Being confined to our homes during the COVID-19 quarantine is hard as it is, then add trying to keep a curious, energetic and highly emotional monster (toddler) happy and intellectually stimulated! Toddler's can entertain themselves, but how do you keep kids busy indoors without having them overrun the house?! Here's our top 5 tips to keep kids entertained at home.
#1 Allocating little tasks to toddlers
Kids love helping out and feeling useful by doing ‘real’ jobs around the house. An easy way to keep your little ones entertained (and teach them responsibility skills) is to allocate them daily household tasks. It can be as simple as asking for help throughout the day or you could plan child friendly jobs like safe meal prepping or cleaning up.
Here's some of our favourite tasks that you can allocate to your kids... a lot of these 'jobs' still require adult supervision! It may mean they take a bit longer, but it’s fun for them and also teaches the value of cooperation and teamwork.
- Empty and re-sort your tupperware cupboard
- Pull out some inexpensive pots and pans so they can ‘help’ cook dinner.
- Leave out the broom or dustpan so they can ‘clean up’.
- Letting them help with meal prep
- Helping with baking/baking prep
- Setting the table
- Sorting/putting away laundry
- Putting away shoes on the shoe rack
- Putting new toilet paper rolls in the basket
- Picking up toys and putting them back in the toy box
- Helping put away groceries
#2 Educational shows for kids
There are some great educational programs to keep your little ones entertained and continually learning (and give you a bit of a break).
Here are some great online educational resources that offer fun ways to entertain your little ones with programs tailored to meet the needs of children of different ages.
...and for straight entertainment, youtube kids if full of fun kid friendly shows!
*Also, Nickelodeon has launched a site to help kids understand covid-19. It has videos, tips and ideas – all free of charge. Some of your children's favourite TV characters can be seen practicing social distancing, educating them on how to wash their hands properly and even how to stay active at home.
#3 Keeping your toddler active
Physical activity is definitely one of the most important yet most difficult things to maintain while being restricted to your home.
Here are some great family friendly games that will get everyone moving that can be done indoors or in the garden!
- Go Noodle (movement and mindfulness videos created by child experts)
- Super Troopers (encourages children and their families to live more active lifestyles)
- Exergaming – exercise games (video games that disguise fitness routines by dancing or running from zombies)
- Cosmic Kids Yoga (fun yoga and mindfulness sessions for kids)
- Playing for Life Activity Cards (sport Australia’s game-based activities are easily adapted to play at home)
...Also, YouTuber Joe Wicks has started free daily 'P.E. lessons' for kids through his youtube channel. The workouts are fun and suitable for all ages.
#4 Quiet activities that kids enjoy
Your little ones (and you) need some peace and quiet each day. Here are some failsafe ways to entertain kids that also allow you to relax, recharge and get in some makeshift 'quiet’ time.
- Read together or independently
- Colouring-in books
- Work on a puzzle
Shape matching game
(cut paper into different shapes and draw the same sized shapes on paper. Your little one can try match up the cut-out to the shape on the paper. It sounds boring but your little one will love it)
#5 Maintaining a daily routine
Maintaining as much of your child's regular daily activities is a great way to keep a ‘normal-ish’ routine to your days, and minimises your little one feeling like they're missing activities they usually would do.
For example, if your child usually has soccer training on Tuesdays at 4pm, try and recreate a soccer related activity at home on Tuesday afternoons.
Get their friends involved! Plan a virtual play date based around an activity they usually do together. Using the same example, if soccer training is usually at 4pm arrange a video call at that time so your child and their friend can show each other their soccer skills.
...there are a bunch of online resources to help you recreate your child's extracurricular activities like soccer training sessions via youtube or online music lessons. Most are only a google or YouTube search away!
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