Anyone else still getting used to having the kids at home all day, every day? For parents, this is one of the biggest changes that the COVID-19 situation has caused. It’s challenging enough to adjust to working from home and complying with social distancing measures — what about keeping your kids entertained and continuing their education while out of school?
Fortunately, your Henderson orthodontists know a thing or two about keeping kids busy. Dr. Okuda is a dad and Dr. Noorda is a grandfather, so they both have years of experience in finding creative ways to keep kiddos entertained for hours on end.
1. Play Outdoor Games
During crazy times like these, we find it’s always best to look at the positives. And one bright side to the situation we’re currently in is that it’s all happening while the weather is getting warmer. So grab your kids and get outside with a soccer ball, a frisbee, a football, a basketball, or any other sporting equipment you want. Playing a sport outside will not only bring the family together for a fun activity, it’ll also tire your kids out!
2. Build a Fort
Is there a child on this planet who doesn’t love building forts? We don’t think so! Gather up all your blankets and pillows, and let your kids play architect of their very own fortress. Chances are, they’ll want to spend all day in there, playing games, reading or hiding out from mom and dad. You could even let them spend the night in their fort for a slumber party they’re sure to remember.
3. Have a Family Scavenger Hunt
One of the best ways to keep kids entertained all day is to send them on a scavenger hunt. If you’ve got the time to create a list of things for your kiddos to find, that’s great! But don’t stress if you’re too busy with work. You can easily find scavenger hunt ideas online, or have an older sibling make a list for younger siblings. Keep it to things inside the house or let them explore outside in the yard, too. A scavenger hunt is guaranteed to provide an afternoon of entertainment for your youngsters.
4. Write Letters to Family Members
Depending on how old your kids are, they’re probably a little (or a lot) confused about why they’re at home instead of school, or why they can’t go to grandma and grandpa’s for Sunday dinner like they usually do. Aside from explaining the situation as best you can, you could also help your kids write letters to family members they won’t be able to see until life goes back to normal. It doesn’t matter what the letters are about — it’s about allowing your kiddos to practice their writing skills and finding ways to connect with relatives from a safe social distance. Not only that: it will also make for some very happy relatives. After all, who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten letter?
5. Camp Out in the Backyard
As travel restrictions keep us all from leaving our hometowns, you may have had to cancel upcoming family trips. But just because you can’t visit your original destination doesn’t mean you can’t bring your vacation into your own home. Pack up some snacks, grab your camping gear and pitch a tent in the backyard. Bring flashlights and spend the evening telling ghost stories just like you would around the campfire. Don’t have a yard? That shouldn’t stop you! Set up a tent in your living room, make some stovetop s’mores and pretend you’re in the great outdoors.
6. Let Them Be Bored!
Hear us out on this. Sometimes, believe it or not, boredom can be a good thing. Between school and appointments and extracurricular activities, kids are often overstimulated and overscheduled. So much so that they have little opportunity to come up with their own ideas for what they want to do. Instead of planning out a week’s worth of activities, give them the freedom to entertain themselves. It’s been proven that boredom leads to creativity and helps kids discover their own passions.
As difficult as it can be to adjust to a new normal, we hope you’re finding opportunities to enjoy some extra quality time with your kids. If you’re having trouble keeping your kids entertained at home, give the activities on this list a try. And remember: you don’t need to fill every hour of your children’s days. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is let them entertain themselves.