Guest post by Carrie Spencer
Keep the kids engaged when they get stuck inside
Families around the world are facing a new reality with children home from school indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With appointments being unreasonable and schoolwork going so far, it can seem restrictive when it comes to keeping kids busy. Rainy or too cold weather only makes it worse. And you can’t let them play Fortnite and Pokemon all day and they can only do so much housework. If you’re looking for ideas beyond the controller, keep reading.
Arts and crafts are the most fun you can have on a rainy day. And you don’t have to have a full cupboard of supplies either. Depending on the age of your children, plan some messy hours with paints or paper, glue and scissors. If you’re missing any of this, head to the junk drawer (because we all have it) and see what you can get out of there. Your kitchen is also a treasure trove of supplies. For example, if you have food coloring, flour, salt, and water, you have it DIY play dough.
Lack of physical activity is one of the main contributors childhood obesity, according to the Obesity Action Council. Even if your kids aren’t overweight, there’s no reason they have to sit still indoors.
There are many ways to get them moving. Your TV can be your biggest asset here because it’s not just a place to watch movies. With a streaming stick TV device, you can instantly broadcast dance lessons and workout routines. As an added bonus, your online media device can tag along when you go on a family vacation.
There are dozens of reasons why it’s a good idea to bring kids into the kitchen. First, it helps them understand where food comes from and how it is prepared. Cooking together also creates strong family bonds.
If none of this convinces you, remember that learning to operate the fridge and stove is a life skill that will help your children grow into independent adults. Grab an apron, a bag of flour and a few other choice ingredients and spend an afternoon whipping up a batch chocolate cookies or another recipes suitable for children.
This one takes a bit of preparation, but you can easily turn your home into a treasure trove for the youngest members of your family stuck inside. Plan a scavenger hunt with fun activities at each trail. For example, you can have the children find a photo of their favorite vacation. Once you find it, have them create a mini scrapbook with photos and stickers before moving on to the next hidden item.
There are many variations of book bingo and you can easily extend the game to a whole season. But if you only want to plan one afternoon, focus on simplifying.
Start with the Common Sense Media list 50 best books for children or simply rummage through your own library. Create a bingo card for each child with things like “monster book,” “spooky story,” or “holiday adventures.” As your children find or read the story on each topic, they can mark their card. Once they hit “bingo” they can have time to play video games or another treat.
Being indoors doesn’t have to mean lounging on the couch with a gaming system. With a little work, a little creativity and persistence, you can easily entertain your crew from toddlers to teenagers. These are just a few ideas to spark your imagination; don’t be afraid to come up with your own!
Carrie blogs at The Spencer’s Adventures. It’s a family of 2 moms, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 goats, 32 chickens and a whole bunch of bees (with new animals being added all the time!). Our goal is to live as self-sufficiently and environmentally friendly as possible. We are happy to share the knowledge we have gained from our family adventures on our mini farm.