Whether you’re working from home today or just plain at home with the kids unexpectedly, every parent goes through the “what am I going to do with the kids?”. Here are some suggestions that don’t involve screen time.
- Recycle the recyclables. Give them scissors, duct tape, masking tape, some markers, cardboard and any other type of recycling and ask them to build something. This could take anywhere from an hour to two hours (especially if you have more than one child). Hear them fighting? Let them fight!
- Build LEGOs! Of course, we’ll say this. We also find it helpful to bring our laptops and phones down to sit in the dining room as our kids build the LEGO. We get to do work, the kids aren’t continuous looking for us and our attention, it’s a win-win. Give them a little bit of attention and you’ll be surprised at what you can get done.
- Toys in the attic that have been put away? Bring it down! It’s like being introduced to an old friend. Even if the kids are much older, bring down the MagnaTiles and blocks. We’ve seen 6th graders gravitate towards them with a big smile on their faces.
- Puzzles. Same structure as above.
- Cat If you don’t have one, get a long paper towel tube, some string/yarn and something that a cat will chase (e.g. feather, small toy, bell, etc.). Have your child make the toy and play with the cat.
- Make Moon Sand, 8 cups flour, 1 cup baby oil and you have Moon Sand. Bring out your cookie cutters or summer sand molds.
- Scavenger Hunt. Hide 12 items all over the house, write it down and give them to your kids. First one to finish gets to pick what they have for breakfast tomorrow (e.g. ice cream).
- Yoga mat and gymnastics. Bring out the mats and let them start moving with music.
- Camping Indoors. Bring out the bed sheets, pillows and comforters to make a tent. For older kids, let them do it themselves. For younger kids, help them and then ask them to camp out with their stuffed animals. Give them some snacks for camping.
- The domino effect. Show them the domino effect, work with them on one short row, and let them do it on their own. Probably best for older kids. Video.
- Exercise ball. If you have one, this always seems to be a big hit with our kids. So give it a try.
Hope this helps! Keep warm and stay safe if you have to go outside.