Today more than ever, it is important to stay at home whether or not you have kids.
We fully support international hashtags and initiatives like #StayAtHome, #SocialDistancing , especially in the context of your family’s health and safety.
It is difficulty, but it is necessary.
As a parent, I understand how difficult it can be to figure out exactly how to entertain your kids the entire day , trying to #wfh (work from home). Looking online is usually the first place we go, but seeing some “well-thought-out” toddler activity home schedules can be equally overwhelming. You start to question “are you doing enough for your kids” or even “are you a good parent” ?”. Let me answer that for you: YOU ARE.
I got on a call with my twin (IG: @adanma_o). She is currently pregnant with her 4th child. I wanted to express my motherhood concerns about what being indoors would mean for us. I wondered if I will ever be able to match the schedule and interesting activities the kids usually get at school. And as always she gave me a response that completely took away all of my worries. She said that each child is different. We should not get intimidated seeing schedules, that other parents’ have in place for their own children. Maybe that works for them.
My boys are very active and Kian’s school is in the forest. My sister wished me luck in trying to get him to sit down and trace numbers for half an hour. And we broke into a good laugh. Her message was simple, we should all do what is best for our family.
For parents with little children, that means engaging in activities you have easily accessible and not the “unrealistic Pinterest suggestions”. Try to be involved if you can because the kids will love it. So far, our kids have not minded that they spend one half of the day with one parent, and the other half with the second parent. That’s the shift David and I currently have in order to get any work done.
Here are 5 amazing indoor activities you can do at home with your kids, in order to keep them entertained, educated, and inspired.
1. DO HOUSE CHORES TOGETHER
This is very important from a sanitary perspective. In the face of the pandemic, we should be concerned not only with our personal hygiene but also with our house. This is the place we will spend most of our time in the coming weeks/months – so keep cleaning it regularly. When it comes to household chores, I’m personally guilty of thinking “I want to get it done quickly” which then means no interruption by kids. However, getting your kids involved in cleaning activities can be a lot of fun, as well as great lessons for them. You can teach them cooperation and teamwork (especially with siblings). We bought a (similar) kid’s friendly cleaning set and Noah asolutely loves it.
As you clean, you can also rearrange items in your house, or decide to finally pack up those things you’ve been wanting to donate to charity.
This could be a pretty fun activity as a family and you can decide to have a voting system to get rid of the most unwanted items.
2. BOARD GAMES
Like the good old days, take out some of these board games. They are a fantastic way to get kids involved and play together as a family. Many board games were created by experts and have educational benefits. Depending on which type of board game you go for, it can be an opportunity to learn about the planet, history, medicine, finance or practice your language skills. One of the most popular board games in the world is MONOPOLY, although unfortunately, our kids are not yet old enough to indulge us. There is a Monopoly Junior version for kids, that is creative and easy to play, yet will at the same start to instil financial awareness in your children.
For younger kids, there are a lot of choices out there as board games have been undergoing a sort of reincarnation in the latter years, becoming more and more popular. Here are some examples:
Operation. If your kids are interested in doctor-patient role play or anything related to medicine, this could be a good option.
Spelling. This set of educational games and activities are designed to teach spelling skills
Lunchbox. This educational board game teaches kids about health and fitness.
3. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Just because you cannot take your kids to the swimming pool or a soccer pitch does not mean you cannot be active at home. In fact, you should. It is important both for the parents as well as children to stay fit and healthy. Games like TWISTER is a great way to stretch and actively spend the day indoors while giving your kids a lot of smiles. They will love seeing you as you try to catch your balance. Ideal for kids 4+.
Personally, and if you follow us on IG (@adanna_david) you would’ve seen, we took all the dining chairs and created a mini obstacle course in the living room for the boys and they LOVED IT! They climbed up and down trying to catch each other. They created different destinations through role play. This highlights my earlier suggestion about using what is easily accessible to you.
Finally, simply dancing with kids to your favourite songs is an opportunity to get in your fitness for the day and equally tire them out eventually.
Kids love painting and colouring. So get on the wagon, and join them. There is nothing easier than painting with your children and letting your creativity flow. I take that back, the difficulty may be cleaning up afterwards, yikes!
Colouring books are great too and there’s lots of educational colouring books. These can help you as a parent to tell stories and teach your kids about the Ocean for example.
Most households with kids are equipped with a very substantial crayon set and plenty of paper. We bought a (similar) painting table for our kids because here at home we have a rule that colouring is only done at their table (so they don’t go around colouring our walls).
For older children, you could go a level up and consider a proper painting set that can help any young artists. A lot of fun. Ideal age is 6+
5. READ TOGETHER
Reading is an underappreciated technique that not only helps to trigger imagination in your children but can also bond you deeper, as a family. So allocate the time for reading to your kids. Usually, you read a bedtime story at night but now you can incorporate reading during the daytime as well. You or your partner could read out loud, while the other family members sit comfortably. You can organise snacks and drinks, almost like watching a movie.
Some of our favourite books include:
For younger kids: The Lion Inside (+ other stories)
For older children : Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls
Do not forget that the most important activity you could do as a family is to simply TALK TO EACH OTHER.
If this skill is not your forte or if you feel this has been lacking in your household, there has never been a better time to get practising. In a previous blog post, we spoke about the tips for communication in children. Now is the perfect time to start. Use this time to get closer as a family and create deeper bonds with your kids.
Stay safe and healthy!