Working remote has become the new norm over the past couple of weeks. And on top of it, your kids are home, too. Check out this list of activities that keep your children engaged and teach them to keep themselves busy while you’re working.
- Art (preschool & up). Art projects can keep some kids occupied for hours. However, if this is to be an independent activity, children should be able to do most of the setup and clean up on their own. So keep it simple! For younger children, do projects that don’t require cutting, or you can do the cutting in advance. For the youngest kids, this might be as simple as coloring.
- Reading (8 & up). To encourage reading, let kids choose their own books. Plus, pick a few, yourself, in case they are unhappy with their choices later. Better to return some unread than to not have a good book when they need it. If you have an e-reader or tablet, that’s great, but having some old-fashioned books on hand may encourage browsing, which can turn into reading.
- Audiobooks (Preschool & up). With audiobooks, kids can learn to appreciate the art of storytelling even before they learn to read. And kids who do read can expand their horizons. Those who aren’t strong readers can still enjoy a good book.
- Educational Games (Preschool & up). If you have a computer or tablet available for your kids during work hours, educational computer games impart a little learning and some fun at the same time. These games keep kids thinking, and that keeps boredom at bay.
- Naps (Until 4 – maybe!). Some work-at-home parents work during nap time and get a lot done. But this won’t last forever. Keep in mind that napping habits change frequently. Don’t schedule important phone calls or plan to meet a deadline during the nap time.
- Toys (Toddler & up). Sounds obvious, but any parent who’s sifted through the toy box just after the holidays knows how quickly kids can lose interest in their toys. Put away some toys for a period of time. When they come back into the rotation, they’ll seem like new. Board games, cards, construction toys, trains, playsets and puzzles are just a few of the items that can keep kids engaged for hours. But sometimes they have to be reminded of these toys.
- Imaginations (Toddlers & up). This is not something you can mandate or count on, but when it happens, it’s a beautiful thing. Younger kids are naturals at this, creating elaborate fantasies with stuffed animals or action figures. With older kids, you can encourage their imagination by suggesting they produce a play or write a story. And along these same lines — in that it’s difficult to compel but wonderful when it happens — are playing with pets or making music.
- Playing Outside (School age & up). The feasibility of this depends on your home’s set up and children’s ages – and any social distancing restrictions that may be in place – but it’s something to think about. Consider a scavenger hunt and have kids find a list of items in the yard.
Source: Verywell Family