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Working from home while the kids are also home can be a stressful thing.

It takes a lot of adjusting, but also a lot of creativity. Yes, establishing structure is important, but it’s also important to give everyone a chance for space, and for free time.

Luckily, we’re here to help. If you’re adjusting, here are 8 things to do with kids at home.

1. Create a Routine

Creating a routine with your children and other family members is a great way to establish structure, which is something that children benefit from greatly.

It does take some figuring out, especially if everyone is on a different routine, but the structure can make you and your children feel a little safer since you won’t have to think about every little thing throughout the day.

Once you’ve figured out everyone’s schedules, it’s time to understand how everyone can work around each other. If one child has to be at school (or online for class) earlier than the other, they would probably have first dibs on the bathroom each morning.

If one child gets out of class earlier than the other and you’re still working, you can give them a list of activities to choose from while everyone is getting their work done.

2. Use Visuals

Create a visual timetable that maps out school, lunch, playtime, bedtime—everything. Doing so will give your kids a reference to look at throughout the day, and helps you stay on task at work.

It also promotes a sense of independence in children. They’re not constantly asking about what time they have to do a certain thing. Even in school, they’re used to having an adult lead them from one task to the next.

While children do need guidance, it’s also great to allow them some independence from time-to-time.

3. Schedule Time for Fun

Not only can this be another thing on everyone’s time table, but it makes sure that everyone in your household is taking a break from the outside world.

When you work and study from home, it can be hard to create separation. That’s why scheduling for—or at least making a decent effort to find it—for fun is so important.

It allows everyone to have a break from the things going on around them, and a chance to tune into the people in their immediate surroundings.

4. Make Chores Fun

If the time for fun is limited, finding a way to make mundane things fun is a great way to make sure it’s still happening.

Create a playlist filled with music that everyone loves. Reward your children and yourself for completing tasks. If you can think of a way to turn sweeping the floors or dusting the house into a game, then go for it!

It’s best to avoid reward “whoever can do it the fastest” in these scenarios, however. Instead, aim for “whoever does it correctly the first time.”

5. Build a Blanket Fort

Escape into a different world and go camping in your living room.

Better yet, if you have camping equipment and are able, spend a night in the backyard.

Now, not everyone has access to a backyard, but a blanket fort is still a great way to shake things up for a night. You can build it in the living room, make some popcorn, and huddle into it around your TV or some other device to watch movies all night.

Grab fairy lights or Christmas lights for an added ambiance, have a pillow fight or even make hot chocolate to (carefully) enjoy in your homemade fort.

Get creative with this one, and don’t be afraid to use all of the blankets in your house.

6. Find Ways to Incorporate Everyone’s Hobbies

This one can be a bit tricky because it’s likely that the people in your house all have different interests and hobbies.

There are two ways great ways to approach this.

You can schedule days on the calendar for each person in the house to pick an activity they’d like to do. Or everyone can do their favorite activity on their own (this one is especially great if the kids need space from one another).

You can also get creative and figure out ways to blend a bit of everyone’s favorite pastimes.

If you like painting and your children like listening to music and dancing have a night of both! There’s no guarantee that paint won’t splatter at least a little bit, but that’s what laying out protective measures are for.

7. Learn to Listen and Then Adapt

The best way to avoid arguments and hurt feelings is to make sure everyone in your house feels seen.

As parents, listening to our children and what they want (especially when we’ve told them they get to choose activities) is important for not only building and maintaining a healthy relationship but also letting our children know their wants and needs are important.

8. Consider Your Own Well Being

While your family’s needs matter, it’s important to remember that yours do too.

If you’re feeling drained or tired, hiring a nanny is always an option. They can help your kids with everyday tasks, but they can also help you to find a little relief from the chaos that is today’s world.

Take These Things to Do With Kids at Home Into Account the Next Time You’re Overwhelmed

Being home with one another all the time can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Taking these things to do with kids at home into account the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, or even bored yourself, might be the difference between a night well-spent and a night of boredom.

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