5 Tips to Keep the Kids Engaged

The kids are home—now what?

Schools are closed and many parents have adopted a new role: teacher. This is uncharted territory for many and can be overwhelming as you navigate working from home, social distancing, and mental sanity.

Here are some tips to help you and your children adjust to this new routine and stay engaged:

1. Create a schedule. 

It is important to have a schedule and daily routine that suits the needs of everyone in the family. If you have more than one child, try to align their schedules so you are not feeling pulled in too many directions. Have your child(ren) help you create the schedule so they feel invested in their activities and post the schedule where they can easily see it to help build excitement.

2. Have fun with it. 

Create a theme for each week that carries throughout your activities. Have your kids help you come up with ideas—the more buy in you have from them, the more success you will have teaching! Try to pick a theme you can support with resources and items from around your home.

Some fun theme ideas: shapes, colors, transportation, animals, gardening, family, space, water, Dr. Seuss, spring.

3. Make space to be active. 

This is a great time to teach your kids about a healthy lifestyle. Schedule “gym class” each day and incorporate kid-friendly exercises to prioritize movement.

Here are some exercises to try:

4. Make a masterpiece.

Set up an arts and crafts area where your children can make a mess and stretch their creative muscles. Give them time to create without a goal in mind, allowing for exploration and fun. Use recyclables as supplies—empty cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, glass jars. Make homemade playdough for a special activity. 

5. Get some fresh air. 

Spending time in nature and soaking up the sunshine is a great way to boost your immune system, stay active, and brighten your mood. Allow time for unstructured play outside but also find ways to incorporate nature into your learning center. Some outdoor activities that are educational, creative, and active include: wildlife observation, a scavenger hunt, nature walk, build something out of sticks, weed pulling, cloud observation, nature maze. 

Now more than ever it is important to take care of yourself and be sure to fill up your cup. Taking time to slow down, focus, and redirect your thoughts is proven to aid physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As you craft your weekly schedule, be sure to set aside time for yourself to practice mindfulness and meditation