The current Stay-At-Home order due to COVID-19 has meant a major adjustment for most families. Schools are closed and many parents are now working from home. Working from home is already a challenge, let alone trying to do it while also caring for your rambunctious preschooler! Especially when you are also trying to homeschool older children, keep the house clean, and feed everyone three times per day. It is easy for things to quickly feel overwhelming!
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 7 tips and tricks for keeping your preschooler entertained at home:
- Flexible Schedule
Children thrive on routine and structure, especially preschoolers. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of that to go around recently. But that doesn’t mean you can’t implement some! Your best chance for keeping your preschooler entertained at home is sticking to a flexible schedule. You don’t have to schedule out every moment or adhere to it strictly. Simply designate certain blocks of time for certain activities, and stick to it best you can. It will keep your preschooler busy and will also allow you to be productive as well.
- Prioritize Naptime
Hopefully, your preschooler still naps during the day. We all know what life can be like when a 3-year-old doesn’t get their much-needed nap! When it comes to scheduling and planning out the day, make sure to prioritize naptime. Proper rest means better focus and fewer meltdowns. It also means that mom and dad get a break to focus on a specific task or get rest themselves.
- Get Outside
Another important thing to implement at home each day is time in nature. Preschoolers have a ton of energy and need an outlet for that energy. Plus, time spent in nature has a positive impact on attitude and perspective. Even a ten-minute walk can change everyone’s attitude for the rest of the day!
- Independent Playtime
It is both important and helpful for preschoolers to have independent playtime. This doesn’t mean unsupervised time, it simply means a time when they are playing independently from you. They need this time for their development and you need the time to accomplish other things. Encourage them to sit on the living room floor with a bucket of blocks and create while you do the dishes or reply to emails.
Get creative and do some crafts! They don’t have to be complicated or extensive. Preschoolers love doing crafts of any kind. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, search “crafts for preschoolers” on Pinterest, and you’ll have enough to keep you occupied for years to come. Use what you have on hand and create something new together.
- Screen Time
Are you surprised to see this one? Screen time gets a bad reputation. But the truth is, screen time can be used as a helpful tool. This doesn’t mean hours on end of Disney+, it just means it’s okay to let them watch a couple of episodes of their favorite show. The trick is that you are in control as the parent. Use it when you need it, and use it to your advantage. Kids can even earn screen time by completing chores and following rules.
- Deep Breaths
Even if you do everything right, something is bound to go wrong. Preschoolers have tantrums and meltdowns from time to time even in the best of circumstances. We are living in unprecedented times and it affects each one of us. When things get stressful and overwhelming, step away and take some deep breaths. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and so are they. Use it as a moment to reset and adjust.
Let them see you do this as well! Preschoolers need to witness and observe how to handle overwhelming emotions. Even when you lose your cool and have to apologize later. It’s a great teaching moment and learning experience.
We hope that one of these tips can help to ease the tension at home. We know things are a little more manageable at home when you have a happy and occupied preschooler. Remember to have patience for yourself and them. Staying home isn’t the easiest choice, but it is the safest!
You can read our other articles here for more helpful content while navigating life at home with a preschooler.