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Working from home when you have young kids is challenging at the best of times, but when you throw in emergency restrictions like schools closing, things can get out of hand.
Now that things are settling down (a bit!), some of you may be gearing up for sending your kids back to school, but others may be considering keeping them home for another little while. And some of you may already be full-time homeschoolers!
If you want to stay productive working from home with your kids there, check out our epic list of ways to keep your kids busy!
And when you’ve got the kids sorted, don’t forget to look after your own mindset to help you stay focused on your work.
Educational Activities for Kids
You may be worried that your kids are missing out on their education thanks to the lingering effects of COVID-19.
Homeschooling isn’t always easy, especially if you’re completely new to it.
Your kid’s teacher may have provided some guidance for schoolwork and projects your kid can work on while they are at home. Or maybe you have signed up to a new homeschool curriculum.
You may still be feeling overwhelmed though, so the good news is that there are tons of free resources out there to help you!
Making use of these remote learning resources will help you stay calm and make teaching your kids at home much less stressful.
Scholastic Learn at Home
Scholastic is offering free age-appropriate projects to keep kids busy and learning. You’ll find all kinds of activities from reading to writing to drawing to watching educational videos.
Worried your child is going to fall behind with their education? Khan Academy Kids is suitable for kids aged 2–7 and includes math, language, and logic lessons among other activities! Khan Academy also has classes like high school maths and coding for older kids and even has classes for adults too!
Virtual Tours of Museums and Art Galleries
I know many of us had vacations booked for spring break and summer vacation that we didn’t get to take. Lots of museums and art galleries are offering free virtual tours of their exhibitions, so your kids can enjoy them from home. Hopefully taking a virtual tour of these museums will help soften the blow and provide education and entertainment. Here are a few examples:
British Museum, London, England
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Picasso Museum, Barcelona, Spain
Want more? You can take a virtual tour of over 2,500 museums and art galleries around the world with Google Arts & Culture!
Not only are museums offering virtual tours but they’re also offering free activities for kids to do from home!
The Minnesota Children’s Museum has lots of instructional videos on things like how to build a gnome home and how to make playdough.
The Children’s Museum of South Dakota shows you how to add a playful background to your Zoom videos with Grandma!
And the Chicago Children’s Museum has created recipes for playing at home.
Virtual Tours of Landmarks
Missed getting out to visit your national park over the summer? It sucks, I know!
Did you know you can take a virtual tour of your national park! You can take virtual tours of 31 national parks in the US on Google Earth. Or if you want to see even more, you can take a detailed virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park here!
Was your international vacation canceled? Where were you planning to go? To walk on the Great Wall of China? To kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland? To swim at the Great Barrier Reef? Maybe you’ll get to visit one of these places over the next few years, but for now, your kids can use these videos to learn more about these beautiful places.
Here’s something that will really knock their socks off: we might not be able to go on vacation to Mars (yet!), but we can still check it out in this virtual tour of Mars.
Nature and Science Activities
Got a kid who loves science? Here are 30 science activities for kids. You might need to assist younger kids, but older kids should be able to set these experiments up with minimal assistance.
National Geographic teaches kids about nature with its slideshow about polar habitats, and they can visit the science lab by following its science experiment videos. It even has a very helpful post explaining COVID-19 to kids.
San Diego Zoo has a wide variety of videos, activities, and games to keep your kids entertained.
And Dublin Zoo is offering activity workbooks for kids to get creative with, virtual tours, and webcams so you can see what the animals are up to!
Creative Activities for Kids
If you’ve got a creative child, lucky you! There are SO MANY online art tutorials for kids with videos on how to draw various things including lots of seasonal drawing tutorials.
Here are some links to get your kids flexing their creative muscles:
The National Museum of Australia has tons of videos teaching kids how to make puppets, a Roman soldier’s helmet, and even a time capsule!
Got a kid who loves to write? Have them write a story about being in quarantine or create a time capsule. How cool would it be to look back at their story (or a time capsule) in years to come? This pandemic is history in the making!
Activities for Kids to Burn Off Energy
Your kids are probably used to running around at break times when they’re in school and attending after school activities where they can burn off energy.
That energy has to go somewhere, and if you’re all stuck inside with nothing to do, it will probably manifest itself as whining or punching a sibling.
YouTube to the rescue again! Joe Wicks a.k.a. The Body Coach did a free PE lesson every weekday during lockdown, and they’re all still available on YouTube now.
So that’s 30 minutes filled, but what about the rest of the day in between learning? These 87 energy-busting indoor games for kids will help fill a lot of hours and make sure your kids are worn out by bedtime.
Reading Activities for Kids
Have you got a little bookworm in your home? As a proofreader, I’ve got a soft spot for fellow word nerds!
Reading is the perfect activity for kids when you need to get a little quiet time.
How about setting them up with a reading challenge to encourage them to read more books (and stay quiet while you work)?
I hope these ideas help you keep your kids entertained and take some of the pressure off you as you try to balance working from home with keeping your kids busy.
If you’ve run across any other useful resources, feel free to share them in the comments! We’re all in this together!
Pssst… if you’re not working from home yet, here are some resources for moms to get you started!
Now that you’ve got the kids sorted, how about taking some time for yourself? Check out our free masterclass that will get you excited about working from home!