We understand: It has probably been difficult to find a “new normal” in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis. Events are canceled, schedules are being overhauled and many people are working from home. And since kids are home from school, too, the house may feel like it’s becoming a distracting, stressful place to be while trying to help them maintain a routine and education and get work done. This challenging season will pass, but until then, here are some ideas for things you can do with your kids while you’re working remotely.
Yes, the kids are still in school, whether they’re being tutored at home or going to class online. But creating a list of reading for them to do outside of their schoolwork is a great way to keep them occupied. Give them books to read that they’ll enjoy, and let them read just for the sake of reading, without giving them an assignment to go with it. You could take it a step further by offering to read with or to them whenever you have a chance.
Your family may have already done several jigsaw puzzles, but there are other kinds of puzzles you can do, too. Look up brain teasers and riddles for them to solve, or give them crosswords, Sudoku, Rubik’s cubes or word searches to complete. Many stores, both online and in the Central Virginia area, also offer puzzle kits that encourage kids to figure out how to take something apart and put it back together. You could go beyond these things by making up games to play with them or engaging in family battles of charades or hangman! These activities will occupy their minds and teach them to think critically while you’re doing your work.
Most kids enjoy drawing or coloring. Fortunately, even if you’ve gone through all of your coloring books or sketch pads, there are tons of free templates online that you can print out for them. Countless themes are available, too, so whether your kids like coloring Disney pictures, pictures of sloths or complicated mandala pictures, there are options available for all. You can even download Piedmont Eye Center-themed coloring pages at the bottom of this post. Take it a step further by challenging them to use only specific colors or make their own creative additions. Then display their pictures on the fridge so they can feel proud of their work.
Some of the most cherished possessions children can have are ones they’ve made for themselves. Encourage them to make puppets and dolls out of paper and popsicle sticks, or use household items like boxes, milk cartons, cups and string along with crayons, glue and markers to create other toys that they can have hours of fun with. If they make puppets, get them to come up with a skit to share with the family. If they make dolls, get them to come up with names and personalities for them. And don’t forget to help them learn proper safety with tools like scissors and glue guns. Engaging your kids’ minds like this will help them be more creative and encourage them to use their imaginations.
Toss a Ball Outside
Take a break from being indoors by going out into the yard or to the park. Offer to play your kids’ favorite sports with them outside, like tossing a ball or frisbee back and forth, shooting hoops or riding bikes through the neighborhood. This will give them the opportunity to let off some steam and get some exercise when they’ve been cooped up in the house all day.
Cooking and Baking
While baking and cooking are things that you’ll want to supervise your kids while doing, it’s also a great way to teach them life skills early on. Get them excited about it by teaching them how to make their favorite meals themselves, and find easy recipes that they can follow without much help. To help with this, we’ll even be sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes on our blog! Encourage your kids to bake their own desserts, too, whether they be chocolate chip cookies, pies or no-bake eclair desserts. That way, their reward for their work is getting to eat it!
These are just a few of many activities you can give your kids to do to keep them occupied in their spare time. Remember to reward them for jobs well done, give them plenty of encouragement and remind them to practice good hygiene. Also, keep an eye out for more tips and suggestions like these from us in the near future!