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  • Writer's pictureSarah Centrella

15 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy and Positive During Difficult Times

15 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy and Positive During Difficult Times

Here are a few ways the kids and I are keeping busy during our time at home hiding from COVID-19. I think it's so important to keep kids (especially older ones) busy and distracted in a positive way during this scary and uncertain time. My kids (twins are almost 13 and my son is 17) are all old enough to see the endless stream of scary stuff on Snapchat, TicToc, and Instagram, and I don't want them focusing on all of that stuff all day long.

I'm a big believer in controlling what is within our power and then letting the rest go. In this situation this is how we can put that into practice:

Control the controllable:

1. STAYING HOME and follow the CDC and authorities guidelines on prevention, which we are.

2. Control our intake of the news. We don't control how many people in our state get it, or tragically how many people die from it, we don't control those stats. So, we've limited following the updates about the virus to 10 minutes a day, in the evening. More than that tends to feed fear and create downward spirals.

Let the rest go...

How? By not allowing yourselves to focus on it all day long. But CHOOSING to focus on ourselves, our family, our goals, our dreams, our projects, our personal development, our business, our new ideas, and our time together.

15 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy and Positive

Here are 15 ideas to help you and your kids stay busy and positive during this time. These are things the kids and I are doing, follow us on Instagram stories to get more ideas.

  1. We've given the back yard a total facelift, tearing out grass, planting flowers, painting patio furniture.

  2. We've had an art contest. Each of us painted our version of the same vase of flowers on canvas, when they were dry I added them to my gallery wall in the living room.

  3. We've taken turns making breakfast and lunch. Each kid is fully in charge of the meal. They have to look up what to make on Pinterest and then make it on their own following the directions. When they cook, they get to pick who cleans up.

  4. We've had a bake-off. Each day one of us has to pick something to bake and then we vote on what we liked best.

  5. Daily step competitions to see who hits 7,000 steps first in a day, this helps us be motivated to take the dog for a walk and gets them to complain less when we play tennis (with our own equipment at the abandoned court by our house).

  6. YouTube workouts. Each kid gets to pick one that all of us have to do together.

  7. Each of the kids has re-made their #futureboards printed them and added them to their bedroom walls. CLICK HERE to get my full online course on how to make your future board and how to teach your kids and teens to do them too, THIS WEEK only it's $99 (normally $249). Use CODE: FUTUREBOARDS

  8. They are spending 15 min a day pinning to their online Pinterest board.

  9. Learning a new language. Each of my kids downloaded Duolingo and picked a language, each has to spend 30 min a day. We have competitions going for who finishes levels first, who uses the language most in daily life, etc. I'll pick weekly winners and they will be able to buy something off Amazon with their winnings.

  10. We are spending an hour a day organizing a project. Closets, shelves, garage etc.

  11. We've painted rooms and fixed things on the "fix it" list.

  12. We have an hour a day of family reading time. This means each of us takes our book and picks a quiet spot in the house and we go read for an hour. When we are done each person has to give a 5-minute debrief on what's happening in their book.

  13. We do game night or a movie for an hour after dinner each night.

  14. We have an hour a day where the kids do math at the kitchen table together, Kanen helps the girls.

  15. My girls are watching Netflix shows and movies with their friends while on group Zoom, so everyone can see each other and interact during the show.

  16. Also, I'm having my kids journal every day. I want them to write about this experience in their private journals so they can read it when they grow up and share it with their kids. I have them write about what has changed, what they are worried about, how they feel about stuff, and then what we are doing as a family to fill the time and make it fun. I'm also having them include each day: what they are grateful for and what they will never take for granted again.

How can you involve your kids in your business? How can you play to their strengths during this time?

  • I've enlisted the help of my 17-year-old son to go on YouTube and learn how to start and launch a podcast. It feels great to outsource this project to him as it's something I've dreaded doing and something he'll enjoy.

  • I've asked my girls to teach me how to use TicToc so I can start using it in my business.

  • My daughter Izzy loves art, so she is the one who leads our family art competition. She had to teach us what to do and how to do it.

  • My daughter Mira is an organization maniac, so she's in charge of all our organization projects.

Let's use this time to learn how to SLOW DOWN and get the MOST from our lives. Let's learn how to love and appreciate the extra time with our kids, loved ones, and family. Let's find creative ways to connect with friends we can't physically spend time with.

I hope these ideas help you and your family pass the time in a positive way.

Check out my entire section on parenting in my new book All the Things I Wish I Knew, filled with practical advice for parents at all stages. Plus 80 other lessons, coaching, and advice to help you live your dream life.

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Sarah Centrella is a #1 best-selling author of several self-help books, a motivational keynote speaker, master life coach, Founder of VIVIAMO and podcast host.


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