Keeping our Kids Keenly Occupied During Quarantine #AtoZChallenge

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nooranandchawla.com

Happy Easter Sunday everyone! We organised an Easter egg hunt at home today, which my son absolutely loved! If you’re a parent reading this post, you know the struggle involved in keeping kids happy and engaged during quarantine. I’ve been getting queries on Instagram, on how to keep kids occupied during lockdown. As I’m reluctant to put my son on Instagram, a detailed blog post will have to do in its place.

I’m not an expert but I’m sharing tips and tricks that have worked for me so far, and will probably work for you too, no matter the age of your child.

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Easter Egg Hunt for Easter Sunday. Hard-boil the eggs, paint on them and then dunk them in food colouring. Hide the eggs around the house, and have your child find them. Reward your child with something sweet when all the eggs have been found!

Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • You need to be involved in every activity with your child. Your children are as anxious about this unprecedented situation as you are. They’re probably missing their friends/ being able to play outdoors/ normal life. The only connect they have to normalcy is you, hence, you must be involved in some way or another, in every activity of their day.
  • A fixed schedule is tremendously helpful, as your child knows what to expect at what time of the day. It also allows you to finish your chores/ rest during the times your children are occupied with their scheduled activities.
  • Enforce the same bedtime as the one they follow during normal school days. Well-rested children are happier children.
  • If you are lucky enough to live in a joint family, divide roles and times of day that your children spend with every family member. This is the best time for children to bond with their grandparents.
  • Involve them in regular household activities as much as possible. You’ll get your chores done and keep your kids entertained!

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Imaginative play mixed with scheduled school homework is a great way to keep them occupied

Keeping these basic principles in mind, I’m sharing a rough layout of my son’s daily routine during lockdown. You could take inspiration from this, as well as use the online resources I have mentioned:

  1. ONLINE LESSONS:

On weekdays, my son has three online lessons conducted by his school, beginning at 8 a.m. These lessons are spaced out over 3 hours with breaks in between each one. During the breaks, he eats breakfast or plays.

If your children don’t have scheduled school lessons, I recommend using online resources that teach school lessons as per age group.

Here are some free home learning links for you to try:

  • Harvard:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19neeL_YewxIIgddX6eeRvefbW2Zth-OKSCHyyh-QSoo/edit?usp=sharing_eil&ts=5e7893b2

  • All in One Home School:

https://allinonehomeschool.com/

  • National Geographic:

 https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

Older children can also access museums and zoos from around the world that are offering virtual tours for free, during lockdown.

  1. WATER PLAY:

After lessons, my son plays on our roof where he likes to water the plants with his grandparents. Most often he has a bath there, while horsing around with buckets of water.

It’s important to encourage any sort of outdoor water play, especially now that the weather is hot. If you don’t have access to a roof or a garden, this can be in your balcony or even your bathroom. Children love water play and it keeps them occupied for long periods of time while also utilising their pent-up energy.

  1. MEAL TIME:

Encourage eating lunch/ at least one meal together as a family, around the same time every day.

  1. MOVIE TIME:

After lunch, my son is allowed to watch a movie of his choice. It has been made clear to him that this arrangement is strictly for lockdown time only, and will stop when school re-starts. Disney + Hotstar and Netflix are great options with extensive content for children of all age groups. I believe they are offering free subscriptions during lockdown period.

  1. PLAY TIME:

After the movie, my son gets a couple hours of play time. During this he chooses any of the following activities:

  • Plays with his toys in our living room
  • Plays on our roof
  • An activity sticker book
  • Arts and crafts/ assigned homework from school
  • Baking/ cooking activities with his grandparents
  • Reading books with mom/ dad
  • Imaginary play with things he’s found around the house
  • Whatsapp video calls with his Nani/Nanu/ uncles/ aunts/ cousins

If your children get bored of their existing toys, here’s an easy trick you can try. Rotate their toys every few days, by hiding half of them in a storage box. Take the hidden ones out after a few days, and hide the others. This allows them to re-discover the joy of old toys.

My son also enjoys enacting movies with his toys, which can be used to substitute characters from their favourite films!

  1. DINNER TIME:

My son eats dinner slightly earlier than us. He’s a bit of a restless eater, so, we sit together and enjoy some activity books or read while he eats.

  1. PRE-BEDTIME:

After dinner, he gets to watch 15 minutes of TV, then changes for bed and follows his night-time routine. Reading books is a daily ritual. During lockdown, I have been reading a chapter or two of “The Little Prince” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, to him every night. It’s meant for slightly older children, but he enjoys having the story unfold little by little every night.

  1. BEDTIME:

We enforce my son’s school time bedtime of 8 pm as he has lessons the next morning, but on weekends he sleeps at 8:30. Since he doesn’t take naps during the day, he sleeps on time!

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Playing on our roof

Our daily schedules are designed around my son’s which ensures the smooth operation of everything in the house. Some days are harder than others but for the most part, it’s not been a difficult adjustment.

If you’re looking for more tips on keeping kids keenly occupied at home, check out this post by fellow blogger Cindy.

