Working parents - tips and tricks
Working from home (WFH) can be a challenge for many of us. This toolkit provides a range of ideas for staff on tips, tricks and resources for keeping your children entertained.
Activity ideas and resources
- Useful hints to keeping your kids happy, busy and learning during school closures from TIME magazine
- 115 fun activities to do at home with kids while self-isolating by North Shore Mums
- 100 fun activities for a bored teen by Suburban Simplicity
- The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities and games.
- 40+ best indoor activity ideas for busy toddlers
- Access free printable worksheets for toddlers through to teens from ‘123 Homeschool for me’
- Child-led Chinese educational bilingual homeschool materials through Chalk Academy
- Watch ‘Goodnight with Dolly Parton’ on YouTube (a series of imagination library books)
- Download some free educational apps for kids
- Visit Funology for exciting science experiments, games, magic tricks, and recipes
- Learn more about animals and wildlife by watching ‘The Roo Keepers’ on YouTube, a local Ballarat initiative
- Research some cool facts about geography and animals with National Geographic for kids
- Read some ‘Kids News’ from the Australian Electoral Commission
- Collection of digital games for all ages that students can play at home from BreakoutEdu
- Visit the NASA ClimateKids website to learn more about global climate change
- Learn alphabet and numbers through music with Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel
- Download the ABC Kids Listen app for music, stories and podcasts from ABC Kids
- Listen to an audio children’s book on Storyline Online
- Join author and visual artist Oliver Jeffers for a live story time via his Instagram page
- Watch some 30 minute videos on Reef Relief and learn about reef ecology on YouTube
- Keep kids occupied outside by letting them draw positive messages in chalk on the driveway, footpath or other concrete surfaces.
- Draw a chalk ‘hopscotch’ game in the backyard
- Play an outdoor scavenger hunt by making a list of items that would most likely be found in your backyard
- Go for a bear hunt walk through your neighbourhood to count the bears
Arts and craft
- Join the #TheRainbowTrail by creating rainbow artworks to display in your window to boost morale.
- Make some homemade playdough with this recipe
- Make your own animated videos with Vyond
- Take part in the 30-day LEGO challenge
- Access plenty of resources such as kids craft activities, worksheets, colouring pages, and printable mazes through the All Kids Network website
- Access a range of colouring activities for kids through the ‘Paint the World Super Colouring’ website
Imaginative experiences and entertainment
- Watch live animal encounters and live feeding times through Zoos Victoria
- Easy recipes your kids can make all by themselves
- Create an exciting ‘Chore and Reward’ chart using Monopoly money, so your kids can earn rewards such as snacks or screen time
- Build a comfortable fort in the lounge room with plenty of blankets and pillows
- Take a virtual trip to the Great Wall of China
- Visit ‘The Kid Should See This’ website for smart videos for curious minds of all ages
- Watch some movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts
- Watch high-quality artistic entertainment on the Cirque du Soleil website
- Build an indoor cubby house
- Play musical instruments online including the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums and bongos through Virtual Musical Instruments
- Join the Ballarat “Passionately Curious Kids” Facebook group for a great collection of activities for all ages
Plan activities that don’t require supervision
Planning activities that don’t require direct supervision will provide you with more time to focus on your work and own personal commitments. Different activities will apply to different age groups, depending on your schedule and the age of your children. Take advantage of nap time, educational games and apps, and books.
Create and communicate your schedule
Planning is key. It is important to schedule your day with set work and personal goals. Look at what you have that is most important not to be interrupted, and aim to schedule the most engaging/reliable activities for your children to be on their own during that time.
Have a family meeting and explain how working from home works, and let your kids know that you have certain tasks that you must accomplish without regular interruption. Explain that you will allocate time to check on them and see what they are doing. Encourage them to problem solve and be independent where possible.
Reward good behaviour
Rewarding and encouraging good behaviour is very important. Let your children know that they will be rewarded by, for example, not interrupting you while you are in a virtual meeting. Give them lots of praise and thank them for their help and understanding.
Schedule frequent breaks in your day. Allocate various times throughout the day to help your children with tasks, activities and school work.
Have a ‘Plan B’
Eventually, your children may get bored of the activities planned for the day. Have a back-up activity game ready to go. For example, allow them to pick a random activity idea out of a hat that you have pre-prepared.