As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape daily life, parents everywhere are coming to their wits' end about how to keep their kids entertained. After all, it can feel like there are a lot of hours of daylight left after the homeschooling material is finished.
If you've found yourself in this boat, you are not alone. In this blog, we're sharing a few of our favorite ways to keep the kids occupied and maintain your sanity until life goes back to normal.
Let's dive in.
5 Kid-Friendly Activities for Long Days at Home
Whether you've got a toddler or a teenager, these tips can help you all stay sane and safe at home.
1. Start a Craft
Right now is a great time to learn something new. Depending on your child's age and ability, it could be painting, building a birdhouse, knitting, or even drawing on the sidewalk in chalk—bonus points for taking this activity and making it into a gift or keepsake for someone special. Grandma would love a hand-painted card this year for her birthday!
2. Reach out
We all have people in our lives we don't talk to nearly enough. If you're at a loss as to what to do with all this free time, consider getting in touch with a few of those people. Use FaceTime to call family members or loved ones, or encourage your teenager to hop on a Zoom call with all the school friends they can't see right now.
This is also a great time to hold a few big family check-ins and get yourself and your kids on a call with distant friends or relatives. Although we're all separated right now, that doesn't mean we have to feel disconnected.
3. Get Outside
If there's a place where it's safe to do so in your area, get outside. Pack a picnic and take it to the lake, go for a walk around the neighborhood, or spend a few hours on the deck or patio in the sun. It's tough to be cooped up all day, and, now that the weather is getting nicer, soaking up some Vitamin D is a critical mental health step. To stay safe during your excursion, follow this recent guidance from Harvard Medical School.
4. Play a Game
What better time than now to reconnect with a family game night? Whether it's indoor hide-and-seek or a friendly (yet competitive) game of Monopoly, playing a game with the people you love most is an excellent way to pass the time. To involve your kids as much as possible, let them pick the game. Bonus points if they can introduce you to one you've never played before!
5. Cook a Meal
Cooking is a great way to spend some quality time together. To make the most of this social distancing period, learn to cook a delicious new meal together. This works best with teenagers and older kids, but you can also find a toddler-friendly recipe quite easily. For younger kids, try something interactive and delicious, like baking cookies or frosting cupcakes.
Pro Tip: You Have to Take Care of Yourself, Too
The demands placed on parents are massive right now, and it can be tough to keep up with it all. No matter how much you enjoy the quality time with your kids, being the teacher, the parent, the best friend, the cook, the nanny, and the housekeeper all at once is exhausting. With this in mind, make sure you're taking care of yourself right now, too.
Between checking off items on your to-do list, find time to relax and refill your own cup. Grab your favorite CBD gummy, draw a bath, and spend half an hour soaking with a great book. Alternately, pick up a meditative practice, go for a walk, or just carve out some quiet time each day. It doesn't matter what you do - only that you're being intentional about giving yourself some TLC, as well. Ultimately, this will make you a better caregiver and less likely to pull your hair out before quarantine is over.