It’s been 3-4 weeks since we were declared on official lockdown and the days are slowly beginning to blend into each other. Never would I have anticipated a month ago that I would end up being a stay-at-home-mum. If you find yourself at home with the kids, then this may be even more true for you. With the difficult tasks of home-schooling, or simply keeping them entertained for more than 30 minutes, you may start to feel like you’re losing a few marbles.
The first two weeks of the lockdown, I honestly thought I had it all figured out, between helping my sister with home-schooling my niece and keeping the daily activites engaging enough to keep her and Liam occupied for at least half the day but now, four weeks in, I can say I have begun to lose some momentum.
If you, too, are starting to experience a lockdown creativity block when it comes to keeping the kids amused, I’ve shared some tips I’ve been incorporating into my day-to-day that are still getting the job done.
I love arts and crafts; I’ve always considered myself an artistic person. Luckily, my niece, Aava, shares that same passion for art. Liam, not so much, but he is willing to do whatever Aava is doing and he does enjoy his independence with the art supplies. A great thing about the ultimate art project is the fact they can be quite time-consuming. Once I’ve planned an art activity for the day, I can usually use up to 2 hours from set up to clean up. If I hit a creativity block, Pinterest or Google image search are great tools for inspiration. One life-saver so far as been my accumulated collection of Toucan Boxes full of artsy, scientific goodness we all enjoy.
Although we are on lockdown, luckily, we still have the option of enjoying some time outdoors, staying in line with social distancing guidelines. We’re also fortunate to be experiencing some lush weather right now so a trip out can be quite tempting. Some outdoor time can also take up some time in the day as well as allowing the kids to exert some much needed energy and keeping them active. Taking them out on scooters or bikes or just for walks is a great way to spend some quality time, too. You can make these trips more exciting by incorporating a game of “I Spy” or collecting leaves and materials for the next art project. Avoid areas such as parks and recreational areas with a lot of surfaces and instead enjoy the fresh air and scenery.
Get Them in the Kitchen
If you have been lucky enough to pick up some kitchen essentials, try finding some easy snack or lunch recipes that the kids can get involved with. Easy 5-ingredient, 3- step recipes such as box cupcakes or box cakes or sugar cookies are the great kitchen go-to for a hands-on, fun experience. If you don’t have these things on hand, make use of ingredients you may already have in the home like banana flapjacks, or oatmeal cookies. If you can’t get that creative, simply letting them assist with dinner or lunch preparations is still a fun way to get their hands dirty and keep them occupied.
Mix it up
The day-to-day in isolation/lockdown can become quite monotonous and so can the daily routine with the kids. The last thing we need to be worrying about with the kids at home is sticking to a schedule. It is a futile expectation, for many. Instead, be open to mixing things up. After breakfast has been sorted, try an hour of quiet reading instead of TV for an hour. Then, instead of an hour of workbooks or online school, switch it out for another activity, like a competitive board game. This, of course, does not mean that you can’t set everything you want to do for the day and try to plan around it but keeping the day-to-day activities unpredictable may serve to keep their attention for longer.
Whatever you do to keep your children entertained in these extraordinary times, ensure they are engaging, creative and attention-grabbing activities to keep them stimulated. If you’re working from home, as I once was, this may prove to be difficult. If you have the time or energy, try dedicating an hour before bedtime to plan or gather ideas for the followng day’s activities so you have some time to breathe and possibly keep them occupied as much as possible while you work.
As with almost everything to do with children, sticking to any plan is easier said than done but give yourself a fighting chance to challenge the day ahead. And as always, take it one day at a time.
And remember to breathe.