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How to keep your kids happy and safe

Wondering what to do with your kids for the next few weeks? Being a parent in this new reality isn’t easy, that’s for sure. A lot of challenges to overcome and uncertainties to face! One of the big issues is how to keep our kids occupied, safe and happy at home, while also managing our new work-from-home norm. We thought we’d pass on some of our ideas to share with your kids.

Get physical

  • Try a “For Kids” yoga program with a workout video.
  • If they don’t create a fuss, find an empty school yard and kick a ball around.
  • Push-up Challenge: who can do more, you or the kid? Post it via social media.
  • Do a TikTok video series.
  • Throw-back – hit the backyard for a hula-hoop or jump rope.
  • Get out on the bicycle or scooter.
  • Take a nature hike or plan an outdoor scavenger hunt.

Stretch the mind

  • Snag some education with online tutorials.
  • Watch documentaries (and maybe create one).
  • Read a good book or download an audio podcast.
  • Start a diary and record feelings and how the day went.
  • Check out downloadable activity packages.

Become a chef

  • Research some recipes and take a ‘make-it-yourself’ challenge.
  • “Nailed It!” Have a baking contest virtually with friends.
  • Play ‘restaurant’: make a menu, set the table, light the candles, cook and serve the food (might even earn a tip!).

Have some fun

  • Connect with friends on Facetime, text or gaming.
  • Movie night! Set up a home theatre and break out the popcorn.
  • Learn a new card game or board game.
  • DIY activity box: fill it with things like containers, paper, glue, googly eyes, paints, buttons, yarn — and see how many things can be made.

Be a helper

  • Take on some garden or household tasks, and earn some sweet cash while learning new skills.
  • Help younger siblings with schoolwork or creative activities.
  • Walk the dog … regularly!
  • Give suggestions to friends about how to make the days at home more interesting.

And here’s one that we at Big Red Oak really love … get creative with content!

  • ‘Walk-the-block’ photo assignment and edit with photo apps – snapseed, lightroom.
  • Shoot a video on the iPhone and edit it with an app like iMovie.
  • Set up a sidewalk chalk art video timelapse.
  • Create art on the phone, laptop or tablet, using something like Procreate.
  • Produce a storybook: draw the pictures and write a story.
  • Write a play, act it and film with siblings (with a co-star role for parents).

A final tip:

When kids go into ‘summer holiday’ mode, it eventually leads to boredom. Keeping a schedule can help: make a plan for when they get dressed, when they work, when they play, when they’re outside, when they can socialize online with friends, and when they can have screen time.

At Big Red Oak, we’re parents, too, and we’re trying to figure out how to get our children to use this time to explore and discover. These are tough times, absolutely — but it’s also an opportunity to make some creative lifestyle changes. Perhaps we will come to appreciate this as the silver lining behind the clouds.