So, here we are again, stuck in yet another lockdown thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst I completely understand why we have been ordered to stay at home, it can make family life pretty difficult. I’ve worked from home for a while now anyway, but that doesn’t mean that I can just drop everything to be there to help the kids out with their school work all day every day. Yet, we find ourselves in the situation where that’s pretty much what we have to try to do. Schools are setting work for the kids, but sometimes they need quite a lot of help, and whilst I would love to be able to sit and help them every time they ask, my employer also has his own expectations of me – and rightly so! That’s why I’ve been looking at ways to give the kids activities that they can sit and do quietly and independently. If you’re finding everything a constant juggling act at the moment, then hopefully you might find this post useful!
No matter how much we want the best for our children, the pandemic has forced really unusual circumstances on our families. Suddenly the kids are all at home and we’re having to try to add schooling our kids into our already hectic lives. It really isn’t easy. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible! But I think as parents, we are the worst at putting pressure on ourselves. Sometimes, we need to recognise that it’s time to take a little step back and prioritise things. Sometimes, you need to prioritise your work over helping the kids with their school work – and that doesn’t make you a bad parent. That’s just the way life is at the moment. And don’t forget that it’s still really important to make some time for yourself too. In fact, it’s more important than ever right now. It’s at these times when it’s a good idea to have something that the kids can just get on with quietly whilst you take a work call or answer an important email.
Kids activity sheets are a great way to keep the children busy but it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for in the mountain of stuff available online! Particularly if your children are very specific about the types of activities they like to do. That’s why I’ve started to look at creating my own activity sheets and gathering together other activities for my children so that I can tailor them to my kids’ interests and hopefully they will get really engrossed in doing them and they’ll hold their attention for more than two minutes!
What kinds of activities can you create?
The list of possibilities here is pretty limitless. You can create all kinds of activity sheets and other ideas to keep the kids busy this lockdown.
One of the quickest and easiest things you can create is your own colouring sheets. There are loads of free images you can use online and you can find these for pretty much anything your child is interested in. This could be superheroes, farmyard animals, princesses, knights, ninjas, dinosaurs or anything else they decide they’re into at the moment. You can even find some great mindfulness colouring that’s perfect to help the adults to unwind too.
OK, so this one will probably need some input from you, especially in the very early stages. But, embroidery is something that you can enjoy doing together with your children. It’s a great activity when you’re looking for something quiet and calm to do at the end of a hectic day.
There are hundreds of options for embroidery design available to buy online, so you can choose to do something that really grabs your child’s attention. Or, you could use a stencil or a printed design and draw your own picture for the kids to use.
You can create your own wordsearches either online or with a pen and paper, or just search for ready made ones available to print online. There are plenty of free wordsearches available to download and they are often themed too. So, you could
Paint by numbers
Painting by numbers used to be popular when I was a child, but it seemed to disappear for a while! Just recently, I’ve noticed a real growing popularity in this again, and I think it’s definitely thanks to the recent lockdowns. Painting by numbers can be as intricate and detailed as you like, or it can be really simple and easy for younger children. It’s a great way to get them focused on doing something independently and working away until they can see the finished result. There are some really impressive ready made printables to use online, so it’s really simple to get started. Or, you can often find sets in stationery and discount shops too that come complete with all the right colours.
In the run up to Christmas, we sat down and made our own cards for our family. Now I know next Christmas is a long time away, but it’s always lovely to receive a card, no matter what time of year. Just get out whatever crafting supplies you have at home along with some card, and let the children make cards for their friends and family, just to let them know that they’re thinking of them. You could then all take a walk together to post them and they really will brighten up someone’s day. If you wanted to take it one step further, you could use card templates available online, but cards might purely by the kids would be perfect too!
This lockdown is bound to be a challenge, but we’ve got through it once before and we can get through it again this time too. Having some activities ready to go just makes things a little bit easier, particularly if you know you’re going to have a busy day with your own work, or you just need a little time out!