How to Keep Your Child Occupied (and Engaged) During COVID-19

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has disrupted most (if not all) of our day-to-day lives. We are spending a significant amount of time in our homes, doing everything from hosting Zoom meetings with our colleagues and acting as second teachers to our children. Our sense of “normal” has shifted extremely quickly.

If you are a parent, this new normal may come with some added stress. Specifically, you may be finding it difficult to keep your child occupied and engaged. It’s safe to say that you are not alone. Parents throughout the country are trying to keep their children happy and healthy while attending to their own responsibilities and needs.

Because of this, we want to share some tips on how to keep our child busy, engaged, and happy during these uncertain times. Implementing some of these tips, your entire family will be less stressed and happier as you continue adjusting to life under quarantine.

Keeping Your Child Busy Under Lockdown

To start, one great way to keep your child occupied and engaged is to create a schedule for your children. Living under lockdown, it is all too easy to proceed through your day without a set schedule. You’re trying to put out the largest fires and keep your children occupied when they start complaining. Before you know it, it’s already late evening and you are getting ready for bed.

Life under quarantine doesn’t have to be this way. By creating a schedule for your children, you ensure that they are occupied throughout the day. To be clear, you don’t need to schedule your child’s day down to the minute. Instead, you can block off certain blocks of time (like 30 or 60 minutes) for certain activities. Whether it is 30 minutes of screen time in the evening or 60 minutes of the family gathering in the evening to play a board game, a schedule provides order and structure. You can manage your children’s expectations and ensure that they are getting a healthy mix of work and play while under lockdown. 

Next, we encourage you to prioritize your child’s academic activities. Especially if you are a working parent, it can be tempting to place your child in front of a TV screen or computer during this time. It keeps them occupied so that you can focus on your own tasks and responsibilities. But taking this hands-off approach can lead to your child taking a backseat to their ongoing academic studies.

As we are wrapping up the school year in a remote-first setting, you need to prioritize your child’s academic activities. Don’t hesitate to help your child with her homework. Ask her questions about what she learned today. If necessary, offer her some positive and healthy rewards if she is struggling to finish her work. All of this can keep your child on track as we wrap up the school year.

Finally, take care of yourself. You can only keep your child occupied and engaged if you are actively engaged in self-care. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and that you are eating as much healthy food as possible. If you are able, try finding a few minutes to get some exercise. You may consider these little things, but collectively, they can make you feel significantly better while on lockdown. With your renewed energy, you’ll be able to provide the best care for your child.

Helping You Thrive During Lockdown

All of us are experiencing this sort of lockdown for the first time. It’s all too natural for your children to get fussy or antsy during this time. This makes it more difficult for them to stay engaged and occupied throughout this experience.

The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to make the experience more enjoyable for the entire family. Following the strategies above, we are confident that your child will become happier, more occupied, and more engaged.

If you’d like another way to keep your child occupied and engaged throughout COVID-19, we invite you to check out Smart Buddies. At Smart Buddies, we created a unique coding tool and curriculum that increases diversity awareness for students in grades three through five. To learn more about us, feel free to click here.