Are your kids stuck at home these days? Working remotely has become a new way of life for the foreseeable future. Parents now have the extra task of instructing and entertaining children while school is not in session. To stay afloat financially, parents must now be able to complete vital job duties from home. An extra layer of stress is added when tending to small children. Rather than burn the midnight oil, you can keep children active and engaged with interesting projects throughout the day. These activities can help you carve out a little bit of work time for yourself.
Finding alternatives to Digital Distractions
Planting kids stuck at home in front of the television or allowing them to play video games endlessly may seem like the easiest route. These practices, however, can damage a child’s development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding screen time for babies less than a year old and one hour per day for children 2 years of age and beyond. Children who ingest too much media can develop emotional, social, and attention issues. The academy recommends that if children must-watch TV, it should be quality programming. Ideally, educational programming that is age-appropriate for your child is best.
The AAP also recommends creative unplugged time for babies and toddlers. This unplugged time provides benefits to older children as well. It is recommended to designate media-free times, as well as media-free areas in the home. In our time of global distress, media has become crucial as a connection to the outside world. Children can become bombarded with images, mostly of a negative bent.
To combat this trend, there are numerous safe and quality activities for children that parents can initiate. These meaningful endeavors will also help improve your child’s concentration and focus. While the kids are engaged, you can quietly slip into the background. Of course, supervision is necessary for any activity to ensure the utmost safety for your little ones.
Now that we’re inspired, let’s find ideas!
Taking the Artful Approach
The first activity is box murals for kids stuck at home. Everyone has a few cardboard boxes. You can tape blank sheets of white paper to the boxes, give your children crayons, colored pencils, and markers. Kids can create their own mural and express their artistry on the boxes! This activity should be done with children aged 4 to 10. Toddlers can tend to get carried away with markers, however, and your walls may be redecorated in a way you hadn’t anticipated.
Also, sit your children down with markers and paper and ask them to create their own fairy tale. Instruct them to draw inspiration from their own lives, as well as any books you have read to them. Tell them when they finish, they will have your undivided attention as they read their tales to you.
Cultivating Outdoor Adventures
Warmer weather can permit taking your laptop outside. While you work, your children become can be engaged in gardening and other outdoor activities. These projects will help lower stress levels for you and your child. Children’s behavior and health can be affected when they are cooped up indoors for too long. These projects will help them to experience the natural world. These ventures will also help to promote much-needed physical activity.
One great example of an inventive outside activity is to construct a fairy house. A fairy house consists of small structures for fairies or other mythical creatures to live. This little community can be built beside a tree or any area in the backyard where children can comfortably play. All you need are rocks, sticks, pine cones, leaves, flowers, or any other organic material you can find in the yard. If you have them on hand, tiny statues or miniatures can also help bring this little world to life. Instruct your children how to make tiny houses for fairies to dwell, and let their imaginations flourish.
Gardening is also a wonderful way to bring the family together, and a perfect way to create lasting memories. Children can be given the fun job of watering the garden area. You can teach your child how to properly use a hose, not to drag the hose, thoroughly drain the water from the hose, and coil it. A well-maintained garden hose should last five to 10 years. Children can understand these integral aspects of lawn-care, all the while learning how to be responsible.
Older children can be taught to plant seeds, and tend to their own little area of the garden. Teaching your children about the wonders of life and how to tend and care for something that will grow is invaluable. Planting vegetables is also a fantastic way to promote healthier eating. Children will be eager to taste what they have grown themselves.
Some finger paint can also come in handy, as children can paint their own rock creatures and place them in various areas in the garden. Your kids can also use other media to decorate their rocks, such as glass beads or gems. Lay an old bed sheet in the grass, and have children create their masterpieces there. Bring some snacks for a picnic feel.
Teaching Goes Electric
Electricity experiments, on a minimal level, can also be an exciting endeavor for children. About 2,000 years before Benjamin Franklin and his famous key experiment, the Ancient Greeks were the first to discover an electrical charge or static electricity. They noticed when tree resin was rubbed with animal fur, dried grass would be attracted.
Teach your children about the history of electricity before conducting mini-experiments. This knowledge will help them become interested in what they can also discover. One easy electrical experiment can be done with common kitchen ingredients. It can be conducted right at the kitchen table. You can tend to your own work, while your child investigates this pleasant activity.
You will need salt, pepper, a plastic spoon, and a cloth — wool probably works best. Have your child help measure a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Place the ingredients in a pile. Next, rub the spoon onto the cloth, have your child hold the spoon above the pile and watch the pepper magically jump toward the spoon. This happens through positive and negative charge, and the lighter substance, the pepper, will be attracted to the spoon.
Another electrical experiment is picking up foam peanuts using a balloon. First, have children blow up balloons, next scatter the foam pieces around the floor. Have children rub the balloons on their heads and pick up the foam pieces with the static from the balloons. Explain also that they can rub the balloons on their heads and stick the balloons to the wall as well.
These are just some suggestions to keep children occupied and learning valuable lessons at the same time. The current state of the world doesn’t have to be frightening for our children, and it shouldn’t be. Engaging and enlightening activities can help to bring families closer. Cherished memories can be created by teaching children critical skills, as well as assisting with their burgeoning creativity.
And my fave – crafting for kids stuck at home!