WFH with little ones: some helpful resources
Here at Timico, we’ve been creating working from home guides to help our colleagues adjust in the current climate, and we thought it would be a nice idea to share part of our latest one, based on working from home with children.
Hopefully by sharing some of the tips and resources, it may inspire other parents that are juggling working from home whilst also parenting full time, and in some cases, also home-schooling!
We know you’ve probably seen a lot of blogs about working from home with children and lots of the same tips. But here, we’ll share 5 tips that our teams have found useful, as well as some of the fun resources or activities that our colleagues shared with us for each age-group.
Our top 5 tips:
- Stick to a routine
Stick to a routine, getting everyone up at a certain time, eating breakfast together, and then start your workday. While the sudden disappearance of day-care, school and other daily routines may be destabilising, parents can combat this with new routines. This doesn’t have to be regimented or perfect, but a good and consistent routine will help.
- Don’t get stressed if there’s noise
As the whole world adjusts to the different way of working, there are bound to be interruptions. Explain to whomever you’re talking to on the phone or video call that your children are at home, that way if noise suddenly erupts, they’ll know why you’ve quickly hit the mute button!
- Do some tasks together
Include them in your day-to-day activities, such as making pancakes for breakfast or mixing pizza dough ready for dinner, or a special activity such as baking something simple like this biscuit cake.
- Encourage social interaction
Keep them connected with family members and friends. You can get grandparents to tell them stories over video chat, solve logistical puzzles or just call for a simple chat. Virtual playdates with friends could work in a similar way. Not only will this keep your kids entertained, it will also help the grandparents stay in the loop with the family, and the kids feeling socially connected.
- Do some exercise
If you can, spending time outside is great, no matter the weather. But if you can’t go outside, there are lots of ways kids can exercise indoors with fun activities like PE with Joe Wicks or Cosmic Kids Yoga. It will be good for everyone’s health!
You may also find it useful to know that Nickelodeon has launched a site to help young children understand Covid-19. It has videos, tips and ideas – all free of charge. Some of the network’s favourite characters can be seen doing relevant activities, such as SpongeBob practicing social distancing, the PAW Patrol puppies doing dance moves to promote exercise, or favourite characters showing children how to wash their hands properly.
Below we’ve included some of the fun resources and activities we’ve shared with our colleagues for various age groups (as a rough guide!), and we’d love to hear from you if there are any that work particularly well for you!
Toddlers like feeling useful. Clear some cupboard space at floor level and fill it with your child’s plastic utensils. Leave cloths, a dustpan and a brush within easy access so they can ‘help’ clean while you clean. The same can be done if you’re doing the laundry; get your child to fold and sort their own clothes and then put them away at the end.
This age group has a keen eye for the smallest things, so if you are not self-isolating, a walk to the woods will keep them amused as they hunt out bugs, birds, leaves and other treasures in nature. If you’re staying closer to home, the same can be done in the garden or you can do a bear hunt or rainbow hunt.
There are a whole load of other fun activities to inspire you for this age range on Pinterest.
This is a perfect age to encourage your kids to ‘make’ things. Get them to build a den or a fort – it can be a magical place to read books and eat treats, as well as a fun place for them to play with their toys.
Drawing pictures, or printing outlined images (see our activity pack) for colouring in are always good for keeping busy; and when you need a solid hour to finish some work, there are some great educational programmes on Netflix and YouTube such as The Magic School Bus and Ask the Storybots.
As children become more inquisitive with age, nature and treasure hunts are a real winner for anyone that likes exploring and finding things. Write a list of things for them to find in the garden such as “2 long twigs, 4 daisies, 3 smooth stones” (you can substitute words with drawings for the younger age group). This, armed with a “picnic” (some snacks), will keep them busy for ages.
Get them to choose their own prizes or hide Easter eggs (even paper ones if not chocolate) around the house and garden; a perfect time to do this now as Easter is fast approaching!
At this age, kids are starting to turn their eye to technology. You could download puzzle games like ‘Puzzlescapes’ or drawing apps like ‘Draw it’ on your phone and get them to play while you supervise.
Other fun activities could include downloading The Quiver 3D Augmented Reality colouring apps – an app that turns drawing into 3D avatars.
If you’re not keen on introducing screens into your kids’ life yet, then we’d recommend inspiring them to write in a diary or even a play. You can also encourage them to perform the play at the end of the working day – front-row seats for you!
Teenagers are well-versed in technology, so why not use this to your advantage? There are many apps that can be utilised that are highly educational and informative. Get them to learn a language on the app ‘Duo Lingo’ or keeping active with fun online workouts like this hip hop routine, Latin dance, or a short 8 minute no-weights workout.
Set interesting projects for them – something educational, or creative. Let them make a home movie or record a song with lots of free online software. The author Sarah Webb is running just-for-fun writing workshops online via her Twitter account @SarahWebb. Perhaps they could even plan a holiday online for when all this is over – give them a budget and let them plan travel, accommodation, activities for when you’re there. Involve them, reassure them and give them a bit of creative licence.
Activities for all ages
Some other great resources for all ages include live virtual tours of zoos that offer live webcams and over 500 museums and galleries around the world featuring virtual tours and online exhibits. You can even visit the surface of Mars or bring 3D animals into your living room using Google and your smartphone.
Now is a great time for kids to try yoga and mindfulness, or story time can be a whole new experience when read by Frozen actor Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf) on Twitter, or read on video by astronauts on the International Space Station.
Activity Pack from Timico
Our Marketing team have created a range of colouring illustrations (including one with a rainbow in support of #RainbowsforNightingale) so we encourage you to get your kids to colour them (print, colour and take a photo or colour online using a painting/drawing app) and tag us using #TeamTimico online. You can view and download the activity pack here.
We hope that by sharing some of our favourite tips and resources with you, it may ease the work and home-life juggle a little, and perhaps even inspire you for some quality time together. We are heading into unchartered territory here and time with your kids is a gift.
We deliver Connectivity, UC&C, Cloud & Hosting, Security and IT Managed Service Solutions to our customers, through Service Operations based in Newark, Winnersh, Telford and London.