With the recent Covid-19 pandemic many of us parents have been picking up a few additional, unexpected full-time jobs including homeschool teacher, activity coordinator and 24 hour entertainer. Schools closed, summer holidays are in full swing and the usual activities you would usually arrange for your kids are not currently available. Most of us parents are used to the 6 weeks summer holiday period, but with lockdown extending back from March, is anyone else running low on inspiration and ideas?
I don’t know about you but I’ve definitely been guilty of sitting them down in front of the TV or giving them an iPad to keep them entertained whilst I attend Zoom meetings and attempt to get some solid work time under my belt. Desperate times call for desperate measures? However, despite the benefits this has for my work schedule, this often comes with an abundance of mum guilt.
To help you achieve peace of mind, a moment of calm and with happy kids we have come up with a few ways to keep kids busy and distract them at home in a positive way (without the TV!).
How to keep kids busy
Reading is an amazing and a mum-guilt-free way to keep kids busy and can be part of their homeschooling activities too. If your kid is already a lover of books, put in an order on Amazon or do a book swap with friends. Some new stories could be all it takes to entertain them for hours whilst you have a moment of calm. Why not also set them up in a cosy reading corner?
If your kid (like mine!) isn’t a lover of reading, a perfect alternative is audio books. Nearly all books have an online audio version that they might enjoy more. Harry Potter narrated by Stephen Fry is a personal favourite and always helps me to slip into a calm mind state. Fingers crossed this works on restless kids too!
Now more than ever we all need a bit of fun and creativity in our lives. Whether it is a colouring book, painting in the garden, drawing with chalks on the pavement or something more ambitious such as building a playhouse out of boxes. Warning: you will probably be too tempted and join in too!
Let them to help you
Whilst juggling your 3 new job titles of homeschooling teacher, activity coordinator and 24 hour entertainer, there leaves little room for life’s other little tasks. To help you out and keep kids distracted at home, simply let them help you. This could be cooking in the evening, cleaning the car or hoovering the carpet. Win win for you and your kids!
Keep a diary
Especially if you have older children, it can be particularly difficult to find something to keep your kids distracted at home. What they are experiencing is strange and rare, and keeping a diary every day will help them to express their thoughts and feelings, and also act as a keepsake to look back on when they are older.
Playdates are an ideal way to keep your kids distracted during the summer holidays. Not only do your kids get to see their friends, play and enjoy some other company, but as parents you can switch up who hosts the playdate. You will each get an afternoon to yourself to take a deep breath, have some me time or get started on that to-do list. What could be better?
If however you are currently shielding, you aren’t in the same bubble or suspect social distancing rules would be hard to adhere to, online playdates are a great alternative!
If you are still stumped for ideas on how to keep your kids busy, ask yourself what you did when you were younger without TV? You can never go wrong with the classics… ‘it’, hide and seek and treasure hunts.