It’s one of the only things everyone is talking about during the pandemic: what will I do with my kids all day . . . every day? The CDC has asked us to practice social distancing during COVID-19, which means that kids are home from school and most adults are working from home. Having everyone in the house at once for a long period of time can get very chaotic, so we’ve come up with a few ways you can entertain your kids safely during these hard times.
1. Teach your kids about the virus
One of the best things out there about teaching your kids about the virus is the soap and pepper experiment. If you haven’t heard of it, watch a tutorial on how to do it. It is easy for the kids to understand and takes up time so you have something to do. You can also use your time at home to teach your kids the CDC guidelines for washing your hands, social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, and anything else they need to know. You can even make washing your hands fun by singing their favorite songs for the allotted 20 seconds while washing.
2. Exercise with your kids using the Chirp Wheel+
Being stuck inside is a great time to teach your kids the importance of exercise. The Chirp Wheels are a fun way to exercise and build balance and core strength. Check out our other blog posts to get stretching and exercise ideas to do with the wheels. You can also use the Chirp Wheels to teach your kids about how far apart you should stay from others when outside. Use six 12 inch wheels as the allotted six-foot distance apart that the CDC recommends. Instead of shaking hands with someone, bump Chirp Wheels.
3. Teach your kids how to properly clean the house
The CDC recommends that you should clean and disinfect all the surfaces that are frequently touched. If you have kids, that’s a lot of surfaces, so get your kids to help clean with you. Clean doorknobs, light switches, tables, drawer and cupboard handles, etc. You can make a game of it, and whoever is done first gets a brownie (or something less messy).
4. Make face masks together
The CDC website has instructions on how to properly make face masks. Face masks are meant to slow the spread of coronavirus by protecting you from transmitting it to others if you have it. Click on this link to see how the CDC recommends you make face masks. They even have examples of making masks out of old t-shirts or bandanas. Making masks with your kids could be a good opportunity to teach them how to sew. You can also let your kids pick the pattern they want to wear, which is a plus when trying to get a kid to wear a strange mask. However, the CDC recommends you do not give masks to children under the age of 2.
5. Keep to a schedule
Letting your kids help you plan a schedule will keep you all sane. The kids will feel good about being partly responsible for their own schedule and will learn how to manage time. The best part is, you can decide that 2 o’clock is quiet time if you want and have something to look forward to. You can also schedule in fun things for the kids to look forward to like movie night or an hour of video games.
6. Use the technology to your advantage
There are so many things on the internet that can help you keep your kids occupied and can teach them. The Georgia Aquarium live streams their animals so that you can virtually go to the zoo. There are a lot of celebrities that video themselves reading books so that your kids can follow along. You can use FaceTime to keep up with friends and family. There are museums throughout the world that have virtual tours. Don’t do all the work of teaching and entertaining yourself. Let others help, and enjoy these activities with your kids!
7. Go for a walk
As long as you can keep your six Chirp Wheels distance from other people, going for a walk is a great activity for you and your kids. Squeeze it into your schedule every morning so your kids get tired at the very beginning of the day and are ready for that scheduled-in, 2 o’clock quiet time.
8. Play games
Some of my favorite moments as a kid were playing board games as a family, playing video games with my brothers, or playing hide and seek with my friends. Board games use the mind and are fun. Play them with your kids for some fun bonding time. Take it from me, they will carry those memories with them forever.
9. Do yardwork or plant a garden
Plant an indoor garden with your kids. It is fun for them to watch something they helped grow. My mom just started her own indoor garden during quarantine, and she already has some baby lettuce to show for it. It is easy to take the parts of vegetables you would usually throw away and use them to grow your own vegetables. Or use this time in the spring to plant flowers or do yard work outside (another activity that will use up some of their energy). You can also check out this blog post about what foods to plant to reduce back pain.
10. Cook and bake together
Not to sound like a broken record but another one of my favorite family memories is cooking and baking. We used to make cookies together or prepare dinner as a family. I am still grateful we did that because, not to toot my own horn, now I know how to cook pretty well. And it is fun to eat the treats after you worked so hard on them.
CDC. (2020, April 13). Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow Spread. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
CDC. (2020, April 13). How to Protect Yourself & Others. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
CDC. (2020, April 4). Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html
Ducker, E. (2020, March 26). 10 things I'm doing with my kids to preserve my sanity - and theirs. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-03-26/10-things-to-do-right-now-inside-with-young-kids
Georgia Aquarium. (2020). Beluga Whale Webcam: Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta, Georgia. Retrieved from https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/
Osmanski, S. (2020, April 15). Avoid Cabin Fever With These 125 Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained During the Coronavirus Crisis. Retrieved from https://parade.com/1009774/stephanieosmanski/things-to-do-with-kids-during-coronavirus-quarantine/