During these strange times of quarantine and toilet paper shortages, we’ve seen countless inspirational quotes about using this time at home to reconnect with your kids, and how we should spend every waking minute entertaining and educating them while we’re at home. If you can manage to drop everything and focus on your kids, great! However, there are countless families who still need to squeeze in an eight-hour workday while they are at home.
As a Bluehost employee with kids, I understand the challenge of managing your work and your home life as they now exist under the same roof. Many of us are struggling to keep up with work while our kids run wild within the walls of our homes, like some warped, air-conditioned version of Lord of the Flies.
There are numerous resources that range from education, entertainment, and activities across the internet that advise how you can help your kids during the quarantine. When you are working from home, you want to provide your children with solo activities that can be entertaining and fun even if you aren’t able to be present for each activity. You want activities that don’t include having your child putter around in the kitchen over open flames or require a classroom-sized supply list.
In other words, here are 7 tips that will hopefully keep your children busy in productive ways, so you can actually get work done!
- Take advantage of online homeschooling resources to keep your kids sharp (and busy) while they’re out of school. Nonprofit organizations like Khan Academy offer free curriculum and other online learning resources, and BrainPop is offering free trials for the entirety of the COVID-19-related school closures.
- While we’re on the topic of education, why not help your kids with coding? MIT has created a free tool called Scratch that’s designed to teach younger kids how to code (i.e., not you), and Python is a good option for older kids filled with beginner guides and applications like software and game development.
- For more general education topics outside of coding, CrashCourseKids is a YouTube channel by the New York Times bestselling author John Green that teaches children science subjects like astronomy, earth science, and biology. This bi-weekly show features a look at the earth, space, chemical reactions, and more!
- If you are wanting to give your kids a fun and engaging curriculum, ABC Mouse is offering a free trial with numerous lessons to keep kids ages 2-8 excited about learning. Parents can choose from over 9,000 online activities in reading, math, science, and art that can be played on a computer or smartphone.
- Feeling guilty that the kids are watching WAY too much TV? Many streaming services offer educational shows (hello, Bill Nye the Science Guy!) that will keep your kids learning. As an added bonus, have them write a summary at the end of every show they watch. Make it the price of admission for the next TV session. Whether you are browsing the Netflix Kids channel or scrolling through Hulu, there are a variety of educational shows that will keep them busy while they learn something cool.
- Speaking of TV, production companies have announced that they will be streaming theatrical releases on television apps starting this week. The rental price of the Trolls World Tour will buy you a few hours of silence, at least! Amiright? Bring the magic of the movie theatre into your home by giving them some fun snacks to munch on while you work.
- Don’t forget to let the kiddos burn off some energy throughout the day! If you can’t send them outside to play, get them moving with online dance classes! There are multiple kid-friendly dance channels on YouTube, like the KIDZ BOP Channel or GoNoodle which features fun videos that teach them how to stretch, breathe, and get their wiggle on.
While you work from home, you want to be productive, while still giving your kids activities that entertain or educate them. Setting up a daily schedule that includes breaks and time to hang out with your kids during the day can put you both at ease as you are easing into the transition of remote work. Don’t forget it’s okay to step back from the computer, get some sunshine, and even dance it out with your kids in your living room.