Trying to keep your children happy and entertained while stuck at home can be a bit of a challenge. Having your kids constantly complain that they are bored can be very stressful and disruptive. That’s why I have put together this list of useful tips and strategies to help keep your kids entertained at home while preserving your sanity.
Try to Switch Things Up
Engaging in a single activity in the same place for extended periods of time is bound to get boring. This is one of the main reasons children complain of boredom when stuck at home. But by frequently switching activities, you can prevent the feeling of boredom from setting in.
For me, sticking to a home school routine during the lockdown helps to ensure that my kids stay engaged throughout the day since they don’t spend too much time doing one activity.
If you don’t like the idea of following a structured routine, consider limiting the amount of time your kids spend on any one activity. You can set an alarm for one hour or for how long you think the kids should stay engaged in an activity, and once the alarm goes off, have them switch to another activity.
For instance, you can let them play with their toy cars in the living room for a few hours then move the activities to the kitchen where they can play with play-doh. In this case, you will have switched activities and locations.
Try to switch up the activities before they grow tired of the current activity. While they might complain about not being done with the current activity, it won’t be as much as you’d have to deal with once they get bored of the activity.
Sort and Declutter
To ensure a smooth transition from one activity to another, you will need to do some bit of decluttering and organizing. Take time to sort out the toys and ensure they are easily accessible.
If there are too many toys lying around, it will be more difficult for your kids to know what to play with. However, when the toys are properly organized into sets that can be quickly brought out when needed and then put away afterward, your kids will be able to enjoy better quality engaged playtime.
One Box At A Time
I suggest IKEA Drona storage boxes. These boxes can be slotted into the square Kallax shelves and are perfect for children’s toys and can hold a lot of stuff. Sort out the toys and put them in different boxes, for instance, have a box for toy cars, dolls, characters, play food, and so on. I always use one rule – one box at a time. Once we are done with one activity, we ensure that everything is picked up and put back in the current box before proceeding to get out another box.
One of the key reasons your kid seems constantly bored and restless is that they might be going through all their toys at once. Instead of having all these items available to them all the time, you can have a small selection of toys to play with then hide the others away perhaps in another room, on a high shelf, or your attic or garage.
Safety is Important
Remember keeping your kids entertained is one thing but safety is very important. This is especially the case outdoors if they are playing in a tree or riding a bike or an electric scooter. Here are some tips for safety if riding an escooter.
How Exactly Does Toy Rotation Work?
To help you better understand, I have provided an example:
Once you’ve sorted out your kids’ toys into different boxes, keep the box containing dolls, the box containing toy cars, the box containing LEGOs, and the box containing art supplies as the current batch and put away the rest of the boxes. Throughout the week you implement the one box at a time rule with the chosen boxes – putting away what your kid is playing with before moving to the next box.
Once the week is over, put away the current boxes retaining only the box containing the arts and crafts supplies, and get out a few other different boxes. Perhaps the box containing building toys, the box containing play food, and the box containing characters. This will be your new batch for the new week.
By constantly swapping around your kids’ toys, you will help keep all of them fresh and exciting. It will also help to keep the toys organized and easily accessible when needed.
Keep Them Active
Keeping your kids moving is a great way to avoid boredom. For example, if you have a backyard garden, there are a lot of fun activities they can engage in. You can also consider going out for a walk in the afternoon.
If heading outdoors is out of the question, there are some educational YouTube channels that can help to keep your kids engaged. Check out my Educational Video Resources For Kids blog post for more info on this.