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Surprise! Covid-19 has spread throughout the world and you're suddenly wondering what to do with your kids at home while the schools are closed. Aaack!!
Don't fret none, mamma, I've got your back!
This post is PACKED FULL of a ZILLION amazing ideas to help fill your kids time in productive and useful ways. Things they will think are fun and engaging, all the while helping you keep things calm and sane for everyone - including yourself!
I'm writing this article as the Coronivirus pandemic is sweeping the world and many parents are suddenly having their children's school close and kids are suddenly now at home.
Some schools are offering online options for schooling, yet many are not. What to do???
Well, get ready for a ton of helpful ideas, some ideas are for you and a whole bunch of ideas are for your kids.
Are you ready?
This post is divided into two main sections:
- Some powerful advice for you, mom
- and a ZILLION cool things your kids can do at home
Here's some valuable advice for you, Mom:
You may be feeling pretty overwhelmed with all that's going on in the world, let alone now wondering what to do with your kids at home all day.
Well, I'm a homeschooling mom of 25 years and I've got plenty of help to offer you. And with that said, you may be surprised at my #1 piece of advice:
Don't turn your home into a school
I realize many schools are offering online classes so that students can continue their schooling even while in quarantine. So, in essence, yes, your home has been turned into a school. But, be careful with this.
I hear of some moms feeling like they're going crazy with one kid's online teacher's requirements, and another kid's requirements, and even down to the kindergartner, and how they all need a computer at the same time, and that things have gotten absolutely crazy!
I encourage you with all my heart to remember a very important truth: FAMILIES CAME BEFORE SCHOOL DID.
That means families still need to come first.
Schools were created to help families.
Families shouldn't be beholding to schools.
Even with the need to quarantine and deal with the school's efforts to help kids with their schooling, we moms really must protect the sanctity of our homes by keeping our priorities straight.
But they have to keep up on their math! They have to get that essay done!!.....
Breathe, my friend. Maybe so. But in the grand scheme of things none of these concerns are what's most important right now.
If you think you are feeling stressed or concerned about things that are happening in the world right now, how might your kids feel?
I invite you to pull back a minute and consider a few questions:
- "What is the most important thing for my family right now?"
- "When this is all over, what are the most important things I want my family to have experienced during this time?"
- "What kind of an atmosphere does my family need at home during these next few weeks/months...?"
It's probable that right now, the best thing you can do for your kids is to create a stress free environment. One that is chock full of love and family time.
It's your job to create an atmosphere of joy and peace, as much as you can.
Think of this crazy time in history as a beautiful gift given to your family. A time to be together, to learn how to interact with each other on a new level, to love, to grow, to build cherished memories.
Be diligent at keeping your priorities straight in regards to your family.
Be bold in taking charge of what those priorities are.
Take advantage of this time at home to purposely create what you want to have happen. Not just what is being thrust upon you.
Kick fear to the curb
But Myra, the world is upside down! Have you heard about all that's going on out there! What if my family gets sick?! What if my kids are home for a really long time?! What if...?!
Yes, I'm fully aware of all that's going on out there. It feels a bit like the twilight zone. Yet I still say, you don't have to be afraid.
- Don't be afraid that someone in your family will get sick.
- Don't be afraid your kids will forget what they've learned in school.
- Don't be afraid of how you're going to feed your family if your country/area goes into lockdown.
My friend - I'm absolutely saying, don't be afraid. Of anything.
Am I crazy for saying that? How can we experience all these things without feeling afraid??
That's a really great question. It's such a great question that I'm in the middle of writing another post just for you titled, "How to Overcome Fear - the Savior's way." I'll link to it here as soon as I get it finished. (LINK COMING SOON!)
But for now I want to tell you this - fear is not necessary. It's soooo natural though. Man, with all that's going on it just comes up and fills our souls automatically.
I'm here to tell you that you can face and handle all of these challenges with more power than you've ever imagined. All without fear, or at least, very little of it. I promise.
This is my current experience. I've been practicing the things I'm writing about in that other article and I have to say, it is POWERFUL.
To put it short and powerfully, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
So, that means that whenever you feel fear or are afraid, you can tell that feeling where to go, because it did not come from God. (Any guesses where fear comes from? Yup.)
- You CAN deal with a lockdown without fear.
