Schools are closing across the globe to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus. This is much different from having the kids home from school during the summer break, because places of entertainment are also closing. In my community the schools are closed and gatherings of more than 250 people banned. The YMCA no longer has classes, activities, or childcare. The library, zoo, as well as, community centers are closed. In the summer, people often take their kids to many of these places to break up the week. This is not an option during this time, so what are we going to do with our kids? Here are some of my ideas on how to keep the kids from going stir crazy.
Include learning time, chores, outside time, and free time.
My kids are always begging for video games. I like to use the schedule to help them know when it's an appropriate time to play. During this pandemic, I think we are going to need to let go of our normal screen-time limits. It may be the only way to stay sane as a parent during these crazy times.
Our school district has said to be prepared for the kids to be out of school for at least 6 weeks. If it goes much longer than that, we are going to see closures leading right into summer break. The schools are working now on ways for the kids to stay engaged in their education. Which will probably mean more screens for the purpose of education as well as play.
I have told my kids even though they are not going to school, we will still spend time on their education. I have found some online learning resources that I think my kids will enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled for my article on the sites I found.
Watch cooking shows. Figure out what age appropriate recipes your kids want to learn how to cook.
Choose age appropriate chores that they could learn to do. Do they know how to do the laundry, clean the microwave, clean the fridge, weedeat? You can either choose to pay them or not. I like to offer money when it goes above and beyond their regular chores.
We have hundreds of kids craft ideas here on ThriftyFun!
Get some fresh air. If you have a yard, get the kids out there to play. Look for worms, do a scavenger hunt, make an obstacle course. Go for a walk, practicing social distancing, of course, and count how many cats you see.
It's that time of the year to start planning for your spring/summer garden. If you don't have a garden started, start one with your kids. Build a raised bed, start a container garden or even plant in these garden bags I found on Amazon: Fabric Pots (Affiliate Link)
If you have to be indoors, stay active. Play active videos games like JustDance. If you don't have the game you can watch the Just Dance videos on YouTube and dance along.
Try Cosmic Kids Yoga
Do a physical challenge: Start a chart and see how many pushups, sit ups, and squats (or what ever exercise you like) and chart your improvement each day.
Now it is updated to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. :(
Along with cooking, baking with your kids would be fun.
My kids also like to pretend they are the teacher sometimes and teach us lessons that they're learning.
Perhaps could try learning a sport at home with the help of YouTube like martial arts, ballet, tap, or piano lessons, guitar, violin or any instrument one may have at home if available or if you know to teach your child/kids.
I will add more in the comments if I have more to add. :)
I just saw your title about entertaining the children. Yes this is a very difficult time for the adults not to mention the children. But I do have a problem with the word entertaining. They're going to be bored I've been bored. I was bored as a child and my mother always told me go figure out something to do so sometimes I didn't and I just did what I've done today listen to the radio.
My almost 3-year-old grandson wanted a punching bag so I stuffed an old curtain into a sturdy bag, tied on a length of string (actually, some shoelaces I had), and hung it from a hook in the ceiling. (I have a pretty open living room, btw.)
He had a blast and played with it for a lot longer than an almost-3-year-old normally would!
Now that the day is warming up, - it was only 30 degrees this morning - we're going to plant some potatoes in a grow bag.
My internet provider (COX) also stepped up and increased internet speeds at no additional cost. I am getting a lot of emails from companies I am subscribed to, or a member of explaining how they are coping with COVID-19 for their employees as well as their customers (most likely offering free shipping at no minimum, so you could shop at home). Check your emails.