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It’s shaping up to be a long winter, especially for those of us with children to entertain at home during lockdown. Many families find themselves in the stressful situation of home-schooling kids or looking after toddlers and pre-schoolers at home, all while juggling their work and home life.
Here are some tips and resources to help you get through it like a pro.
Get your child’s input and come up with a routine
Weekends are for slow starts and chilling out but creating a simple routine during the week can help keep everyone sane. Spend time together with your child writing up a rough routine for the day so they know what is planned and can refer to it as needed. This helps structure the day for both the child and parent.
Ask for activity packs from your child’s day care/preschool
Many day-care centres and preschools have asked for children of non-essential workers to stay home if possible. If your child is in this category, you can ask the day-care/preschool to provide online links to activities that can be printed at home, or to create activity packs/ art and craft packs to take home. Some preschools are also open to setting up a toy library to be able to borrow your child’s favourite toy for a week or two. All you have to do is ask!
The weather may be terrible, and it may be easier to stay indoors, but you will be surprised how good you feel once you step out. Why not take the kids for a walk or bike ride to the park? Whenever siblings start bickering or your child is throwing a tantrum for no good reason, rug up, step out and all your problems will be solved. It’s a great way to let the kids spend all their extra energy so that when they get home, they will be more than happy to do a quiet activity while you get dinner ready.
Rotate toys and get creative
Rotating toys is an age-old trick that has always worked wonders in our house. Use lockdown as an excuse to do some spring cleaning and bring out some old toys that have not been used in a while. In addition, get creative with your space and make a cubby house out of your beach tent or take your picnic rug and put it in the middle of your living room. Children love playing with their toys in new environments and even the simplest household items can spark their imagination.
Make use of online resources
Lucky for us, we live in the digital age and can access all corners of the globe via an internet connection. There are some phenomenal resources online suited to kids of all ages, providing activities, projects, information, education, live streaming and media tailored to their specific interests. Our favourite picks are:
- National Geographic Kids: Perfect for the curious child who is interested in the world around them. There are plenty of activities and videos for free or you can get a subscription to the monthly magazine delivered straight to your door.
- Twinkl: A fantastic educational site tailored to the Australian curriculum created by teachers. This is a great resource if you are looking for age-appropriate educational activities from kindergarten to year 10 across all subject areas.
- ABC Kids: It may come as no surprise that ABC kids has a plethora of educational videos in all subject areas, catered to children of all ages. Screen time in this case is also a way for your kids to be engaged and learn about the world.
- Educating Young Engineers: If your child loves Lego, check out this organisation, determined to introduce engineering to children from a young age. The website has some fun Lego challenges as well as interactive activities.
- BBC Good Food: If your child wants to be the next MasterChef, check out this list of over 50 recipes tailored for cooking with kids.
- Questacon: Some fun science activities and experiments to do at home for curious future scientists.
- Sydney Olympic Park – Park Live: If you have a budding park ranger, this might be the perfect way to spend the afternoon without leaving your lounge room. You can take a virtual tour, hear from park rangers, and print out arts and craft activities that will keep the kids entertained for hours.
- Ken Done: For budding artists who want to explore their creative side. Ken Done is a prominent Australian artist providing free resources on his website for art lovers everywhere.
- Story Factory: A fantastic resource for those interested in creative writing. The site provides activities and prompts for your child to unleash their imagination and create their own magical characters and stories.
Who says lockdown must be a maddening endeavour with kids? Hopefully our simple tips give you some ideas to keep your little ones occupied, and give you much needed ‘me-time’ during the day too.
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