A stay at home survival kit for parents may be exactly what you need during a pandemic or any circumstance that causes you to be at home more than usual, but I personally think that staying at home with our children is about more than surviving –– it is about thriving. NOT staying home as a family was actually the more abnormal situation that became the norm in the last century or so (but that is a whole other article).
Obviously, many parents/children of the current century are not used to being home more often than not, but I am and have been for over a decade due to my children’s medical conditions and compromised immune systems. For this reason, I do think I am fairly experienced in techniques and activities to use to create a meaningful atmosphere at home.
This article is sponsored by Funhill Games. All opinions are my own.
While the main reason we are homebound is due to medically fragile children, we also homeschool and have for 10+ years. Under usual circumstances, most families that homeschool still spend plenty of time away from their homes exploring and interacting with the world but these are not the usual circumstances, are they?
Before I give you my tips and ideas for surviving at home as a family, I want you to consider how changing your mindset about being at home may be one of the biggest ways you can learn to enjoy life at home. I believe that mom/dad sets the tone for the atmosphere — and we can choose joy!
Meaningful moments with your children are important! Use your time wisely.
It may take many times of you simply declaring “family time starts now” before the entire family develops a desire for putting away the screens and focusing on each other. But it is SO worth it.
Hard things are not bad things. Sometimes the best, most important things we do in life are hard — or at least not as easy as other less important things.
Stay At Home Survival Kit For Parents
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- One of the best ways to cure boredom or pass time as a family is to play games! Board games, puzzles, and other hands-on-screen-free games are ideal because they encourage engagement, conversation, and sometimes physical activity.
We love educational games that are also fun and entertaining. Funhill Games offers just that.
They have multiple games and a puzzle available. They are set in biblical times and offer the opportunity to learn biblical geography, dates/facts, as well as strategic/economic skills, and in the case of the floor puzzle: hand-eye coordination for the younger children.
Disciple Detective Card Game is a great way to learn the disciple’s names and things we know about them from the Bible. It is a game of clues, deduction, and logic.
Kings of Israel is a good way to learn the Northern Kingdom’s locations and kings. It is a challenging game of teamwork and strategy.
Wisdom of Solomon teaches about the regions of Israel. It is a competitive game that teaches economic and stewardship skills.
The games are perfect for tweens, teens, and adults to play together. The 4ft. floor puzzle is great for children ages 4 and older.
Some of my children as young as eight years old have been able to play the games with the help of older siblings/me, which encourages team playing — and plain old kindness. For a Christian homeschooling family, these games/puzzles from Funhill Games are a dream come true for family time at home!
Another thing I love about these games is that they are perfect for supplementing biblical history curriculum like Tapestry of Grace (which we use for teaching/learning history). These would pair well with ToG Year 1, for those interested.
- Reading together is another activity I highly recommend for family time at home. From toddlers to teens, reading to your children creates a bond and encourages a connection.
Often, in this screen-based world, I find myself wishing I could redeem the time lost to scrolling social media rather than being engaged with my children. Carving out time to read to my children seems to help balance the excessive screen time (for myself or my children) and help us to be present in the moments with each other.
With my younger children snuggled up close to me on the couch and my teens plopped down comfortably nearby, opening a new book is like embarking on a journey that takes us away from our home to new and exciting lands or adventures. Making this a habit will bring out the best in all of you — uninterested teens will eventually be drawn in and toddlers will enjoy the extra cuddles if nothing else.
Start with a book that you know your oldest child(ren) will enjoy most, since teens may be the hardest to convince that mom(or dad) reading out loud to them is “fun”. Perhaps you may need convincing yourself!
I usually read a chapter or two from a book daily and then will add in shorter picture books every few days (or every day with just the younger kids). There are chapter books for so many age levels and interests and we enjoy them all together!
- Going outside with your family is definitely an activity needed for surviving the stay at home life. Whether you are just walking around the neighborhood or have your own property to explore, get outside together!
Ride bikes, leisurely pick flowers, identify trees/birds/etc., play outdoor games, or have a picnic. Fresh air, sunshine, physical activity, and enjoying nature are all health benefits of getting outdoors.
If you live on a mini-farm, you already know how working together as a family benefits your family relationship. Even gardening together in the city using pots on the patio or herbs on the windowsill creates an opportunity to learn and work together.
- Stay stocked up on art/craft and project supplies. Your children may be bored, but you can encourage them to start creating!
Painting, building, drawing, sewing, etc. – these activities can keep your children busy and entertained so that you can get some work done around the home. Be sure to have building blocks, pencils, paper, scissors, and other basic supplies on hand for your children.
These super easy crafts kids can do independently double as homemade toys that will provide hours of fun when completed. No mess, no glue, no glitter means no extra stress for parents!
- Peace of mind. Cultivating a peaceful and comforting atmosphere is my biggest tip – it is needed for both the adults and children in the home.
Carve out time to be alone for a few minutes every day or spend time reading the Bible. Be sure to allow space for your children to have some peace and quiet, too.
Having some one-on-one time with each of your children is important, especially if you have several children. Even a walk to check the mail with one child will give them the time to talk to you about what’s on their heart or to simply feel connected on a personal level.
Create beauty in your home for all living there. Wholesome food, entertainment (music, books, movies, games), and attitudes will go a long way towards thriving at home.
What else would you add to a Stay At Home Survival Kit for families?