We are a family with younger kids, so when schools decided to cancel, a day having both David and Evy at home wasn’t all that unfamiliar. David is probably the one who has the hardest time not being able to go out and about and see his friends each day. He is the definition of a social butterfly. And while Evy isn’t quite as outgoing, she sure knows how to find her way to mischief.
Josh and I like to compare the kids to puppies, where, if they’re not mentally or socially stimulated, they become destructive. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great kids. But what siblings don’t get into trouble or on each others’ nerves from time to time.
That being the case, Josh and I have Google, asked friends, and brainstormed lots of ways to keep the kids busy and coincidentally happy during the day. I’ll break it down into a few categories below and give you a few ideas in each.
While it can be tempting to try to use this time for all it’s worth and do all the things you wish you could if prior commitments weren’t an issue, we all need some downtime with family at the end of the day. This is an unprecedented time when we are literally unable to have prior commitments and activities and responsibilities pulling us in opposite directions. Let’s take advantage of it!
I went on Instagram stories yesterday and commented how I felt as though I’ve been spending less time than usual on Instagram due to an overall mindset of family time and togetherness, and I’ve been loving it!
Josh and I have actually made changes to our evening routines where we turn off the TV earlier than usual and spend time reading and playing together.
We introduced several Peppa Pig toys and accessories to David and Evy and they are simply obsessed! They LOVE the Peppa Pig Surprise Balloons and try to guess what’s inside before they open them.
The kids LOVE playing using their imaginations and it’s so special for them when Josh and I join in, too. I personally find Peppa Lights & Sounds Family Fun Car adorable, our car-loving kid takes that toy all over the house.
Evy who loves to cuddle and sing songs from her favorite movies and shows goes to bed each night with her Peppa Pig Whistle n’ Oink Plush.
It goes without saying that kids have way more energy and stamina than we do. So even if we can’t keep up with all of their physical activity, it doesn’t mean we can’t inspire them to run around and burn off some steam.
Here are a few ideas to help kids get some energy out during the day:
- Create a scavenger hunt (doubles as great mental stimulation!) We’ve been using Jazware’s Peppa Surprise Balloons, they’re a perfect surprise for the kids to discover (and even contain a mystery golden surprise to add to their Wonderful World of Peppa collection!)
- Create a Ninja warrior course in the yard with chairs, jungle gyms, ropes, tunnels, boxes, and anything else you can find around the house.
- Create a movie workout. You know the movie your kids asked to watch every day? Now, whenever you hear the theme song that gets stuck in your head, they have to do 15 jumping jacks. When their favorite funny line comes up, they have to run in place. You get the idea.
- Cleaning and chores. My kids are at the weird yet amusing phase where they actually like helping with cleaning and chores. If you can get your kids to clean up around the house, try making a new part of your daily routines. Afterward, reward them with a healthy snack!
- Have a family yoga session!
I heard somewhere that mental stimulation can release just as much energy as physical exercise. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but I’m willing to put it to the test.
Spending more time at home might give you just the time you need to practice a skill together that you’ve always wanted to learn. Here are a few ideas to keep the kids mentally stimulated throughout the day:
- Teach them a new board game. A simple game like checkers can be a great way to help kids learn strategy without a huge learning curve. If your kids are older, try introducing them to chess!
- Tell the kids to make up their own new board game. David and I do this probably once a month where we create a board game somewhat similar to Shoots and Ladders or Candyland where you roll a dice and move spaces according to what you rolled. The catch is, you might land on a space that sends you back a few spaces, or you might land on a space that gives you an advantage. Have your kids make up their own board games with different themes and then play together as a family.
- Practice a foreign language together! Have the kids learn a new phrase each day and see what words they gradually pick up over time.
- Lots and lots of reading! And if you have readers or kids who are learning, give them lots of turns!
- Have kids write snail mail letters to their friends and family members! Especially those who are unable to have visitors right now.
- Let their imaginations run wild! We’ve spent time creating our own little traveling carnival with Jazware’s Carnival Fun Time Playset; creating our own carnival games, inventing fun little prizes. Tons of cute ideas to dream up!
- Outdoor challenges. Rather than creating a scavenger hunt, simply have the kids gather the most X, or 5 pink flowers, a bird’s feather, etc.
Again, this is such a unique time where quality time with family is a commodity and we’ll remember the way we spend it for a long time to come. Big thanks to Peppa for bringing our family even closer together and keeping our kids entertained during these trying times. We love Peppa Pig and after this season at home, Peppa will always hold a special place in our hearts!