We’re not strangers to working remotely in the agency world. Whether it’s texting from an event, taking calls from a train station or Skyping from our couches at home, we do it on the regular. Those of us with kids in tow even brave working from home on the occasional PA day and somehow pull off keeping them entertained while also joining team calls and churning out PR plans. It’s not always perfect or easy but it’s realistic. We always manage to stay on track and stay deeply connected no matter where we work from. Not everyone is afforded such luxuries but it’s one we’re grateful for at FHR.
But what do you do when your country calls on you to practice #socialdistancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping you and your entire family grounded at home?
How do you keep the good work flowing with as few tantrums and screaming matches between you and your kids, and maybe even your partner, as possible?
You can start by sharing ideas, lessons learned and everything in between. Here are some of the ways our FHR parents are keeping their kids (and themselves!) happy and busy while they get work done these next few weeks:
For the under 5 set
The under 5s are particularly challenging to have at home just due to their increased dependence on their parents to do a myriad of activities. Inevitably, you and your partner may need to flex your schedule to share the active time needed to fill their day, but here are a few ideas to keep your little one(s) occupied:
- Take that call to-go: Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be stuck within your four walls. For those calls that don’t require video conferencing, screen sharing or note taking, taking them while on a leisurely neighbourhood walk with your infant or toddler can be a great way for all to get some much-needed fresh air.
- Build the mother of all forts: Nothing excites a toddler more than burrowing in a blanket and playing peek-a-boo. Transform your living room into a giant fort using pillows, blankets, and empty cardboard boxes. Fill it with books, stuffed animals and toys strewn about for (hopefully) a good 30 minutes of fun and discovery.
- Schedule undivided time: Block off a few 10-minute slots in your day to give your toddler the undivided time they crave. Take advantage of that time to work with them on constructive play that they can continue on their own – like building blocks, colouring, or cooking up dinner in the play kitchen.
For the school-aged crew
Here are a few other fun ways for kids 6-12 to get a screen fix:
- GoNoodle: This one gets kids moving with all kinds of silly and fun dance and movement-based videos. It’s also great for relaxation and mindfulness which all of us could use a little of right now.
- NFB StopMo Studio: Grab Lego action figures, plastic dinosaurs or stuffies and put your kids to work creating their first stop motion animated film using this easy-to-use app from the National Film Board of Canada
- Scholastic Learn at Home: Well done Scholastic for helping us all to provide a little bit of learning with the free Learn at Home hub. Daily “lessons” are split by grade levels and cover fun topics kids can get into, Sloth Ironman Games anyone?
This group is pretty savvy on how to fill their time, but they may be missing access to their friends. Carve out time to be together and check in with them to see how they’re coping. If they’re struggling with COVID-19, Kids Help Phone put together a good list of trustworthy resources that may be helpful.
Need more tips and tricks while working from home? Follow us on Instagram as we share more from our working from home adventures.
Stay well Canada!