Entertaining kids without screens
The long summer holidays are starting any day now, but that doesn't mean that work has ended for all of us.
If you have to work from home whilst juggling childcare here are our tips for keeping kids entertained without relying on the tv, phones and tablets everyday.
Set aside time together
If it's possible, try to spend some time together at the start of the day, or promise that there will be a break at lunchtime, so that they know you're around for them and they're still your priority, even if you have to knuckle down for a few hours in between. A timer might help them 'countdown' to spending time with you.
Give them your 'homework'
Kids love to feel helpful - so write out some of your to-do list and delegate it to them. Let them work nearby, give them a time limit (this should help them focus) and praise them on their contributions to the company - they could even earn pocket money this way.
Make a list
If you find kids are struggling with the 'screen ban', write out a list of three things they're going to do before watching television. Once those three tasks are completed, then they can turn on the programme they're desperate to watch - but the chances are they'll either run out of time, or will get so caught up in one of the games they're playing that they soon forget about TV!
Make gradual changes
If this is a new initiative, don't be deterred if your little one isn't best pleased by the idea of suddenly not being able to watch their favourite show on demand. Try cutting the time down gradually, making the change together, and replacing this time with fun alternative activities that they'll really enjoy - reading, painting, sports or learning a new skill.