With schools closed and everyone doing our best to isolate ourselves, I’m hearing a lot of definite approaches to what to do with your kids from home. Should we attempting to homeschool? Or parking our kids on the couch to watch Frozen 2 on repeat so we can get some work done? Should we be appreciating this quality time with our kids? Or hiding from them in our car???
The whole world is basically in the same boat, trying to find a new normal, and I thought it would be helpful to see how other parents are managing to make this work.
I asked everyone in the Remarkably Average Parents Facebook group how they are planning to manage things at home now that most of us are in a self-imposed lockdown. Here are my favorite responses— some helpful, some hilarious… we are in uncharted territory and there are truly no wrong answers!
Note: I want to add that most of these comments are about occupying your kids and not about how to manage working from home while occupying your kids. That might need a whole separate post as the reality of how long we are living like this really sinks in.
33 plans to keep your kids occupied during the shutdown:
1) “We will have some school time each day, complete with morning announcements by my 11-year-old. I’ve stocked up on art supplies, new games, lots of things to bake, and we have every intention of taking full advantage of Disney + and Netflix.” – Heather
2) “I have to work and my kids are older (middle and high school), so I’m guessing they will start a fight club.” – Outi
3) “We are trying to create somewhat of a schedule, morning walk or yoga, school work/creative time. I am limiting them to two snacks a day. It’ll ensure they eat their meals and stretch out our groceries. I can’t be going to the store every other day.” – Brighid
4) “My kids are 4.5 and 2.5 years old. We’re going to play outside and go hiking. We will also do some art, play games, music, and baking (which I hate.) And lots of screen time, because I am not Superwoman.” – Jennifer
5) “I raided the paint sample cards at Home Depot and these kids have been doing different art projects for HOURS!!” – Katie
6) “We are already homeschooling, so in theory we’ll keep on. But my girls are social butterflies and dedicated dancers, and losing all their favorite things is tough. So we’re taking online dance classes, and I’ve WAY relaxed screen time so they can text and FaceTime their friends. And lots of walking, biking, and hiking. We’ve painted plenty of kindness rocks to scatter!” – Meredith
7) “I’m giving each of the boys a fully-charged tablet and when the battery runs out, bribe them with Oreos.” – Maria
8) “My kids were able to pick up their school laptops this morning so they can start daily lessons. Things are due at the end of each day. The teachers are adamant that they know your child and their work and will know if they only give 50% of effort. Our school has been talking about this for 2 weeks and has done so much in that time to make this a smooth transition.” – Heather
9) “Surviving on snacks and screen time until bedtime every day. My kids are infinitely more hungry when they are bored at home.” – Tara
10) “We plan on a combination of everything. My kids are 5, 4, and 6 months old. The older two are in preschool and we actually made a Facebook group for each class. The teacher of my oldest is posting all the activities they would have done each day for us to do at home if we want. It’s nice to stay connected and share ideas and pictures.” – Kristen
11) “Well WiFi still works, sooo…free time as normal in our house!” – Amy
12) “We are building every kind of variation of blanket forts possible, throwing in some Khan Academy, learning to cook easy foods like Mac and Cheese, walks and bike rides within our gated community whenever possible, and teaching these kids to help clean up around the house because moms need a break too!” – Arlene
13) “My best suggestion is to use Zoom to set up virtual playdates with your kids and their friends. Let them each give a tour of their stuffed animal collection, or give Lego building prompts. Everyone was THRILLED to see friends on the screen.” – Heather
14) “As part of the routine they are drawing along with Mo Willems’ “Lunch Doodles” (every day at 1 ET on the Kennedy Center website). I never thought Mo Willems would babysit my kids for me but it is freaking glorious.” – Shannon
15) “We are taking it day by day. Mostly just free time. Today, my kids have been begging for worksheets to do school work. They’re not okay.” – Shelley
16) “Our amazing STEAM teacher is live-streaming an easy at-home project every morning on Instagram that we’ll follow along with. I’m trying to stick to a schedule because I think it’ll make it easier for my son to cope with being at home and for me to cope with pandemic-induced anxiety.” – Meredith
17) “We are winging it. Both my husband and I are home but working. So we’re trying to keep our 5-year-old son on a somewhat regular school schedule but it’s a work in progress.” – Jodi
18) “I’m taking it one day at a time. If the weather is good tomorrow, we’ll ride bikes in our driveway. We’ve got tons of arts and crafts. Purge the things we don’t need. Family movie/game nights. FaceTime with family. At some point, we’ll do some school work, but I’m not worrying about that.” – Reina
19) “Hiking, going for runs, art projects, baking, school work, and ALL THE SCREENS.” – Meghan
20) “My husband and I are taking shifts and we are doing 30 minute activities. Organizing the play room, playing Wii sports, going outside to throw a football, going for a walk, GoNoodle videos, yoga, and thanks to Harlow and Mazzy, we are going to work on a Rubik’s cube.” – Sara
21) “I’m working remotely while running this schedule for my 9-year-old.” – Sara
22) “We’re going to make sure each day has some creativity and outdoor time, like a walk in the neighborhood. I set up a school area for our two kids in elementary school, and the middle schooler will work in her room. Luckily two of our kids have chrome books from school that they can use for work. We also managed to check out a shit ton of stuff from the library before it closed!” – Shira
23) “We are doing more crafts and puzzles as a family. I have a 6-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son, so I am basically forcing them to spend time together without them realizing it. My son has asked to learn to cook some traditional Puerto Rican dishes, so I am really looking forward to that!” – Victoria
24) “Weather permitting, we’ll take walks or ride bikes, and do something we don’t usually have time for, like a time consuming craft or recipe. We also got paint for every bedroom to add new life and color!” – LJ
25) “Literally, all the nature.” – Denielle
26) “We are trying to keep the kids on a basic schedule with lots of reading/writing and creative play in between. Our teachers have done an amazing job providing us with free resources and ideas to keep the kids busy. Our 5th grade teacher is even looking into ways to electronically teach. Even my daughter’s Brownie Troop leader has provided badges that we can work on at home.” – Kathy
27) “Currently I’m laying on the floor, have one kid laying in my arms, another on my legs, and my daughter on my back while they watch ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and I grade papers.” – Cortney
28) “We’re planning some virtual field trips to zoos and museums.” – Jackie
29) “We are loosely following this schedule mixed in with blanket forts, snacks, baking, video games, cooking, movies and a sprinkling of mom breaks that usually includes eating chocolate and deep breaths.” – Vanessa
30) “I’m using this shutdown as an excuse to finally finish our yard. I’ve got a playhouse being shipped to us and my daughter and I are doing experiments on the best ways to grow plants.” -Lindy
31) “We are doing 45 minutes of reading and 45 minutes of math, plus some fun science experiments. We are then planning on doing at least 30 minutes of a physical activity, like riding bikes up and down the sidewalk in front of our home, dance party, yoga, running races in our driveway, etc. Of course there will also be plenty of sitting together watching movies.” – Paige
32) We turned the house into a giant game of Candyland. – Katie Elizabeth
33) “Yoga, worksheets, reading time, Osmo games, daily art classes online, and then generous amounts of screen time to fill in the gaps. Also, it’s Day 1. I expect to throw out the whole list by Friday.” – Samantha
What’s you plan so far? Tell me in the comments!