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Your Complete Guide to Social Isolation at Home With Kids


| By Kate Barracosa | August 26, 2020

In social isolation at home with your family? Keep the kids happy and entertained while you're social distancing with these fun tips and activities.

Tips and activity ideas to help you survive social isolation at home with kids.

Remote learning: something that most of us were unfamiliar with before COVID-19 (coronavirus) hit but are now something we are all a little too familiar with. There are clever tips and tricks to help you tackle this challenge head-on at home. If you are in an area affected, your homeschooling help is here! Live someplace else? Use these helpful hacks to establish better homework habits.

After a few months of social isolation at home, remote learning and studiously avoiding parks and play equipment, it’s understandable if both you and the kids are going a little stir-crazy with all that indoor time. But it’s possible to add new pep to social distancing. Whether you need to reset how the family works, learns and plays together or are seeking inspiration for fun activities you can do in your lounge room, consider this your complete guide to happy kids while in isolation at home.

How to Keep Kids Entertained

Keep kids busy with these things to do while your family is at home in social isolation.

They’re the two words parents dread hearing on quiet days at home: “I’m bored”. But they needn’t strike fear into your heart. With some clever pre-planning, it’s possible to keep kids entertained for hours – or minutes, at least. Here are activity suggestions to keep primary-schoolers happy (we love the idea of getting them to stage a play from their favourite novel – that’s a full day of entertainment right there), while curious kids will be entranced by simple science experiments . And even the most difficult-to-satisfy tween will get on board with these cool activities , from designing their own T-shirts and giving canvas sneakers a makeover to creating a visual diary (pitch it as an analog Instagram).

Screen Time You Can Feel Good About

Make the most of the tech in your house by getting your kids engaged with screens in a positive way. Coding, maths and reading apps cleverly disguise learning as a game or activity. COVID-19 restrictions around the world have also led to an influx of exciting virtual tours of some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders and museums – another perfect opportunity for a little bit of sneaky education.

Encourage Solo Play

Solo play during extended periods of home isolation is good for kids’ mental health.

You might be worried that you’re not spending enough time with your kids or they’re missing out by not being able to see their friends as often. But take heart in the fact that playing alone has plenty of developmental benefits: it can boost resilience, self-esteem and confidence. There are scores of great activities they can learn to do independently, from completing a jigsaw puzzle to colouring in (also shown to help reduce stress) and getting crafty.

SEE ALSO: Fun STEM Learning and Sensory Play Ideas for Kids

Help Handle Their Worries

It can be unsettling for kids when there’s a big disruption to their routine – particularly when they’re uncertain over how long the change will last. School counsellor Rick Russo says it’s important to provide an empathetic ear, as well as planning fun things to do around the house to keep their mind busy for a while. “Writing, music, painting, cooking, making things, being creative and engaging in hobbies is a good outlet,” he says.

Managing Your Own Workload With Kids

These key tips will help when working from home with kids during social isolation.

Having all your family members snug under one roof is great in many ways – there’s less rushing around to extracurriculars and more opportunity to do meaningful activities together – but there’s no denying that getting your work-life balance right can be more challenging when both work and life are taking place in the same spot. Working from home with kids successfully is all about managing expectations and setting boundaries: creating a schedule both you and they can see and understand; allocating “quiet time”, such as during meetings, so they know not to disturb you; and dedicating moments to check in and play with them, too.
You can also help them manage their school-life balance when they’re learning remotely – it’s all about setting a strong example yourself.