Are you and your kiddos stuck home because of the virus outbreak? Maybe you were already working from home and now have some littles running around making things just a bit more… interesting.
Or maybe, like me, you made the decision to homeschool your kids and you happen to also work from home.
It can be daunting, regardless of your situation. Combine that with the terrifying outlook of this virus and it’s a recipe for stress, anxiety attacks, and nightmares. I get it; I’m new to homeschooling and I’m also now the primary breadwinner of our household. And I’m a freelancer!! Our household routine has been flipped upside down. But here’s the thing: If you work with the flip, it’s easier to ride it out.
So, here are my tips for keeping your kids busy in positive ways while you’re working. You can also do any of these with your kiddos when you’re able to, as well, to bond with them while they’re home, whether that’s indefinitely or until public schools reopen.
If your kiddos are young, busy bags are great! And incredibly flexible, so you may not have to run out to the store to grab anything for them.
- Got some popsicle sticks, paper, and markers? Color the popsicle sticks different colors, cut the paper up (or tear it; it doesn’t have to be pretty!), color the paper pieces, and have your kiddo match them!
- Paper and anything to write with: Draw a few simple items like socks or a fish and two letters beside the item. Have your kiddo circle the letter that the item starts with.
- There are a TON of things to do for busy bags! I’ve made a public Pinterest board just for this, including ideas for older kids. Check it out here: https://www.pinterest.com/KijiArt/homeschooling/
Arts & Crafts
This one’s probably the most obvious: Let them go to town on art! Sketchbooks, paints, crayons, markers, modeling clay, whatever! Give them a workspace where they can work within your line of sight if they’re little, but otherwise let them go ham on some work! Let the creativity flow and they’ll be busy for a while.
Oh, I know, I know. Everyone says they’re so bad. But they’re really not. As mom to an autistic 6 year old, I can firmly say that educational apps/games/etc. are a GOLDMINE! My son has a hard time making eye contact, watching your lips when you speak, and generally paying attention to a person.
But a tablet or phone could hold his attention for HOURS if I’d let him. He plays games on ABCMouse, Khan Academy Kids, and others, and they’re irreplaceable for us! Especially since I purchased an ABCMouse subscription when it was on sale. But, even without it being on sale, I’ll absolutely be renewing it when it runs out. Both of my kids love it and it’s helped them so much! (And no, I’m not sponsored or in any way affiliated with ABCMouse. …But I mean, they’re free to hit me up. wink wink)
Should anyone be needing a device, I recommend a refurbished Apple iPad or a Kindle Fire. I don’t personally enjoy FreeTime, which you’re forced to use on the Kindle Fire Kids’ Edition, but that’s also an option. We’ve had 6 in the past and they always end up with issues. I’d recommend a Kindle Fire, downloading the apps you want, then turning on parental controls. If you’re not the techy type, though, then the Kids’ Edition may be more within your comfort zone.
If you have more than one kidlet and they’re old enough to play games together on their own, this is an excellent way to keep them busy, keep their minds churning, and promote cooperation between them! There’s a surprising amount of games that are cleverly disguised education.
- Monopoly: Obviously, Monopoly helps build math and money skills! (Just be careful they don’t incite a sibling civil war over it.)
- Money bags: A money-counting game better suited for younger kids.
- Alternatively, there’s also Monopoly Junior, for ages 5 and up.
- Scrabble / Scrabble Junior: Spelling and learning new words.
- And plenty more! I recommend the blog, My Little Poppies.
There are SO many things to do with your kiddos. When you’re done working, take a nature walk or walk the dog around the block (just maintain that 4-6 foot distance from strangers!). Play “I spy”. Should you be blessed with a fully-functioning set of lungs (thanks, asthma), maybe join the kids in a game of tag! This is your time to bond. Use it and embrace it! There can be calm in the chaos, you just have to carve the time out and figure things out through trial and error. It may take a bit, but you’ll get there!
Blessed be, loves. ❤
Links may include affiliate links. They are in no way sponsored and do not present any additional charges for you; they simply kick back a small commission my way. Thank you!