5 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained When They’re Stuck at Home
The closure of schools and offices due to the COVID-19 outbreak can be hard for your little ones. Many families are currently quarantined together in their homes, and children often find themselves feeling more bored than usual as they cannot play outside and do not have the constant structure and stimulation that they get from school.
As a parent, you might have heard your kids declare that they are bored while they’re in your vicinity because they likely want you to do something about it. Perhaps, your children might want to spend time with you. On the other hand, your child may just be looking for a push in the right direction, as sarcasm or telling them to play with their toys may not suffice.
Young children tend to be more inventive when they are faced with boredom, and this is a good thing. They can learn problem-solving skills and just let their imagination run wild. Sometimes, they just need the right amount of prodding from you. Here are a few ways to keep your little ones entertained:
1. Encourage and reward solo playtime
When your child was still in school, they had a lot of choice when it came to playmates. Now that they are self-isolating, it may be just them and their siblings. You can set up small activities in a safe environment that will allow your child to play alone. Colouring books, Lego sets, or puzzles will work, but letting them come up with something will help too. Start with short sessions of solo playtime (15-20 minutes) and slowly build up to an hour. Every time they succeed in playing alone for a certain time, reward them with something fun like watching their favourite videos or downloading shows on Bigo live.
2. Do not just limit them to toys
To allow your child to use their imagination and creativity, let them play with other objects that are not necessarily toys. Sometimes, your child might feel bored with their current toys due to familiarity, so they might crave something unique to play with. That does not mean that they cannot play with something else though.
Let them make something to play with using random items from your home, just remember to let them ask for your permission first. Allow your child to look around the house and pick up anything that they find interesting. You can even give them art materials to help. Whether your child comes up with a house, a sock puppet, a tea set or an action figure, letting them make their own fun can keep them entertained for a long time.
3. Get the whole family involved in the fun
While letting your child get used to solo play is good for their development, having your whole family join playtime can be great as well. Keep things simple with the usual board game or card game that everyone of all ages can play. Or, you and your family can play games that involve more movement.
Hide and seek and flashlight tag are something that the whole family can enjoy as well. Your children will love the excitement of these games while you and the rest of the adults can feel nostalgic while playing these games again.
4. Make up a game to get your children to bond
Letting your little ones have fun together while playing a made-up game can help them beat boredom and even help them get along. Try the Spider game. How the game works is that someone is selected to be the spider while everyone else is the prey. The spider will have a prop that is meant to represent spider silk. This can be a blanket, a towel, a sarong or some other large textile.
The spider must stay in one place and has to try to throw the cloth over someone while everyone has to try and get away. Each time the cloth comes into contact with someone, it means that the prey has been caught in the spider silk and that person is out of the game. The Spider game ends when there is no one left running around. There are other appropriate games that are great for siblings to play as well.
5. Let them get crafty
Art is always a great form of entertainment for children, no matter what their age is. It teaches them to be creative, to take risks, to be patient, and more. Keep art materials at the ready whenever your child starts to get bored and give them prompts to motivate them to use it.
Suggest a picture or scenery that your child might be interested in drawing. To help your child formulate ideas for the sculpture, you can offer prompts that will tickle their imagination. Slowly, they will be inspired enough to come up with their own ideas and willingly take to the art materials by themselves.
Keeping one’s self entertained during quarantine can be hard, especially for children. If the kids find themselves being bored, try not to give in to the temptation to sit them down in front of the TV or iPad as their only source of entertainment. Let them develop holistically by giving them other ways to keep themselves busy whether they are by themselves, with their siblings, or with you. After all, self-isolation is just a temporary arrangement for everyone; it is good to make the most of this situation while you still can.