Your education is the fastest path to achieving the life you want. This can be tough to remember when your kids are bouncing off the walls and you want to spend time with them. Remaining focused on your work gets you closer to your goals and a better life for your kids. If you feel like studying tips rarely consider the distractions parents face, you’re not alone.
For students with young children, the best studying tips include strategies to help kids play, interact, and have fun autonomously. Here are some great activities for helping your kids get out their wiggles, and maybe even learn a little.
Drawing, Art, and Coloring
Kids of many different ages relish the chance to create something, anything. Toddlers enjoy the sensory experience of spreading paint on a page with no particular goal in mind, while older children may proudly sharpen their drawing or painting skills. These activities encourage creativity through independent play:
- Build up a stash of prized coloring books or sticker collections that feature your kids’ favorite characters. Keep them out of reach and out of sight except for when you study. This makes them more valuable and may encourage your kids to make better use of their limited time with these prizes.
- Take a lesson from Mo Willems, the famed creator of the pigeon and many other beloved characters. He offers daily lunchtime drawing lessons that even little kids can enjoy. Check out his YouTube playlist for all the latest videos..
- Bob Ross may be the butt of jokes and the subject of many SNL skits, but his style is perfect for kids. It’s soothing and slow, helping kids cultivate mindfulness and encouraging meaningful reflection. Get the most out of the Bob Ross experience by investing in an easel. Enjoy his YouTube channel here.
- Sick of your kids nagging you for drawing lessons or criticizing your own attempts to draw their favorite characters? DrawinGeek offers kid-friendly drawing lessons that can encourage your kids to build an entire world of characters.
Every kid needs to move, but sometimes getting out nervous energy just produces more of it. Virtually every studying tip advises that you need a calm, quiet place to learn. But how can you escape the distraction when your kids are going wild? Yoga offers a workable solution. Rather than letting your kids zoom around the house in progressively more frantic circles, use movement to help them control their bodies and soothe their minds. Cosmic Kids Yoga targets young children, from toddlers to early elementary schoolers, with kid-friendly stories that integrate simple yoga poses.
Everyone loves to crank up the music and move to their favorite tunes. So let your kids listen to their favorite music on full blast—in a different room. Kids who love dancing may enjoy the Just Dance channel, which features dance lessons set to kids’ favorite songs. Or tune into Daniella Bebb, who offers kid-friendly ballet classes with animations, stories, and other fun material. If your kids are truly climbing the walls, then GoNoodle is your best bet. It offers a wide range of high energy dances for kids of all ages. For kids who want to dance along with their favorite pop songs, KIDZ BOP is the perfect option.
Tape It Up
Think you have to invest in a ton of toys or workbooks to keep your kids? Think again. You can build a home amusement park with nothing more glamorous than masking tape. Put a few strips of tape down on the floor and encourage the kids to line up all of their toys in a parade. Or distribute tape in patterns throughout the house to build an obstacle course. You can even encourage your kids to go wild, taping up their toys or masking tape art with paper. Kids love novelty, and giving them permission to use a household object in a surprising way can get their creative juices flowing.
If you have an Alexa, it can serve as a virtual game master. Try hide and seek, hungry birds, freeze dance, or outer space Alice for quirky fun.
New Ways to Play with Toys
If your kids have a ton of toys they don’t use, offer them some new options for fun play:
- Give your kids washable paint, and show them how they can paint their plastic toys and then easily wash it off.
- Pull out a bunch of pillows, and encourage the kids to build a pillow fort for their toys.
- Teach them to play toy hide-and-seek. Each kid takes a turn hiding toys.
- Have older kids put on a toy puppet show for younger kids.
Box Them In
If you have a toddler or preschooler whom you just can’t keep still, try boxing them up. Get a giant box, and put your child in the box with lots of craft supplies, such as stickers and paint. Encourage them to decorate their new “house” however they want. For some kids, this can become a multi-day project.
When your kids tire of the box, fill it with oatmeal, rice, or old cereal, then add a few measuring cups. This offers great sensory fun that can keep some kids busy for hours. Just make sure you have a way to contain the mess—or set the box up outside.
Workbooks That Are Actually Fun
Workbooks that teach viable skills don’t have to be boring. Check out these spectacular options:
- Scissors skills workbooks use kid-safe scissors to teach kids hand-eye coordination, cutting, and basic crafting.
- Tape workbooks are like coloring books, but with tape. These books support creativity and dexterity, while giving your kids a new use for an old household supply.
- Sticker puzzles allow kids to use stickers as paint, filling in stunning mosaics.
- Eliminate the mess of painting with water paint books, which use nothing more than water to illustrate beautiful images.
Virtual Tours and Field Trips
Your children don’t have to leave the house to go on a field trip or enjoy some of the world’s best museums. Check out these great free options:
- The Cincinnati Zoo posts a daily virtual safari.
- The Grace Center posts daily live videos of its gorillas.
- Take a virtual tour of national parks, such as Glacier National Park or Yellowstone National Park.
- The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy posts daily shark stories and shark Q&A sessions.
- Zoo Atlanta’s Panda Cam lets your kids enjoy these amazing creatures up close.
Stories and Lessons
While you learn, your kids can also learn with these virtual stories and lessons:
- Search the #operationstorytime hashtag on Facebook to find children’s authors reading their favorite books.
- Enjoy near-daily virtual storytime from the Brooklyn Public Library.
- Take in a live-streamed puppet performance from the Center for Puppetry Arts.
- Scholastic Learn at Home offers a host of online lessons and stories broken down by age group.
How SNU Helps
At SNU, we understand that you have a busy life. We value the lived experience our adult students bring to the classroom and, eventually, to their work lives. We don’t want to undermine your daily life or compromise your relationship with your kids. That’s why we make going to school easier. Our online classes allow you to learn on your own time. Our cohort model ensures you can get lots of support from peers who know the challenges you face. We encourage you to lean on one another for studying tips. And our one-class-at-a-time model allows you to commit to your coursework, even when you have kids pulling you in a million different directions.
To learn more about our programs and what you can expect, or to pick up a few other studying tips, check out our free guide, What to Expect from an Online Degree Program.