2020 has been a game-changer for many of us. The arrival of COVID has made working from home a necessity. Now it looks like the new normal is set to continue long into the future. So how do you balance working from home while homeschooling? The guilt of putting all of your attention into your work while letting your little ones have way too much screen time can feel overwhelming. But splitting your time between the two can often be difficult and impractical.
We’ve put together some great ways to keep the little ones entertained to help you get some work done. These activities are designed to keep your little ones active, creative and full of fresh air while you get lost in your laptop.
Activities to keep fit
Dance and movement are a great way to keep the kids occupied, and healthy while stuck at home. There are many excellent dance videos online, and you can even hook the kids up with their friends for an interactive zoom dance party. Working from home doesn’t mean working alone if parents can coordinate their time with other parents, they can take turns to play host.
PE at home
Many online fitness gurus have been trying to bridge the gap and help out kids at home by offering free online gym classes. Many classes are live and interactive and great for keeping kids engaged and healthy while allowing parents to get on with some work.
Kids yoga is a great way to get the kids moving and to keep them fit. It also helps them to centre themselves and be mindful, which is becoming ever more critical in the times of COVID and the impact the pandemic is having on our kid’s mental health.
Balloon volleyball offers the kids a chance to get sporty and competitive while minimising the damage to your house. Be warned though, blow up quite a few balloons, I’ve found the kids enjoy bursting them as much as they enjoy beating each other.
Creative play doesn’t have to consist of just the usual rock painting and chalking the garden path. I’m sure all of us have exhausted the traditional tried and tested methods for keeping the kids out from under our feet.
Spider webs aren’t just for Halloween. Kids enjoy making spider webs year-round. Grab some balls of yarn or wool and let them go crazy making spider webs in hallways and string mazes for their favourite teddy to get stuck in. We love this guy. He looks like he would spend quite some time trying to get out of the maze.
Paint a mural
If you’re feeling brave, you could choose a wall in the house to let the kids paint. They can paint it like a mural straight onto the wall, or you could cover the wall in paper and let them paint till their heart’s content.
Teddy Bears Picnic
Except instead of teddy bears how about these guys? How cool would it be if you managed to get all of them to have a picnic together? Except instead of a picnic they could have a monsters ball or a dinosaur jam. The possibilities are endless to fuel their imaginations.
Getting the kids outdoors in the garden for independent play can be difficult when they’re glued to their screens. It can be even more challenging when it’s cold, and you feel guilty for throwing them out there. Fresh air and outdoor play are important, and we have some great tips.
Yes, gardening, get the kids set up with their own little area to look after. You’ll be amazed by how much they love getting their fingers green. If they start gardening young, it helps to teach them sustainability and how things grow. This is a brilliant exercise for them, and all you have to do is set it up and give them a little coaching. They’ll be happy to tend their little gardens after that.
This will inevitably end up with the kids getting wet, and that’s fine. Kids enjoy getting wet, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes and if you wrap them up well enough, there’s no reason you can’t put a big bucket of soapy water outdoors for bubble games.
We love a mud kitchen but be warned it won’t be clean. The kids can play mud pies and at some point probably try to make you eat them. Mud kitchens are so much fun. It’s back to basics outdoor fun and imagination that’ll keep them occupied for hours.
Working from home with kids around is never going to be easy. Feeling torn between being a good employee and a good parent is a horrible position, but with a little planning and some good ideas, it can be easier.
What are your best ideas for keeping kids busy while you work?