Being stuck at home with the kids and having little to do may sound like a daunting task, but it’s easier than you think to keep them busy. Grab some crayons, glue, glitter, and paint and let them be creative, or play some games, puzzles, or apply some indoor practice of their favorite sport.
If it’s rainy and you’re stuck inside, there are a host of painting projects, inside crafts and small scale projects that can hold everyone’s attention, and most can be done with everyday items that are already found around the house. With some sparks of inspiration, there are easy, DIY projects that can get the ideas flowing. The next thing you know, the sound of laughter and concentration can replace the ongoing complaint of, “I’m bored” from coming from the other room.
If you’re able to head outdoors to the backyard, there are plenty of ideas for water-based activities, bubble games, and activities to keep the kids moving around. Either way, there are plenty of recipes for creating happy kids, that, best of all, don’t require them to be fixated on their phones.
Try an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
One fun idea is to hide some plastic letters, A through Z, around the house for the kids to find, and then place on the matching letter on a DIY alphabet board. The game can also evolve to finding small items around the house that begin with the letter indicated on the board, like grabbing a shoe for the letter “S”, or a fork for the “F,” etc. They may need to lean on you for some help with the more obscure letters, (X, Y, and Z), but it can provide you a fun, and educational activity that can last for quite a while.
Play a Little Golf
Putting into a glass on the living room floor is a long-time tradition for many dads trying to sharpen their game, but there’s no reason not to get the kids involved. It’s easy to learn how to grip a golf club. Youth golf is one of the biggest growing sports today, and with indoor putting greens the kids can have the same feel as being on the course. You can even step it up a notch with an indoor golf simulator, which has now become more affordable and allows for practicing inside. The virtual aspect of the simulator can give the kids the feeling of being on the course all while being stuck inside. Of course, if you have the room and can get outside, pick up a bag of golf-Wiffle balls and pretend you’re on the course while being in the yard.
Have Online Playdates
With the newly found popularity of online meeting software, it’s just as easy to set up a group of kids for a playdate as it is for a business meeting. Of course, it won’t take long to realize a bunch of five-year-olds on Zoom is going to result in some chaos. Plan for some shouting and random greetings toward each other at the start, but quickly swoop in to provide some order. Try asking the kids a question that they can each answer one at a time, like maybe “What’s the meal you’ve loved most since staying home?” Be sure to give each question a positive spin, treating the at-home time as an opportunity rather than a requirement.
At the end of the playdate, have each mom read a book of their kid’s choice. After a few times, the kids will get used to the routine and likely be able to run the playdates on their own and can help them keep in touch during the lockdown.
Abrah, aka “Miss Z”, aka “The Baby Whisperer”, is a multi award winning and internationally published maternity, newborn, baby and child photographer. She offers business heads shots and teaches camera and editing classes as well. Her clients come to her from all over New England including Boston, Providence, Cape Cod as well as all over the Southcoast – New Bedford, Dartmouth, Acushnet, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Rochester, Marion, Middleboro, Wareham, Westport, Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, Berkley, Freetown, Taunton, Raynham and beyond. When she’s not capturing gorgeous images for her clients, she’s enjoying chasing after her two daughters and tabby cats, Sunny and Stormy. Abrah also enjoys listening to and dancing to 70’s and 80’s music and running (slowly) 5Ks.