With all the craziness happening around us, we can’t help but think, “How am I going to entertain my kids at home for an unpredictable amount of time.” Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Have a movie marathon. Thank you Disney Plus for blessing our homes. Create a “must watch list” with your kids and cross them off every time they have finished one. This will provide a sense of accomplishment throughout the day and allow you the chance to finally put that load of laundry in the dryer you have been attempting all day.
Make cooking and mealtimes interactive. Whether you are having tacos and everyone has to “prepare” one item on the menu or making homemade pizza where everyone can make their own meal, you create a time away from screens and tablets and provide some “routine” to your day.
Spring cleaning came early. Go through your child’s toys with them and create a box for “keep,” “throw away,” and “donate.” Let your child decide what is important enough to keep around and what can move on to the next home for other children to enjoy.
Board games! This is a great time to blow the dust off those board games collecting in your closet and spend some time together as a family.
Easter this year just got a bit more “crafty.” Let your children make the decorations around your home this year. Feel free to be creative and make your own. Pinterest can also be your best friend on this one!
Lego Contest. Set a timer and have everyone in your home see what creative thing they can come up with. At the end of the set time, judge who came up with the “best creation.” The winner gets to pick what’s on the menu for supper that night!
For younger kiddos: “play car wash,” “animal bath time,” or “dishwasher.” Throw all your toys in the bathtub with some soap and some sponges and work together to give your toys a good cleaning. It is a great interactive activity that can keep your child entertained for a long time!
Update that chore wheel we have all been attempting to implement at home. This is a tough one, life is busy, and chores are no fun. Use the “I’m bored” excuse to help with tasks around the house. Write all the chores on a piece of paper and stick them in a bowl, when your child comes to you and says, “I’m bored,” have them pick a surprising chore from the bowl. You might find that excuse decrease quite quickly!
Check out apps such as Vooks, Montessori Crosswords, Toca Boca, Word Stacks, PocketPhonics, My Playhome, Dr. Panda, Peekaboo Farm, Fox and Sheep, Endless Number/Alphabet, or Video Touch.
The key to this is balance. Allow your child that quiet time to watch a movie/tv show or play a game console of their choice. With more time spent at home, the more time for your child to “beg for their tablets.” Give yourself some grace during the midst of all of this. Set aside the same time each day to put the screens away and help with chores or play with other toys around your house. The more consistent and routine this is, the easier it will be for your child to predict that time coming.
Stock up on the coffee, and good luck. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this unpredictable time.
Written by Avery Schick, Registered Speech-Language Pathologist with Wildflowers