Whether you call it cabin fever or going stir crazy—one thing is for sure, having to lock your kids in the house is no fun for anyone. While it’s important your children understand why they can’t hang out with their friends or do many of the things they usually enjoy, it’s also part of every parent’s job to step up during this pandemic and make sure their kids are doing more than just zonking out in front of your TV.
With that in mind, here are some fun, mentally stimulating things you can help your kids do during this time of quarantine and social distancing:
Set Up a Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are pretty easy and depending on how many items there are, could last a while. Hide anywhere from 10 to 20 items around the house or outside to keep kids occupied for a few hours.
Don’t Throw Away Organization
Even though, your kids are probably only able to do online classes, it is still important to sit down with your them and map out how the days will flow. Set up specific times for reading/homework, chores, independent free time, mealtimes, family time and bedtime. Like every teacher, write it down and post the schedule.
Head to the (Virtual) Aquarium
There’s a beluga whale webcam set up at the Georgia Aquarium, so you can see what your whale friends are up to at any time.
Head to the (Virtual) Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo will be live-streaming animals on their Facebook page daily at 3PM.
Train Your Dog
No, seriously, this could be a good one. If the family dog doesn’t know how to sit or stay, start there. If he’s ready to move onto more complex tricks, try focusing on training an hour a day. You can move onto down and roll-over.
Make Some TikToks
Quarantine? It’s perfect time to choreograph and film TikToks.
Have an Indoor Picnic
Grab a sheet, whatever food you have, and enjoy a living room picnic (without the ants).
While officials are asking people to distance themselves from others, getting outside is still allowed and encouraged. Outside time and fresh air has huge physical and mental health benefits. While kids might complain about not knowing what to do, they will quickly find something to explore or create while outside. There is something incredibly valuable about removing kids from their electronics and putting them outdoors. Unstructured free time (minus electronics) is very good for creativity and has a variety of other psychological benefits.
Set Up an At-Home School
This won’t keep kids entertained, but it will make learning from home all the easier. Set up a designated homework/schoolwork area. Whether it’s a desk or a specific place at the kitchen table, having a workspace can really help kids focus.
Don’t Forget to Make Time for Yourself
Everybody will need a breather right now. Make sure your children know that you will plan blocks of time for yourself and that they will need to self-entertain. This will give you time for needed chores and your own mental-health time. Have several a day and work in times for your own self-reflection, checking in with other parents and exercise time.