Tips and tricks for keeping kids occupied during lockdown

Posted in Family.

How are you feeling right now?

If you’re a parent, chances are, you have your hands full. With Sydney now in its fifth week of lockdown, Melbourne in its second and South Australia now shut down too, thousands of parents are left with not just the added burden of caring for little kids while they try to work remotely, but ensuring that their older kids absorb enough home learning, as well.

And it’s hard!

The mums at Babyology are certainly feeling it, so we asked our Facebook community for any tips, tricks or hacks other parents might have for keeping little ones occupied and not-so-little ones on track. We had a fantastic response, so we thought we’d go ahead and put them all on one page. Our staff had some great ideas, so we’ve included those too.

Tips for little ones

“Use your furniture as an obstacle course and cushions for stepping stones.” – Bev

“Get messy! Make your own play dough with their colour choice or try painting. Bake cookies so they can mix the ingredients and make their own designs.”- Sarah

 “If you have a whiteboard, play guess the picture, or musical chairs with their favourite songs. You can pretend two toys are getting married or it’s a teddy’s birthday party, and dress up for the occasion.” – Jolene

“Duplos are  great — entertains my almost three-year-old for ages.” – Valerie

Outside play

Why time outside is so important for kids

“We love doing backyard picnics with toys, but indoor tents with dining table and chairs work too.” – Josie

“You can make leaf and flower garlands, or try just painting with leaves or flowers. Decorate your window with either paper torn up or things from the garden.” – Judi

“When we went on our walks last lockdown, we did I Spy for things that begin with the letters from the alphabet, A and B bottle C car, things like that.” – Anita

Indoor play

“We’ve tried YouTube dance class, scavenger hunts around the house where you ask your kids to find something round, something blue, etc. Cooking and turning household things into instruments. Make a zoo out of stuffed animals.” –  Jo

“Skittles! Use any plastic containers with different balls to choose from. Every kid loves building and destroying forts, egg cartons for sorting items, edible play dough, torches for shadow puppets, blowing bubbles through a plastic Coke bottle cut in half for the sock over the large hole and placed in soapy water, it makes wonderful air worms.” – Sandra

“Freeze some plastic toys in a Tupperware container then, if you put it in a bigger tub, they can chip away at it for ages to try and dig them out.” – Chelsea

“Bath for my preschoolers and giving them bubble wands and letting them play while I get a shower or clean the bathroom!” – Sarah C

“My son and I have been making fun videos! We made an indoor obstacle course using masking tape. We also did a cardboard marble run and other projects. Making beautiful memories along the way!” – Jamie

For older kids

“We’ve been packing morning tea lunch and afternoon tea boxes each morning just like school – kids have been choosing their own snacks so it’s a bit of a novelty therefore and five. I’ve also set an alarm on my phone with bell times for meal times, the kids think it’s great and mostly helps to control the amount of food we’re going through. Also, the goal is 45 to 60 minutes of reading/writing activities and 45 to 60 minutes of math/numeracy activities over the course of the morning. That said, afternoon is outside time or free play”. – Jessica

 “We will be doing a treasure hunt. Instead of clues they will need to answer maths and English questions. And for the last one, they will have to work together to find the treasure chest — which will be full of treats.”- Kim

“Getting out of the house is key, rain, hail or shine. We do remote learning in the morning then go for a big walk or go to a playground in the afternoon. This saves both mine and my daughter’s sanity.” – April

Take care of yourself, too

“You know what really helps to cut the mood when I’m feeling in a funk? Putting on my OWN music, really loud. No Frozen, no Wiggles. NO BABY SHARK. I’ve made a playlist of kid-appropriate songs I love, and I crank it when I need a pick-me-up. The kids love it too and the biggest bonus? They can sing all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody, so obviously that means I’ve parented them right!” – Suze

“Doing the same thing every day – routine is important for kids. It lets them know they’re in a safe place where they can be themselves, but you need to find things that they can do for themselves so that you’re not entertaining them all the time. Don’t be afraid to use the TV, just make sure it’s something educational. Plus, I would highly recommend having a rest for yourself during the day. Put the kids down and have a 10-minute lie down, it breaks up a day, and I’m always surprised by how energised I feel, even after a small rest. Keep up the good work, mama.” – Natalie


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