Being confined to our homes during the COVID-19 pandemic is, for most of us, a bit of a challenge. We weren’t prepared for it, and frankly, we’re not designed to exist between four walls! But for those of us that have little ones in tow, being stuck indoors can be a challenge on a whole new level.
That said, isolation with the kids can be quite manageable, and even fun, so long as we apply the right mentality from the offset. By right mentality, I mean one of acceptance – accepting things the way they are, and making the most of the situation at hand! So yes, trips to the zoo, cinema and animal farms are off (for now), but instead of worrying about what we can’t do, let’s focus on what we can do.
As it happens, there’s a lot you can be doing with the kids from the comfort of your own home – even if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space to make use of, there’s plenty to do indoors. Let’s take a look.
Back to basics
Remember those days when we were young and made our own fun? Life before screens, and certainly life before a lot of the incredible kids toys which you can get hold of today. It pays to go back to basics. Why not build a fort with the cushions and transform your living room into an adventure playground, or better still, give the kids free reign of the house for a game of hide and seek? Obviously not places like the kitchen, but allowing the kids to hide in places like the bathtub or wardrobe will seem like a real adventure for them, and all that running around will sneak in a little exercise for them, too.
WikiHow actually has a fun video on how to hide inside the house. Give it a try.
Use nature for mindfulness (and fun)
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, then you have a whole world of possibilities at your feet. Even if you have a balcony – there are some things you can do which will be a lot of fun and will help pass the time when stuck indoors.
This is actually something you can do indoors if you don’t have the outdoor space. Either way, buy some plant pots, soil and seeds, and spend some time showing the kids the magic of nature. You can even have them paint the pots and name them, reminding them to water them regularly and watch as their creations grow. It’s a lovely, serene way to get them focused on something, and they’ll be excited by the results!
Again, this is a great outdoors activity which can be adapted for indoors if you don’t have the space. If the weather’s good and you have a garden, why not pitch a tent and have a sleepover? You can have so much fun even by just telling spooky bedtime stories with a torch (if they’re old enough not to be scared half to death, of course). Nothing is stopping you from going camping in your living room too. Don’t have a tent? Get the bed sheets out!
Water – the best fun they’ll ever have
Nothing says fun like having a splash around in the garden, and with winter truly behind us now, we’re likely to get more of those days where we’re able to. Invest in a paddling pool for the garden (you can always turn it into a ball pit for indoor fun, too). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always get some water balloons too – another way to combine exercise with fun.
Arts & crafts ideas
There’s no better time than now to get creative with the little ones, so give them a creative outlet when they need it the most. With their usual schedules turned upside down, this creative focus can be really good for them – and good for them is good for you!
You don’t have to come up with anything over the top either, you can pick up really cheap, decent items from the Toys for a Pound creative crafts collection.
Kids can video chat too!
Well maybe we can’t go out and about just yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the kids connected! It’s not uncommon for mums to organise mini video meetups for the kids as well as the adults. At a time when their exposure to other kids is limited, it’s a great way to encourage them to be sociable.
Be prepared, though – as much as us adults love a good chit chat online, the kids’ attention span might expire after about 4 minutes. Once they’ve had a wave and said hi to their friends, they’ll likely be off to run circles in the living room again. Regardless, it’s still worth it. Have a look at Zoom or Skype and get a kiddy meetup arranged!
There are more tips on what to do at home with the kids on the Toys for a Pound blog.
This is a contributed post
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