Stuck at home? Even worse than that are you stuck indoors!? Currently we are dealing with a world pandemic and we are struggling with how to cope. Has the world changed forever? Probably but there are plenty of good things that can come out of this too. If we allow the struggles and fear of our current situation to take root in our hearts then what example are we giving our children? They are our future and must be shown how to face adversity. We need to stand up and show them how to persevere amongst struggles and difficult times.
In saying that when you are stuck inside with no escape, what do you do?! Having technology is a great help but we can’t allow them to be plugged in ALL day! So here are my emergency tips for when all else fails and we are home bound.
1) Spend time with your child
Use the additional time with your children to get to know them. I know it’s really hard to put down all the ‘To Do’ lists and just be with your children but it’s actually crucial for their development. Don’t know where to start? Meet them where they are at, you don’t even need words. Build a huge Lego city with them, play cars, play dough, draw, craft or introduce them to something you enjoy. It’s all about connecting and growing your relationship. The older they get the more important it is that you have done the hard work, trust is earned and it starts with being available and giving them your time. Kids open their hearts to you at often inconvenient times and unexpectedly so make sure you are looking for opportunities to become a trusted voice in their life. When they do open up to you DO NOT OVER LOAD THEM! Allow them to ask and seek more from you as they desire. At first you might find it really hard to connect with them but do persist, your reward will be them opening their heart to you. To find out more on how to the heart of your child please click here.
2) Car Wash!
This is an activity best enjoyed for younger children but if they have older siblings it can be a fun game for everyone. This is best done outside! Start with getting a bunch of toys (in our family we use cars but you can use Ponies/dolls/animals) and throwing some dirt in dishes/plates/containers. Some have water while others will have dirt. Let them make a mess, drive the cars through the dirt, make mud and basically play really hard. You may have to end this play session with a shower! This activity alone entertains my boys for ages and because they are filthy they can’t come inside until I say they can! Win!
Then once the dirt has dried (usually the next day) I get containers of water and detergent with some toothbrushes and sponges and they have a car wash to clean all the toys again! If your children are addicted to technology you may initially have some protests but if you stick to your guns and give them no choice they will end up making their own fun. Get scrubbing!
3) Implement a Routine to keep your sanity!
Routine routine routine! Keepers you will hear me say it over and over again! A Routine will save your sanity! If you are a fly by the seat of your pants kind of parent (I hear ya!) then implementing a routine and structure to your day is a little daunting. Help is here! You will thank me for it. Click on this link for a more detailed read on routine and get a free printable!
4) Family Dance off!
Is there ever a bad time for a dance off?! You can spice things up with getting the whole family involved. Each person has to go off and create a mime/dance routine to their favourite song. Then when everyone is ready get the popcorn out and have a family show. Increase the competition a little and winner gets a prize! This is your time to show those kids what their parents are made of haha. Free entertainment and a TV free evening connecting and having fun with your family. Yay!
5) Treasure Hunt
Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt! The fun of this activity is greatly increased when the actual treasure is chocolate! Yum! Spend time creating a map with your eldest child and use the time just hanging out with them, talking and being creative with clues and map building. The more creative you are the longer the activity will go for. Hey it’s all about getting through the day right!?
6) Build a Fort/Cubby
You can keep it basic or go all out and make it elaborate with fairy lights and tunnels. The more interesting you make it the longer you can leave it standing in your house. Your children may not remember much about the 2020 Coronavirus lock-in but they will have fun memories of what they did at home. Create treasured memories for your children.
7) Reading time
It’s proven and encouraged that reading has massive benefits. All children can read, even a tiny newborn can lie there looking at the colours and shapes of a book. My suggestion here is BRIBERY! Each day at 4pm my family sits down for quiet reading time. I have a small pile of books per child and a dedicated area for each person and we take 15-20 mins to read. The younger children often finish sooner than this but they are encouraged to remain sitting and read the books again. If they do this activity well, they are rewarded with some TV time. The more consistent and regular you are, the easier this will be every day. Most days I get to sit down with a cup of tea and read, even if its only one page!
There you have it! Thanks for reading and if you want to know more or keep updated on my latest posts make sure you subscribe to my site!