With so many families at home for the next month or so, we have heard from those with elementary-aged children that they are running out of new ideas to keep them occupied. Are they tired of playing games on their tablet? Wrestling with their siblings? Climbing on their jungle gym in the backyard? Help is to the rescue! We have some fun ideas you can try for BOTH younger and older children.
Scholastic has created FREE open access learning online
This is a marvelous resource for your elementary children to keep their minds engaged. If they don’t really want to do this, you can tell them that they have to complete X, Y and Z in order to have electronic time each day (or whatever their “chocolate” is). Keeping their minds stimulated is key. This is a phenomenal way to do that. http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/press-release/scholastic-creates-free-open-access-digital-hub-help-keep-students-learning-while-scho
Having a famous children’s book author or celebrity read them a book
If you haven’t heard about this yet, get ready to melt. Josh Gad, Olaf from Frozen, has been reading bedtime stories, a new one every day!, on his Twitter page to children. So have Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner. Google this topic to find a list (it keeps growing!). https://www.deseret.com/entertainment/2020/3/16/21182558/coronavirus-covid-19-josh-gad-amy-adams-jennifer-garner-stories-childrens-books-reading-videos
Then there are the wondrous children’s and pre-teen book authors who are doing the same or drawing pictures of their stories that are new, like Mo Willems and Grace Lin. This article shares some links to them on their YouTube or Facebook pages.
Take away about a third of their toys each week and rotate them or swap toys with a friend
By only having access to a third of their toys each week, your child will see what they have as new after a week or two has gone by and value what they currently get to play with in the week they have them. There are entire companies designed to ship toys to your house each month and then once you ship them back, you get a new batch. You can also schedule a toy sharing campaign with other moms in your neighborhood. https://www.scarymommy.com/toy-sharing-subscription-benefits
Get them outside as much as possible to keep them engaged at home
Take your child to the park (if you see too many people while you’re out, you can leave and go to another spot), ask them to walk your dog, tell them to play in the backyard, ask their other parent to take them for a bike ride. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard and get them to time their siblings and themselves to see how fast they can complete it after trying 10 times. Have them make a fort city in their room, create a chalk art mural on the driveway, or get the mail every day. Ask them to help you plant a vegetable garden or flowers and then ask them to water them every day. Much of your child’s angst is not having enough physical activity. Check out this link to children’s website that blends yoga with storytelling: https://www.cosmickids.com/.
Give them projects to do at home and other ideas to stay engaged at home
Have them help you make dinner, pick up leaves, or reorganize their rooms AND all of your closets around the house. Give them book assignments like reading to their younger sibling. Have them do a craft each day and then have a contest at the end of each week to see who gets the “Most Creative” award or “Most Colorful”. Sponsor playdates at home. Ask your child to come up with something fun! Children are extremely imaginative!
Keeping our children busy reduces their stress and yours. It may take more of your time, but if you plan a schedule of events each Sunday, coordinate with other moms who are in the same boat for playdates or toy sharing, and offer a variety so the days have different activities, your child will weather the downtime and lower their frustration from boredom.
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!