#LeMillRecommends: A Realistic Guide to Keeping Your Child Busy During Isolation
“Quarantine & Chill”— Said No Parent Ever
During Lockdown, a lot of parents work full time, from home while the kids have what feels like an eternity of free time. How do you juggle between work and home schooling? How can you keep your kids occupied in engaging and educational ways so you have time to take care of you and your work?
Don’t pull out your hair just yet. With a little help from her friends, Natasha Sabharwal has put together a list of things to do for kids at home with the LEAST amount of adult supervision.
Warning: It involves guilt-free screen time, but trust me it’s better than Peppa Pig! Mums and dads get that bottle of wine ready.
Natasha’s Activities & Printables
Kids love to be challenged and with schools closing for summer, you can continue to keep them engaged with activity sheets. I collaborated with the super artistic, Nidhi Karnavat Chopra, from Pop Goes the Art to come up with a bank of Brain Teaser Digital & Printable Activities for ages 3-7 years.
(Bombay kids company also now delivers their other products and services)
Tip: Print, explain and leave it to the kids. It will take them a good amount of time to complete on their own.
Stock: When the lockdown lifts up, grab some of the DIY kits by Djeco and puzzles by Mudpuppy for guaranteed alone time. Pop Goes The Art has also launched their “Rewards Jar” which you will NEED (trust me, it works!)
Nidhi additionally sent me this very cool link to “My LockDown Diary”– A positive way for kids to journal their way through the Virus that has created history!
This is a fantastic option for kids ages 6 and up who love to sight see. Almost all the famous museums have opened up their exhibits for viewing, without having to stand in long lines!
Tip: Connect your laptop to your TV so you can view it on a big screen, show your kids how to navigate around once and let them go free.
Check Out: METKIDS by The Met NYC, Kruger National Park’s Live Safaris, revisit your theme park holidays with Disneyland & Lego Land. You’ll find so many more according to your Child’s age and interest through the Google Art Project.
Call upon your local teachers to start classes on Zoom for friends to meet, interact and continue their learning. The best part is you’re not restricted to your city anymore, so you and your friends can join classes from just about anywhere, as long as the time zone suits you!
Check Out: Hackberry’s Coding Stories workshop for 4-5 years old and their STEAM, App Creators & Entrepreneurial programs for older kids.
If older kids want to learn a new creative skill, SkillShare is the website to go to.
Digital Play Dates
I set up FaceTime calls for my 6 year old with her friends often since she really misses them. Leave them together with their toys, and imaginations; you will find the most elaborate schemes to take over the world.
Don’t forget to include the family dog — they make great assistants!
When screen time gets overwhelming, switch to Podcasts. They have fun quizzes, trivia, story series, kiddy music and a lot more.
Once you find a podcast that suits your kids’ interests, you can include it as a part of their daily routine.
Check out: But Why, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls,Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Extra Blurt and if you like Mythological Stories there are loads of options too.
Also: Since you’re in the mood of listening, Audible is a great App for audio books. Most of Julia Donaldson’s books have music and song in it which is exciting for the littles.
Draw with Famous Illustrators & Listen to your Favourite Authors
Illustrators like Rob Biddulph are posting Draw Along videos of characters from their books. It’s an amusing and interesting way to get your kids to learn how to draw. If you post it on social media with #DrawWithRob, he might just repost it and your kids will get a thrill!
Another Youtube Channel my daughter loves is Kids Hub.
Dreamy Author Alert: Head on over to Oliver Jeffers’ Instagram page and watch him read aloud his books. He launched his short film “Here We Are” last week on Apple TV + which is a MUST watch for family movie night (Be prepared to shed a tear or two).
Since Amazon has stopped delivering books, we resorted to online Libraries.
We liked the Epic app, recommended by our school and found lots of “Read to me” options, where your child can follow the words while being read to. It also has many educational videos relevant to their age.
Also: Newspapers for kids like Robin Age are providing free subscriptions at this time. They’ve released 15 editions and over 75 activities filled with curated content, knowledge and edutainment.
Websites: Nat Geo Kids is one of my personal favourite websites to visit.
Tip: Pick a topic a week, let your child research that topic through these resources, draw /write their observations and keep it for discussion time.
Things to Do Around the House
Send them on an Alphabetical Scavenger Hunt! Ask them to go around the house looking for an object that begins with every letter of the alphabet, photograph or illustrate each item.
For older kids, give them a list of words to find from books in your libraries at home. Get creative along the way — you will thank me for the amount of time you get with this one.
P.S: Little chores keep them occupied and organized like arranging Lego pieces, books, toys according to colour/shape size. You can reward them through their Reward Jar, which they can redeem for something special post lockdown.
With Love From
This is one of my favourites — teach your child the lost art of letter writing. Get them to post letters to their friends and family. Let them make their postcards elaborate. Find out if your postal service is functioning, or post them after the lockdown. If they’re too young, let them draw!
I hope this has helped you even in the littlest possible way. By the time this article releases, I may have already exhausted some of these options, so please send some my way too!! Stay Safe & Home.
Sending you a super socially distanced hug