South Africa, like a lot of other countries, has declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national disaster. Our schools are closing, events have been canceled and we’ve been asked to stay home. It’s time for us to unite, stopping the spread of the Corona Virus. So, don’t panic mama’s, we’ll get through this, sanity intact. One day at a time and with the help of these 60+ activities to do with the kids at home!
First, let’s cover the basics…
TIP 1: Schedule your Days
Times will vary depending on if you’re a family of early risers or late sleepers. This, however, is the basic “flow” of our days.
- Chore time
- The main activity of the day
- Mid-Morning Snack
- Free play
- Naptime / Quiet time
- Outdoor play
- Mid-afternoon snack
- Screen time
- Fitness Fun
- Dinner /. BathTime / Bedtime – This would be when Dad takes over PLEASE! (If possible).
Find your FREE Printable Daily Schedule for Kids HERE. It’s a must and kept our girls happily busy for 90 minutes!
TIP 2: Plan one main activity a day
Mamas, we’re going to have to learn to let the kids play! We can go back to neat and tidy homes once we are allowed to leave them.
Now for the 60+ Activities to do with the kids at home!
Let’s start with age-appropriate chores.
Chores shouldn’t be seen as a massive task that’s been forced upon anyone. Rather see this as yet another valuable opportunity to teach your little one important life skills that they will use forever. Expect completion, not perfection and take a page out of Mary Poppins’s book by making chores FUN!
A few suggestions based on what we expect from our girls:
I’ll also be asking the girls to help mop the floor and we may even tackle the windows if I’m brave enough.
Structured Play: The Main Activity of the Day
This will be something fun or special planned ahead of time. An activity that needs your attention, if only to get the kids started and that they can enjoy and look forward to every day.
I’ve compiled a list, (easy to print) and we’ll also be sharing what we choose to do on Instagram. You can also follow us on Pinterest and check out our board “Corona survival for Parents” for more ideas and instructions for the activities listed below.
Free Play ideas
* These activities can be completed independently (or with mom). Sometimes the main activity will lead into Free Play – giving mom time to get a few things done before lunch.
- Age-appropriate board games: Junior Monopoly, Uno, Mindmaster, Twister, Dominos, Hungry Hippos, Memory Match, The Djeco Range – the best toddler board games.
- Busy Books – You’ll find our favourites HERE.
- Playdough with specific items such as plastic animals, small stones and marbles for older kids, kids cutlery and plates etc.
- Blocks etc.
- Dolls with accessories.
- Dressup clothes
- Encourage imaginative play by setting up a little play scenario such as a flower shop, classroom, repair shop, bistro or beauty salon.
Take a good look at your little one’s toys. See which items they may have forgotten about and reintroduce these. Also, put away excess toys, rather rotating toys weekly to keep things interesting. It may take time for your little one to adjust but kids do need to learn to play on their own, stretching their mind and imagination.
Naptime / Quiet Play
It’s important to slow down and rest – a skill we often neglect teaching our kids. Read to your little one or let them read to you. Make storytime a daily highlight! You’ll find our Top Book Pick HERE.
Sometimes simply becoming quiet and lying down together is all that’s needed to doze off. Be patient, this won’t be forever and who knows you may just cultivate a new, good habit.
If sleep just ain’t happening, let them page through books or even watch a movie or short story. It’s okay, we all need the “electronic nanny” from time-to-time.
* A quick note on screentime: Facetime a different family member or friend every day. They will definitely appreciate the call.
Fresh air is a must and we spend mornings and afternoons outside. Many of the “Main Activities” mentioned above can be done outdoors too. Depending on where you live, whether you have a backyard, playhouse, swing set or trampoline, we should all make time to play outside.
Take a stroll around the neighborhood, find a quiet park or take the dogs walking. Kick and throw a ball. Run, skip, jump. Exercise as a family.
Lie on a blanket, cloud gazing. Feel the autumn sun on your skin. Climb a tree if you can. Ride your bike.
Remember the simple pleasures we find outside.
TIP 3: Worthwhile Subscription Boxes
Although we are not the biggest fan of subscription boxes; finding them wasteful and never completing the tasks – I’m going to need help. Keeping up with mom life, work, wife life and everything else still on our plates won’t be easy. I know I’m going to have days when I need a break. That’s when I’ll be pulling out our favourite subscription boxes… Tried and tested, we love completing the fun activities included in these.
- Annie’s Baking Club – No need to measure, weigh or buy ingredients only needed in a small amount. Everything needed is delivered to your door. Just add a few fresh items such as milk and eggs and you’re ready for “Tasty Tuesdays”.
- Girltivity – Specifically aimed at girls aged 3 1 12 (sorry boy moms). These boxes remind little ladies how amazing they are by celebrating fearless women who helped make the world better. Each Girltivity Box includes a 20-page Girltivity Activity Book showcasing the featured heroine’s unique story, with 10 to 15 hands-on STEAMED UP activities. STEAMED UP stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship, Design, Understanding and Practice.
- Busy Bean Online Kids Craft and Activity store – Not subscription boxes but rather educational boxes aimed at various language and mathematical skills that can be purchased once-off and re-used over and over again. Reasonably priced and definitely worth checking out.
May these 60+ activities to do with the kids at home inspire you to stay calm and positive during this trying moment in time. And remember; WASH THOSE HANDS!
Now that you’ve got your 60+ activities to do with the kids, let’s get organised!
Have a look at our COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR MOM: FREE Daily Schedule for kids and WEEKLY ACTIVITY PRINTABLES FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH!
(FREE for reals – no signing up to anything) Simply click and download. I even included pretty recipe cards, activity instructions, checklists and more.
Planning for the next few weeks will keep you sane mama. xxx
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana van Dalen from Madison & West Lifestyle Division.