Whether you are now working from home because of the pandemic, or you’ve always had a work-from-home setup, this has never been as easy as others make it out to be. Those who need to go to the office for an eight-to-five job see work-from-home setups as the stuff fairy tales are made from. It is not. Rather, it is a lot of work to be able to finish a 500-word article or come up with a great marketing strategy while you are looking at familiar things… or simply put, while three kids are arguing over what to order for dinner.
If you are not thinking about how to keep your kids preoccupied while you’re all at home, then how are you surviving? You don’t need to be their source of entertainment. You don’t have to spend every waking hour thinking of different activities so as not to bore them. Your kids are their own persons, and so are you. If they have the right to enjoy their time, so do you. It is your right to be able to work in peace and enjoy your “me” time if you can carve one out for yourself.
Enroll Them in Classes
Classes don’t always have to be about academics. Your kids are going to get bored if they do the same thing every day—learn how to read and write, count numbers, and do science projects. The monotony will not be great for an age where they are constantly curious about everything that happens around them. You have to enroll them in classes that will stimulate their interests and passions. A lot of online enrichment institutions offer various lessons and classes—from music to arts to sports to coding to science and technology.
You don’t need to take your kids to a physical store. Rather, these classes are now being taught online. It’s the safest way amid the pandemic.
Give Them Tasks at Home
It might surprise you that kids actually love doing simple tasks at home. Just make sure to assign them to different tasks every day. For example, teach them how to fold the laundry on the first day. Then, on the second day, they can start putting the clothes in the right cabinets and drawers. This simple task will take an hour of your kids’ time, which means that’s an hour of peace and serenity for you.
Let Them Play Outside
Do you have a yard? Lucky you. A yard is the best playground for your kids. It is safe enough since you can work while looking out for them. Make sure that the yard has enough green space. If you can afford it, put up a slide, swing, see-saw, and monkey bar. Kids don’t just need their brains to be stimulated through academic work, but they also need to engage in physical activities that will benefit their motor skills.
Cook with Them
You’ve somehow always banished your kids to their rooms or the living room when you’re about to make dinner. How about letting them help you in the kitchen? You’re going to make a mess in the kitchen anyway, so why not turn this into an experiential activity for your kids. They’ll marvel at the way food is created. They will have a deeper appreciation of the dishes you serve them once they learned that the kitchen doesn’t magically cook them.
Experiment with Paint
No matter your kids’ age, playing with colors is always a fun thing to do for them. For younger kids, go with washable paints. This will preoccupy their time since they’ll be experimenting with colors. For older kids, make them choose between poster paints or acrylic paints. If they have a flair for painting, let them play around with good paints because you never know if you’re raising the next Picasso. Always be supportive of their endeavors, no matter how crazy those things may be for you.
Set up an Obstacle Course
You don’t have to set this up outdoors. Your home’s living room is a good enough space for a simple obstacle course. Kids love to run, climb, crawl, and roll. Give them the opportunity to do so. In return, they’ll spend most of their energy that they’ll fall asleep better, easier, and faster. You will then have the quiet time you need either for work or to give yourself a pat on the back.
Kids at home never go well together. Somehow, over the past decades, this new generation of tech-savvy individuals became impatient. It is generally okay to let them have a prearranged screen time, but it’s still up to parents and teachers to put their feet down when needed.