If you're a parent who's found yourself needing to work from home, you might be wondering how to stay productive
while keeping your kids occupied. ? If you haven't been a stay-at-home parent before (shout out to stay-at-home parents who do all of this daily!) you might find yourself at your wit's end trying to come up with new ways to entertain the kids.
Defaulting to screens such as iPads, Nintendo Switches, or other devices may be an easy way to keep the kids occupied - but it's not good for their health either to keep them glued to it. We've found 10 simple activities to do with your kids throughout the day that don't involve screens - or involve as little screens as possible! Hopefully, it'll help you feel more motivated to get through the next few weeks together. ?
- Stick to a simple but flexible schedule, especially for school-going kids. If their usual school routines have been disrupted, recreating something similar at home can help them be more focused.
- If your kids have lessons to do at home focus on those first and arrange the rest of your day around them.
- If you're trying to keep the kids (or maybe the whole family) from becoming too dependent on screens, set aside dedicated time blocks to use devices so that it's part of a predictable routine.
- Take it easy on yourself! Don't worry if you end up spending the whole day just relaxing or watching endless Disney movies with the little ones. Give yourself (and the whole family) a break now and then, and remember that you can get through this one day at a time. ?
1. Start the day by exercising together
You've heard of channels such as Blogilates and Fitness Blender (we've even included them in our 8 easy ways to keep healthy while staying indoors
), but not all of their workouts are kid-friendly. Head over to the Body Coach's Youtube channel
instead - he's been posting daily 30-minute P.E. videos that are suitable for kids! This may require you to be fixed to your screen for a while, but it's worth it to help get your energy levels up and make your screen time meaningful. ?
He also has older 5-minute exercise videos that are kid-friendly
too. Perfect for a mid-day energizer. ??
2. Bond over new recipes
Learning how to cook or bake is a classic stay-home activity - and being able to involve the kids makes it even more amazing! Not only are you teaching them essential life skills, but it's a great way to bond and you can even experiment in the kitchen to teach them more about different ingredients or food combinations. Plus you'll get a yummy meal at the end of it all. ? Try out this cinnamon roll recipe that even kids can handle
or these 10 easy recipes for the whole family
P.S. Here are even more recipes
you can try out together!
3. Learn about Islamic history
Apart from staying up to date on their regular schoolwork, it's important to stay on top of the young ones' Islamic education too especially if you may not be able to visit a madrasah
regularly due to the pandemic. If you're brand-new to having to school-at-home, here's a handy guide by A Muslim Homeschool
for some beginner tips.
Instagram accounts run by Muslim mums who homeschool such as Mama Teaches Me
, A Muslim Homeschool
and The inspired Muslim mama
have a wealth of resources for introducing kids to Islamic concepts and history. From print-outs that tell the stories of the Prophet and other historical figures, to suggestions of kid-friendly Islamic books - these are great ways to get the kids interested in their faith while also learning about science, history, and more. ?
Ramadan is coming up, so this is a good time to start working in lessons about fasting and the holy month. Check out this 10-item pre-Ramadan checklist
to start getting ready, and these 7 tips for helping your kids get used to fasting
4. DIY your own pizza for lunch
If you have enough ingredients, set up a 'pizza bar' for the whole family to DIY their own pizza. You can buy pre-made pizza bases from supermarkets or make your own - alternatives such as wraps or toasted bread are also okay. Set out ingredients such as sauce, cheese, sausages, mushrooms, and more and let your imaginations run wild. ? It helps to get the kids involved in making their own meals, and they can also learn more about where their food comes from.
5. Get started on your reading
No better time than now to start on a reading challenge. ? Try setting aside a dedicated block of time for reading, and curl up together on the couch. Seeing parents model behaviours such as reading will help the kids concentrate better on their own book, and reading is a lifelong skill that will pay off in the long run too. Some bookstores such as Wardah Books
even have a selection of books for children that cover Islamic content in an interesting and refreshing way!
6. Create an indoor obstacle course
Being cooped up at home can be boring for anyone, but especially for kids who are just waiting to be able to run around outside. Help burn some of their restless energy off by creating an obstacle course indoors! Tables, chairs, and sofa cushions can all be transformed into obstacles and challenges for the kids to overcome. If you're short on space, you can even use tape to create a mock 'laser grid' for that James Bond experience. ?
7. Do some science experiments
A quick search online will give you dozens of family-friendly science experiments - enough for at least 1 experiment a day! Try out classics such as a baking soda and vinegar volcano, or attempt to make your own slime and kinetic sand. ?
Not only are these hands-on and educational, but you can make your own toys that will last you for a few days. Here are over 40 ideas
to get you started! You can also try long-term projects such as growing green beans or setting up a small kitchen garden. Though you may not see results in a day, this not only teaches kids about the science between plants but also teaches them values of patience and perseverance. ??
8. Go on a treasure hunt around the house
This might be a good idea if you need to get your kids out of your hair for a while. ? Hide something around the house, and plant clues for them to look for and find. You could also get them started on a scavenger hunt for everyday items around the house, and make the clues slightly challenging so that they have an educational slant - for example, simple riddles or equations to practice their language and mathematical skills.
9. Get crafty for hands-on fun
Arts and crafts of all sorts can help keep kids busy through the day. From folding origami to painting what they see around them, you can easily find resources for art projects at every age level online. ?
No need to worry about finding craft materials either - everyday 'trash' such as toilet paper rolls, cardboard, thread, or tape can all be repurposed! You can even work craft activities into their regular learning to make things way more fun and way less monotonous. ? Look out for online classes if you need more guided direction - Sewing Camp
even has kid-friendly online sewing and embroidery lessons!
10. Get outdoors (if you can)
If you're able to, take a breather now and then. Getting some fresh air and vitamin D (even if it's just for 5-15 minutes a day) can be a nice boost to the immunity system, and it also helps the whole family from feeling as if you've been cooped up for too long. Even if it's just sitting by the open door or opening the windows to let some fresh air in, you can even try playing nature games from afar such as 'I Spy'.
During this time, being able to spend more time with your kids can be a silver lining in a stressful situation. ☺️ Though it may feel tough sometimes, getting to see them grow and learn is a meaningful and worthwhile experience.