- Get exercising
- Set up a scavenger hunt
- Create a time capsule
- Play some musical instruments
- Build a den
- Paint pebbles
- Build a Log Cabin
With or without a global pandemic, there has been a growing movement over the last few years towards working at home. For some people, it’s highly convenient, cuts down on commute times, and makes their workday more flexible. For others – especially during lockdowns – having the kids at home while your trying to work becomes a bit of a nightmare, and you’ll be looking for any ideas to entertain children that you can find!
Sitting in front of the TV or playing on a console can occupy children for a short while, but it isn’t ideal. Here are some of our ideas to entertain children – some they can do themselves while you try to get some work done, while other ideas require supervision, and others will just allow you to get on with work when you need to.
1. Get exercising
Children of all ages can benefit from exercise, and there is no shortage of YouTube videos with various celebrities giving encouragement. You can even create your own routine specifically for your children – the more you wear them out, the less trouble they can cause!
2. Set up a scavenger hunt
With a little planning, you can make a list of items around your home for your kids to find. Make many of them simple, but add one or two zingers in there to really make them have to search. You can even make the final item a special prize that is hidden, something they’ll enjoy like a treat or a toy.
Scavenger hunts often appear as ideas to entertain children and can be set up in a few different ways. This simplest is a straight list with one item after another, although it may be more fun (depending on the age and abilities of your children) to make a list of clues to items instead, rather than naming the item. Another option is to give one single clue to get them started and attach a clue for the next item to the first item they find. See how long it takes them to get to the end!
3. Create a time capsule
A time capsule is a container that you can bury in your garden, filled with important things to be dug up later. It’s often a good idea to choose things that will remind you of the time you are burying it, such as photos, a newspaper, an item of clothing, drawings, or anything else you can think of. Perhaps it would be fun to include some predictions for the future!
You can buy time capsule canisters from the internet, or create your own with a biscuit tin, a kitchen storage box, or something similar. The important part is that it is durable and won’t let any water in. Get everyone in your house to choose something to bury, and have a special time capsule ceremony to send it on its way.
Mark a date on your calendar – 1 month, 6 months, a year, or whatever you choose – to dig it up again and bring those memories flooding back. Some time capsules are buried for 50 years or more, but your children may have other ideas!
4. Play some musical instruments
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, musical instruments may not seem to be the way forward, but electronic instruments can often help – you can plug headphones in. An electric guitar played through an amp into headphones, a musical keyboard plugged into earbuds, or even an electric drumkit plugged into a headset can work wonders.
The gentle playing of acoustic instruments can also work, and the drummer in your life can practice with drumsticks and pillows. And there’s nothing wrong with having half an hour of noise, especially if you want to join in – quality time with your children can be just as important, if not more so, as work.
5. Build a den
At a certain age, there’s nothing more exciting than building a den. While you may need to help to get started, once a den begins to take shape, it can take on a life of its own. Kids will often want to spend more time in their den than anywhere else!
While it is common to build a den in a corner of your garden, near a bush, or under a tree, this isn’t always practical, especially in winter. Building a temporary den indoors – something as simple as a blanket over two chairs to create a makeshift tent – can have the same effect. Children love to do something out of the ordinary, and everything from reading a book or comic to eating a snack or drawing a picture in their den will keep them occupied.
6. Paint pebbles
A simple idea if you have some paint available. Acrylic works best, but even watercolours can be fun. Simply get your children to search in your garden to find some suitable stones or pebbles, preferably the size of their palms and smooth.
Let the kids go wild painting them! They can create faces, turn stones into ladybirds or bees, paint a small scene, or anything they want. When they’re done and the stones have dried, hide them back in the garden and have a reminder of a few well-spent hours.
7. Build a Log Cabin
Of all the ideas to entertain children, building a log cabin may seem quite extreme, but it really is the way forward. The children can do whatever they want (or at least, whatever you’ll allow) and should they need you, you’ll only be a moment away, out in the garden. A beautifully decorated garden log cabin is the ultimate solution that allows you to escape and avoid all distractions when working from home.
It’s your office at home, an entirely separate building that allows you to keep home and work life separate. While most people will build a log cabin to work in, the other alternative is to create a playroom for the kids – or even a classroom, if you so desire. The great thing about a log cabin is that it is a flexible space that you can use as you choose, and it can be an affordable option that turns the nightmare of working in a busy home into the dream of a peaceful work environment where you can get things done!