A TOOLKIT FOR COPING WITH KIDS AT HOME DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
MAKE A PLAN
For many, routines can help provide a sense of control and predictability.
Now is not the time to put pressure on yourself to be a perfect parent. You can't do it all. We have provided two templates below. Use the one that makes sense for you and your family.
Take 10-20 minutes and plan out the week’s activities on the weekly template with the use of the lists provided on this website. This investment in your time can make a huge difference and, ultimately, save you a lot of time, effort, and frustration! Save your weekly plans and recycle them for future weeks.
Print one of the following daily templates and stick it in a plastic sheet protector. Post the template in a place that is visible. Use a dry-erase marker to write out the activities for the following day every evening.
Simple Day Template
Detailed Day Template (Customizable)
Go easy on yourself. These tips and templates are meant to help, not to fuel more guilt!
Have your kids brainstorm a 'theme of the day' and/or 'theme of the week'. It's fun for them and provides an anchor around which to plan the day.
Ex. Week: Around the World, each day is a different country or place
Build daily rituals and traditions. Ask your kids what rituals they have at school, eg singing O Canada, having a special helper for the day, etc.
Automate activities as much as possible. This helps provide structure but also reduces how much you need to plan.
Ex. Mondays and Thursdays: themed bathtime, Wednesdays: virtual playdate with Jacob , Fridays: movie date with popcorn
It can be helpful to schedule your day such that you get outside and/or do the most active activity first. If you are planning for learning time that will require kids to sit still and focus, we suggest that this be done in the morning after kids have had some time to do something active. If you can, schedule the ‘fun’ activities and rewards like screen time towards the end of the day.
Build in free time and downtime especially if you or your child is an introvert (i.e. energized by alone time).
Relaxing on screen time is ok. Try to implement limits by scheduling both tech and tech-free time. Find ways of using screen time as a way of staying connected to others (virtual playdates, chats with family members and family friends).