COVID-19 and the school strikes taught us how to be resourceful about entertaining kids at home. Here are five ways to make staying in easier, write Mary Higbe and Aly Lloyd
Whether you’re talking about the school strikes, or the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will forever be known as the year we had to stay home. We’ve picked up a few tips over the past few months and are sharing them with you, so if you have a bad weather or a sick day that keeps you and the kids housebound, you’ll be prepared.
Set aside time to be tech-free
Family game time is an excellent way to bring families together and get conversations rolling. Take time away from the screens and use board games for formulating strategy, sequencing, patterning and planning skills. Check out games like Dino Crunch, where players ages four and up have to rescue the dino eggs before the T-Rex leaps; Dance Charades, a musical twist on Charades; Banana Blast, where players roll the die to see how many bananas they get to pick from the tree tops; and Dragon Snacks, where players wave their hands to magically reveal the treasure in the dragon’s belly.
…But don’t feel guilty about allowing the use of screens
As long as the kids aren’t parked in front of a computer game or TV screen 24/7, don’t be afraid to let them use screens. After all, they need time to chill, and you need time to cook, clean, and get a moment to use the washroom or gather your sanity.
Use the time to teach kids age-appropriate chores
Unload the dishwasher together or set aside some time to dust the living room. Kids should help – after all, they live in the house too! Even little kids can set the table pick up toys, while bigger kids can do their own laundry and make their own beds.
Be sure to stick to a routine
Even when you’re not going anywhere, make sure you stick with a routine. Although it may be tempting, keep the alarms on and stick with your regular wake-up times. Get dressed, even if you’re not planning on going out. Have set mealtimes. All of these things keep structure in your household.
Whether it’s bad weather or COVID-19 that keeps you in the house, don’t be afraid to bring outdoor games to the rec room. Little kids can roll a ball around, while bigger kids can do yoga along with YouTube. Worried that traditional soccer will destroy your family’s collection of heirloom vases? Think outside the box! Check out Goliath Sports online – they have a toy called the Soccer Slider, which modifies the game of soccer and allows kids to stay active indoors.
Have a dance party
Dancing loosens up the muscles, relieves stress, makes people feel good and is a great break from your kids’ Netflix binge! Turn on the music and start grooving. Turn up the music, break out the video camera – or better yet, join in – as your kids bust a move!