Special Series: Finding Time to Learn Remote and Online

Nine Ways to Keep Your Children Busy When You Are

General EducationApril 10, 2020

Being a parent is tough enough under normal circumstances…but being a parent during the COVID-19 crisis is incredibly challenging. As our world adjusts to the new normal of self-quarantine, many of you are wondering: How do I keep my child occupied during my online class?

You do not have to weather this storm alone. We are here to offer some ways to keep kids busy while you continue to stay focused on completing your education.

Use Educational Apps 

Whether you have a smartphone or a tablet, there are several free educational apps you can download for your child. These apps will help your children stay current on what they would have been learning in school.  Examples include PBS KidsDragonbox, and Funbrain Jr.

Pick Educational Movies & TV Shows 

An easy way to distract your child for a few hours is to pick an educational movie or show. If possible, set them up in another room and/or have them wear headphones while you finish your assignment. While screen time should be used sparingly, we know sometimes it is the best course when concentration is key.

Go Outside (While Social Distancing)

If you are able, have your kids go outside. Give them sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, hula-hoops, and other outdoor activities. An added bonus: with a laptop and some sunglasses, you also enjoy a change of scenery while studying.

Go On a (Virtual) Museum Tour

From the Louvre in Paris to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., several world-class museums are offering free, virtual tours. The tours allow kids to have the experience of a field trip from the comfort of their home.  How does a visit to NASA’s Langley Research Center sound? 

Excite Imagination with Books 

From Dr. Seuss favorites or picture books to “Read-Along” videos on YouTube, this is the perfect time to reinforce the importance of reading with your children. Create a fun “reading corner” using stuffed animals and comfortable chairs to make a fun reading environment.

Create Coloring Book Masterpieces

Grab those crayons and paper and revisit the art of coloring. It is a great way for your children to develop fine motor skills while being creative. If you do not have coloring books available in your home, there are several free options online.

Build a Fort

Give an older child a bedsheet and pillows -- then challenge them to build a fort. Give them books to read, and s’mores to make while you finish your assignments.


Last but not least, read a book, or three. And if your kids are in need of something new, access your local library’s collection online via the Libby app. (available for Apple and Android.)

Looking for more ideas to entertain children during self-quarantine? Check out these links: