While the COVID-19 crisis is causing a lot of hardships, one of the biggest things people are struggling with is parenting during this time.
While we all love our children, trying to keep your kids entertained and happy around the clock can be difficult, especially if you also need to work from home during this time.
If you’re looking for ways to spend quality time with your family while relieving stress, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out this guide to discover the top parenting ideas to embrace during the COVID-19 crisis.
The coronavirus has disrupted our daily work, school, and home routines. This is hard on everyone, but can be especially hard for children, as children thrive on routine and consistency.
While you don’t need to have every hour of every day planned out, you should try to create a flexible schedule for your family so you can maintain some structure in your household. This schedule should include organized activities as well as free time.
If your children are old enough, you can even have them help you plan out their routines. While each schedule will look different according to your children’s age and the needs of your family, here’s what a sample schedule may look like:
- Before 9 am: Wake up, get dressed, make your bed, and put pajamas in the laundry
- Light Exercise 9:00-10:00 am: Go for a family walk (if permitted in your area) or do a yoga session at home
- Academic Time 10:00- 11:00: This means electronics should be put away and your kids should focus on their studies or other learning activities
- Creative Time 11:00-12:00: This may include drawing, playing music, crafting, cooking or baking. Again, this should be an electronics-free time
- Lunch 12:00: This is a great time to get kids involved in the cooking if time permits
- Chore-Time 12:30: Rotate chores throughout the week so every child is doing their share
- Quiet Time 1:00- 2:30: This time can be used for reading, doing puzzles, or napping
- Academic Time 2:30-4:00: If you have an iPad or tablet with educational games, we suggest permitting electronics during this time. Otherwise, you can engage in your normal academic routine
- Afternoon Fresh Air 4:00- 5:00: This can include going for a bike ride, walking, doing yoga, gardening, or playing catch in the backyard
- Cooking/Dinner 5:00-7:00: This quarantine is a great time to try out some new recipes and get everyone involved in family dinner
- Free Time 7:00- Bedtime: Gather as a family to watch a movie, play a board game, or just chill out
- Bedtime: Make sure kids follow their regular nighttime routine
Again, you don’t need to follow a schedule to a T, but you should have something in place to maintain some structure in your household.
Get Exercise Each Day
Exercise is a great way to deal with stress and kids with high energy levels. And, just because you can’t go to the gym or playground, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways you can get in some daily exercise during this time.
Again, you should look into the restrictions in your area to figure out what you can and can’t do, but here are some great family-exercises you can try out:
- Follow along to a workout video on Youtube
- Create an indoor obstacle course using furniture and tape
- Hold a dance party in your living room
- Go for walks around your neighborhood
- Do a follow the leader style workout with jumping jacks, squatting, and running in place
- Create a scavenger hunt with clues hidden all over the house to keep your kids moving
- Set up an exercise corner in your home with mats, dumbbells, and jump ropes that your kids can use at any time
- Set up indoor hopscotch with painters tape
- Teach your kids how to Chinese jump rope
Additionally, you can assign your children some outdoors such as mowing the lawn or trimming the bushes to blow off some steam.
Schedule Virtual Play Dates
Chances are, you’re driving your kids crazy as much as they’re driving you crazy! No matter how much your kids love spending time with you, they likely miss their friends and interacting with peers their own age.
Since you can’t schedule physical playdates during this time, virtual ones are a great idea. All you need to do is fire up the Facetime, Skype, or Zoom so your kids can connect with their friends or classmates. Doing so will not only give your kids an escape, but it will also give you a break to get other things done around the house.
Have a Variety of Activities at the Ready
The best way to stave off boredom is to have a variety of activities at the ready. Here are some activities you can try that will help prevent your kids from getting too restless:
- Go on virtual tours of other countries or national parks
- Download fun worksheets, word searches, and crossword puzzles
- Listen to kid-friendly podcasts
- Try origami
- After reading a book or watching a movie, have your kids write opinion pieces about the subject
- Play dress up
- Host a paint night
- Play charades
- FaceTime family members
- Break out the board games
- Interview each other
- Host baking/cooking contests
- Start an indoor herb garden/terrarium
- Practice another language
- Create a family vision board
- Play tic tac toe
As you can see, there are a lot of simple things you can do to keep the family entertained!
Take Breaks for Yourself
If you want to put your best foot forward for your children, you need to make sure you’re taking time for yourself each day.
If you’re lucky enough to be sharing parenting duties with your partner, then set aside time each day where one parent watches the kids so the other one can get some alone time.
You can use this alone time to take a nap, catch up with friends, read a book, meditate or do whatever it is you need to do to recharge your batteries. This article has more information on how meditation can help you.
COVID Parenting Ideas: Are You Ready to Try These Out?
Now that you know about these parenting ideas, it’s time to try them out. Hopefully, these ideas will help keep you maintain a positive and calm household.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more parenting tips and advice.