In these normal but not-so-normal times, the challenge of keeping families, homeschool education and office work on track could seem daunting. While we as parents can catch hold of ourselves and our emotions; it’s not the same for the kids. With no schools, homework, lack of playtime and huge amounts of free time, kids can get irritated, confused or sad about having all that energy and nowhere to use it.
So to help you and your cutie-pies, we’ve created a small list of pointers to better structure the day and make it more productive.
Here’s how you can keep kids entertained while you work from home:
First things first, set a routine
Having a routine gives a structure to the day. It helps ensure you do things well, maintains stress levels, leads to improved mental health, gives more time to relax and less anxiety.
Studies have shown that daily routines promote healthy lifestyle habits and also make you more productive. And, kids especially thrive on regularity. They are accustomed to being in classes, having a set schedule for play and homework and timely meals. So try to incorporate a similar routine in their day. For you as a parent too, following a routine can help a lot to manage things effectively and achieve the much needed mental peace. So sit down with your munchkin and give a structure to your upcoming days.
Some ideas you can consider are:
- Setting an alarm for any time before 8 am
- Eating a few almonds, bananas or anything that suits you and your bub
- Time to move those muscles. With no access to outdoor games, kids tend to become irritated and angry. Exercise can help them combat depression & behavioural disorders. It also strengthens their muscles and bones, prevents excessive weight gain, reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, and other conditions. For you as a caregiver too, regular exercise is extremely important. Together, start with basic jumping jacks, hopscotch, skipping rope, push-ups, squats, planks, mountain climbers, yoga or balance training.
- Breakfast time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health. Ask your little one to help you in prepping up the breakfast. A protein-rich breakfast could be the best thing to kickstart your day. Eggs, oatmeal, idlis, berries, nuts, fruits, kidney beans, sprouts, dal, soybeans are some of the considerable options.
- After breakfast, you can hit your work station and ask your buttercup to learn something new, perform skill enhancing activities, read, paint, nap or anything that boosts their energy and creativity.
- In the noon, sit together for lunch and post that you can play a small round of cards, Uno or any board game. Once done, get back to work. Remember not to disturb each other while working. Even if your kids get bored at this time it’s okay. Boredom encourages imagination and creativity. When children are left to their own devices, they’re forced to be more creative and imaginative in finding ways to amuse themselves. Let them learn to take initiative and think of ways to occupy themselves.
- In the evening, plan for some fun and interesting activities. You can dance & sing together, do gardening, train your pets, bake something, play scavenger hunt, a paper ball fight, solve puzzles, have a tea party in the backyard. Anything that gets your little one excited and jumping.
- Follow this with dinner. You can ask your pumpkin to help with preparing the dinner too. Just basic mixing of ingredients, getting something from the fridge or just reading out a recipe will make her feel that she contributed.
- Call it a day with a bedtime story. From reading comprehension to listening skills and overall literacy, shared reading in bedtime stories can teach children a ton of new skills.
Do you know some activities that could better help your child structure their day and keep them entertained in these times?