Summer holidays are well underway and it’s been tough juggling everything. My mother-in-law is no longer able to help out and is recovering from back surgery, so we are currently having to manage child care between the two of us. Added on top of that, our train line has just started undergoing maintenance which brings three weeks of disruptions – talk about timing!
Mr H is having to work from home over this time and look after the boys three days a week. The boys are only used to both of us working from home one day a week so I am unsure how they will currently take to being at home for the majority of the week.
Booking into clubs is also a bit of a problem because M is still too young to be left anywhere (he needs to be 5) which in turn means it would be unfair to book E into clubs and leave M at home feeling lonely.
I have the utmost respect for parents who work from home full time and manage to keep their children busy! We are having to be a little creative when we’re working from home to keep the boys entertained.
Here are just some of the ways we plan on doing.
Organise different activities
One of the phrases I hear the most at the moment is “I’m bored, I don’t know what to do” Having been used to a routine and structure at school the boys are sometimes at a loss as to what they can to do entertain themselves. Yes, they have their toys to play with, TV and tablets to watch but they can only do that for a certain amount of time before they are wanting to move onto something else.
I try and suggest different activities that they can do along side me when I am working.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and Crafts can be a great little activity. Give them the craft box and let them go wild! You could even turn it into a competition to see who can make the biggest model or who can make the most items to keep things interesting.
Make Reading & Writing fun
We’re keen for M to start focusing on his phonics a bit more and to start sounding out words from books in preparation for school in September. We have a set of Oxford Learning Tree books which are great beginners books which E helps M sounds out words with and reads. E also has Work Books and Mathletics which he spends some time on too. We try and incorporate these into the day and make them fun. They don’t have to spend long on them either but it’s nice to keep their brains ticking.
Alternatively, you could plan a treasure hunt. This could be in the garden but would also work well indoors too. If you had time to organise it, you could leave clues around for them to find and work out where to find the treasure. Failing that, for an easier version you could leave marbles dotted around for them to hunt for and see who can find the most to win a prize.
Get the kids to set up their own home cinema with cushions and blankets. Then choose a movie to watch – you just provide the popcorn and drinks. This is something we do a lot of and the boys love it. As a special treat, I let them choose a new movie to download from Amazon Prime every now and then so they aren’t watching the same movies over and over. I find this holds their attention span a little longer!
Work on the go
The boys can’t be cooped up all week at home, they need to exert their energy and have a change of environment.
Go to the Park
If it’s nice out we can pack a picnic and take it to the local park or playground so the boys can play and have a run around. We can then work on our laptops, and if need be tether an internet connection from our phones.
We are also lucky enough to have a Soft play place within walking distance to us which we could visit if the weather’s not great. The boys are at a good age where they will happily go off to play together giving us time to do some work whilst (hopefully) enjoying a tea or coffee.
Visit the library
For a change of scenery, the library could also be a good place to visit. Kids can keep themselves busy pouring over the many different types of books they have to offer.
Exchange Play Dates
If you need a few hours to make phone calls or concentrate on work, organising for a friend who also has children to have them for a morning or afternoon could be a lifesaver. You can then return the favour when you are free.
How do you keep the kids entertained whilst working from home? I would love to hear your tips on how you do it.
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