Are you a working parent? If so, you’re probably finding yourself in the unusually cruel situation of having to both work from home and entertain your children at the same time. It’s not fair. Maybe you’re feeling a bit like this mother. The world has never had such a high appreciation for teachers. And let’s face it. Even with the online schooling your kids are doing, there’s still hours worth of time that needs to be killed while you attempt to work from home without losing your mind.
The good news is, you’re not alone. There are ways you can keep your kids blissfully busy while you hone down on those 250 unread emails. Here are 8 ways to distract your children so you can maintain your productivity — and your sanity.
8 ways to keep your kids busy at home
1. Have an “unconventional materials” arts and crafts challenge
Have you got a closet full of random items you’ll never need or use again? Of course you do. Now is their time to shine. Go pull out all that decades-old wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, old gift bags, magazines, newspapers, toilet paper rolls, that old sweater from aunt Karen, you get the picture. Put it all in one big pile and tell your kids, “Go.” You can even make a contest out of it to see who can make the biggest creation, the most unique, and so on. Bonus points if they’re able to recreate a famous work of art using only materials found in the house (like these wonderful people).
2. These toys will keep your kids busy for hours
Luckily, certain toys are designed to hold kids’ attention for hours at a time. Take advantage of these. Sticker Books, playdough, puzzles and legos are some conventional examples — Magna-Tiles have been found to be particularly distracting and awe-inspiring. Again, give them a challenge, a mission they must accept: who can build a lego creation taller than themselves first?
3. Livestreams galore
While you don’t want your kids staring at a screen all day, these awesome live streams are not to be passed by. Want to watch the Northern lights in real time? There’s a livestream for that. What about puppies, pandas, farm animals or majestic sea creatures? There’s a livestream for these. What about an astronaut currently in the international space station? Yep, there’s even a livestream for that. Just try not to get too distracted yourself.
4. Visit a museum — from the kitchen table
To the average kid, museums can be boring. But not these museums. Whether you’re wanting to navigate through a two-story-high maze at the interactive Boston Children’s Museum or get lost in Frida Kahlo’s house at Mexico City’s La Casa Azul, there’s something for everyone. If your kids have slightly more mature taste, there’s many other museums they can check out, too.
5. Send your kids on a scavenger hunt
6. Dance like nobody’s watching
7. Activate their inner artist
8. Let your children fully experience — and conquer — boredom