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Actually Doable (And Fun) Ways To Entertain and Educate the Kiddos at Home

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Alright, mamas. It's a crazy world out there right now - I think we can all agree on that.

While the Coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across our world and into our communities, we're all taking the appropriate and responsible steps to keep ourselves, our family, and our community safe. And this means staying home.

Most of you know that we live in London and many of you, our wonderful mamas and customers and community, live in the U.S. (where we're from! we moved to London a few years ago for my husband's job), and no matter where we're at, this matters to us all. And with most, if not all, of our children's schools closing for the foreseeable future, a lot of us are wondering "WHAT! What now?! How!"

Whether you're trying to work from home with your family in the next room (or realistically, in the same room) or you're trying to keep the kiddos in as much of a normal routine as possible or you're simply looking for a few easy, actual do-able ideas to create fun activities around the house that don't require being a crafty Pinterest mom, we've got you covered. 

We've broken a few activities down by skill level and age below. Let the fun commence!!

Younger Babes

Shaving Cream (make sure it's not menthol based) in the bathtub and shower walls or on a big window at home. Let them get messy and have fun! Make shapes, drawings, etc. Be sure to take photos!

Water Activity: Grab a big bowl or Tupperware, fill it with water, grab a few plastic cups, toys, spoons (measuring cups and spoons work great for this!). Let your little one pour, spill, and explore as they play with the water. They'll love it!

Sorting:  Babies love to sort — Wash out an egg carton and let them sort Cheerios or something small and safe into the egg carton sections. If you can include multiple little things (like Cheerios, Fruit Loops, and other snacks)

“Washy Washy” Station: Grab all the toys and wipe 'em down! Have your baby(ies) help you gather up all of their toys and either use baby wipe or dip in a bucket of warm soapy water to clean, and then let the kids dry them off. Try to use this as a teaching moment about germs and the importance of keeping things clean!

Flashlight Party: Who doesn't love a rave?! Grab some flashlights and go into the bathroom or a room without any windows and play with the flashlight or read books with the flashlight. So fun!

Many of the activities below can be adapted for little kiddos, too! Big sis or brother may do the 'older' route, and little siblings can do a modified version.


Bigger Kiddos (and their little siblings, too!)

Water Activity: Similar to the same water activity with your littlest babes, turn this one into a SINK or FLOAT experiment with bigger kiddos! Grab the same bowl or Tupperware container, fill with water, and grab a few different items from around the house - and then see if those times SINK or FLOAT! For example, a clementine will float with the peel on and SINK with the peel off.

 

Coloring, Coloring, Coloring: Truly, what kiddo doesn't love to color? And what adult couldn't use the peace and joy of coloring too? Download all the free coloring pages you could want here: http://www.colouring-page.org/

 

Grocery Sack Puzzle: Make a big puzzle out of an old grocery paper bag or cardboard box. Color it first or draw a picture and have the kids color, cut it up as advanced as your kids can handle. Voila! Instant and entertaining fun.

Materials: paper grocery sack, markers or crayons, scissors

How To:
1. Draw a simple picture and let your children color it in! Do not stop the creative flow and try to move on. Allow the children to color and create for as long as they are interested in this step of the fun
2. Draw a simple grid (depending on the age of children) and cut along the lines
3. Assemble the puzzle with your kids!
4. Celebrate the finished puzzle by dancing on it!!
This is a go-to activity for Goobie Baby's Head of Customer Service, Amy, and her little girls!


How To Actually Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home

How To Actually Keep Your Kids Entertained At Home


Go On a Museum Tour Across the World!: So many incredible museums across the world are offering free virtual tours through their museums. How amazing?! You can sit on the couch with your kiddo and tour the Getty in LA, the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London, and many more. How incredible!! For a link and more into these virtual museum tours, head to this article from Travel + Leisure here.

'Paint' The Sidewalk: Grab a couple of old paintbrushes, some water, buckets, and get to 'painting!' If paint seems a bit too permanent, there's always chalk! Try to chalk your entire sidewalk or driveway to make it bright and happy. :)
Not a Box: Take those old cardboard boxes lying around and turn them into something magical. Let your child create and color on the box and help them think of what ELSE it could be - it's not just a box!

For The Entire Family

Movie Marathons! I know we want to try to keep to a schedule most days (for the sake of everyone's sanity), but hey, when else will you have everyone under one roof for an extended time again, with literally nowhere else to be? Stay in PJ's and watch movies all day! If you have a toddler... maybe just try for twenty minutes of sitting still and movie time. ;)

Plant Seedlings: At the time of writing this, it's almost Spring. Temperatures are starting to warm up and the sun is coming out brighter and longer. Now's the perfect time to teach your kiddos about caring for a plant, from seedling to growth! Plus, getting your hands dirty will feel good for everyone right now.

Picnics Outside and Lots of Walks: Getting outside, if we're able to, is going to be one of the best things we can all do for our mental health during this time. Have lunch and dinner picnics outside, go for long nature walks or quick walks around the neighborhood, see who can run to the mailbox and back first. Get outside if you can.

Pet Show: Have your child dress up their favorite stuffed animal, invite their other stuffed animal friends to join in, and show off all of the animals in a pet show. Woof woof!

And, while extra playtime and time to slow down and be creative is great and can be a much-needed reprieve from our busy lives (if we choose to think of it that way!), remember it's not all fun and games. These kiddos must learn, too!

We think it's SO important to determine a daily schedule and keep to it as much as possible, for EVERYONE'S sake. Changing out of PJ's (unless it's #moviemarathon day!), eating a healthy breakfast, and starting your day off as normal as possible can seriously help wonders.

We LOVE this schedule from the Kahn Academy. We're going to adapt it a bit to fit within our own family and routines to create our #newnormal. Join us!

We've created a fill-in-the-blank schedule for you to print off, fill in, and tape up on the fridge so everyone can get on board with the new routines. Download away! And the best part is.... you can print it off as often as you need to! It may take a while to get the new daily routine nailed down... I have a feeling we'll be going through several of these!

Goobie Baby Daily Schedule

 

Now, let's talk learning...

All of a sudden we've all become homeschooling mamas and teachers - eep! As of now, I'm feeling pretty positive about this (it is only day one, however....) and am looking forward to teaching our boys and learning right alongside them.

I know different schools are doing different things to keep lessons going as normal as possible, but I also know we're all going to need a bit more assistance sometimes, too!

We try to limit the amount of tech and screen time the boys have, and while I still think that tech needs to be limited, there are going to be times when we just need to get things done with full focus. You feel me, mamas?

During these moments, we'll be turning to Khan Academy. It's one app that I allow the boys to play because it's so well made and FREE!

 

I also plan to help them work on the alphabet and phonics with the Endless Alphabet app.

And who knows, maybe we'll all pick up a new language?! How fun would that be? is a free platform that helps you learn a second language. Count us in!
 

Alright, fellow mamas and papas. We hope this is SO helpful! We'll be hopping on Stories to share what's working for our own little family over the next few weeks, as well as sharing any brilliant #momhacks our community shares. Come hang out on Instagram with us and we'll all get through this #newnormal together.


Remember, mamas. This won't be permanent. We WILL get through this, and we WILL THRIVE together!

Above all else, enjoy this special extra time with your family. It could truly be such a  gift. 

Stay healthy and stay safe!  x Lulu

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