Making kids’ fun work for busy moms too

CHALK IT UP: Eleanor Douglas-Meyers’ son Aidan and his cousin Liam during play time
CHALK IT UP: Eleanor Douglas-Meyers’ son Aidan and his cousin Liam during play time
Image: Supplied

The restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 have caused uncertainty around the world, especially as there is no knowing whether there is a way of getting things back to “normal” in the near future.

This means parents are as clueless as their kids on when they can go back to school and play with their friends outdoors again.

While there is no definite answer to the question: “Mom, dad, when can I see my friends again?” mom blogger Eleanor Douglas-Meyers can help parents keep their kids from getting bored and themselves from losing their marbles.

Here is how Douglas-Meyers and her son, Aidan, keep each other company at home.

1. Arts and crafts

DIY projects not only help you hone your skill and spend less money buying things you could make, but also helps boost kids’ creativity.

“This is a no-brainier for us. Aidan has grown up seeing me create things and loves making things, so sometimes I will pull out some supplies and we will create.

“Instead of both of us making something like popsicle stick trees (really, why would I need more of those?) I will get stuck into a DIY project for the house or as a gift, and he will let his own mind run wild,” Douglas-Meyers said.

2. Working together

As a part-time work-from-home mom Douglas-Meyers sometimes uses her work time as a sort of playtime.

“I’m lucky that Aidan is able to focus on one thing at a time — I know this is not the case with every [kid], but it works for us.

“When I settle in front of the computer I am likely to give him an activity book as his own ‘work’.

“He can generally focus on a task long enough for me to check all my e-mails, reply and schedule a few things,” she said.

3. Competing

“Games like dominoes, checkers/draughts and, if I’m feeling generous, monopoly, are a great way to actually have fun and not just drink copious amounts of fake tea. We have the mini monopoly from Hasbro.


“With this, I’ll give him tasks ... build a tower that is a pattern of blue, red, purple or whatever, and this keeps him busy and me involved, but actually gives me time to get some work done with him playing in the same room,” she said.

5. Getting active 

Involve kids in your favourite sporting activity.

“For me that’s yoga, but you can do anything really, it gets you off your behind while making memories,” Douglas-Meyers said.

6. Get them involved in the housework

To get away with this, Douglas-Meyers often has to promise some kind of reward.

“Aidan will help with things like food prep (he likes to prep but hates to eat. I’m the opposite), filling the washing machine, separating clothes after they has been washed and rolling sock balls.

“With these, I often have to promise him some tablet time afterwards but hey, that’s a win win,” she said.

7. Movie nights

You can never go wrong with a movie night, if it’s a movie they like.

“Some kids’ movies don’t suck (or maybe I have been brainwashed by those repetitive songs) so sometimes we will just watch a movie together,” Douglas-Meyers said.

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