By Sally Norton
The global epidemic has us all locked down for our own safety and the wellbeing of the ones we love the most. If there is anything good about this situation, it is the fact that now we finally have enough time to spend with our families and do some things that we have been planning for so long.
But even though family time is bliss, keeping kids entertained during lockdown can be a bit of a challenge.
If you are one of the parents who are not used to spending so much time at home and you feel like you are running out of ideas, don’t worry cause we’ve got plenty!
Reading is always the best option
Books can get us wherever we want to be and that is what makes them a perfect escape during these days when we are advised to stay in. Kids just love books!
The good news is that even if your little ones do not have many books at home, you can get them online. For younger ones, there are millions of audiobooks available on the Internet. Isn’t that awesome?
And if you are not sure what to pick to read to or with your children, you can take a look at our lockdown reading list that is being updated every month.
There are many interactive books to keep your kids busy. Some of them will help them be creative and stimulate their imagination. Encourage your kids to research the subjects they are interested in.
Building a fortress
There are so many options when it comes to building a fortress! Kids can make it outside using branches, stones, leaves and whatever they find, or they can build one inside. That model is usually made of blankets, chairs, and cushions. Kids who live in apartments can find building a fortress inside a little bit tricky if there is not enough room in your apartment to do so. This often happens in urban areas like NYC where rents are so high that many people cannot afford to live in bigger places. But, there is a solution for that too!
Now that your entire family will be spending days, weeks, and probably months inside, it is about time you declutter your NYC apartment by renting storage. Put all the items that you do not use at the moment in a safe unit that you can visit whenever you feel like and you will have more space for activities at home.
Drawing and painting
Drawing and painting are many kids’ favorite activities. That is why some painting supplies should be on top of your next shopping list if you don’t have enough of them at home already. Who knows, you might even discover that your kids are more talented than you thought.
Some painting supplies can even be made at home or repurposed. Have you heard of 3D paint? The good news is that you can make it in just a few minutes with the materials you already have at home and the results are amazing. All you need is some flour, water, salt, baking powder, and food coloring (or tempera). When your kids apply a thick coat of such paint on a piece of paper, put it in the microwave for just 30 seconds and, voila – the drawing will grow in front of your very eyes!
Did you know that crayons can be used for so many activities other than coloring? You can make some DIY candles using those, or create various 3D shapes. Also, when melted and poured inside half of a walnut shell, crayons can make a colorful miniature ship. Help your little ones make several of those, fill the sink with water, and let them play.
Making a dollhouse or a garage
Store-bought toys and playsets can be so expensive. Luckily, kids also like home-made versions of toys. For instance, making a dollhouse from an old shoebox can keep them entertained for hours. Or, you can use the moving boxes that you got from movers101.com the last time you relocated to make a multilevel garage for dozens of your kids’ cars. They will enjoy the making process, plus they will get a toy they will be able to play with for months, maybe even years.
Taking care of plants and animals is an excellent way of keeping kids entertained during lockdown
If you live in a house, you will probably find this quarantine less stressful than your friends living in apartments. For families with children, having a backyard or a garden is priceless. Since it’s springtime, one of the activities very popular these days is making birdfeeders. You can literally find thousands of ideas on how you can make yours online. Let your kids practice their engineering skills by making their feeders or birdhouses from the materials you have at home (such as water bottles or milk cartons). Encourage them to embellish them too.
This spring can be the best time to get a pet for your kids if that is something you have been thinking about. Raising your child around pets has many benefits and teaching your kids some responsibilities is definitely one of them.
If having a pet is too much for you at the moment or you simply do not have the space for it, you can think about planting some flowers in your garden or on your terrace. Kids love playing with soil, so they will be more than eager to take part in planting, repotting, and watering the flowers.
Teach your kids some practical skills
Why not make the most of your time during self-quarantine and teach your kids some practical skills like cooking or cleaning? Of course, you can do this only with children who are old enough to do these chores safely. The younger ones can help you with baking cookies or dusting, for example. Older kids are perfectly capable of making sandwiches, salads, or smoothies, so why not start there? Also, you can teach them how to vacuum your home or tidy the yard.
Even though the circumstances we are in are far from ideal, we should cherish the time we now have to spend with our families. Hopefully, you will find some of our suggestions helpful for keeping your kids entertained during lockdown.
Stay home and stay safe!