As if motherhood wasn’t hard enough, parenting during this pandemic can seem quite impossible at times. Days of isolation is making everyone stir crazy. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some YOU time while keeping the kids entertained and enlightened? Here are some ideas to try with your kids! Keep their bodies moving, brains active, and eyes off the TV!
Be creative! Make some clues and hide items around the house. Make it a teambuilding activity or make separate ones for each kid and turn it into a competition. What could take a couple minutes to set up while the kids are sleeping could serve as an hour of entertainment for the kids the next day.
Who forgot how much fun just pulling out Legos could be? They can be used for so many different activities. Let your toddler separate them by color. Have your kids see who can build the tallest tower, what about the longest bridge? Practice their engineering skills by giving them different structures to build. Give them some time to work and then show them ways that could help. Try again a couple days later and see what they can use their skills to build now.
Set up some dominos and show the kids how to stand them in a row and knock them over. Now, let the kids experiment with some other objects around the house. What else can they get to work?
Tape letters, shapes, or numbers on the floor. If the kids can help, let them! This can then be used in so many ways, ranging in complexity for all different ages. Walk them through their numbers, letters, shapes. Have them go find a certain one. Have them hop, jump, bear crawl, etc. in numerical or alphabetical order. Give them a math problem and have them run and stand on the answer. Give them a word and have them move between letters to spell it out. This helps with number, letter, and shape recognition, math and spelling, and if left up for a couple days memorization as they begin to know where each is placed (yes this can be your excuse for not cleaning it up for a couple days). You can also tape an obstacle course on the floor to get some gross motor development in the mix!
While parents are trying to figure out how to become teachers, let the kids take a shot. After teaching them the material, give them some time to come up with an activity or lesson that they can teach to the rest of family. Through creating their own activity, their understanding of the material will reach a much deeper level, and they’ll have so much fun being the “teacher” while doing so.
While toilet paper has become a commodity, use something similar like streamers or string to tape across your hallway in all different directions and heights. The goal is the make them look like lasers that spies would crawl through. Then send out your little spies to try to work their way through. Using each other’s eyes as helping guides they will have to work together to get each to the other side.
Bottom of the Toy Closet
What would we do without the closet doors to shut the never ending mess of toys behind! How many of those toys do your kids even play with anymore? Broken? Missing parts? Is that even ours? Let yours kids dig through it. Have them set piles—keep, donate, trash. Newly found toys they forgot they had and minimization…score!
Find anything around your house that can work as a container for little sheets of paper and let the kids decorate it. Then, as a family, sit down and brainstorm ideas, like the ones in this list, being sure to incorporate all their ideas so they are excited to participate and get their idea pulled. Write them down and put them in the jar. The next time you hear the never ending “Mom I’m bored”, have them pick an idea from the jar.
What activities have been working for your family? Let us know in the comments!