The idea of occupying your kids at home has not been such an important concern until recently. Perhaps two years ago, we would be quicker to think of ideas to ensure our kids benefited with any values, skill or knowledge when they are spending some time at home. The predisposition that led to us staying indoors was also much different, it was usually the weather, or change of plans, and were often temporary in nature. Now that we return to the circle of being home with most of the outdoor activities forbidden, it does not help that parents are also occupied with other responsibilities as working individuals or just attending to other businesses.

Main concern that resonates in the parenthood community is the struggles to find activities that are interesting enough to occupy their kids while they are busy with other responsibilities. We are here to help! To make things easier at home, this article aims to help you out with ideas and resources that you can use to help manage your kids. 

Mostly, kids have their own interest and will, as they pick and choose how to spend their time. Using this as a measure, we can shape their interest so they can enjoy their time at home. In this modern age where electronic gadgets and the internet have fully merged into our daily lives, it seems so that under the present circumstances, the internet is a handy tool to keep kids occupied. Needless to say, the way time was spent using electronic gadgets and the internet should be under close scrutiny to ensure productivity and safety. Hence, using this opportunity, we present to you multiple ways on how to make screen time constructive.

Kids are missing out on travelling and experiencing the outside world as we experienced yet another lockdown. In conjunction to this, multiple organisations come up with virtual opportunities to explore the world.

Travelling might be a foreign concept now but that should not be the limit for the kids to experience and see the world with their own eyes. Sight and hearing might be the only two senses we are able to stimulate as for now, as we wish one day, they too will breathe in the fresh air of the outside world.  

First up, there’s the NASA live stream that should interest kids with fascination with outer space. This live stream is not solely for watching the people at the space station but also offering documentaries on different topics. They listed the schedule of the livestream on what would be broadcasted so you can plan on which slot would interest your kids.

As for the animal lovers, there are multiple zoos and aquariums that offer livestream to the animals’ day to day routine. Greatly enough that we can sit and watch in fascination because mainly these are from zoos of foreign countries. Also due to that very fact, it is good to be mindful of the timing as we do not share the time zone and it might not always be convenient to livestream animals’ activity when it is too dark. Plus, kids might not be too interested to watch the animals at that time.

For families that enjoy spending time at a museum,Google Arts and Culture offers multiple options where kids can spend hours exploring every museum while they learn and admire all the things being presented at the museum.

Moving on from travelling and exploring the world, kids can also do a lot more learning and exploring as they grow their knowledge in different fields. In addition, these online resources also provide the opportunity for kids to explore and find their hobbies and interests!

First in line, there is Freerice, an educational trivia game that enhances one’s general knowledge while making a difference for people around the world. For every correct answer, grains of rice are donated via the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support its work in saving and changing lives around the world. The app has different categories like English, Geography, Humanities, Language Learning, Math, Science, astronomy, pop music and many more! If you sign up for an account, you can enjoy participating in a quiz with your friends too! 

Taking you to a different kind of option for kids that are into drawing. If your kid likes to draw or if you want to interest your kid into drawing, this option might be the one for you – Rob Biddulph #DrawWithRob. Rob Biddulph is a famous author and illustrator. When the pandemic hit, he came up with the idea to spend some time making videos that would guide kids on how to draw characters from his books. Kids can join Rob in the drawing day to day with the freedom to choose characters that attract them the most. This fun activity can help in advancing concentration and imitation skills.

This next app is perfect for the inquisitive and curious minds, or simply to keep the kids up to date about the world around them. Squiz Kids  is a podcast that features fun and interesting news for your kids. It is updated daily, almost like a child’s own personal newspaper. The podcast would usually end with some questions to check in on the kids’ comprehension of the information. This app is available in multiple platforms like Spotify, Google broadcast, RSS feed and Apple Podcast. If you wish to use the browser, it is also an open option.

Going over to a more active option for parents that wish for their kids to stay active, GONoodle might be a good start. GoNoodle incorporates having fun moving around and getting active. This app offers multiple games and features other options that are useful for families as a whole. 

Admittedly all the above are more helpful for older kids and might not interest younger kids with different skill sets. It is harder to keep younger kids occupied for a longer time when all that we have listed are more complex and compact items. So here is a list of apps that might be more well-suited for younger kids:

  1.       Khan Academy Kids

Khan Academy Kids is a free platform that is suitable for children ages 2 to 8. It is packed with educational programs that would contribute to fun learning. This free app offers multiple aspects of learning such as reading, writing and math.

  1.       Hungry Caterpillar Play School 

This app provides a suitable curriculum for kids from 2 years to 6 years old. It provides you with multiple resources to learn in a fun way. If you are familiar with the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” the themes in this app shall bring up some memories. The interface and design of the app is cheerful and ought to keep your child engaged. 

  1. Number Run  

We may be familiar with games with the goal to help characters run and overcome challenges, like Temple Run or Minion Rush. Number Run uses the same gameplay but math and calculation are the only way to survive the game. It is a sure fun way to learn math as each correct response lets them keep playing and progress on to the next level.

  1.       Toca Boca 

Toca Boca is a company that comes up with multiple apps that will help your kids stay occupied. It varies from cooking, styling hair to planting trees. It has a very unbounded concept with no set rules so your child will have the opportunity to explore and develop creativity.

The article aims to assist parents in any way possible and may this be beneficial to families out there. Perhaps one of the many options listed might be your child’s new found interest?

The phrase “new normal” seems to be taking a different turn as we adapt to constant changes. Most of all, the education for the kids seems to be affected a lot too as they are still in and out of schools every now and then. As parents’ soldiers through this, we would like to express our admiration to all of you that always gives the best for all your children. With all that is going on, please remember to take some time and have a break with your family. There is nothing as precious as family love and quality time. May we continue to grow a happy family despite the situation we are facing.

We truly hope things get better soon as we soldier on this season together. Let us all stay safe and healthy while fighting the pandemic!

Reference: 

  1. NASA Live : https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive
  2. KLOOK These 10 Zoos and Aquariums Are Live-Streaming Their Adorable Animals To Get You Through Quarantine : https://www.klook.com/en-PH/blog/wildlife-webcams/ 
  3. Google Arts and Culture : https://artsandculture.google.com/partner
  4. UN WFP Freerice : https://freerice.com/about
  5. United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) : https://www.wfp.org/ 
  6. #DrawWithRob – Rob Biddulph: http://www.robbiddulph.com/draw-with-rob
  7. The Squiz Kids : https://www.squizkids.com.au/
  8. GoNoodle  : https://www.gonoodle.com/ 
  9. Khan Academic Kids: https://learn.khanacademy.org/khan-academy-kids/
  10. Hungry Caterpillar PlaySchool : https://www.caterpillarplay.com/ 
  11. Number Run : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.saguara.numberrun&hl=en&gl=US
  12. Toca Boca :https://tocaboca.com/