Hence, my tip for you to beat the lockdown blues today is:

Design a daily schedule for yourself and your family members and stick with it. Try and wake early and sleep on time. Earmark timings for daily chores, and give yourself time for leisure activities like reading/ fitness/ meditation etc. Trust me, the more your lockdown days feel like normal days, the easier they are to deal with!

If you’re looking for a good book to read during your leisure time, here’s my recommendation with the letter K:

“Kane and Abel” by Jeffrey Archer was the first novel written by him, that I read. I was fascinated by the tale of two men whose lives are strangely entwined.

If you prefer watching a TV show to reading a book, here’s one that I recommend:

“Koffee with Karan” is a talk show hosted by the effervescent producer/director from Bollywood- Karan Johar. He interviews Bollywood celebrities in his unique no-holds barred style. You can watch all six seasons of this show on Hotstar.

Tying in with the theme of today’s post, here’s my blogger recommendation for today:

Over on Instagram, I’ve reviewed 3 movies that released this weekend on different streaming platforms- Bamfaad” on Zee5, “Love Wedding Repeat” on Netflix, and “Tigertail” on Netflix. I would love it if you checked out my review, linked here!

That’s it for today folks!

Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter K?

Khuda Hafiz till tomorrow!

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This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up.

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 

60 comments

  1. You are definitely working hard to keep your little one busy. I admire how creative mums have become all over the world. Just yesterday I saw an amazing video that was also shared by Ellen on how a mum had drawn a trail on the side walk with numbers, alphabets, etc so that the kid can learn and jump at the same time.
    Brilliant!

  2. Yes Noor, keeping kids occupied during this hard time is bit challenging and I agree with all the suggestions you had shared here. making a schedule and follow the routine helps a lot in reducing anxiety and boredom. i had also planned a flexible schedule for my girls. they are having a good time while doing different activities,

  3. Interesting tips shared, I’m sure it will be useful for all parents out there. thanks for the links too. Belated Easter Wishes! Have a beautiful day ✨💐🤗

  4. Perfect schedule set by you for your son Noor, that is best way only to enjoy the lockdown to the fullest. Reading book a fruitful norm is ritual of my home too, iI am regular audience of Koffee with karan watched each and every episode, Will check your recommendation vdo, I wish I could also watch ZEE5 programs but I guess it doesn’t work here.Please suggest me if there is any other way to watch ZEE5 ep.

  5. Those home learning links are gold… a lot of good stuff there… sharing with a few who could definitely use it right now.

  6. K&A was one of my favourites many years ago when I used to simply devour Jeffrey Archer. You’ve got a wonderful plan for your child Noor and it is so important to follow a routine. I’ve been doing it with my daughter but my son, who is slightly older has his own rules…which are no rules if you ask me !!!

  7. Agree!! Keeping them busy and satisfied at the same time can be tricky. They seek out our attention the whole day in the absence of their friends. But a little more planning and a little more scheduling can crack the nut. Great tips. I used to get involved in all the activities with my little one. These days, I am giving him more time to free play and I am getting amazed by the new ideas and another level of creativity never seen before.

  8. Lovely tips to keep the kids occupied Noor.We too had a treasure hunt, painted eggs, made bunny pancakes…kids need time..glad u r giving him that.I see parents binge watching TV and kids too doing the same.

  9. Hey Noor! I am not married at all, but I love to play with kids and I love the vibes they give me. I really love to be surrounded by them and their sweet innocence. That’s why when you moms give some creative ideas to keep kids busy, I really love to know about them. Liked the ideas you have shared here. Will share it with my cousin di for my niece. Your son is too handsome, I mean, cute. 🙂

  10. Yes, we need to keep kids really busy during Quarantine. I love the idea of an Easter egg hunt. I remember back in school we had conducted this activity. Kids were even asked to paint stones to make their own Easter eggs

  11. You have shared some fun ways to keep kids engaged. I’m sure all moms are on their creative best in lock down finding the best possible ways to keep kids busy and occupied.
    Koffee with karan is my fav show.

  12. The toughest part of this lockdown is to see the little ones locked indoors, I really liked the resources you enumerated to keep them engaged.

  13. Wonderful tips and links for kids activities Noor. Your Easter eggs are really cute. We too did a DIY Easter eggs puzzle. It is very important for kids to have routine. I have a fixed routine for my son too and I’m very thankful for that otherwise nothing will ever get accomplished. Kids are also happy when they a set routine. Wonderful book recommendation by an amazing author!❤️

  14. Thanks for the amazing tips. I really need them. We have started online classes today at 11:45. We will reschedule our day now and your tips will really help.

  15. Thank u so much for sharing the links to engage the kids for home lesson I need it badly.thankfully my daughter online classes has started today. Happy to see her occupied and studying . My son engagement span is very less as he is pack of naughtiness.

  16. Yeah! I have changed my entire routine according to them. Crafting, drawing, painting, colouring, making vedios what they are doing itself a fun for them too. Keeping them busy is the tough task. Thanks for the suggestions.

  17. Thanks for the links of online courses that you have shared. I was looking out for those links and here I got. You are doing a great job by being so creative with your child and have shared practical pointers.

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