5 Things to Try with the Kids While Stuck At Home

It’s what we always imagined for ourselves – staying at home for days on end, in our PJs, watching all the Netflix possible and participating in meetings from the comfort of our living rooms, right? Those are definitely pluses, but there are a few “coworkers” we didn’t necessarily take into consideration when we were imagining our perfect “work from home” scenarios. Insert: the kiddos. 

If you’re the lucky owner of any person under the age of 18, you know that schools are currently closed, which means you are now surrounded by the “pitter-patter” (more like CRASH-BOOM-BANG) of children while under quarantine. If you’re like us, the blessings and the challenges come in ebbs and flows. We’re grateful to be safe at home with our families while working remotely, but WHOA, those little guys can really ruin a peaceful and conductive Zoom call, can’t they? 

Between conference calls, becoming a sudden teacher, and balancing the act of parenting and working, we’ve got our hands full. We’ve got a few ideas for you to try if you’re at home with the kids right now. 

Driveway Chalk Murals – It’s not as easy to run into Target and grab a bucket-full of sidewalk chalk, but the magic of online delivery can still save us while we hunker down. Hopefully, you already have a stash just waiting for some creativity to come along. Spend a few minutes with your kiddo (or, hey, have them do it themselves to occupy some time!) creating funny murals on the sidewalk or driveway. Have your kids lay down and pose in the mural doing several different things, and take pictures from above. Here’s your big chance to let them “fly” in the sky or “sail” on the sea all alone, without defying gravity or getting too close to anybody in the meantime. 

Host a DIY “Cupcake Wars” Show – Whether you’ve seen the hit show “Cupcake Wars” or not, you can get the gist of the concept just by the name itself. Foster a healthy bit of competition in your house by busting out a $2 cake mix, and let the kids bake the recipe by the instructions on the back of the box. Easy enough, right? Now let them go a little crazy by putting out some frosting, sprinkles, small plastic bags (for cheap decorating piping bags) and food coloring. Allow them a few minutes for internet research on cupcake decorating, or pose a theme like “animals” or “space creatures” to give them some guidelines. Now’s not the time to freak out about the kitchen getting a little messy. Allow them to have a little bit of fun since they’ve been cooped up just like you. Bonus points for getting to snack on some delicious treats in the end. Everyone’s a winner! 

Start a “Just Between Us” Journal Swap – This one is especially important for the older kids since they’re dealing with a lot of emotions and heaviness during this time that’s not always so easy to talk about. Grab a lined notebook, or order a special hard-bound journal for swapping back and forth with your child. This gives them a chance to “talk” about hard stuff via pen and paper while giving you a chance to catch up on all the other 1,000 things you have to do during the day. When they head to bed, grab the journal and see what they wrote to you that day. Take a few minutes to write back, and keep the journal forever as an important memento from this weird time. Even if your littles want to get involved, you’ll enjoy some cute scribble scrabbles and can write sweet and simple love notes to them too. 

Whatever you do, remember that as much pressure as you have on your shoulders, your kiddos have that much pressure too, without the capability of always voicing that stress. Go a little easy on them, and try to make as many opportunities a learning one, even if it means you’re teaching them chores, like how to separate the laundry or make macaroni and cheese for lunch on your own. Stay safe, and take a few minutes to get creative with the kiddos. 

In case you missed it: “What to Do When You Get Home From Being Out” walks you through the checklist of what to do after being “out and about” during the quarantine. Don’t spread germs, and contact your SOGO agent to get updates on what’s going on in the insurance world, and how we can help save you money while keeping you covered.