By Emma Thomas – Full-time mum of a one-year-old, part-time blogger and writer, with a background as a Kindy Teacher/Director
We are all going to have our children at home a bit more than normal over the coming weeks. This might be due to self-isolation, social distancing, the government regulations or simply the Easter long weekend. Easter is often a time for families to get away so you may be worried about entertaining the kids at home, don’t worry, we are all in this together!
There are many wonderful ideas being shared around the internet at the moment and I would like to share a few of my favourites.
Keep a Routine
Stick to the basics, keep a regular wake up and bedtime. Eat meals together. Plan for inside play, outside play, time to do jobs and screen time. Keeping a regular routine when everything around us is changing helps children (and adults!) to feel safe and secure.
Use screen time to your advantage!
Think about times of the day when you need to get something done, have a meeting, make a phone call or just need 5 mins peace! Try and keep screen time special so that your children will be quiet and engaged when you really need it.
Think about different types of screen time
There is so much great content out there at the moment. It is more than just movies and TV shows. Children can do a fitness class on YouTube, take a tour of a zoo or listen to a celebrity read a story.
Try a themed day
If you have been stuck at home for a while and spirits are sagging, create some fun with a themed day. You could try a pyjama day, pirates day, or an opposite day (dinner for breakfast, children in charge!).
Embrace the boredom
Children come up with some of their best ideas when they are bored. We just have to let them get there, we need to be comfortable with letting our children express their discomfort and boredom. It is not our job to constantly provide entertainment, try providing a couple of suggestions and then stepping back and waiting.
Get your children helping
Even young children can be involved in getting jobs done around the house. My daughter loves pulling things out of the dishwasher and passing them to me! Think about different jobs that your children can either help with or take ownership of, depending on their age. It tends to take longer to get jobs done when children are ‘helping’ but we have the extra time at the moment so embrace it!
Bring children on board
Have simple, honest conversations with your children about our current situation, explain to them why things are different and empower them to help. Use language like ‘we need to stay at home more to help keep everyone safe and healthy’.
Pack away toys!
When there are fewer toys available children tend to play more happily and for longer periods. This also means that you can swap toys around as needed to provide fresh interest.
If you need to work, try setting up your desk outside for part of the day, everyone will benefit from the fresh air.
This won’t last forever so just do whatever you need to get through each day.