- You CAN have your children at home for a few weeks without worrying about schooling them and can actually have things turn out well.
- You CAN deal with sickness or any other issue without fear.
It's a super big deal to learn how to see things without fear getting in the way.
You are more powerful than you my realize and with God's help, you can totally face all of these things with courage, faith, wisdom, calm, power, and even joy.
Create some order in your home
While I certainly believe this time at home with our family is a gift, things will always go better when there is some sort of routine for everyone to operate with.
So I recommend coming up with a flexible at-home routine for your family. You may want to create it yourself or let your children give their input, but either way, some order to your days will be a blessing to all.
I've looked around and this site has some free printable charts that I really like.
Make your home a haven
Mom, this is your opportunity to shine for your family.
If you can do anything to truly help your family at this time, it is to make your home a haven from the storm.
You can make your home a happy place, where fears are calmed, where hearts are encouraged, and where life feels abundant.
Practice being patient. Practice being kind. Practice being more loving. And forgive yourself for when you're not.
Remember who you are in the grand scheme of things, and remember who your children are. You are all children of God and he loves each of you dearly.
Make your home a place where your family can feel his love during this difficult time.
You will be so glad you did.
Boredom can actually be good for your kids
Yes, boredom can actually be good for your kids.
With all the fast paced stuff in our world - from school, to friends, tv, cell phones, music, computer games, busy schedules, etc, etc... - kids are always on the go, either physically or mentally.
When there is down time - when nothing else is automatically filling up their time - and they find themselves with nothing to do, they will often go into scramble mode and "need" something to help them have something to do.
I'd encourage you to not be the one to fill that need.
This is such a valuable opportunity for them to grow some valuable skills.
The skill of facing boredom and learning to deal with it can be a great place for them to start finding and discovering answers to their own situation.
The skill of being ok with just being quiet is SOOOO needed in our world.
The skills of exploring and of imagining are powerful.
The path from 'disturbed boredom' to 'peaceful pondering' is oh-so-priceless for a child to learn to navigate.
Yes, help as needed to keep them safe, but by all means, let them struggle with being bored. It truly is a blessing to them.
Here are A ZILLION great ideas
for what to do with your kids when schools are closed
OK mamma, pull up a chair and get ready for a TON of GREAT ideas of what to do with your kids at home when schools are closed. These ideas will rock your family's world!
Below are TONS of resources to look through and find just what you need. Enjoy!
Kids can make their own list of things to do.
As soon as the mandate came from our state's governor that all schools were to be closed for some time, my sweet little niece, Tessa, age 12, made a fantastic list of things she could do with her time.
Do you see the last item on her list?? When she gets done with this list, her next plan is to --- MAKE ANOTHER LIST! Super cool!
Before you get all concerned that you need to come up with ideas for what your kids can do while schools are closed, give your kids space and time to come up with their own list.
Boredom is not fatal, and it actually allows their sweet brains to do the work of coming up with something to do. This is so good for them!
This list is brilliant, Tessa! 🙂
Also, here's a great list of ideas: The Best 50 Activities That Will Keep Kids Busy + Happy.
Read aloud to your kids
Oh - my - goodness. Reading aloud to your kids can be some of the yummiest time ever spent with them.
As I've homeschooled my kids for 25 years I can say that reading aloud to them has been the hallmark of our homeschool, and the very thing that has made them as well rounded and bright as they are.
Warning: Please do not turn this into reading lessons!
Important to remember: This time together needs to be mom and/or dad gathering the kids around them on the couch or wherever is comfortable, and sharing together a wonderful story. Live the story. Breathe the story. Let imaginations thrive!
Laugh out loud. Cry at the sad parts. Allow your family to bond naturally and abundantly. Reading aloud great story books have this power. What a beautiful scene!
Here's a great article about "Family Read-aloud: How to Strengthen Your Family With This Powerful Tradition"
Activities/Games you can play in your backyard
Crafts with Common Household Items
Sneak in Some Fun Learning
Outdoor Scavenger Hunts
Indoor Scavenger Hunts
Quiet Activities for Toddlers
Crafts for Teens
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WHEW! I LOVE having so many fun options for what to do with your kids at home when schools are closed!
If you find any other resources you'd like to see listed here, please comment below or send me an email!
Love to you, my friends!
What to Do With Your Kids at Home When Schools are Closed