These are extraordinary times. For many families out there, being in lockdown and needing to educate (= homeschooling) and entertain their children can be a daunting task.
Even though you might not connect my Online Tech Consultant and Personal Assistant Business with educating and entertaining children, I feel the need to contribute and share some information that might be helpful and stress relieving. As an INFJ (this is my MBTI Personality – read more about it here), I strongly feel the need to helping people through these difficult times.
While it may seem OK to keep your children entertained by watching cartoons or playing computer games on a rainy Sunday afternoon, (even though I would not recommend it), this is not something you can keep them occupied with over a longer period of time. Depending on where you are in the world, some activities outside your home might still be possible, even though, it seems we are all heading in the same direction, which is a total lockdown. Families with a garden, have more resources to keep their kids busy (if the weather permits), but there will still be moments of boredom and the desire to stay in the house with their parents, while these are busy trying to get some ‘work from home’ stuff done.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your children are learning new things, but also have a great time during the lockdown.
Set up a routine
Just as it is a golden rule of thumb for adults that are now working from home, it is even more important to kids, to have a daily routine.
You could use a simple Google Spreadsheet to create a weeks schedule for the whole family.
Here is an example I put together which you can copy (click File > Make a Copy) and adapt to your own situation.
Keep them in the loop
As it isn’t easy for us adults, to deal with the isolation, it is even harder on children, especially when they are too young to understand what is going on and why they can not do the things they used to. With older children, you can explain what is happening, and why life will be different for a while. Make sure they know it’s only temporary and that things will be OK. Even with smaller children, you can try to explain, kids, understand more than we think sometimes.
Make time for online socializing
It is important to us to keep in touch with friends and family, so don’t forget that your children also have friends they miss as they can’t go out to play with them, they can’t come down for a sleepover. Make sure you take out some time to let them connect, with grandparents, and other family members, but don’t forget their friends. Get in touch with other parents and find a way you can set up a Zoom Call for the kids to get online together with several friends at the same time.
Don’t forget physical activities
Even when not allowed outside, there are plenty of exercises you can do to keep your child active. You can set up an obstacle course with pillows and chairs to jump over, on or under, they will love doing it, and it will keep them busy and active. You could make a tape trail for them to follow, or check out Youtube for kids workout and find lots of videos to get some of that energy flowing.
Here are some links to articles with more ideas:
Learn from home
In some countries, schools are offering online classes, to make sure kids keep up with what they need to learn. However, other schools are not offering these and it may be important as a parent, to homeschool your children, or at least have them do the necessary exercises to keep up with the schoolwork.
Follow these links for educational information:
Keeping kids entertained a whole day long, while in an enclosure, may not be something you were prepared for. But it is the ideal time to develop their creativity. As I said, on a rainy day, they may be stuck to the TV or Computer screen, but now they need more variety of things to do to keep them occupied.
A fun and educational way to learn science through experiments:
Siemens’ DIY Science challenges
Storytelling for children with Audible:
Create your own Escape Room at home:
Free downloadable escape game
Go to Pinterest and search for escape rooms for kids
Create puzzles that the kids need to solve:
As in my previous post about 7 Tips To Help You Succeed When Forced To Work From Home I prefer to use free resources.
I have tried to gather some useful information to help parents with children through this tough period.
Should you still run out of ideas, then go and check out this website: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/ (Thank you, Abbey, from The Virtual Savvy)