Many parents work remotely or have begun to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many children who used to go to school full time are also now doing their school virtually. Parents experience the challenge of trying to work a full or part day of work while also supervising children who need to learn virtually.
Many parents are juggling the challenge of managing the responsibilities of their home, supervising children, and maintaining their work schedule.
Working from home with children can be challenging especially when you are teleconferencing, focusing on writing an email, or trying to balance a budget.
Children being kept home from school and daycare have completely upended any established schedules, leaving adults and kids disoriented and confused. Parents want to keep their children engrossed and busy so it is easier to work from home.
If you or your loved ones are experiencing difficulties in dealing with children, then know that you are not alone. Experienced therapists are available from BetterHelp, as well as resources and articles such as https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/parenting/i-hate-being-a-mom-how-to-deal-when-parenting-is-hard/.
Here are a few quick and easy ways to help your children explore their creative juices and have fun while they keep busy so parents can work:
One of the best ways to keep the child busy is to encourage the habit of reading. Buy books related to their interests by taking them to the bookstore to help you choose. You could also encourage them to exchange books with friends or form a book club.
Have them read a book of their choice and have a discussion with them about what the book is all about as soon as you get off from work. This allows your kids to play teacher while you play student. This can be fun and educational.
Arts and crafts
To keep your kids entertained and occupied during these unprecedented times, crafts can be one of the best options available to you.
Children can be encouraged to draw and even paint. Let them be more creative by adding texture to paintings by swapping in sponges, leaves, flowers, and fingers. This will keep them engaged for hours and inspire creativity and fun.
The children will aspire to make the best possible creations, which will also require a lot of concentration. While they create their beautiful artworks, you can participate in meetings. Even if you’re muted, you might want to stay away from particularly messy crafts, like glitter and spin art, until you can be more watchful.
If your child is old enough to handle scissors, they might have even more options, like collage, origami. Cutting develops fine motor skills, promotes grasp patterns, and helps improve focus and attention.
Make sure your child is old enough to avoid cutting themself or your belongings, or this may not turn out to be such an independent activity. Some origami only involves folding, especially if you pre-cut the paper. Paper doll clothes can also be pre-cut and just folded by the child. String games, like cat’s cradle, can also accomplish this.
Cleaning and sorting things
To keep your kid busy and engaged, you could also teach them life skills in the form of games.
Give your child old buttons or pom-poms and encourage them to divide the items into tins by size, shape, or color.
Kids love to organize and put things into piles. Different colors and shapes can encourage them to be more curious and have fun.
Alternatively, you could also fill a sink or tub with water. Give your child a sponge or a washcloth with a small almost empty bottle of dish soap. Throw in some small cars, plastic animals, toy food, etc., and let your kids clean and arrange them back to their designated shelves.
This could also encourage your children to help out with household chores.
If you don’t want your child outside while you’re working and can’t keep an eye on them, try setting up a campsite in the living room.
Make a tent and fill it with cozy blankets and sleeping bags for the ultimate hideout.
Siblings or friends can really enjoy themselves as they build pillow forts, eat snacks, and tell stories. This can give you some time alone while children act out camping skills in the safety of the house.
Connect with grandparents
One of the best ways to keep young kids busy is to help them reconnect with their grandparents. Grandparents often teach children valuable life lessons.
However, during the pandemic, it may not be easy to visit grandma or grandpa over the age of 65 years. They could be at serious risk for COVID-19.
However, you can channel your child’s creativity toward letter writing or picture drawing. Not only will your child learn a lesson in staying connected and being there for their elders, but the grandparents will also receive a nice surprise to lift their spirits.
Play online games
If you have a computer or tablet available for your kids during work hours, educational computer games can also be a good option to keep them busy.
They are not only fun but also impart learning. These games keep the kids thinking and occupied while keeping boredom at bay.
Consider setting a time limit in advance for electronic games, even educational ones, since kids can find it hard to disengage from their screens.
During such unprecedented times, parents likely need to make accommodations to keep their children busy as well as happy.
Often happiness can be as simple as an area for playing with toys, a quiet room for reading, or even a desk full of art supplies.
A little planning and proper supplies can achieve realistic goals and expectations for your family and you will be able to enjoy the extra time together and make the best memories.
[This post is written by Marie Miguel. Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.]