Life is full of surprises – and that’s not a line unheard of. But little did we expect that a country of 1.3 billion people will be put under a strict lockdown due to the novel coronavirus. It may seem like a vacation to some, but moms are in a deep fix. A lockdown means no help with household chores, husbands at home and with schools shut kids are at home too. Now we love our families, we definitely do, but a work load of that calibre is sure to rattle anyone. Yes, while the men in the family have finally stepped up to help with the household chores, it is the kids that are finding it hard to keep themselves busy. Come to think of it, for how long can we contain their free spirit within the walls of the house? So, I thought, along with some believable yet honest excuses of why they can’t step out, we could all do some activities at home. These activities are easy to execute and can keep the little ones engaged and happy! Read on for more.

How to prevent kids from going out of the house?

The kids miss their tea parties and cricket matches with their friends. They miss the engaging fun they have with their buddies – at school, at playdates and at the park. Simply demanding them to stay indoors doesn’t always work. So, how does one tackle it?

For me, the truth, and absolute truth has always worked the best. One can add a little Monster or an Evil Queen angle to the narration but an honest explanation goes a long way.

 I was open about the current crisis and told my 6 years old twin boys about the novel coronavirus. What a pandemic means and how dangerous it can be if one does not take precautionary measures. I also explained to them that washing their hands often and staying indoors are the two main mechanisms to fight COVID-19

In fact, the current lockdown has been a humbling experience where they have learnt at a young age that nothing is in our control and we can also be happy with less. We are no longer buying toys online at the drop of a hat or ordering pizzas & refusing to eat a wholesome home cooked meal. In fact being honest and open with them has helped them to understand to use our resources wisely, eat healthy nutritious food without any fuss.

How to have fun indoors?

Here are some of the activities that we’ve enjoyed doing at home. One thing I’d like to reiterate here, is that one parent will have to be involved in the playtime. Expecting little ones to always keep themselves continuously busy without supervision is a bit too much of an expectation. Also, it’s a great excuse to break our routine & spend quality time with the kids!

1.Role play

Some days they are my beauticians, sometimes they are doctors and sometimes they are my tea party hosts. Role playing is one of the most fun, innovative and interactive methods of engaging kids. We can hand them some of our old makeup and brushes and become their muse. Just think about any role under the sun and we can bring it to life with our children. This activity boosts the imagination power of our little ones

2. Scavenger Hunt or Treasure Hunt

Create a surprise treasure and leave hints around the house. Let them know where to start and how one clue will lead to another. See them enjoy and go nuts with excitement as they figure out each clue. One can also convert this into a hot and cold game, wherein they are trying to find an object and they ask us if they are ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. If they are close to the object say ‘hot’ and vice versa with cold. Throw in some “very very very hot” and “ohh, frozen cold” to turn up the excitement frenzy. Also, treasure hunt as an activity, helps to make kids think more analytically

3. Obstacle Training Courses

This one works WONDERS for a super active child. Build an obstacle course with all items we have in the house. A short stool, a trampoline, a bucket, a small stair, balls, water bottle, large tubs, just anything we can make them jump over, crawl under or slide by. Note timings to see how quick they finish each round and look at their happy tired faces when they are done. They can pay dress up (superman costume maybe!) while doing this as an added incentive! Not to mention, the activity is highly engaging and is a great alternative to make ensure our kids move around and so that their metabolism remains perfect

4. Cook

Hand them a blunt knife or a butter knife and teach them to cut. Help them learn to neatly spread butter or other spreads on a bread, make simple sandwiches, give them sifting jobs , egg breaking and other such simple tasks. Beware of this one – it can make the place quite messy or the cake may turn out so good they would want to make one every day! But, no matter what, the activity of cooking teaches our kids to focus and develop a sense of self-independence

5. Water Water!

Give them some buckets or tubs, throw in some toys and let them be in the bathroom and take a long bath. A fun time bath that includes splashing water, singing and storytelling with their toys will easily occupy them for about an hour and that means some decent ME-Time for us! However, please note that this activity is for kids who can take care of themselves in the bathroom and this should be done cautiously without wasting any water.

6. Palm Colour Paper

This slapping the chart paper game is such fun. Give them some paint and a chart paper, allow them to spill colour on their hand and slap the chart paper. We might want to encourage them to create a thoughtful pattern with their palm prints but if someone is as poor at art as I am, this simple task is fun enough!

 These games are not just to occupy our kids but a good reminder of the simple things in life that can give us much joy. As moms, family will always be our top priority. Though all moms are superwomen, it is possible and quite common to feel anxious and overwhelmed at these times. But with the right preparation, every hurdle is just another bump on the road that we can learn from and move ahead –  kyunki agar taiyaari sahi ho, toh jeet pakki hai ! -In association with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.