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A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way kids play and interact with one another. Although the end of the pandemic seems to be in sight, keeping children entertained and out of trouble for the past year has been an ongoing battle. Eventually, families start to run out of new things to try that don’t require going outside.

 

 

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID

Reexamining your strategy to entertain your kids will go a long way toward making the remainder of the pandemic more bearable for everyone. Simple steps like allowing moderate amounts of social media and keeping laser printer toner on hand for print activities go a long way toward giving your kids the freedom to entertain themselves.

 

Arts and Crafts

Online schooling has made an effort to include art activities and education, but parents can add more. Tap into existing supplies at home or buy new ones to give your kids something innovative to try.

 

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID

 

You don’t necessarily need to buy entire kits or tools designed for only one type of surface. A few acrylic paint colors go a long way since they can be mixed and applied on wood, canvas and t-shirts and old sneakers, paper, cardboard and more. You can use glue to add new dimensions to projects or even make slime.

Encourage older children to watch online tutorials to learn new art skills. For younger children, a fresh stash of coloring pages can keep them occupied. Instead of running to the store to search for new coloring books, keep a stash of paper and printer ink on hand.

Have a supply of Canon printer ink or a similar brand ready for printing photos for scrapbooking. Young creative minds will love the opportunity to create their own colorful photo album featuring their family and friends.

 

Favorite Subjects

Kids who are less artistically inclined can still incorporate their interests into their games and online time. Students with an appreciation for science, history, language arts or math can take deep dives into specific niches that don’t get explored in-depth in school curriculums. For example, you may find that your budding young scientist has a particular interest in gemstones, rainforests or deep sea creatures.

 

 

There is a massive range of online educational games and even more apps for tablets and smartphones. Look for games that have a multiplayer or competitive angle to them to keep your child engaged. Join them when your schedule allows, even if it’s not your favorite subject.

You can also branch out into less-academic subjects like travel, sports and current events. Kids of any age can start researching places they want to travel and create a collage of their favorites. Many museums and other institutions have moved some of their features and exhibits online during the pandemic, so encourage your kids to find ways to digitally explore new places.

 

Siblings, Cousins, and Friends

Just because your child needs to avoid in-person contact doesn’t mean they can’t interact in other ways. Video and phone calls are great ways to stay connected without losing the ability to show things to each other or even play games.

 

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID

 

Video calls take up a lot of internet bandwidth, even on Wi-Fi, so you may need to set limits or ask your kids to schedule their calls, so everyone gets a turn without interruption. Phone calls are a great option as well, especially since so many providers now give unlimited minutes for smartphones.

Sibling interactions can be a challenge if they are prone to fighting or have wildly different interests. Instead of forcing bonding time, it may be better to allow them to cool off as needed, and then come back together to play when they’re both in the mood. A quiet activity like a craft may also help smooth things over without forcing interaction.

 

Allowing Social Media – A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home

Social media serves as a necessary connection between your child and others during this pandemic. Although there are important age limitations to consider, allowing some amount of social media helps give your child exposure to different opinions and ideas.

Facebook is one of the safest ways for teens to stay connected since parents can easily see who they’re connected with. Thanks to its restrictions on mature content, Tumblr may be another good option for teens who want to connect with fans of TV shows, books, movies, games and more. Both platforms have a minimum age requirement of 13, and parents should still make sure to talk to their teenager about the dangers of communicating with strangers online.

For younger children, try one of the moderated social media apps specifically designed for children. Some allow kids to post their own artwork and blogs, but since everything is moderated, it requires minimal parental oversight. Sites that allow kids’ art and writing gives them something to do other than browsing through others’ content, so they’re an excellent choice for encouraging creativity.

If you want to create a more curated experience for a large group of family or friends, consider setting up a Facebook group or a Discord server. Older relatives will probably be more familiar with Facebook, but Discord has more functions for video calls and streaming games, making it more popular with teens.

 

Taking Breaks

As the weather gets nicer, you can find even more activities to do outside. If you don’t have a big backyard, try to take the family to a park, outdoor event, farmer’s market or another environment where they can get some fresh air and feel less isolated. Even a weekly outing can make a huge difference in a child’s morale and energy levels.

 

Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home

 

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID – final thoughts

Keeping children occupied may be an ongoing struggle, especially when children miss major social milestones and events.

It’s important to continue to listen to your child if they have interests they want to pursue and give them a viable alternative if something isn’t possible due to cost or logistical constraints. With some patience and creativity, you can weather the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic and make the most of your time at home.

 

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Your Kids Busy at Home During COVID is a feature post 

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