7 Ideas To Entertain The Kids While Working From Home
Many Sales and Marketing Professionals are also Working Parents – Here’s 7 useful ideas aimed at entertaining a 3-9 years old while working from home.
Like us at Secret Source Marketing, you are probably now well into the swing of dealing with days in Lockdown, working from home whilst also acting as teacher, snack supervisor and entertainer to your children. Our team members have children across all age ranges and while we recognise every household is different, none of us are ‘perfect parents’ and of course all of our children are unique, we’ve found it helps to share ideas on how to keep children happy, stimulated and educated whilst also getting our own work done. So we thought we’d share some ideas with you that suit best the 3- 9 years age group. Hopefully at least one of them is that little nugget that helps your home working day go more smoothly.
Not The New World, It's The Now!
Try and time meetings alongside the times when you know the children will be engrossed in their own scheduled activities. If they are engrossed hopefully this will give you a window of calm.
Try and arrange calls where they can keep themselves entertained in a different room with an idea of how long their activity will last or keep their interest, so you know your timescales.
If this is not possible we’ve found that children are more likely to understand your need to concentrate on a conference call if they understand how they work. Children who have been included in web calls with family or friends tend to understand why their guardian is asking them to be quiet. Try and use these opportunities to show them what makes calls difficult! Point out to them that you can’t hear Granny because more than one person is speaking at once on the call, note how things happening in the background, like the dog barking loudly, are distracting and make it harder to hear the person speaking. By linking this with the fact that you ask them to stay quiet and stay ‘out of shot’ when you are on a work call might just help you have less of a battle when you are trying to look professional from your home setting.
“I've learned with a bit of preparation, I can set my daughter up with everything she needs to complete a task. Without me standing over her, she's empowered to do things at her own pace, in her own way". (Secret Source Mother)
Create An Area Of Learning
Where there’s room designate a school working space and ask the children to create their own school badge to display. This great activity empowers the children to see their home also as a place for learning and take ownership. You can even have your own set of values that the whole family signs up to?
Get Some Exercise
These can be inside or outside;
- Scavenger hunts. (Collect things of a certain colour, beginning with each letter of the alphabet, with wheels etc.)
- Make your own novelty sports day race and get the family to compete, during the breaks
- Make your own treasure map – for the family to find teddy when you've got five minutes.
Building Their Confidence
Some ideas include; emptying the dishwasher (watch glasses and sharp objects), feeding and grooming pets (depends on your pets). This helps break up the day and helps them be responsible for their own area, contributing to the family unit.
Improving Communication Skills
Connecting with fellow pupils. You might be doing this already, but organising time for them to get together with their friends via conference calls is important. This can often descend into chaos if you are not careful, so give them some focus by getting them to swap facts, jokes or activities they enjoy to pass on to each other.
To help brain power, set up a weekly quiz – We have found that if kids can work towards a goal then this helps them focus on more medium-term things rather than their daily organised school work. Childrens quiz questions can be googled but for the slightly older kids this is a good tip. Some of us subscribe to the Week Junior https://theweekjunior.co.uk/ Throughout the week they can pick the magazine up and learn about what is going on. On a Friday afternoon we ask them multiple choice questions in very much the same style as Ant and Dec’s Friday Night Takeaway. Treats (healthy) and the all important ‘special prize’ is all up to you and how little or much you want to offer. Kids then have something to look forward to and work towards each week, that’s not schoolwork.
Coming up with new ideas, then why not start close to home?
Rather than having to think up ideas every week, one idea is to get the whole family to write down on small slips of paper, some activities they enjoy doing. Categorise these into wet, dry, short, long activities, so that you can know to run an indoor or outdoor exercise depending on the weather or your household. Then is the kids can’t think of things to do to entertain themselves, then they can choose from the activity jar!
If they watch a movie or programme, why not ask them to review it with their own critique? For younger kids, ask them to think about the main characters and describe them. Get them to tell you what made them feel happy, excited or sad in the movie. For older children you can ask them to think about the plot more, any twists or things they spotted. Get them to recount their favourite lines. At the end they can score it out of five, alternatively, give the movie/programme stickers for different categories; funny, informative etc. This gets them thinking about what they are watching not just watching for watching sake.
Becoming the Teacher. Setting up their own classroom. Let them become the teacher, using teddies, dolls or action figures. Ideal for younger kids, they can teach their teddies something they have learned. You can set up a makeshift board with paper and get them to illustrate to their teddies and dolls and you get to see what information they've absorbed!
Finally - Things to note:
When you actually break down a typical day at school, then you realise that kids are not being schooled every minute of the day,. Add in time spent settling children down, moving from one learning space to another, playground time with their friends, getting changed for activities etc, all adds up throughout the day. So allow them little breaks throughout the day rather than intense periods of home-schooling.
There is a danger that they actually like home-schooling a bit too much! So remember to remind them that this is not a continuous process and there will come a time they will return and see all their friends again soon. Remind them of all the great facilities at school that the home doesn’t have and that their teachers have been missing them and are keen to see them all again soon.
Working from home while with children can be difficult, so try to see it as an opportunity. Try different things to see what works with your children, We’d love from you to share your great ideas with us.
Below are some useful links that might help?
PE with Joe Wicks every morning - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ
The BBC have some great activities https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Home Made Puzzle - https://mamapapabubba.com/2012/09/05/homemade-household-objects-puzzle
Get creative in the Kitchen! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/kids-cooking