by Carrie Spencer –
Whatever reason your kids have for sticking close to home, you might find they’re becoming bored or grumpy with ‘nothing to do. Over time, not only does this leave kids stressed, but parents start to feel the pressure too.
Adapt to Each Day
Maintaining a set routine in your home is a helpful strategy for keeping your kids on an even keel. Experts suggest there are health benefits to having a routine, especially when it comes to getting enough sleep.
But a too-tight schedule can make everyone angsty and cause even more problems than it solves. Try to roll with what’s happening when it comes to life changes, whether you’re navigating a new work-from-home job or tackling home renovations.
Being flexible is key to maintaining your sanity and reducing stress.
Use Screen Time Wisely
Plenty of parents lament their children’s use of screen time. True, becoming a zombie for 12 hours every day isn’t healthy. But playing video games in moderation can hone kids’ cognitive abilities, including improving their decision-making, attention, and memory processes, says Dr. Peter Gray.
Gaming offers kids a reprieve from the stress of daily life (or schoolwork). But it can also serve as a supplement to educational pursuits. Educational experts suggest that in many scenarios, playing interactive and educationally appropriate games can even be superior to textbook learning.
No matter how your household games, the trick is to maintain a brisk internet connection. That way, you can support both your kids’ (or partner’s) streaming habits and everyone’s professional and scholastic needs.
Offline Games for Brain Growth
Though heading online can be a smart use of time, playing games in the real world is beneficial, too. Board games encourage teamwork and better focus, and there’s no end to the options no matter the age of the players. Plus, research suggests that kids who play games enhance their “brain speed scores.”
That’s a decent payoff for suffering through a few rounds of Monopoly. But if you can’t stomach counting out any more fake bills, try other board games that suit your child’s abilities and interests. Try skill-building games like Bananagrams, Memory, Bingo, and more – or pull out a deck of cards and teach your kids games like Go Fish and Solitaire.
Art Supplies Invite All Ages
No matter your child’s age or interest, breaking out some high-quality art supplies is a great way to entice them to create. For younger children, bingo stampers, stickers, and play dough (you can even make it at home) are ideal. Older kids might enjoy guided art books, origami crafts, or sculpting figurines out of clay. Timeless handicraft activities like making friendship bracelets or even knitting can also be enjoyable for kids who like to work alone.
Plus, at the end of their creative session, your child will have something to show for their hard work.
STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is a field that invites kids to experiment and explore. And with a few household materials, your kids can design and engineer all kinds of creations. Gather supplies like toilet paper and paper towel tubes, tape, popsicle sticks, glue, and even rocks for kids to start with.
Take it a step further – and keep the kids interested longer – by offering up Dyson’s challenge cards. Each printable page outlines a STEM activity kids can complete with household items. Parents can assign the challenges and sit back and relax, or they can join the fun, too.
Entertaining kids during prolonged time indoors can sometimes feel exhausting. But with these ideas – and a new perspective on your time together – you can overhaul the at-home experience. Of course, if you need support to develop better communication strategies in your household, Windward Optimal Health is happy to help. Reach out today to find out how you and your loved ones can work together to shape your future.
(Photo credit to Julietta Watson https://unsplash.com/@jwatson95)