5 Easy Ways To Turn Family Quarantine Into a Success

With quarantine as our new norm, we wanted to know how parents in the UK are keeping their kids occupied, happy and healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’ve asked Mums and Dads around the UK to share some of their top tips to getting through home isolation and added some useful resources to keep you going along the homestretch!

1. Routine

We’ve heard it said so many times before, but creating a daily schedule for your kids can help them feel secure and actually improve their behaviour. According to experts, routine helps to make a childs environments more predictable and helps them to learn what is expected at different points of their day.  

Setting kids up with a visual chart incorporating structured activities, as well as free time is often a good place to begin. 

Sara, a mother of 5, from North London told Moneyboat,

“Since we’ve been in quarantine, my overall goal is to try to have a relaxed and fun atmosphere at home. Keeping somewhat of a routine has really helped with that. We’ve had the same routine for meals and bedtime to give the kids a dependable and stable part of their day. There are multiple changes going on all around so for children, this is so important!”

FREE PRINTABLE: Crushin’ it Schedule

2. Lower your expectations

Want to be happier? Expect less. 

Author and neuroscientist Robb Rutledge says,

“Happiness depends not on how well things are going but whether things are going better or worse than expected.” 

In other words, lowering your expectations makes it more likely that you’ll be happier with the result – whatever it may be. We all want the best for our kids and their education,  future, and wellbeing. At the same time, managing their homeschooling during COVID-19 is no easy feat. While attempting to juggle the roles of teacher, personal chef, entertainment director, mum and dad within the same 24 hours, consider giving yourself a break and lowering the bar.

3. Make learning fun

Thanks to the innovation and speedy work of some of the worlds most creative educators, the internet is a bursting treasure trove of home school resources. 

Learning subjects under less pressure often allows kids to absorb more and stick at the tasks for longer. Sites such as Reading Eggs will teach English and Maths to your tiny tots all the way up to age 14. The BBC has a wide range of videos in their live lesson bank. You can choose the subject as well as the class level. Parents told us that getting their kids to take notes during the lessons helps the parents know whether they are learning and paying attention.

Julie, from Kent, suggests letting each of your children set the meal plan one day a week. They pick foods that they enjoy and are able to cook. Then each child cooks for the whole family for that particular day or meal.

“They get to practise project planning, organisation, and cooking without even noticing! It gives them a sense of accomplishment, plus we all get to eat it!”

FREE PRINTABLE: Kids Reward Chart

FREE PRINTABLE: Kids Reading Chart

4. Go.. Go.. GO!

We’ve all been blasted with the many benefits of physical activity and know that regular exercise is always vital for kids and adults alike. However, here are a few reasons why exercise is especially beneficial for kids during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Exercise may prevent weight gain: families have fewer opportunities for exercise at the moment and may also have to change their dietary habits. Exercise can help kids burn calories and offset the effects of increased sedentary activities.
  • Mood-booster: Just like adults, children may also be experiencing stress, anxiety, and fear during these challenging times. Exercise is a proven mood-booster and can help children reduce their stress levels.
  • Family bonding: Using exercise as a family activity can increase the motivation to get off the couch and get everyone to start moving. 

Stretch out with a Yoga adventure from Cosmic Kids, or the wild and wonderful world of GoNoodle who’s videos encourage movement and mindfulness. Of course, we have to mention Britains best-loved PE teacher, Joe Wicks who continues to run his virtual classes on YouTube. Spending an hour or so keeping active can transform the mood in the home for the better. 

Aside from the apps and sites to check out for keeping us moving, family walks, bike rides, dance parties, and garden football matches are other ideas of how your household members can exercise together.

FREE PRINTABLE: Workout Planner

5. Stay Happy

This is a weird and unfamiliar time for everyone. Kids are adjusting to a whole new way of life just as we are and it’s sometimes easy to forget to encourage our little ones to feel positive and cheerful.

Suzy from Manchester shared,

“Having family mealtimes a few times in the week, and making an effort with game nights has been an excellent way to benefit from everyone being at home during COVID. Although the days can get stressful, it’s nice to make the most of the time and create some special memories while we’re at it.”

At The Well, younger listeners will find peaceful ways to explore how they’re feeling. Or, when they just need to unwind with a little silliness, play with virtual LEGO or take a virtual ride at one of the world’s best theme parks

For some culinary fun, and good food, Buddy Oliver (son of Jamie) has a YouTube channel with simple, kid-friendly recipes to follow along. For another fun way to cook with your kids, visit Nomster Chef – a delicious food monster who provides illustrated meals you can all cook together.

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