Work from home (#WFH) has become the norm amid the Covid-19 outbreak around the world. It is an extraordinary time of forced family times as governments globally enacted lockdowns and movement restrictions.
Singapore wasn’t spared either. On 7 April onwards, our Government told Singapore residents to stay home. All non-essential businesses must close and operate only online. Essential businesses such as wet markets, supermarkets and a series of other needs such as hairdressers, clinics and hospitals continue to function as normal. The period lasts until 4 May and could be extended if the spread of the virus does not get better.
With the enforcement of the Circuit Breaker and its related laws, parents #WFH face some challenges to amuse their children at home after their home-based learning is done. If you are a parent, we hope that the below will help you!
Working from home has its benefits, as we can watch out for our children, but the downside to it would be the stress that comes with working and parenting at the same time. Add in the thousand household chores that you need to do, and life is a drag! One solution is to assign household chores to your children so that you can occupy their time and get things done. Get your toddler to sort clean laundry or toys and your older children can help with sweeping and mopping the floor.
Cooking the evening meal
You may not have time to cook the evening meal when your boss schedules a 5pm conference call, but your teenagers do! Set your teens the task of cooking dinner for the family if they are old enough to handle knives and hot surfaces. Get them involved in the process, from choosing the recipes online, to buying the groceries. Help them with the more difficult tasks if they are not confident of handling it, but leave the rest of the cooking to them. You will be surprised at how teens can cook!
If you have an oven and time over the weekend, baking is a great family activity. Allow the children to choose what they would like to make, and then hunt for a suitable recipe to follow. Make this into a routine on weekends so that you get fresh bakes to eat each week.
Colouring and Drawing
Younger children love to doddle, and there is no better way than to arm them with papers and colouring pencils for some fun. Your children can draw and doddle, or you can download some pictures and print them out for colouring sessions. You can check out a series of beautiful paintings that can be downloaded in black and white for colouring sessions here.
Online educational resources
There are plenty of online educational resources that are currently free to use. If your children are curious about astronomy, check out NASA’s Teachable Moments, which connects them to resources that share the latest discoveries of our universe. If your kids are into science, you can send them to Nova Labs at PBS, where they can binge on scientific topics such as solar storms.
Reading is a great way to pass the time on weekends. For toddlers, it is a fantastic way to bond through reading. For older children, parents can consider forming your own “Book Club” and read the same books together. You can also share insights with your children through a discussion after reading books together. If you need new books, check out Book Depository where there are many children books to choose from!
Arts and Crafts
Crafting is one of the best activities for younger children. Parents can spend hours bonding their kids through crafts. There are many resources online that help parents with crafting projects, so you have no excuse to say that you are not a crafty person (pun not intended)!
YouTube and other online resources
You can be surprised at some of the children’s programs found on YouTube and other online resources such as Scholastic Learn at Home. Do a little research and choose the level most suitable for your children to watch and learn using the various videos, worksheets and projects suggested by these resources.
Explore the world from the computer
There are also many other activities that you can access for free during this time. For teens and older children, explore the world with National Geographic or World Atlas for geography lessons. For history buffs, A Crash Course in World History may excite them. Check out Open Culture for the full list of resources for your children.
Netflix and chill
Finally, allow for downtime with your children. Be it watching cable Tv or Netflix, make some popcorn and chill with your children in front of the TV can be the most relaxing thing that you do for the week!