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Never in a million years would we ever expect a crazy pandemic to happen during our lifetime. Nevertheless, it has, and now we must deal with it.
This time is even more adventurous for moms and pops who have their kids bundled up with them at home 24/7. It’s rough, yo!
Remember when we were just oblivious pups cruising the boulevard sipping our Starbucks listening to DMX rap about losing his mind?
I’m about to follow in DMX’s footsteps.
I’m about to lose my mind up in here!
Are you there yet, too?
Don’t fret, mama.
This fun list of indoor activities to do with your kids is educational, easy on mom’s sanity, and DMX approved.
Walk the Great Wall of China
Take a 360-degree tour of parts of the Great Wall. You can even traipse along the wall as if you’re exploring in the flesh. And, if you’re an outdoorsy person, you can see lots of beautiful mountain vistas and other scenic viewpoints. Taking a virtual trip to China is a great opportunity to teach your child that there is more to China than a crazy virus.
Bring the outdoors inside
When you’re stuck in the house, sometimes you just have to bring the good stuff indoors!
Start off by creating an indoor play area in your garage or basement by using a kiddie pool and filling it full of sand. Voila! You have a sandbox. Don’t forget to throw in some mini shovels, buckets, and other fun knick-knacks in there. This activity will keep your kid busy long enough for you to catch up on Tiger King. (Ha, yes, I watched it!)
Not a fan of sand, bring in your kiddos mini-slide (If you don’t have one, you can find them for cheap on Facebook Marketplace & Amazon). If you are nervous about your kiddo getting hurt, place the foot of the slide in the kiddie pool full of sand, or surround it with a bunch of pillows and blankets.
If you have someone handy around the house, try making an indoor climbing wall or other inexpensive DIY playground ideas. We are huge fans of indoor bowling (use empty soda liter bottles and whatever balls you have around the house or hiding in the garage), sliding down the stairs on cardboard boxes, and playing cornhole in our hallway.
Host kiddie play dates
Just like us adults, our minis miss their friends. So, why not let them play together, virtually?! Zoom will let you chat unlimited, or for 40 minutes on groups of three or more, free of charge on basic accounts.
My daughter had an absolute blast talking with her friend. They played dolls through their computer screens for almost an hour! It was sweet seeing how happy my daughter got when she saw the face of her little buddy!
If you have children 12 and older, Houseparty, another face-to-face social network app, will allow them to host games like Guac and Chips, which is sort of like Apples to Apples. How it goes: Gather three + players, match cards to adjectives, and watch the laughter ensue!
Painting and drawing are great activities for kids during quarantine, but they are only the beginning. Another fun idea is to create a storybook! Write out the words on Google slides or PowerPoint, then find pictures through Google’s image search to copy and paste to the slides. If you’re not printing and selling these little works of art, you should be safe to use public images.
If you want your kiddos to take a break from the computer, you can use the same concept with regular computer paper. Write out your story, then cut out pictures from magazines or newspapers lying around the house to bring the story to life.
If you’ve already mastered drawing from popular children’s author and artist, Mo Willems, then work your magic and create your very own illustrations!
Creating artwork requires focus and concentration. While your kiddo is out of school, this will help them stay eager and educated.
Learn at home
While some schools have excelled at creating online lesson plans, not all school districts have the proper resources. But don’t worry. Online resources are abundant out there.
The Khan Academy created a schedule template for parents to use to help keep their children on task and learning. The schedule begins with the basics, like breakfast and getting ready, then jumps into online learning.
One of the great things about the Khan Academy schedules is that there are a variety of programs created for different ages. It offers options for those in preschool, kindergarten, and first and second grade. It also includes schedules for children through high school and includes SAT prep information for those who are college-bound.
One of our favorite learning tools is Scholastic. Scholastic, the publishing and education company, published an online resource that gives ideas on day-to-day projects to help “keep our children reading, thinking, and growing” at home.
“Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video, the Scholastic website explains. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!”
Another handy resource for the littles is PBS. PBS Kids offers a 24/7 channel with education series, a video app with educational videos, a games app with over 200 games, and a parent website with information and tips for parents. My daughter loves the free games featuring Elmo and Daniel Tiger the most.
Lastly, they provide a daily newsletter that will offer activity ideas and tips you can use for playing and learning at home.
If your child isn’t interested in writing stories or practicing their writing in the traditional sense, encourage them to write letters to family and friends they are missing. I think we can all agree that everyone loves receiving snail mail, especially when it’s not from the bill collector! Writing letters to their loved ones will help them not only practice their writing skills but grant them the opportunity to stay in contact with the ones who matter most.
If you can’t think of a family member or friend to write to, consider writing a pen letter to someone living in a nursing home or care facility. To coordinate the activity, call a respected care facility in your area.
Work on puzzles
Need some peace? I’ve never heard our house so quiet when “puzzling” is going on. Puzzles require a hefty amount of concentration and critical thinking skills to solve.
If you’re trying to keep the kiddos busy so you can get stuff done, invest in some smaller kid-friendly puzzles they can do on their own. Looking for other fun ways to bond with your family during quarantine? Try seeking out a larger puzzle, like 1,000 pieces or more, that begs for the help of multiple hands.
Even better, choose a puzzle that represents a place you hope to return to or visit one you are free to roam the world again!
Oh my gosh. The amount of cooking and snack preparing mamas are doing during these crazy times is no joke!
So, enlist the help of your children.
Have your child look through recipes, read them together, prepare the measurements, then have them assist with food prep, like mashing, pouring, and sprinkling, according to their age. Other tasks include:
- Doing dishes
Not all your kids are going to be interested in helping you in the kitchen, which is why we introduced themed daily meals in our home.
It helps moms with meal planning, gives kiddos something fun to look forward to, and increases their willingness to helping out in the kitchen.