Millions of people worldwide are being affected heavily by the current situation, and parents are among one of the hardest-hit groups. Suddenly, it has become necessary to undertake some homeschooling, whilst perhaps also still having to go to work. Keeping the kids entertained during lock down can be difficult, especially when they don’t fully understand why they can no longer visit their friends or extended family.
So, here we have some great tips which will help parents find ways to keep their children entertained and educated in spite of the situation we find ourselves in presently. Of course, many parents are out of work for the time being, so we have made a special focus on budget-friendly or even free ideas. Hopefully these pieces of advice will make these times less stressful and more enjoyable for the whole family.
Establish a Routine
The routines of most children will have been completely turned upside-down, and this can be stressful for them, as well as for parents. Many children thrive on routine, so try to create a new routine with time set aside for homeschooling, exercising, meals, and of course, free time to relax or play. Even younger children who aren’t being homeschooled can also benefit from a routine, as they will come to know what to expect each day. Make sure to have some time off from homeschooling during the weekends and holidays. It can help parents to plan their days better if a timetable or routine is set out – they should ensure they factor in a break for themselves too. Being at home with the kids all day and trying to keep them entertained and educated can be very stressful!
Stay in Touch with Friends and Family
Keeping in touch is very important when face-to-face contact isn’t possible. Children will miss their friends greatly when they find the amount of time spent with them is suddenly greatly reduced. Grandparents and other family members will surely miss the kids too, so will appreciate the effort to stay in contact. Contact with friends and family is great for everyone’s mental wellbeing, too. Texts and phone calls are great, and exchanging photographs and videos is ideal too. To make the contact as life-like as possible, video calling is a great idea. There are many services which allow this to be done free of charge, such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Skype. Video allows adults to read stories to children, and children can show their friends and family what they have been up to.
Enjoy Learning Together
Suddenly having to homeschool a child can be a daunting prospect for many parents. If your child’s school has given out some work to do from home, that’s great. However, there are many other ways you can help keep your child learning during these difficult times. Children can make drawings and cards to send to family members or perhaps to others in the community. It can really brighten up someone’s day to receive something homemade by a child!
Children can also practice practical skills such as cooking and baking, as well as helping with age-appropriate chores at home. These can even be made into lessons – talk about math when measuring ingredients. Even simple science lessons can be done in the kitchen, or using common household objects. There are plenty of easy projects to be found online. Perhaps the family can even enjoy learning a new language together. Again, there are plenty of free apps and online resources to help with this.
Treat them to a Small Gift
It’s understandable that finances may be tight for many families during the pandemic, especially if one or both parents are now out of work. However, children are sure to appreciate a small gift every now and then. There are many great options, and it doesn’t have to be something that will break the bank. Educational gifts which can help out with their new homeschooling curriculum are ideal, or perhaps some gifts to help them keep fit, such as a skipping rope or a ball game.
Creative gifts, such as craft kits, are also great to keep children occupied during their free time. Board games and puzzles can be enjoyed together by the whole family, and are ideal for helping everyone bond during these difficult times. You can find some cheap items here for girls and boys, which are sure to go a long way in keeping them entertained.
Don’t forget, when it comes to digital entertainment, there are plenty of cheap and free sources available. Services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Fire for Kids are all available for a low monthly subscription fee, and will provide hours of entertainment, and even somewhat educational content, for your child. There are also fitness classes, musicals, concerts and more, being live-streamed online.