Right now, if you have kids, you’re probably wondering how you can keep your brood entertained while we are called to stay home and social distance ourselves. Life has pretty much been turned upside down for many of us, and things like going to the playground and playdates are off-limits.
It may seem a daunting task to try and keep your children occupied, but don’t be discouraged. Be creative and resourceful with these ten ways to keep your kids entertained while self-isolating.
We’ve already covered the top ten streaming platforms to check out during self-isolation. A couple of those apply here but there are also others to consider for kids. Here are just a handful of streaming media options you should consider to keep your kids entertained:
- Disney+: Disney+ is a no-brainer here. The service is filled with Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies galore, and just about every kid is going to absolutely love this service. Disney is still offering a free trial of its service so you can check it out before you buy.
- Up Faith & Family: Up Faith & Family is centered around bringing you the very best of family-oriented entertainment. Not only is there content here for kids but great content the whole family can enjoy! There is a free trial available, so check the service out before you buy it.
- Netflix Kids: I think most of us have a Netflix account but you may or may not know that there is a kids-only section. There is a ton of content here for all kids big and small so be sure to check it out.
- Philo: Philo is an interesting subscription service that’s sort of like SlingTV or YouTube TV. The key difference here is that it concentrates less on network TV and sports and instead targets a different audience. It targets those who enjoy game shows, kids’ shows, cooking shows, and other content like it. I highly recommend this for families and kids, not all the content is kid-friendly but I’m sure you can discern what’s best. Philo does offer a free trial so you can check it out before you buy.
- Smithsonian Channel: If you’re looking for some educational content then you need to try the Smithsonian Channel. You can activate the channel on your devices through your cable provider or you can subscribe to Smithsonian Channel Plus and watch that way. The Smithsonian Channel also offers a free trial so you have the chance to check it out before you buy.
- Discovery Family Go: Another educational channel which I think you’re familiar with is Discovery. Discovery Family Go brings you the best of Discovery Kids and other Discovery programs. Like the Smithsonian Channel, you can activate it through your cable provider or subscribe to Family Go and watch on your devices.
There are a ton more streaming options not mentioned here. Be sure to check out our article on some other options. Also, tell us what streaming options you use for your kids in the comments below.
LEGOs and More
What better way to occupy your kids and help develop their motor and problem-solving skills than with LEGOs? Most of us probably have at least one or two LEGO sets laying around and they’re probably all mixed up. But that’s okay! While it’s fun for kids to build pre-made sets, it’s far more challenging for them to create their own from a bucket of mixed LEGO parts.
Kids will play with LEGOs for hours, and it’s a perfect way to keep them busy. But you don’t have to stop at LEGOs. Here are just a few options for building-type toys that will bring hours of fun and education to your child:
What sort of building toys does your child use? Comment below and let us know.
Yes, another old fashioned and simple method of entertainment…board games. Believe it or not, if you introduce board games to your child early, they’ll love them. These days we’re so caught up with digital media that many of us have forgotten about board games. The crazy thing is that, often times, kids would rather play board games than watch TV.
There are a vast variety of titles out there, and you may already have several board games tucked away in a closet somewhere. What better time to dig them out or buy them again and rediscover the joys of family game night. Here are just a few suggestions we think the whole family will enjoy:
- Pie Face
- Guess Who?
- Ticket To Ride
- Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
These are just a small selection of what you can find on Amazon. There are tons more. What board games are your family playing? Give us some suggestions in the comments below.
Tablet time. The good old tablet which you can fill up with all sorts of games, books, and music for your child to mindlessly enjoy. There are varying opinions on how much tablet (screen) time is good for a child, so you’ll have to make your own judgments regarding that.
As for which tablets might be suitable for you to purchase, well, we have some ideas. Of course, the prices of tablets will vary, as will their build quality and performance, so check out some of the tablets we recommend below and tell us in the comments if you’re using something different.
- Samsung Tab A 8.4″ 2020
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids
- iPad Mini
- Amazon Fire HD 8
- Amazon Fire 7 Kids
- Lenovo Smart Tab M10
- Dragon Touch K10
Online Coding with Tynker
Tynker is an online coding learning platform that is focused on kids, and it is one of the best currently available. Tynker shows your child how to code in a fun and interactive way. Tynker has packages available for kids as young as 5 all the way up to 13 and over. The way the company presents coding to kids makes it easy to understand and they’ll have fun learning.
