With the COVID-19 coronavirus closing down schools and work, parents and children are having to figure out how to co-exist all day every day for at least two weeks.

No one, especially parents, was prepared to spend this much “quality time” together. Typically, you wake the kids up, feed them breakfast and send them to school. Now there is no school. Now there is no work. How are any of you supposed to survive?

Facebook is full of great ideas for keeping the kids occupied while on lock-down. Some are random while others are coming directly from teachers who, unlike you, don’t have any kids at home! Suggested activities that pop into my head include:

  • Arts & Crafts – All kids love arts and crafts. Dig through your old junk drawers and put together craft stations. You could use paper plates and cotton balls to make Easter bunnies. You could glue macaroni to a paper plate to make pictures of the family. You can even paint the cotton balls and macaroni to make the crafts even more fun!

  • Outside Play – You can have your own recess at home. Take the kids out in the yard and give them rakes. This is a great opportunity to teach them how to do chores and make it fun. Challenge them to rake the most leaves and the one with the biggest pile gets to jump in first!

  • Inside Play – You can have fun while being cooped up. Now is a great time to teach the kids how to do dishes. They could take turns. For example, John could be in charge of washing all the cups while Amelia is in charge of washing all the plates. (It may be best to save the knives, cutlery and pans for mom and dad!)

  • Nap Time – Now this is a fun activity for everyone! If you want to throw in a challenge: Who can get to sleep the fastest? Who can stay asleep the longest? When nap time is over, it can be…

  • Clean-Up Time – Again, a great opportunity to teach the kids how to take care of chores around the house but have fun doing it! If you want to watch TV, you have to dust first. If you want to play on your tablet, you have to sort laundry first. If you want to play video games, you have to put laundry away. The more TV, tablet time or video games they want to play, the more chores they have to do!

  • Exercise Time – You can find free workouts on a lot of cable channels or you can simply make up your own! Jumping Jacks could be renamed to fit your child — they could be Jumping Johnnies — how many Jumping Johnnies can Johnny jump, and count them out loud. Push-ups can be more fun with a teddy bear on your back — or a kid!

Those are just a few ideas. You can come up with plenty more on your own. Be creative, be interactive and, above all, have fun!

This is a scary time but it can also be a bonding time for you and your family – make the best of a bad situation!

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