learning, growing, and – most importantly – occupied while they spend the next few weeks at home.
Ask their help with chores.
While “fun” isn’t a word most grown-ups would use to describe chores, it’s not the same way for kids. Children, especially the little ones, often enjoy helping with adult duties.
Household chores aren’t just for the older kids; even toddlers can pitch in and perform simple tasks like sorting the laundry or keeping their toys after playtime.
If you want, you can set up a rewards system and pay them for every task they accomplish. This will not only encourage your children to do their part at home; it’s also an effective way of introducing a valuable lesson in financial literacy for kids: money doesn’t grow on trees – you have to work for it!
Prepare meals together.
You have more meals to prepare now that the whole family’s home all day, so here’s an idea: instead of trying to keep your kids occupied while you’re making brunch or dinner, why not invite them to the kitchen to help you? Your kids will surely love it!
You can also set a weekly cooking or baking day where the littles can get involved in the entire process – from choosing the recipes to the actual cooking or baking. This will give them something to look forward to all week!
Art projects will make the tots busy for hours on end. You can find plenty of art project ideas online for kids of all ages. If you have toddlers, keep things simple like coloring books or something that does not require cutting or creating a lot of mess.
Another excellent way for children to express their creativity is through painting. You can use brushes; you can also go crazy and paint with your hands and feet! Just make sure to cover up the space with plastic or use tempera paint for a stress-free clean up afterward.
Find time for reading.
Most kids nowadays can read well at age 7 or 8, and reading can be a fun and educational pastime for them. The key is to choose books that match their reading proficiency. Giving a struggling reader something difficult to read might make them detest the activity.
If your young’uns can’t read yet or have trouble reading, try audiobooks. Listening to audiobooks will help make your kids appreciate the art of storytelling even before they learn how to read.
Set a regular screen time
Most parents want to keep their kids off the TV and computer games, but giving your youngsters some screen time while school is closed can be beneficial if you use them wisely.
Parents who are busy working from home can make the children watch educational shows, so they learn something new for the day. Playing educational computer games is also a productive independent learning activity that keeps boredom at bay.
If you decide to have screens available to your children for the next few weeks, though, set a regular schedule to let your kids know when they can have screen time and for how long.
We hope these activities can somehow help you enjoy and make the most of your time with the little ones at home. Good luck!
About Samantha Green
Samantha Green is the Content Marketing Strategist for the MCA award-winning app, BusyKid, the first and only chore and allowance platform where kids can earn, save, share, spend, and invest their allowance. A mom of two, she enjoys spending time with her kids and reading books to them