Fun Indoor, Screen free Activities for Your Child – While You Work From Home, at peace!
Work and home have been two different worlds for most of us. The need to work-from-home peppered our weeks only occasionally, in case of emergencies or a relaxed day at home when we didn’t have much to accomplish on a certain day.
The COVID-19 situation has however, turned the tables upside down, forcing us to accept the blurring lines between work and home. While many have embraced this situation, it is the parents with very young children at home who’ve been struggling significantly. Especially parents with one or more toddlers to look after and no additional help. (Nuclear family? We feel you!)
We’ve put together some fun activities that are meant to keep your little ones engaged for a few hours, helping you complete some work without interventions.
And here it goes:
Toddlers love having a vast space to draw or paint on. Make it a reality for them! Prep a wall in the house by covering it with plain sheets of paper or coloring wall sheets specifically designed for kids (available online). Provide them with pens, sketches, water colours or anything that you may consider safe and voila! You get a couple of uninterrupted work hours and your little ones get their independent play time.
Pro tip: Ensure that area surrounding the wall is Toddler safe and remove anything that may be harmful for your kids.
Puzzles are a great way to keep kids of all ages (above 3 of course) occupied. Stock up on age-appropriate jigsaw puzzles and make them available on rotation to ensure that your tots don’t get bored with the puzzles too soon. Remember though, kids must have had practice with puzzles before-hand (specifically if your toddler is around 3 to 5 years of age), before they begin working on puzzles independently.
On a cardboard or a thermocol sheet, create a land scape of a town with roads, houses, trees and whatever it is that will hold your child’s attention. Provide them with toy cars, food, people, trees, etc and let them create an imaginary world of their own. Children by nature have a vast imagination and this could work if they have enough relatable toys to keep them occupied.
If your child/ren have a keenness towards crafts and painting, this activity could work wonders for you. Hand them marbles or pebbles with a paintable surface (available in craft stores – online and otherwise), and some acrylic paint or even nail polish. 3 marbles at a time should keep them occupied for quite some time.
Pro tip: Show them references before you start, you’d be amazed at how well they take it forward from there.
If you are a parent who hoards magazines or newspapers, here’s how they come in handy.
Give your child/ren a stack of magazines/newspapers and ask them to mark specific objects (give them a list of objects before-hand, like car, flowers etc.,) as they skim through. Make it a competition on who marks the most number of said objects, if you’re dealing with siblings who are a few years apart. Divide the stack among them equally to avoid fights and you’re good to go.
This works best if you have two or more kids at home who are close in age. Get the kids to clean their respective rooms, or their portion of the room if they share one. Make it a competition for best results, and promise treats or a special gift to the one who cleans up best, or fastest – you decide. If all goes well, you have a clean room plus a couple of interruption free work time
Pro tip: Ensure that the kids know what goes where before you set them up to task.
Generally, getting kids to read is a laborious task, unless they have a natural inclination towards reading. Giving kids an incentive or a purpose however, could work in your favor.
Hand over story books that your child/ren can read independently and ask them to read. Set a time frame, promise a prize for the enactment or retelling of the stories they’ve read. More the stories, better the prizes, you can get creative!
Pro tip: This activity would work best if you have already had co-reading time with your kids. If you don’t, do start and it could help take the kids off your hands when you need it the most.
These activities may need some prep time and research, but are practical and help engage your child in a harmless way. Make a quick note of materials you may need, so you can stock up during the weekend, without having to run to stores over the weekdays.
Not only do they give you your interruption free time, but they also encourage your toddler to get used to independent play, which enhances their creativity and thinking capabilities.