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10 Ways to Keep Your Children Engaged During COVID-19 Lock Down

It’s no secret that this compulsory stay home is already becoming tiring for everybody; however, parents are more on the receiving end. Many parents are already beginning to complain, and they are at their wits end concerning their kids.

If you are a parent, you probably are already feeling overwhelmed by the fact that your kids are already scattering the entire house, breaking things and causing you a lot of headaches.

Children are beautiful gifts from God; however, there are times you wish for a little bit of peace. If you are already in this category, then this article is for you. There are specific ways by which you can keep your children engaged all day long without having to do much.

This article contains ideas that don’t always have to include screen time (both TV and phones). Before phones or technology existed, children have always been kept engaged. So let’s go to a little bit of old school, shall we?

1. Come up with a good plan

Have you wondered how teachers are able to take care of your kids as well as the kids of others successfully for more than 6hrs a day? Well, every teacher creates a solid plan, and you can take advantage of that too.

While you are being isolated with your kids in the house all day long, you must create a plan for them before they overwhelm you. Let the kids see that there is some form of order and routine that must be followed.

Kids are mostly unorganized, and as such, they look up to you as the parent for some sense of organization. Once you draw up a plan which they can see, they will take note of it as a form of organization, and they will follow it unconsciously.

Let them know that there is a specific time for breakfast, and it is not just when they feel like eating, they will get to it. Children have to understand that the hours of the day are marked with a particular activity.

It is okay to be flexible at times; however, don’t show them how flexible you can be else you are back to the disorganized house that you started with. Kids understand that when there is a laid out structure, it means business.

Having a plan also helps the day speed by, you won’t understand how it came to pass. You must ensure that every single minute is clearly apportioned to a duty or a task, and you will be grateful you did.

2. Give your kids options

You are the parent; however, you aren’t on a military base. In other words, as a parent, it is okay for you to allow your children to pick out what they want to do. This way, you give them a voice, a choice as well as a sense of responsibility.

You can allow them to write a long list of the several things they want to do and then help them select that which is essential to them. Remember, we didn’t say choose for them. We said help them select the ones they consider relevant to them.

Doing that will give them the sense of being a grown-up as well as provide them with that sense of importance that everyone wants to feel.

In between having their plan, you can come up with your options and allow them to choose as well. Research has shown that having options is way better than allowing a particular decision to be imposed upon anyone.

Hence, allowing your kids to help them understand that it is okay to let everyone have a say when it comes to decision making. Their options can be doing assignments versus doing a particular task that mummy or daddy wants you to do.

When doing this, you may consider throwing in a little bit of reward that can be gotten after the successful completion of a “huge task.” This action encourages them to do more, and it also keeps them active and willing to have the chore or the work done in record time.

3. Make room for games

Games are a great way to get children engaged even when you are not there. It also helps to task their brain and get them to think. Games are a sure way of letting your child feel a sense of accomplishment, especially after winning.

Games can also be an excellent way for you to begin to teach your kids the importance of individual values and lessons in life.

If you have just one kid, look for games that your kids can play alone, such as puzzles, color books, a doll set (for the young ladies), building blocks, playing cards, and so on.

When you feel its time to keep your kids engaged while you go about your daily chore, then you pull it out and give them.

You may also consider giving them a reward when they successfully work out the puzzle or build a particular item and so on. This will motivate them to get things done.

While at first, your child may considerably be stubborn about it, with time, he/she will come around and accept it as part of the daily routine.

4. Have your kids draw and paint their favorite cartoon

You will be surprised at how creative your child can be when it comes to the things that they put their mind to. Get them crayons, drawing pencils, colored pencils, a drawing book, and all sorts.

Ask them to draw the bad guy and the hero. From this, they are focused on doing just that and how to describe the character in their best cartoons that they like the most. Also, it gives you insight into your children’s minds and sees who they want as a friend the most in their class.

You can also have them draw up a storyline that they can use to match the cartoons they have drawn. Once they are done, let them come up to meet you with their different stories while you listen to activity.

5. Let them help you

While at home, children can prove to be great bits of help once they are focused and guided on how to. However, you, as the parent, have to determine their capacity and how much they can be of help.

If you are cooking or cleaning, you can allow them to join you. For the younger kids, you can task them with the careful setting of the table during breakfast, lunch, and dinner while the older kids can help out with the cleaning or the slick of vegetables.

Getting children to help you while you carry out your chores makes things a tad bit easier for you as well as faster.

6. You can play verbal games

This game works best, especially when they are a bit older. You can have your kids sit in the parlor while they name each animal using each of the letters of the alphabet.

Also, you can also have them play the numbers game where they task their brain while adding in or subtracting numbers. The great thing about this exercise is that you can be carrying out your chores while they are busy answering quiz questions.

7. Give them a puzzle

One great way to keep your kids engaged while you go about doing your thing or having your “me time” is by giving them puzzles. Puzzles help keep them focused, engaged, and their brains working.

Drop a large piece of the puzzle and have them arrange it. It may be a word puzzle or a picture puzzle. I can bet you that they will get exhausted and sleep off before they can finish arranging it.

8. Create your treasure hunt

Treasure hunts are a fun way of allowing your kids to run around to try to find clues while making them have the feeling of responsibilities. You can hide a snack, a coin, chocolates, or something you know can attract your children.

You are advised that you should make it a bit tricky as such you are building up their resilience as well as giving them a sense of independence and, as such, letting them understand they can function on their own sometimes.

9. Encourage outdoor play

You can allow them to run and play in your compound. Kids really hate being restricted for long periods, and as such, if you plan to keep them indoors always, you just may be shooting yourself in the foot.

Hence, you should encourage them to get fresh air, get acquitted with nature as well as play. If you are worried about their safety, you can put them in your line of sight.

10. Tell them stories

Stories are one way to keep your kids interested and involved. You can decide to alternate between you telling them stories and having them tell you theirs. This helps them build their creativity as well as put their brains to work.

Storytime is also an excellent way for you to bond with your family. Recall that in the earlier years, we had “tales by
moonlight,” as well as our grandparents or parents, tell us stories that we probably can still remember.

Encourage your kids to have those memories with you as well. If you suck at telling stories, you can turn a particular experience into an account and tell them in a fun, relatable way.

This compulsory time out with family may not be what we planned for; however, we can make the best of it by bonding and getting closer to your kids.

All the ideas that have listed can sincerely help keep your children for the first two weeks. You can consider adding a bit of screen time just to keep them informed.

However, make sure that you control their screen time, and as such, you all can bond as a family.

References;

  • 9 ways to keep your child academically engaged when stuck at home; USAtoday.com
  • 20 old-school ways to keep children busy without screentime; Mother.ly
Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker

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