You thought it was challenging to achieve work-life balance before — then, the coronavirus pandemic raised that bar considerably. Now, you have to navigate the new world of telework while keeping your little ones safe and occupied. Until scientists perfect cloning technology so that you can order a spare you, what can you do to cope?
First, take a deep breath, then get creative. Draw inspiration from these tips to keep your young children safe and occupied so that you can manage your multiple responsibilities.
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Find Online Learning Resources
School may be out for the rest of the year, but just like you need to telecommute, your child’s teacher is scrambling to transition their lesson plans online. This scenario means you might need to complement your little one’s online education.
Resources such as Khan Academy and Peanuts Worldwide have free instructional videos and materials that engage young learners. You can also find tools for pre-K scholars to learn how to read or master their numbers. If you have the budget, you can find specialty devices like the Baby Shark tablet from Pinkfong that come loaded with sing-and-learn activities.
Teach Them Critical Life Skills
Do your children know how to brush their teeth correctly yet? If not, what better time to teach this critical life skill than when you have the time. Once you show them how to scrub for at least two minutes at a time and reach all surfaces, you can set them loose — with the occasional check.
Other skills you can teach them include:
- Making lunch: You don’t want young children to use the stove, but you can show them how to fix a sandwich or pour a bowl of cereal.
- Organizing their rooms: If you used part of the shutdown to clean out closets, your kids took notice. Provide them with the tools they need, like baskets for their toys.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
You don’t need anything but a pencil and paper to make a scavenger hunt. If you need a prolonged time to work uninterrupted, make the items on the list obscure. Let your kids use their minds, too, by providing clues like, “Find something you could use to build a birdhouse.” They have to explain their reasoning when they present their finds.
Rehearse for the Big Debut
Tell your children that you want to attend the theater, and they are appointed to put on the show. They can spend the day creating unique homemade costumes and rehearsing the script. You bring the popcorn.
Write a Thank You Greeting Card
It’s natural to forget everything there is to feel thankful for when you’re stressed. However, healthcare professionals, first responders and grocery clerks all go above and beyond to keep folks safe and healthy during the crisis. Have your children create a homemade thank you card for their favorite hero.
Make an Indoor Obstacle Course
You can create an indoor obstacle course for the littlest American ninja warriors with ease. Use painter’s tape to make a balance beam across your floor. Cover two chairs with a blanket to make a crawling tunnel. Use pillowcases to make sack races.
Go “Ice Skating”
Do you want a two-for-one deal? You can get your hard floors cleaner and keep your kids amused by ice skating. You’ll need to make a pair of homemade mop socks with slippers, plastic water bottles, duct tape and more. Then, let your little ones release their inner Nancy Kerrigans.
Try Bowling With Old Soda Cans
Don’t run the recycling to the sorting center before you rescue at least ten cans, and maybe a spare or two. Wash them out and make them the pins for a bowling alley right in your hallway.
Break Out the Puzzles
Puzzles are fun for all ages — even the tiniest tots have toys that involve putting shapes into the right places on a board. Plus, you can find them at nearly any dollar or discount store.
Sculpt With Homemade Dough
Finally, you can help your children make homemade playdough and let them sculpt to their heart’s content. You can even get a jump on the holidays with salt dough ornaments.
Keep your little ones busy — and yourself sane. It’s challenging to try to juggle the home and your career during the best of times, let alone some of the most uncertain. However, with a few simple tips, you can keep your children safe, and their minds occupied so that you can attend to your responsibilities.
Kate Harveston is a health and wellness enthusiast and online journalist from Pennsylvania. If you enjoy her work, you can visit her blog, So Well, So Woman, where she writes about women’s reproductive health.
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