Kids are a blessing! And those blessings have a lot of energy, need supervision, and require structure. Working from home with children can feel like a balancing act. Here are some tips and links to help keep the kids active and happy:
Reuse the Legos with Rebrickable = https://rebrickable.com/
When buying a Lego set it may only come with one or a couple of things to build. Rebrickable gives your Lego lovers new plans to build amazing things.
Everyone loves a good story. If your child thinks reading is a chore, there are options for audiobooks. Audible (https://stories.audible.com/start-listen) and Scribd (https://www.scribd.com/) have a plethora of books for people of all ages. Whether it is an audiobook or an actual book, your child will have a wide variety of stories at their fingertips. If you have a competitive household, you can challenge them to a reading marathon. If you have a single-child household or only one child is at a reading stage, have them challenge a school friend. They can FaceTime or use Zoom to talk about their progress with their “competitor”.
Go exploring … from the comfort of home!
There are several virtual tours offered online. You can tour the Great Wall of China, take a gander around Mars, see amazing artwork in world-renown museums, or explore nature. This article from USA Today has a great list to start from https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/03/16/social-distancing-free-virtual-tours/5060244002/
Look for “Classroom Resources”
The National Portrait Gallery has a web-page dedicated to resources for homeschooling and activities for students: https://npg.si.edu/teachers/classroom-resources. And they aren’t the only ones! Several programs have free resources for teachers (and parents turned teachers) to peruse: https://www.weareteachers.com/free-teacher-resources/
Use homeschooling resources
There are lots of programs for homeschooled students. Some are even free! Colleges and universities have put together curriculum for students to continue their studies. One of those resources is https://www.edx.org/.
Create a game where kids collect “coins” to cash in for prizes.
Kids can collect “coins” for prizes by doing chores, completing school activities, etc. “Coins” may be spent by trading them in for a prize or paying a “fine” for adverse actions (i.e. arguing with a sibling).
There are great resources online for printable scavenger hunt sheets like this one: https://buggyandbuddy.com/30-free-printable-scavenger-hunts-for-kids/. They could be a combination of “eye spy” or an adventure throughout the house/backyard.
There are TONS of craft projects for kids to do. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas in addition to the few you see here: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/10-minute-crafts-for-kids-1250670.
Help people in need
If your child is old enough, they could help spruce up a neighbor’s yard, bake cookies to take to friends/neighbors, or run errands for those who are homebound.
“Employ” an intern
If there are things your child can help you with to do your job, then “employ” them for a shift.
Get kids interested in STEM
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) keep kids engaged and often have interactive concepts to keep them entertained. This site has a list of resources for kids to get involved in STEM education from home: https://www.bestkidstuff.com/tech/best-stem-websites-for-kids/
Construction projects for kids
This web-page from Big Rentz has a ton of activities for younger kids that are construction related. They’ll get a sense of what Mom and/or Dad’s industry is like: https://www.bigrentz.com/blog/construction-activities-for-kids
Create home movies
Older kids may love shooting videos on phones. Give them the challenge to create home videos, stop motion action adventures, or “a day in the life of …” There are options for video editing software but a free one to try is https://www.openshot.org/.