By Craig Lauer | April 19, 2020
Around the globe, most office employees are learning how to work from home. While the transition to remote operations involves a change of routine, a new setup, and a lot of technology, probably the biggest challenge that comes with a home office is juggling work and parenting.
Even parents who are accustomed to working from home are having to face the new frontier of closed schools and shut-down daycares. And aside from the structure of mealtimes, naptimes, and homework, a lot of hours exist in which kids are looking for something to do. While it may seem tempting to plop your tot in front of the TV, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to 1 hour for children ages 2–5 and recommends avoiding screen time altogether for children younger than 18 months. Studies have shown that too much screen time can get in the way of hands-on learning that is vital to a child’s development, and it can also have a negative impact on sleep patterns.
So, the question becomes: How should parents working remotely keep kids occupied during work hours? Some parents at YGS started a group chat to stay connected and share ideas. Here are some of the solutions we exchanged:
- Wide Open School – This website offers daily schedules with suggested activities, organized by age group. Many of these activities are designed to get kids moving, to use their minds, and stay away from screens.
- Mystery Science – Is there anything better than free science lessons? This great resource offers ideas for hands-on activities and mini lessons, all organized by age group and each segment details the estimated time allotment, to help you plan your day and keep kids engaged.
- Audible – What kid doesn’t love story time? In response to school closures, Audible is offering free stories you can stream through your laptop or mobile device. Just as reading helps kids use their imaginations, listening to audio books is another great screen-free way to keep kids thinking.
Even though parenting while working may be unchartered territory, sharing this experience with colleagues certainly makes it easier to navigate. We are fortunate at YGS to share a culture of comradery. Exchanging ideas to keep our kids occupied and engaged is just one way we can help each other through these uncertain times. We hope you find these resources helpful too!
If you’ve found a great website or idea for managing work while entertaining children, share it in the comments section below.