In this time where quarantine is the norm, families are spending more time together, and kids are at home more often than not, which, if we’re honest, can be both a gift and a challenge. Parents working from home are now faced with the unique challenge of trying to entertain their children so they can focus, and now more than ever, are realizing that their children demand quite a bit of attention. While you can turn on the television and hope that your children will be preoccupied for a while, they will eventually be bored and come to you with the next round of activities.
To help you save some time and hassle, here are some activities to keep your child(ren) busy during the quarantine. To help you a bit more, Compass Child Care is still open, and putting your child’s safety at the top of our list of priorities. Contact us at any of our locations in Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Isanti, and Blaine today.
Keep Them Learning
Learning, as I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, can be fun, if you facilitate it in a creative way. It doesn’t have to be tossing a math booklet their way and telling them to completed pages 1-17 (although that would work in keeping them busy) — it can be as simple as giving them a math equation or a spelling word on the spot and having them work it out on the windows with dry-erase markers. Dry erase markers on the windows can be fun for children, because it’s like writing on the wall, but can be easily cleaned up.
Get their Creative Juices Flowing
Another fun and creativity activity that involves some critical thinking and problem solving is asking them to pitch a tent or a fort with the resources you have in your house, your backyard, or at a park. It helps teach your kids resourcefulness as well as innovation, but will likely keep them busy for at least an hour before they get the project done!
If you want to keep them inside and avoid turning your house into one big playpen, then sit your kids down with some Play-Doh, art supplies, puzzles, audiobooks, or LEGOS. Young children need activities that will help their language and their cognitive development, and playtime as simple as this can help with their development more than playing games on your computer or iPad will. If you don’t have these resources, then try putting an audiobook on for them, and let their imagination do the work for you. Choose something from the children’s and young-adults section, like Harry Potter, that will keep kids interested for hours to come.
Compromise When You Need to
If your children insist on watching television or a movie, and you’re at your wits-end with trying to convince them otherwise, then make a deal. Tell them that they can’t sit down in front of the television until they have read a book, or at least a couple of chapters of one. Don’t let them grab the first picture book they see, challenge them with a book that might be a step above their reading level. This will help sharpen their language tools, and will also limit their screen time.
Take Advantage of Technology
Technology might very well be your greatest tool during this quarantine. Livestreams of zoos aquariums, and even in national parks, can entertain you kids as they watch animals live and interact with other animals in their habitats. You can check out this open sea cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or choose from a variety of live cams that include the coral reef cam, the moon jelly cam, the sea otter cam, and more! Explore Livecams also has a wide variety of live cams that bring African wildlife, bears, oceans, and the Aurora Borealis to your home. After your children have watched the livecams for a while, encourage them to look up facts and information about their favorite animal that they saw, and present you with the information when they’re finished.
If all else fails, tell them that they can travel the world on Google Maps. Simply let them choose anywhere in the world and drag the person icon at the bottom right corner of the screen to give them a street view. Let them explore cities on the other side of the world, and you could even encourage them to learn about the culture and the history of the city they’re in.
Work Out Together
Your children need exercise as much as you do, perhaps if not more. Try to get your children involved in your daily activities. If you usually have a morning workout planned, then let them do it with you. You can even invite them to join you in your relaxation practices, like mindful breathing or meditation. All of these activities are great ways for your child to relax and also helps you relieve a little stress. Another great way to exercise together is to take walks around the block. They are able to get some of their energy out, but you can also take advantage of the opportunity by creating a scavenger hunt, or teaching them about the natural world around them.
Cook With Them
If you don’t trust your child alone in the kitchen just yet, then take an hour break or so to let them help you cook or prepare lunch. You can prepare something as simple as a sandwich, or let them help you cook a meal. Cooking is a lot of fun, and it can give your child a new appreciation for the meals you cook them, or at least give them the foundation needed to appreciate learning how to cook for themselves as they grow up. You can also use this as an opportunity to teach them about the importance of nutrition.
Do What You Can Do, to the Best of Your Ability!
While these tips will likely help to keep your kids busy, remember to take it easy on yourself. These are unusual and unprecedented circumstances, and life is hard enough. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know the answers your child is asking, or if you have all of the resources to keep them busy while you try to get work done. Do what you can to the best of your ability, and remember that this pandemic won’t last forever. Your child may not thank you now, but they will thank you later.
If you need some extra help taking care of your children, then come on over to Compass Child Care! We are still open, and welcome you and your kids. We have convenient locations in Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Isanti, and Blaine. Contact us today for more information.