Advised to stay home as COVID-19 progresses, many parents are being saddled with balancing the restlessness of kiddos and working from home or completing other tasks. It can be difficult to find ways to occupy such busy minds—and the drone of, "I'm bored!!" doesn't necessarily help the situation. If you're like us, you're probably desperate for some help along with that 17th cup of coffee? We've lined up 7 perfect ways to keep kids happy and busy during coronavirus home quarantine.
The New Work From Home "Business-As-Usual"
One of the biggest challenges in working from home isn't internet stability or lack of communication. Let's be honest. It's the co-workers.via GIPHY
These sweet, sticky, loud littles can quickly run amock without constant, scheduled distractions to keep them occupied. Keep them happy with activities that occupy them for long stretches of time so you don't have this happen in the middle of that important CNN call:
Here are seven tried-and-true ways to keep them happily busy:
1. Keep Kids Busy with Fun Crafts
Its times like these where Pinterest really comes in handy. There are lots of crafts that use natural materials you can find around your home. All you need are some scissors, glue, and a little imagination.
Fire Breathing Paper Roll Dragon Craft
This craft created by Debbie Chapman at onelittleproject is so much fun and interactive once completed! It only requires a few materials such as a paper roll, making it an easy craft to try out.
Paper Plate Butterfly
Wild and Three brings flight to paper plates in the form of a butterfly. The possibilities for decoration are endless, and it's a wonderful way to lift your kiddos spirits.
Here are some other great craft ideas:
- How to make your own bubbles.
- 16 fabulous coloring pages celebrating famous women.
- Make a mid-century modern shoebox house!
- Give your alphabet magnets a makeover.
- Get a head start on egg decorating.
2. Keep Kids Busy with Experiments
Experiments can do a lot to catch the attention of kids, while also teaching them at the same time. Meaning, they're especially useful to continue to keep the gears turning in-home quarantine as in-person schooling is held up.
Traveling Waters Science Experiment for Kids
Time to learn about colors and dyes! Active Littles put together this experiment that shows the movement of color as papers soak up different waters. It's pretty, interesting, and a great way to stimulate littles who are learning about color.
Bouncy Egg Experiment
This egg experiment by Steve Spangler Science, demonstrated by I Can Teach My Child, is a great learning opportunity for chemical reactions. (Calcium carbonate in the eggshell and vinegar) It also has that ounce of "wow" factor as it defies the egg's typical state.
Make DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Gel
This science project is less of an experiment than it is just plain useful for the family, but it's still a fun distraction for your littles. Our friends at Great Shea Butter made this super simple project that only requires 3 ingredients:
- 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
- 1/4 cup Beauty by Earth's Aloe Vera Gel
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil
Combine all of your ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
Using a funnel, pour the liquid into your desired container and voila! You've just crafted your own bacteria-killing hand protectant. Not a fan of Tea Tree oil? Try any of these anti-bacterial essential oils instead: Peppermint, Clove, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Thyme, or Rosemary.
You can even mix and match to get a unique scent. Throw in some Chamomile or Lavender to really bring in a unique, lovely aroma. If you have sensitive skin, avoid all citrus essential oils like Lemon, Lime, or Orange. These guys can irritate your skin, especially when you're using them on a regular basis.
3. Keep Kids Busy with Games
Games can be a formal board or video game, or they can be a simple make-believe creation. Whatever the case, games are always a great option for the kids.
Tape Shape Game
All this game requires is some floor-safe tape and a couple of ground rules! It's like an indoor obstacle course, with callouts such as "bear crawl to the square" or "hop like a frog to the line." Your kids will burn some energy and get active inside. Featured on Toddler Approved.
Wax Paper Figure Skating
Another way to get the kiddos moving despite being inside, wax paper figure skating is a whirl of fun. You can construct a competition, do a free skate, or create a rendition of freeze-dance in an area of your home with slick floors such as hardwood. Be sure to clear the area of obstacles and other hazards, though.
4. Keep Kids Busy by Story Writing/Performing
Another way to keep kids busy during coronavirus home quarantine is story writing because it provides a challenging creative outlet. If you're working from home or need a minute to get something done, send your kiddo off to do some writing. You can give them a fun prompt, character, place, etc.
For older kids, ask them to keep a journal of what it's like being home quarantined: what they did, ate, played, watched, etc. Not only is it a good learning activity for them, but years later they might really treasure their childhood insights about this strange period of time. Once they're done, they can come back and give you a short performance or reading of their piece.
Up the excitement by setting up a phone to record their performance. These short videos are great ways to stay close to friends and family via Facebook or Instagram while keeping your social distancing intact. Everyone's feed can use a bit more laughing kids!
5. Keep Kids Busy with Building a Fort
Building a fort is a quintessential rainy-day activity. It works just as well for home quarantine. Grab some blankets, chairs, pillows, and construct a little fort or camp in your living room or play area. You can give your kids free rein of decor on the inside, providing some things like fairy lights, fake plants, "artwork", or whatever you have around.
One of the best activities to do in an indoor fort/camp is flashlight reading. It makes reading their favorite book that much more special!
6. Keep Kids Busy with Cooking or Baking
Having your kids help you in the kitchen with cooking or baking is a fantastic way to give them a task. If you don't have time to run certain appliances or use tools during the day, one thing you can do is prep ahead. For instance, you could pre-make a batch of cookies, pancakes, etc., and have them decorate them later.
Another way is to plan a day for a more interactive lunch. These monster pizza bagels are so incredibly simple, customizable, and delicious. (They're also a nice way to use up some leftover veggies or sauce!)
7. Keep Kids Busy with Learning-Based Online Games
This generation is incredibly connected to the virtual world. Instead of sitting your little one down with a tablet or phone, why not incorporate some enriching programs? Stimulating their learning is important during this time away from school, and using supplementary programs is the perfect way to help. Here are just a couple of examples. (Some may have a fee.)
- Epic! - Kids' Books and Videos
- Lingokids - English For Kids
- PlayKids - Cartoons and games
- Papumba - Fun Learning for 2-6
We sympathize with all the parents trying to keep kids busy during coronavirus home quarantine during these trivial times. Remember to check in with yourself from time-to-time, and don't beat yourself up if certain days are more hectic than others. Need a little TLC? We have a bunch of great self-care products to explore, from bath bombs and beyond.
Love to you and your littles,