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How to keep your kids happy while you're working at home

In order to contain the coronavirus, both schools and businesses are closing meaning that many parents, who are used to working in a nice, calm office, will be forced into unchartered territory: working from home with kids around.  Before you run for the hills, here are some tips on how to keep the kids occupied so you can get some work done and stay sane.  

1. Make a balanced and realistic schedule

To avoid maximum stress levels, make a daily schedule – just like schools do.  Don’t forget the fun: children are far more likely to work with you if they are enjoying their day. Vary the activities, start with educational, then burn up some energy with a dance, sit down and concentrate on a jigsaw puzzle, then back to times tables.  In the afternoon get the paints out, run around the garden or do a dance, then have some quiet time reading or doing puzzle books and games. For a stress-free day, planning is key. 

2. Be prepared to be flexible

You may find that in order to fit your work around entertaining the children you may need to tag team with your partner or work more flexible hours by catching up on outstanding tasks whilst the children are playing or even in bed.

3. Limit screen time

It’s tempting to plonk your kids in front of the tv / ipad / computer console, but this tactic will only buy you a certain amount of time before the children go stir-crazy, or start arguing and demanding your attention. If you need to plan screen time into the day – schedule it in when you’ve got a conference call.

Usborne Quicklinks

Visit Usborne Quicklinks for links to websites with lots of fun jumping and stretching exercises.

Usborne is not responsible for the content of external websites. Please read the internet safety guidelines at Usborne Quicklinks.

4. Explain the situation

It may seem obvious but talk to your children. Talk through the schedule you have decided on and explain why it’s so important that you get time to do your work too. On Usborne Quicklinks you can find lots of recommended websites with facts and advice for kids about the coronavirus.

5. Stock up

Never mind the tins of baked beans and loo rolls, don’t forget to make sure you’ve got your entertainment supplies on hand. See below for some suggestions.

6. Enjoy the time together

OK so it’s not in the best of circumstances, but if possible try to make the most of this quality time together. Accept that you can only do your best, and stay safe.

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Emma Baxter, Usborne Global Content Executive

Tags: activities

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