The world is facing uncertain times right now and many families are at home, quarantined with their children in an attempt to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. While this quarantine may be a blessing in disguise in terms of bringing families closer, it may be a bit of a headache for parents at home with bored kids.
Take Virtual Museum Tours Online
There are many museums across the globe that are making some of their most popular exhibits available online. Take the kids to Paris to visit the Louvre, ogle the Guggenheim in New York City, view Van Gogh’s best work in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum, or take a trip to Chicago to see the Art Institute’s best works—all from the comfort and security from home.
Virtually Visit the Zoo or Aquarium
The Atlanta, Cincinnati, Little Rock, Houston, and San Diego zoos are all doing online, live feeds into their animal exhibits so kids can visit their favorite species at all times of the day! In addition, the Atlanta and National aquariums are also live streaming from their locations for the benefit of families who are stuck in their homes.
Let Them Game!
Sure, any other time we would be vigilant about screen-time and video games rotting our kids’ brains. But let’s face it—when we need a break, handing our child a tablet, phone, or video game usually gets them to quiet down and sit still for a little while. Let’s not forget that we don’t know how long this quarantine may last, so allowing them a little extra screen time could do much for a parent’s sanity.
Who doesn’t love a good board game? Get out Sorry, Clue, Monopoly, or any other board game you may have at home and set it down on the kitchen table for the kids. Ensure they all know how to play, and let them have a little bit of fun, leaving you free to scroll that Facebook—or allowing you to finish binging that show!
Print Out Coloring Pages
Not everything you do with your child has to be educational. Sometimes all it takes is a big box of crayons and a lot of varieties of coloring pages to keep them occupied for a little while. There are many, many coloring pages available for free online for them to choose from.
Time to cook dinner but the kids are running around like crazy? Let them help you get it ready. Set the youngest to setting the table, or the oldest to chopping vegetables. Let them help with the dishes, too. Sometimes all it takes is something simple like this to bring a family closer and keep the kids from driving you insane.
Teach Them Chores
Stop running around the house trying to pick up after your minions! Teach them how to do it themselves. For example, a 2-3-year-old can help make a bed, pick up their toys, and help feed pets. At the ages of 9-12, children can help with washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, or laundry.
Host a Dance Party
Do the kids have more energy than they know what to do with? Turn on some upbeat music, clear the floor, and let them dance their cares away! In fact, it might do you some good to join them as well. Plus, for a bonus, it will tire them out and calm them down a bit in the long run.
Let Them Build Forts
If they can build it, they can also clean it up. Don’t worry about the mess they might make while turning your well-decorated living room into an imaginary fort. Let them play for a little while and then let them clean up the mess they make, keeping them occupied and keeping you sane.
Many parents are at a loss as to what to do to keep their kids healthy while they’re stuck indoors for an indeterminate amount of time. One idea is to look online for exercises that are age appropriate that you can do along with them. Some of the easiest and best exercises for all ages are pushups, sit ups, burpees, squats, leg raises, and lunges.
The Family That Binges Together
That’s right. We’re telling you to allow them even more screen time. After all, what else is there for them to do? There are several streaming services with family-friendly shows and movies for the family to enjoy together. Disney+ is actually releasing several feature films online early, specifically for families who are staying inside at this time.
Take a Virtual Ride
Did your Spring Break plans get ruined by the onset of the Coronavirus? Well then, we have some news for you! Right now, due to their parks being shut down for the foreseeable future, Disney has released some of their most popular rides online, for virtual enjoyment. Take a ride on Space Mountain, or hang out with the Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Indiana Jones, or visit Frozen Ever After.
Have a Scavenger Hunt
Want to keep the kids busy for a few hours at a time? Devise a scavenger hunt throughout the house and your back yard. This will help keep them engaged for a long time, giving your sanity a chance to return and recharge.
Give Them Water Balloons
If you happen to have a bag of balloons laying around, fill them with water and send the kiddos outside for a rousing romp. Sure, they’ll come in wet and possibly even dirty, but they’ll have some wide smiles on their faces and they’ll also be tired and ready to settle down for a bit.
Of course, staying home doesn’t have to mean that you have to stay indoors. Set up a tent and some sleeping bags in the backyard, complete with a campfire and maybe even some s’mores. This will get the kids excited and also give you and your significant other some quiet alone-time inside the house.