Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the thought of keeping your kids happy, busy, and learning? We parents put a lot of pressure on ourselves, especially when it comes to how our kids spend their time. The truth is that it’s perfectly fine for kids to have downtime, but it’s also smart for parents to have a few tricks up our sleeves to fight boredom when it strikes. These ideas make it easy to keep kids engaged and active, even when you’re stuck indoors, and what’s even better is that most have learning opportunities built right in.
Being in a pandemic has made us more aware of our need for social interaction, but with normal social activities off the table, why not use this opportunity to spend more time together as a family?
Cooking With Kids
Cooking with kids is one of our favorite family activities, and it’s even easier with kid-friendly cooking tools.. You may think that you’re just putting food on the table (like yummy English muffin pizzas), but cooking together does so much more. Cooking is the perfect activity for learning about communication, plus it’s a great way for kids to practice math and learn valuable life skills at the same time.
Interactive Video Games
Another way to give kids more social time right now is to find safe ways they can interact with other kids online. It’s good to limit screen use, which is why Time magazine recommends setting a screen time routine so that kids know what to expect and when it’s time to log off. As long as you have rules and limits, though, online gaming that involves multiple players can be a fun way for kids to let off some steam while staying connected with friends.
Video games are more than just fun and interactive too. As Today’s Parent explains, playing video games can help improve your child’s self esteem, plus it’s an activity that develops executive functioning skills, such as attention and problem solving. If gaming is popular in your house, just make sure your internet connection is up to the task. Some internet services are better than others at providing the speed you need for gaming, which is even more important if parents are working from home too.
Ideas for Individual Play
For those times when kids need time to themselves, it’s always good to have some new ideas for quiet activities. These are just a few of our favorites that work for all ages:
Reading (That Isn’t Books)
Books are great, but if your kids get bored with the books they have, why not expand their selection of reading materials? Graphic novels, websites, cookbooks, and magazines are just a few reading options that can be both educational and interesting for kids to dive into.
Unusual Art Ideas
All kids really need to create art is paper and paint, but just like reading, doing the same old art projects can get boring. Try shaking things up with these unusual art projects from the blog Left Brain Craft Brain. You could also encourage your child to try a new art form on their own, such as making collages or comic books.
Ideas for Active Play
One of the hardest parts about being stuck indoors is that kids have lots of energy to burn. Instead of letting kids bounce off the walls, giving them even a loosely structured activity will be a better outlet for all that energy. If you’re lacking inspiration, Mommy Poppins has 25 indoor exercise games to choose from, like balloon ball, animal races, and freeze dance. Indoor games can be educational too. For example, you can create a scavenger hunt for sight words (or incorporate any other subject they’re working on).
Turning fun time into learning time is a great goal, but it’s perfectly fine for kids to have plain old fun too! Remember that the whole world is new to kids. Whether they’re exploring, creating, or playing a video game with friends, opportunities for kids to learn something new are always around the corner.
Remember to turn to Curious Chef whenever you’re cooking up some fun with the kids, looking for ideas, or in need of family-friendly culinary inspiration!
Author: Jenny MillerAuthor: Jenny Miller
Author: Jenny Miller | Photo credit: Rawpixel