- Tips and expert advice
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.
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.
Sign up for our Saturday Activities newsletter for free downloadable activity sheets and links to the best of the web for kids, straight to your inbox every week.
About the Author
As a child Emma Baxter was an avid reader and loved anything and everything creative - as an adult nothing has changed and she's still unashamedly kidcentric. Following a career in television she now works as Usborne's Global Content Creator - making films and animations, taking photos, writing and feeling delighted to be surrounded by gorgeous books.