Practical tips for surviving quarantine with kids – including how to minimise germs, keep kids busy, stay calm, feed the family, and so much more!
As concerns around the possibility of self-isolation in Australia grows – whether that’s because you or someone you love becomes unwell, has a compromised immune system, or your child’s school is forced to close – so does the number of parents who are wondering how they’ll survive self-isolation and quarantine with kids. If you are one of these parents wondering how the kids will be kept entertained, how you’ll get your work done from home whilst caring for children, or how you will balance everyone’s mental health, workload, and appetite, then this guide is for you!
It’s a well-known fact that parents go stir crazy at home with children, so please don’t be hard on yourself if the idea of self-isolation with your children freaks you out a little. There are a few things that you can put in place to minimise the stress and struggle during a time like this – should it come to that.
Here is our guide to surviving self-isolation or quarantine with your family.
Look After Everyone’s Mental Health
ROUTINE AND STRUCTURE
Kids love structure and respond well to boundaries and well-defined expectations. Sit down as a family and create a daily plan together so that everyone is involved and invested in the plan.
Some key points to remember are:
- keep a normal sleep schedule
- limit screen time (or have them earn it)
- structure the day to include schoolwork, playtime, eating and relaxation
- create a visual guide and pop it on the fridge as a quick reference point
- Schedule in a reward – like a family movie night – a few times a week
SHOP: full range of Kid’s Routine Charts here.
REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Being house-bound doesn’t mean you and your children can’t still stay active. In fact, by staying active you are more likely to stay happy, healthy and stress-free. Ward off the stir-crazy vibes by moving and grooving around the home. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Hula hooping
- Set up an indoor maze with string or paper streamers
- Play Wii Fit, Just Dance or similar
- Egg and spoon race
- Crank the tunes and have a dance-off
- Pillow fights
- Hopscotch – great to do in the garage on the driveway
- Learn some moves – YouTube is great for this!
- Balloon tennis
- Popcorn pushups – put a bowl of popcorn on the grown and pick up a piece with your tongue on every pushup
- Bubble catching – great for the little kids
Get imaginative and create games that get your kids moving and using their minds. This DIY Hallway Laser Maze is a fabulous example of just how creative you can get when creating indoor activities for your kids.
The above ideas will help to keep your children’s minds busy (as well as their bodies), but sometimes it’s good to have a few sedentary activities up your sleeve, for when the kids are tired and bored.
Online educational programs like Literacy Planet and Mathletics are engaging and fun, plus you can rest assured that your child is learning something useful whilst having some screen time. If you are isolated at home, check with your child’s school to see if they offer logins for these programs (or something similar) that your child can do whilst at home.
Other ideas to get those brain juices flowing include:
- Word search puzzles
- Card games – Solitaire is a great one that kids can play on their own
- Painting – check out our DIY Paint Recipe here
- Cooking – get in the kitchen together and have a play!
- Get crafty – find heaps of crafty ideas here
- Colouring pages – there are some fun Easter colouring pages here
Parents don’t need to miss out on all the fun either! Check out 20+ Free Adult Colouring Pages here so that you can stay occupied (and sane!) too.
Be Practical & Efficient
As a nation, we’ve been told to stop hoarding our food, and we couldn’t agree more with this directive (who really needs 232 rolls of toilet paper?!). Having said that, it’s never a bad idea to make a little extra food to have on hand in the freezer. Make double batches of freezer-friendly dinners and prep snacks that can be stockpiled in the freezer (all the recipes in the Lunch Box Recipe Cookbook can be frozen).
It’s also a great idea to prepare the kids lunches each morning as you normally would for school, so that (depending on their age) they can help themselves to morning tea and lunch during the day. This will stop you needing to prepare food every hour or so, and is especially great if you’re wanting to get work done from home whilst the kids are there. You can check out HEAPS of lunchbox food ideas here.
With all the talk of germs and viruses kicking about, it’s a no-brainer that keeping our homes clean – particularly if that’s where you’re spending most of your time – is paramount! If you are struggling to get the cleaning products you need from the supermarket you could consider making your own with this DIY Homemade Cleaning Recipes eBook, or pick up a product from the full range of ready-made cleaning products in The Organised Housewife Shop (we’ll send all your cleaning supplies direct to your door!).
Here’s a handy Reusable Homemade Antibacterial Wipes recipe to get you started.
For even more tips on how to keep illness out of your home, check out the blog: How To Reduce Cold and Flu Germs From The Home.
Hand washing and general personal hygiene are very important when trying to eliminate or prevent the spread of illnesses. This blog here is a good resource for teaching your child how to prevent the spread of germs. Teach them how to cough properly and how to wash their hands (for at least 20 seconds!), and ensure they do this after using the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing or sneezing. A hand sanitiser is good to use in addition to proper handwashing. If you are struggling to find any hand sanitiser in the supermarket – or perhaps you are avoiding the supermarket at the moment – consider making your own.
READ MORE: DIY Homemade Hand Sanitiser
Keep Busy, But Stay Calm
If there’s a few of you operating and living in a small space, it’s a good idea to create stations to better utilise the spaces – and prevent you all from going stir crazy! Create a study nook, a craft corner, a board game zone and a place to chat and have a giggle. Most importantly have a space that each family member can retreat to if they need some time alone, and ensure that everybody respects each other’s need for space.
Getting crafty is a great way to switch off, calm down, and get lost in a moment. If you’re looking for craft activities to do at home with your children during self-isolation, then this a very timely one! Considering we’re probably all going to have heaps of spare toilet rolls soon, we may as well use them! Check out how to make a Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly here.
Considering technology use will probably (despite your best efforts) be at an all-time high should self-isolation be required, it’s a good idea to use it to create calm. There are heaps of free meditation and mindfulness apps that kids and adults can use throughout the day to switch off and bliss out. Check out Headspace or Calm to get started.
If you find yourself at home with spare time and nothing to do (sounds like bliss to me!) consider using it as an opportunity to get on top of that clutter you’ve been eyeing off (the Declutter 52 Things eCourse is perfect for this!), to organise under that kitchen sink, or even rearrange your fridge with organise like items with like.
SHOP: Clear Fridge Storage here.
ESCAPE REALITY… AND KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOUR!
Being stuck at home with kids can make anyone a little crazy, so it’s important to keep your head about you. Make the time to get lost in a good book, zone out with a chick-flick, or binge-watch some Netflix (perhaps after the kids go to bed). Having a good giggle is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR SURVIVING SELF-ISOLATION WITH KIDS?
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