Parents who are working full-time, home-schooling their children and taking care of them all at once have one thing in common.
They're all exhausted.
Add to that, a quarantine situation, where a break is simply sitting down on the couch after the children have finally fallen asleep, comforting yourself with the reality that in the morning you will get out of bed to do it all over again. As a full-time working mother of three, I know the struggle very well. On many days, my only time alone is when I jump in for a quick shower. As parents, we're all in the same boat.
But in these strange and difficult times, we need to be resourceful and use the tools we have at hand to keep little ones engaged. Here are some helpful resources I've found which you could try at home.
This educational website, which is primarily used by school teachers, includes wonderful activities for small children – from mindful colouring to arts and crafts activities. It is also available in different languages, including Arabic and French. Twinkl is also a great resource if you're homeschooling your children and need extra exercises for them to do in subjects such as maths, science and even Arabic. While full access to the site requires a paid subscription, many activities are available for free. Other platforms have made their resources available, such as Math Games and Khan Academy Kids.
Drawing via YouTube
One of the activities that my children enjoy doing the most is drawing. And while you can search "how to draw" practically anything on youTube, one channel that my children check out regularly is Art for Kids Hub. It is run by a family, who upload a new art lesson every week.
Parents can be part of the fun, too. There are so many options the entire family can enjoy, such as Heads Up!, or quiz games such as those on Kahoot. However, if your child already has a PS4 and you're desperate to get them to play something other than Fortnite, then I highly recommend Knowledge is Power. It's a great game for families and friends to play together, and one that my kids enjoy immensely. It's fun and competitive at the same time, and it's become a nightly family routine in our household.
NatGeo at Home
If your children are animal and science lovers, then they will love NatGeo@Home. The website is offering a range of quizzes, videos, science experiments and even at-home classroom resources for children.
'The Lion King' at Home
Do your little ones enjoy watching films? If they do, the The Lion King experience might be a great resource for you to explore with them. The programme, which had been previously made available for schools to use in classrooms, is now available for parents to do theatre at home. The family's first production? Why not! It's a great way to make this time at home a memorable one.
Movement and yoga
One of the things that many parents are very worried about, myself included, is the fact that their children are not moving as much as they did before the pandemic. However, it doesn't have to be that way. You can get your little ones into a routine to do a 20-minute fun workout every day, or even a yoga class. We've all heard about Joe Wicks, who's been helping children around the world keep moving. However, my kids enjoy Cosmic Kids Yoga, where storytelling and yoga poses are merged together.
CBeebies Bedtime Stories
While parents try to read stories to their children before bedtime, many are unable to do it every night, but that doesn't mean there isn't a story that your little ones can listen to. The BBC's CBeebies Bedtime Stories is a great resource, where celebrities do the reading for us this time.