As our society ducks under the bouncers of the corona pandemic and withdraws into their house, many parents are faced with the question of how to keep kids busy at home. Kids are full of energy and imagination. It is natural that they are not good at being bound to a chair or spot for a long time. However it is also essential for them to settle at home with peace.
Here are some important tips that will help parents keep their kids busy and engaged at home.
Best ways to keep kids busy at home
#1 Introduce them to a new game or hobby
People who were born in the last century were not as easily ‘bored’ as kids of today can get. The reason is simple. They had multiple ways to keep themselves engaged. There were board games at every house. Chess, carrom, ludo, Chinese checkers are some to name. Teach them new hobbies. Tell them to learn dancing, quilling or photography. There are so many things to know and learn.
In the present time, kids do have access to online games. It is a good way to keep them entertained. But as a parent it is also your responsibility to reduce their screen time.
Games which require human presence and interaction are far superior than virtual ones. It is entertaining and alive. It will boost IQ as well EQ. Emotional Quotient (EQ) is as much vital as Intelligence Quotient (IQ), as it determines the perceptive qualities of a human being needed for a successful career and a happy life.
So teach your kids a new game or hobby in this vacant period. Learning the a new game or hobby keeps the brain engaged fruitfully. It will increase logic and reasoning ability. Most of all, it is time to spend some quality time with your kids. It is time to get in contact with your inner child also.
#2 Introduce them to gardening
Teach them how to create their little garden. For starters, take a few sprouts or seeds and show them how to germinate. Give them a pot or just take an old container, punch a few holes and put some soil and let them watch nature grow. If you have untreated fennel or coriander seeds at home, these will grow into beautiful plants. If you do not have so, use seeds of tomato, chilli or capsicum. These will also germinate into saplings and grow into plants.
Nature always amazes children, be it pets, wildlife or plants. By introducing your kids to gardening, they get in touch with Mother Nature. The practice of gardening is educational. Gardening tremendously relaxes our mind and nerves. It is said that gardening can also be spiritually uplifting. Seeing your little sapling grow into a blooming tree does bring loads of satisfaction and peace of mind.
#3 Engage them in household chores
This is the best time for them to learn the chores. It is also one of the best ways to keep kids busy at home. It will spend their energy and get some physical exercise. Most importantly, they will learn vital skills and someday it will help them survive when they may have to live on their own. It also teaches them how things work in real life.
Teach them to broom and mop the floor. Make them clean their own or one particular room daily.
Show them how to wash dishes. It is a good habit that children always wash their own plates after a meal. Teach them this habit and make sure they offer this courtesy even when they visit their relatives. A well-raised child is a parent’s pride.
Let them wash their own clothes and then dry and iron it out. Make them polish their shoe.
Make them clean the dust off, tidy their room and arrange things.
The free time at home can become a rewarding experience if you just know how to channel their energy. Some children may protest at first because they think it is not ‘fun’.
Most people underestimate the importance of household chores. It is not the job of the woman of the house or the maid, they do it for the practical reason for division of tasks. This helps better function of the family and society. But each person should have the skill on his own, no matter how rich or important you may think you are. The point is to make your kids independent and intelligent. If a child grows up to be a person who cannot do anything for himself, both the parents are to be blamed.
#4 Give them good books
Great books keep even the most naughty kids engaged, it is a fact. But as parents, give them good books. Do not just hand them books that are socially popular but choose books that inspire and make them grow. Here are the best science fiction books for kids. Science fiction captures their imagination and makes their minds soar.
Apart from science fiction, give them the age old classics. Books of Jules Verne, RL Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are still read by millions worldwide. It will also help them improve in their language and help at getting better at writing and verbal skills.
Kids also love story books based on other kids. That is why orphan classics like David Copperfield and Heidi are still so popular. See the best orphan classics here.
Children also learn how to behave and talk to others by learning through books and other media. So choose wisely.
#5 Teach them how to use their hands
It could be anything. How to stitch back a loose button by using a needle. How to fix a broken part. How to use tools. How to cut vegetables and bake goodies. Show them, supervise how they do it. Show them how to be careful and not get hurt.
Let them do calligraphy. Let them paint on clay pots. The use of hands is extremely important. Hands need to kept flexible and adept. Scrolling or typing on your phone uses only a few muscles and makes your fingers heavy and dull. So show your kids how to use their hands and fingers for art, creativity and practical use.
In school, most of it is just theory. Teach them what you know.
In these extremely busy times, leisure is a luxury and surprisingly we have a lot of time at hand. Maybe the Covid outbreak can be a blessing in disguise if you do it right.
Communicate and laugh with kids
The art of communication is dying. We have forgot how to express. Believe it or not, communication is one of the best ways to keep kids busy, engaged and entertained at home. But how do you rekindle it?
Just sit together at meals. Talk about your experiences and feelings. Listen to them without thinking of an answer. Do not jump to judge. Talk to open up. Let others open up and once they do, be kind. We all say things that sound foolish. Do not cut others off in the middle or shut them up. Talk gently. Help them express themselves.
Listen to what they are saying. Pay attention, ask questions. Let others complete what they have to say. We often forget these simple things and kill conversations.
Share funny things and laugh together. It may feel silly but it may be worth it. Children need their parents talking and listening to them. After all, everything will pass and we will be left with memories.
So tell stories, share your experiences and opinions. Tell funny and silly things that you have done and you will see how children reconnect with you. The way you talk to them, they pick it up and express the same vibe.
Kids need good food and protection but most of all they need their parents at home so that they can bond with them. This bonding has to be natural and not forced or artificial. Just be yourself and your kids will be happily engaged at home with you.