It’s been a long summer for most parents, starting with school closing before the actual end of the school year. Keeping children occupied has been a struggle for many. They can’t see their friends in person, and they need to let out that social energy somehow. Teachers have held classes online, which is harder for some ages to pay attention to. In Arizona, outside fun is already limited thanks to the summer heat, but now kids can’t even go to public pools, malls, bowling, or any other air-conditioned gathering place. Being stuck at home has parents and children alike getting frustrated. But never fear – there are many ways you can keep your kids engaged and learning at home.
If you haven’t already, sit down with your children and make a schedule. Depending on how old they are, this might be easier or harder with their input, but it’s still good to involve them in the process. A daily or weekly schedule will help everyone in the house stay on track and have something to refer to so you can keep yourselves accountable. Make sure to include time for learning, chores, and relaxing.
There are plenty of inexpensive ways to stay entertained at home. You can find free online games from PBS Kids or Seussville. For older kids, there are options like learning how to cook or creating science experiments using things commonly found around the house. Zoos and other wildlife organizations are offering livestreams of a myriad of animals 24/7. Teens can learn a new language through apps like Duolingo, helping them prepare for their language class requirement in high school, or simply giving them more ways to communicate with the world.
While it’s too hot to start planting, you can plan a garden with the kids. Together, figure out what materials you need, from the proper dirt to the area you want to plant. Pick what you want to grow: will you start with seeds, potted plants, or kitchen scraps? Next, find out when’s the best time of year to plant in Arizona. Fall isn’t far away for an outdoor garden, and if you’re starting something like an indoor herb garden, you can likely begin right away. Caring for plants and watching them grow is a fun, simple responsibility for kids of all ages.
When everyone has had to stay at home with no break from each other, tensions can run high. Kids can get bored more often, feeling like there are less options in how to spend their time. Yet there are still plenty of activities that they can do on their own or you can all do together as a family. Whether it’s practicing a new skill, relaxing with movies or games, creating something new, or something you’ve never considered before, there’s no reason for idle days. Show your family just how much there is to explore in the world.