It’s fall and that means cooler weather, darker nights, and, for many of us, more bad weather. We are at the start of the school season, and many of our children are learning virtually. But, unlike being in a brick-and-mortar classroom, you likely do not have the benefit of an entire playground or group of educators to provide diverse experiences for your children. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for what, exactly, to do on those days you can’t get out, keep reading for tips.
1. Hire a virtual sitter
Virtual babysitting has been a godsend for working parents while schools are closed, they are working from home, and have online meetings etc. As long as your children are able to sit still and engage online for blocks of about an hour, a virtual babysitter can keep them occupied. Babysitters In A Pinch explains that this is not only less expensive than traditional babysitting, but it’s also a great way to introduce simple and entertaining activities to children who, in all honesty, are probably bored even if they are attending school remotely.
2. STEAM projects
For kids that have not yet started school, there are still plenty of ways to keep them busy by utilizing free and low-cost online educational opportunities. If your child has shown interest in science or technology, websites such as PBS, Einstein’s Workshop, and Math + Science + Music are some of Earth Science Jr’s top-rated online STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programs.
3. Move exercise indoors
Have you ever noticed that when your kids don’t have recess at school that they are bundles of energy when they get home? This is because kids need to run, jump, and play every single day. Unfortunately, when the weather outside decides not to cooperate, it may be a little more difficult to let them burn off that pent up energy. Fortunately, there are a few ways they can exercise that will wear them down (hopefully in time for a mid-afternoon nap). These include doing handstands, creating an indoor obstacle course, and playing indoor volleyball with a balloon.
4. Go on a scavenger hunt
When you think of a scavenger hunt, you probably think of roaming your neighborhood looking for things like brown dogs and red cars. The truth is that you can create a scavenger hunt for anywhere. An around-the-house scavenger hunt might include things like finding a fork, something with a pattern, and something that has a strong odor.
Tips for parents
In our chaotic world, it’s not always easy to maintain our sense of sanity and self while also catering to the kids. Here are some tips to help you do that:
● When booking an online babysitter, choose an option that has reliable and consistent rates and well-screened childcare providers.
● Give yourself 30 minutes of "you-time" each day. This might mean taking a walk or savoring a long bath while your spouse or partner tends the children.
● Monitor your kids’ screen time. Although you may need them to channel their energies into something else while you work, too much sitting and staring at a television or smart phone screen may lead to behavioral and health problems.
The weather outside might dictate what you can do outdoors. But it is not a prison sentence. There are plenty of ways to educate, entertain, and engage even the most rambunctious children. And, with a few smart options, like investing in a virtual babysitter or creating a fun home scavenger hunt, you can buy yourself a few hours to work, clean, or just breathe.