We’ve talked to a lot of parents during the past few days who are already struggling with being home with the kids 24/7.
It seems like we’re going to have to live this way a while longer, so we wanted to give some tips and suggestions to help your family be healthy and happy during this crazy time.
Sherman Mom is a licensed psychologist, so this is coming from an expert!
1. Get Outside Everyday!
We created Never Bored to help families get out of the house because we realized a long time ago that if we leave the house everyday – even if it’s just to play in the yard or ride bikes – we are all happier.
Being outside in nature and fresh air is so important for good mental health, and especially now.
Try to find a way to get outside everyday – take a walk, eat outside, go puddle jumping, draw with sidewalk chalk, work in the garden or whatever you can do while still social distancing.
2. Go A Little Farther From Home If You Can
We have found a few ways to still go on family outings while social distancing:
We went to a lake and had a picnic while watching the sunset, we drove up to the mountains and played in the snow, and we walked around a farm and looked at plants and animals – all without being near any other people.
Having a change of scenery and a fun activity really helps break up days that can get monotonous.
3. Stay Connected To Friends and Family
Be sure that both you and the kids regularly communicate with family and friends!
Video chat is the best way to feel close during this time, but of course there’s also texting, calling and social media.
We especially love the Messenger Kids app because it is super safe with full parental control but very kid friendly and has lots of fun digital masks, stickers and games.
However, we’ve also had a great time staying in touch without technology by ding-dong-ditching candy and notes to friends, and lots of kids are going back to old-fashioned letter writing for homeschool writing practice and reaching out all in one.
It’s so fun to find creative ways to stay connected!
4. Limit Screen Time
Between school assignments, video chat, educational videos and just plain entertainment, we’re all going to be having a little more screen time during the pandemic, so we need to try to limit it as much as possible.
Try to alternate kids between computer work and work on paper or reading books, and try to break-up screen time with outdoor time.
It can also be really helpful to have non-screen activities such as board games, puzzles, activity books, toys, etc. easily accessible and on rotation.
Take a few out one day and then a different set the next day to keep it interesting, and you will be less reliant on screens to keep kids busy.
5. Make Homeschooling Fun
You don’t need to be creative – there are so many free resources online with fun ways to learn.
Our family has been doing simple science experiments everyday and it has been fun for the adults too!
Physical fitness is so important, but especially when we have less activity in our lives and more stress.
It’s great if you can get out and play ball or walk, but even if you’re inside you can find fun exercise programs on the internet or TV.
We love GoNoodle and Cosmic Kids.
7. Everyone Should Have A Little Alone Time Each Day
No matter how much you love each other, being around the same people all day, every day will get rough.
Everyone in your house should have a little quiet, alone time each day, even if it’s just being in separate rooms.
Talk about it and take steps to make it happen for each other.
It will help a lot with getting through this time as peacefully as possible.