How to keep your children busy whilst you’re working
By Jennie Waeland, April 20 2020
During the lockdown, we are spending all of our time in our houses most likely surrounded by family members and children. Of course, right now is the ideal time to be with family and to spend quality time together, learning and supporting one another. However, there is no denying that distractions and tensions can be at an all-time high whilst trying to co-exist in such close proximity, especially when you are working from home.
Here are some ways to keep your children entertained during this lockdown, whilst you are working or in meetings.
Now that children aren’t currently at school, they won’t be having their PE lessons. What’s more, it can be hard to give them sufficient exercise when they are limited to just one walk per day. Of course, it is essential to follow lockdown guidelines, so we have to get creative.
Why not have your children set up an obstacle course? Think ‘Sports Day’ style! This is a great way to keep your kids entertained for hours whilst building the course, the creative challenge will stimulate their minds and improve teamwork. Not forgetting the amount of energy they will burn off running and playing! This works best in a garden but definitely isn’t limited to it. If you don’t have an outside space, this can be set up anywhere in your home (as long as you don’t trip over it!).
You may have seen online recently that Fitness Coach Joe Wicks has launched ‘PE with Joe’. On a daily basis, Joe streams live fitness workouts tailored to kids on his YouTube channel ‘The Body Coach TV’. He sometimes even dresses up as characters like Spiderman and Scooby-Doo!
Are you a Strictly Come Dancing fan? Professional dancer Dianne Buswell has begun live-streaming yoga, dance routines, and workouts. These are recorded on Instagram live, usually in the morning and are also uploaded permanently onto her YouTube channel. Some fan favourites include Jive, Samba, and Cha Cha. This is a great way for your children (or even yourself) to learn new skills and stay entertained and motivated. She also has a dance video tailored specifically for children.
At-home pamper sessions
This may involve your attention more so than the other activities, so may be best for an evening or weekend. Nevertheless, it is a great bonding experience to do during the lockdown. There are many great DIY facemasks recipes online to make out of the food you will find in your cupboard. This is one of our personal favourites. Manicures, massages – you name it! This is a great time to bring to life your own at-home spa.
Start your own book-club
It is tempting to keep the children entertained by letting them watch TV whilst you are working. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, children need time to relax and watching TV can help with their development and creativity. On the other hand, with a lot of free time right now, reading is a great way to help their learning without it feeling like a chore. Starting your own book club is a fantastic way to keep them motivated to read and to have discussions about their books and characters. What’s more, you could invite their friends to join and have weekly video calls to discuss their opinions. This is a perfect opportunity to let them chat with their friends and feel motivated to read more.
Make a den
Who hasn’t made a duvet den at least once in their life? Gather together pillows, beanbags, cushions and blankets to transform your space into a cosy place to relax. This is a good way to help your kids feel like they are ‘elsewhere’ whilst being stuck at home. Add some fairy lights for extra magic!
DIY a rainbow
Recently, a trend has been circulating where houses are putting up rainbows on their windows or front doors in support of NHS services. Get crafty and encourage your children to make their own rainbow whether it be a drawing, made from ribbons or even a lego rainbow. This will curb their creativity whilst educating them on the community and the world around them.
Take part in a teddy bear scavenger hunt
Similarly to the rainbow, people have been placing teddy bears and other toys in their windows to keep other children entertained whilst on their daily walks. Get your children to choose their teddies and a location to prop them up. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for these teddies on your walks. You could even make it a competition for who can spot the most.
Create a fun song or dance to teach your children the importance of washing their hands
There’s no doubt that hygiene is crucial right now, and children should be reminded of the importance of washing their hands. Songs and dances can make this experience a lot more fun for the whole family. Take inspiration from this cute video of Dwayne Johnson singing Moana to his daughter!
However you are keeping your children busy during this period, know that there is no right or wrong way to do it. This is a new, scary situation for all of us and each day will be different. The most important thing is that we remain positive, hopeful and well-informed.