Working from home has been a welcome change for many as it has given them the opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones at home, especially children. With schools closed, and workplaces mandate going remote, the coronavirus has presented us with a situation where we have to learn to multitask – work and parenting together, whether we like it or not.
Remote workers around the world have had their share of happy moments and some not-so-very-happy moments while working from home with kids!
Remember this dad from BBC?
Even though many remote workers have felt the pressure of having toddlers around whilst being on an important conference call, or their kids using their tablet too often, causing a slow down in the internet connectivity, it has also been a great learning experience for many.
People have found a way for work and parenting to co-exist by creating a healthy work environment for themselves, and stress free zone for their children.
If you are a work from home parent looking for fun ways to engage your child, we can help!
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO ENGAGE CHILDREN WHILE WORKING REMOTELY
KEEP CHILDREN STIMULATED
As a busy work from home parent, it is important that you not only focus on keeping your child entertained, but also stimulated. Take a 10 minute break from work and join your child in a quick pretend play. Or may be join them in doing a jigsaw puzzle?
Playing helps your child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being. Create happy memories by spending quality time with them.
This may seem like an uphill battle in the beginning, but there are fun and easy ways to teach your child to be independent. Depending on your child’s age, give them some responsibilities at home. Simple and fun ways can be watering the plants, laying the table cloth, filling water bottles etc. This will excite your children and make them feel important and empower them to be independent.
Always make sure you give them a positive feedback every time they do something independently. Make the praise meaningful and descriptive, so your child knows exactly what you’re pleased with.
CREATE A ROUTINE
Routine is key. Both for you and your child.
It is important that you build some structure into your working day and do the same for your child as well. By maintaining some form of structure within the family, children find it easy to adapt quickly to this new situation. A fun way to do this would be a print out a cool kids planner and stick it somewhere in their room where they can tick things off once done. You can add a timeslot for homework too and make learning an exciting prospect for your kids. Creating a routine for your children also allows you to set goals for them everyday.
There is nothing wrong in bribing your children once in a while! In other words, reward them generously if they impress you by doing a task like, tidying up their toys, keeping their room clean or saying “Please” and “Thank You”. If you have older kids, then you can give them incentives for helping out with household chores like cleaning the car, mowing the garden or loading the dishwasher.
TEACH THEM LIFE SKILLS
This is a great time to teach your children skills that they otherwise wouldn’t have had the time to learn while going to school. And this doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. Just let your children watch you cook instead of letting them watch TV. Let them come forward to help you – this is a great opportunity for you to bond with your children, and they learn incredibly important skills to build up their competence and confidence, leading to independence in their adult life.
Some other ideas could be shopping for groceries, exercising, playing outdoor games together.
If you are looking for small indoor activities to engage your child during the day, we have some easy and fun ideas.
10 INDOOR ACTIVITIES IDEAS FOR YOUR CHILD
Dress up or role play – Get costumes of their favourite characters. You could check out thrift shops or a yard sale for a bargain price!
Building blocks – Kids love spending hours on this one.
Sensory play – Fill up an old container with pasta, rice or lentils. If you have a tub, that’s even better! Place some spoons for digging, funnels, dump trucks, some animals etc. for your little one to go exploring.
Toilet paper fun – Thankfully there’s no scarcity of toilet paper any more, and you have enough of it stocked up! Kids love making tower structures with toilet paper, and this also engages them for a long time.
Rock painting – Next time you go to the beach, pick up some stones. Great way to kindle the artist in your child.
Treasure hunt – Hide their favorite treats and toys and play treasure hunt.
Play dough – You can make your own dough or buy from the store. This activity can keep kids engaged for a long time while you finish a quick video meeting with your team.
Slime – We know what you’re thinking, slime is messy, smelly and gross. But kids love them and they are the perfect distraction.
Whiteboard – Get them a whiteboard and few markers. And see your child’s artistic imagination.
Indoor Hopscotch – Masking tape is all you need for this one.
It goes without saying that working from home with children is tough. But the joy you get at the end of the day, knowing that you and your child spent some beautiful moments together, is all worth it.