You can get started for free on Tynker, and the company is offering premium content for free during the coronavirus school shutdown. I highly recommend checking Tynker out. This is a great way to keep your kids occupied and keep them on the learning curve. Check out Tynker on their website today.
Scooters and Skateboards
Alright, you may be self-isolating, but you also may have plenty of space to go out and play. This is a great time to break out the kids’ scooters and skateboards. Kids need fresh air and exercise, and the good old scooter or a skateboard are great ways to release some energy and get some exercise. We realize that urban areas may not benefit from this suggestion, but suburban and rural areas will, with proper distancing practices.
Scooters and skateboards are some of the best toys you’ll ever invest in. Kids love these things and can spend hours flying up and down the sidewalk on them. Plus, scooters and skateboards get bonus points for draining your little balls of energy and helping them sleep better. Here are a few suggestions for some really great scooters and skateboards:
- Razor Scooter
- Mongoose Scooter
- Jetson Scooter
- Micro Kickboard
- Yvolution Scooter
- Skidee Scooter
- Geelife Skateboard
- Baijawei Longboard
- Razor RipStick Casterboard
- EasyWay Skateboard
There are plenty more choices on Amazon in the scooters and skateboard category. Bike riding is also a great alternative and also a great way to get exercise. What scooters and skateboards do you suggest? Let us know in the comments below.
Jobs Around the House
Before you scoff at this one, hear me out. Kids actually love to work. There may be some disagreement on what you would consider work and what they consider work. The trick is finding something they actually like to do and having them do that thing. Some kids love cleaning mirrors, some love sweeping the floor, some love to vacuum floors, and some really love to cook.
Take a moment and find the thing your kid loves to do and have them help you do those things. Setting aside the things you don’t want to do and pawning them off on your kid doesn’t encourage them to work. Elevating them and encouraging them to do the things they love will eventually teach them responsibility and, in turn, help you. Kids want to be led, they want to please mom and dad but they’re also human and enjoy doing some things more than others. A good rule to have is to give them three jobs, two that they love and another they don’t particularly enjoy. I think, more often than not, they’ll be fine doing all three and it keeps them busy. Let us know in the comments below what sort of chores and jobs your kids love doing.
Another simple and fun thing kids love to do is build forts. This activity might mean you’ll have to compromise on keeping your house tidy, but it’s a blast for kids. Building a fort with pillows, blankets, chairs, or whatever is handy is like creating a whole new world of make-believe.
Kids can imagine that fort to be just about anything. From a hideout to a castle, kids’ imaginations can really surprise you. Plus, this activity will keep them occupied for hours. Word of warning though, the fort may end up being semi-permanent because they have that much fun with it.
Journaling is a great way for your older kids to write down their thoughts and feelings. Often times, kids have a hard time expressing themselves to their parents, and teaching them to journal is a good way to come to terms with and understand the emotions they are going through.
Given the situation we’re in with coronavirus and the sudden shift in lifestyle we’ve hit, journaling could be very therapeutic for your child. They may even find they are comfortable opening up to you about certain things once they’ve been journaling for a bit.
Our final recommendation for keeping your kids busy through self-isolation is KiwiCo. KiwiCo is a STEM and Science learning system that is subscription-based. Subscribing to the service gives you a monthly crate that has a project in an area of your choice. There are tiers for several different age brackets and the projects themselves are well made and engaging for your child.
“KiwiCo was built out of a belief in the importance of developing creative confidence,” says KiwiCo, adding, “We believe that this confidence helps kids think big and act like creators and producers instead of just consumers. Kids with creative confidence don’t assume one ‘right way’ to build with blocks, paint a picture, or solve a problem. Their unique way is the right way.”
Prices and subscription tiers vary, but KiwiCo is a great way to keep your kid occupied and, once again, a great way to keep them engaged and learning. Find out more about KiwiCo on their website.
Alex Hernandez is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Techaeris. Follow him on Twitter @daAlexHernandez follow Techaeris on Twitter @techaeris and visit its website for the latest tech reviews and news.
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