The corona crisis has a firm grip on us, daycare centers and schools are closed, and parents face the challenge that their kids are at home around the clock, but also not really allowed to go out and meet friends. Play groups have been put on hold, children’s swimming has been canceled and the babysitter has also canceled all appointments. The question arises: How should we keep the little ones busy all day long? So that the blanket does not fall completely on your head, we have come up with 11 things that you can do with your children at home.
1. Games – the classic
Games are the classic when it comes to children’s fun – especially because they are so diverse. From great board games to puzzles to more active games like Twister, there are endless possibilities. If you don’t have any games in the house, you can also get active with the simplest of means: For city-country rivers you only need a piece of paper and a pen you don’t see “you even get by without any equipment – and train your brains too.
2. Watch films and series
Sure, parking kids just in front of the TV, laptop or tablet is not particularly educationally valuable. But let’s be honest: If parents are nerve-wracked or just need a breather, sometimes TV and Co. are just the savior in need. And that doesn’t have to be bad as long as you make sure that your kids consume something meaningful and don’t hang out in front of the telly all day. In fact, there are lots of great films that inspire children and parents alike, but there are also series in which young and old can still learn something. For example “The show with the mouse” – it runs daily on March 18 in the WDR and is also available in the ARD media center. So sit down with your kids, sit back, relax and be entertained by the child-friendly program.
3. Cooking and baking
Not only do we adults love it when our work brings tangible results – kids are also happy about results that they can be proud of. That is exactly why it is a great idea to involve your children in cooking and baking – because you have to eat anyway. And a self-made sandwich or pizza slice, hand-decorated cookies, homemade jam, diligently stirred soup or tomato sauce for the pasta tastes twice as good if you have made it yourself. The good thing: when cooking, kids not only get to know and appreciate the individual ingredients, they also understand that schnitzel does not grow in the freezer.
4. Crafts together
Another activity in which the youngsters can look forward to great results is handicrafts. Everyone who has made a piggy bank in his childhood knows how much fun that is – and that only with a balloon, newspaper, paste, egg cartons and some paint. If you need creative input, a good craft book for children can help. There are often hundreds of ideas for handicrafts with felt, finger paint and Co. Depending on your age, you can of course also do more sophisticated things: fold origami butterflies to decorate the walls, make macrame flower lights for the urban jungle, T- Pimp shirts with batik technique or make your own beeswax towels. For even more inspiration, it’s worth checking out Pinterest.
A great tip for everyone who finds the pictures of their kids heartwarming but not really decorative: The interior blog Newniq is currently publishing new and really stylish coloring pages for children – and not only protects you from the Corona koller, but also in front of indefinable scribble paintings on the walls.
Being inside does not automatically mean being lazy, because you can also move within your own four walls. Turn on your kids’ favorite music, dance to it or come up with a suitable choreo. Boy band was yesterday, family band is today! If that’s not crazy enough for you, practice headstand on the walls, do a wheelbarrow run through the hallway or stretch woolen threads in the living room, through which you then have to move in James Bond fashion without touching them.
6. Read out and have it read out
Who didn’t love it when mom, dad, or even both sat down in bed in the evening and read from their favorite book? But why should you only treat yourself to this fun before going to bed? Read something during the day – or: let read out! After all, there are lots of great radio plays for children. Another alternative is podcasts for children. Examples are the MDR podcast “My Challenge” or “Do you already know?” – a podcast quiz for children from the age of three. ARD also has an audio library for preschool children, but also for school children. You can just let them go and while the kids are listening intently, you can even iron or do other things.
7. Awaken the gambler in you!
If your children are already so old that you can no longer entice them with a children’s book or a board game, then the game console is certainly not far away. In fact, there are loads of child-friendly games for devices like the Nintendo Switch. Just Dance, Bibi and Tina or good old Mario Kart for example. In any case, the list of consoles and associated games is long. Your kids will tell you how to do it. And maybe you even have an old Gameboy lying around somewhere – then you can also show them what gaming looked like a hundred years ago.
8. Smile for me!
At the latest for the next birthday or just before Christmas you need them again: funny pictures for the photo gifts. So plunder your wardrobe, dress up, put on hats, put on your make-up, grimaces and do a colorful photo shoot in your own four walls. That will definitely give you a few funny results that your relatives will be happy about later.
9. Learn without a teacher
All schools are currently closed due to Corona and millions of children are suddenly at home. It is important, of course, that they learn something, even when they are not sitting in the classroom. Since not every school is equipped so that it can continue its lessons digitally, you are also in demand as parents. “Homeschooling” is the magic word. Easier said than done if you are not a teacher and never wanted to be one. How joint learning can still work is given by Béa Beste with helpful tips in her book “Smart instead of lonely buffeting: How children and parents learn together”.
The Helmholtz Institute has put a free brochure with experiments that you can easily recreate at home – after all, practical learning is still the most fun. Duden-Verlag also supports you and your kids by making its “Duden LearnAttack” learning software available free of charge for two months. There you will find 40,000 explanatory videos, exercises and class assignments. The learning platform Scoyo will also make its offer available free of charge for the next two weeks – there you will find different learning programs for all age groups and school subjects. Educational games, apps and materials sorted by subject are also available on the WDR platform “Planet Schule”.
Of course, it is especially great when you have older siblings at home who can help you – with them, the learning material is usually not as far behind as with the parents. So encourage your kids to teach each other something.
10. Redesigns the children’s room
When parents tell something about “tidying up children’s rooms”, the offspring quickly suffers from spontaneous deafness. “Redesigning children’s rooms” sounds a lot better. Why not change the furniture, paint a few walls or build a cozy tent made of pillows and blankets in the middle of the room? If you sell the whole thing as an exciting make-over, with a bit of luck your kids won’t even notice that you are also doing some tidying up.
11. Meet friends and family – virtually
Of course, if you are forced to stay at home, that does not mean that social contacts are canceled. Because what are computers, cell phones and the like for? So just start a small Skype session or a video call with grandma and grandpa or the godmother – after all, they are happy to hear and see you again.