4 Uncomplicated Ways to Occupy Young Kids out of School in Quarantine

Life at home is a little different with kids out of school and home on quarantine. No matter your personality, inevitably there will be ups and downs. While we can’t guarantee there will be an absence of meltdowns or tantrums, we are sharing four uncomplicated ways to keep them entertained while soothing your sanity. Best news is you’ve already got what you need! 

1. Unstructured time is OK.

First off, you don’t need a color coded schedule to keep your kid entertained, well-behaved or smart. If it helps you or you know it’s best for your kid, then by all means use it! But if the thought of managing an hour-to-hour schedule for your child is panicking to you, take a deep breath and realize that unstructured time is totally acceptable. Giving her the ability to decide how to spend her time next has empowering benefits, too. Our next suggestion will help them choose, but if you do find them whining, pining, or otherwise “lost”, give them two suggestions for their next activity. You’re helping them learn more by doing less, momma. #winning 

2. Rearrange the placement of your current toys.

Seriously? Yes, seriously. You can really get into this or you can keep it simple, but it’s a magical wonder. Remember when you found a shirt you loved deep in the back of your closet and your excitement returned for wearing it? Same thing happens for kids when their copious amounts of toys are placed somewhere new. Getting into this might turn into a reorganization/Marie Kondo project for you, but it doesn’t have to for it to work. Simply select three toys/activities that he hasn’t played with in a while and set them out for him to see the next day. Nine times out of ten, she’ll find a new way to play with them, stretching your toys further and your kid’s imagination. #morewinning  

4. Play the “What’s On My Butt?” game.

If you haven’t heard of this before, you’re going to love it. The author of “Weird Parenting Wins” (great read) and podcast host of “The Longest Shortest Time”(amazing podcast), Hillary Frank, shared this game discovered by another unnamed exhausted mom. When you just need to lay down, but can’t actually nap because your kid wants to play, you can simultaneously semi-recharge while entertaining your little one. Tell him you’re going to lay face down and you want him to place one toy at a time on your butt so you can guess what it is. He’ll think it’s hysterical because it’s impossible to guess. Pro Tip: he must return each toy back to it’s “spot” after you guess, so your house isn’t more of a disaster after the game… #buttslap 

4. Relax on the screen time rules.

All bets are off right now. Don’t add to your angst (or your kids’ for that matter) by stringently abiding by the Pediatric Association suggestions for screen time. Now more than ever, it’s an ideal tool for learning, connecting with others, entertaining, and even seeing the outside world. Of course, if you haven’t already, placing parental controls on these various devices is best. There’s plenty of good to be discovered and enjoyed on our devices, especially with parental controls in place. Keep the content age appropriate and a good mix of entertaining and clever. It can be independent time and/or enjoyed together time. Asking questions about the story makes the entertainment choices more meaningful.

So there you have it - four uncomplicated ways to keep your kid(s) entertained while they’re safe at home during this unprecedented world-experience. This is absolutely doable and it’ll save you some sanity. In the end, while we’re keeping safe at home, we must be resourceful and find the good in what surrounds us. Of course the circumstances are glum, but it is always good to be with family and finding fresh ways to create meaningful memories together. Which uncomplicated way will you try to occupy your kid(s) first?


Bold Momma Author

Natalie is co-founder of Baby Boldly, wife to James and mom to Abigail (5 years) and Mabel (21 months). Her passion is to empower new parents for improved birth and postpartum experiences and changing the way society relates to new moms’ and dads’ unique needs. 

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