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It’s only been a week of the kids not being at school, but has it felt like forever? Are you wondering what am I going to do with them all day?

Well you’re not alone, many parents and carers throughout the UK are thinking exactly the same. We’ve put together our 3 top tips for keeping the kids entertained during this strange time.

  1. Get them into a routine!

Children are used to following a set routine Monday to Friday. It’s good to replicate this while they’re at home. Between 8:30am and 3:30pm (give or take an hour), put together a schedule of topics and activities they can do each day. This is easy to do and can be put together on a Sunday evening ready for the following week. Grab some paper and a pen, make it as colourful as you want, and map out each day. We want to be able to get on with other things, so it’s important to keep the kids as busy as possible. A great way to keep them busy and interested is asking them to suggest topics they like to do at school. Regular breaks and snack times are important between the bursts of activity, exactly the same as if they were at school.

2. Keep things fun too

This one doesn’t just go for the kids. It’s important to take a break from work and do something fun or active to keep your mind engaged. Every child is different and will have their toy or game of choice, whether this is a jigsaw or something they like to play on a tablet or phone. This helps us to give a minds a rest ready for the next task. It won’t take a long time to come up with ideas for this. There are many existing ones out there at the moment such as PE with Joe Wicks and Hobbycraft’s 11am craft workshop. Speak to other parents about what they’d recommend as well, we need to help each other out more than ever right now.

3. Keep calm

This isn’t just an unusual and stressful time for us but for children as well. There no longer at school with their teachers and friends, and this is a big change for them. It’s important to encourage and help them to understand what is going on. Your children might start asking questions about what all this is happen and how long it will last for. Try to keep calm when they ask these questions. When discussing the Coronavirus with your children make them familiar with what the symptoms are and what they should do if they are experiencing these symptoms. Explain to them the importance of washing their hands and try to make it fun while they are doing it. For example singing their favourite song while washing their hands. Make sure your having open and honest discussions with them and ensure they feel they are able to ask questions. Talking openly can help reduce and stress or anxiety they might be feeling about the situation.

Charities and organisations from all over the globe have pulled together some fantastic information and advice to help us all settle into our new routines during this pandemic. We’d highly recommend checking these out for extra advice, and as always, please refer to the NHS 111 website (111.nhs.uk/covid-19) for the latest help and advice on symptoms and procedures to follow.