Work from home as a parent in Singapore
Working from home isn’t the dream we all thought it would be. With starry-eyed thoughts of lunchtime naps and Zoom calls in your PJs, this rosy picture comes to an abrupt halt when you realise that you still have major responsibilities – your kids.
Since this work from home sitch doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, we’ll need to come up with new ways to keep our kids entertained. From Singaporean parents who’ve been there and done it, these are five tried and tested ways on how you can best juggle work from home as a parent.
P.S. Read all the way through to find out how enrolling your kid in a Holiday Program will entertain them while keeping them productive!
1. Bring out their artistic side with arts & crafts
Image credit: @elliesheananigans
Maybe your child’s the next Picasso or perhaps they can’t quite colour within the lines. Doesn’t matter either way – whichever it is, helping bring out their artistic side works wonders for a bored and restless child. Parent-of-two Haja bought his kids Haziq (8y) and Hajna (6y) a few reams of paper, watercolour paints and colour pencils so they could, simply put, go ham.
Image credit: Haziq & Hajna
As he says, his kids were “very happy” and thoroughly enjoyed drawing or painting whatever inspiration hit them with. They could even spend up to a few hours on their art pieces. Haja also keeps all the drawings since they make for a sentimental keepsake – both kids will definitely be reminiscing over this a decade or two later.
2. Get them moving with pre-planned YouTube playlists
Although it’s advised not to give your kids too much screen time, there’s a ton of useful online resources that’ll keep them entertained. And not with mindless drivel either, but actual quality content that’ll get them up on their feet. What parents like Nirelle and Lindsay do is to curate a YouTube playlist to keep their children active.
As a mother-of-three, Nirelle believes that a well-curated playlist will “help break up the routine” and “relieve some pent-up energy”. She recommends Cosmic Kids Yoga, a channel that combines storytelling with fun yoga activities.
For Lindsay, she entertains her youngest child Summer (16 months) with sing-along and dance videos from YouTube channel Pinkfong. And yes, those are the folks behind the viral Baby Shark video so you know that their content isn’t just fun to watch, but also a hit with young kids.
3. Encourage them to build with toys like Lego & Magnatiles
Toys might seem like a frivolous distraction, but investing in long-lasting educational toys makes a world of difference. With brands like Lego and Magnatiles, these building toys are intended to cultivate a child’s imagination all while improving their spatial awareness, creativity and self-confidence.
Nirelle agrees, saying that these quality toys help keep her children well-occupied – a true godsend if you’re juggling both tight work deadlines and being a good parent.
4. Make sure to slot in outdoor play to burn off extra energy
Even the most well-behaved kid has their moments of spontaneous hyperactivity, and all that means is that they need to wear out their extra energy. Of course, the easiest way to do this is to bring them out. But with WFH, it’s easier said than done.
Look for pockets of free time, and schedule in outdoor play. The way Nirelle does it is that she lets her three kids “run off their excess energy” before dinner. After playing at nearby playgrounds or cycling through East Coast Park, her children will be tired out by bedtime – plus, it makes for a fun family bonding session.
Lindsay shares that water play activities do the trick for her fam. Since she has two kids with a sizable age gap, a 10-year-old and a 16-month-old toddler, it can be challenging to find shared activities that they can do together. But with water activities, such as splashing around inflatable pools and water bomb balloons, it’s bound to tire out the most relentless of kids.
5. Sign them up for fun gamified virtual classes
Instead of letting their brains turn to mush, consider signing your children up for virtual classes. No doubt that Covid has thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to in-person classes, but there are still various options out there that allow in-person interactions in a virtual setting to keep their mind active – a huge bonus during the school holidays.
Image credit: LingoAce
While some may have their doubts about e-learning as it can be difficult to keep up with a kid’s fleeting attention span, Nirelle shares that her oldest child Dillon (7y) enjoys virtual classes that have storytelling. When learning activities are turned into mini-games, she says that they “honestly motivate my P1 kid”.
Thankfully, there are learning programmes out there with engaging activities to help guide your kid along the way. Take LingoAce, an online Chinese gamified learning platform for kids aged three to 15 years, that pride themselves on introducing the Chinese syllabus with the guidance of experienced teachers live online, all while keeping your child entertained
Keep your kids busy with LingoAce’s virtual learning programmes as you work from home
Image credit: LingoAce
WFH as a parent certainly has its pros and cons – some lament over children barging into their Zoom calls while others enjoy the extra quality time they get to spend with their kids. One of the more effective ways is by enrolling them in virtual classes, like LingoAce’s Chinese Holiday Program.
LingoAce’s Chinese Holiday Program
LingoAce’s Holiday Program isn’t all about ting xie and rote learning – it immerses Primary 1-4 students in the Chinese culture by introducing Chinese fables, festivals, idiom stories and scientific knowledge. It also includes bridging classes to help kiddos get a head start with AY2022 preparation in a fun way.
And for younger kids aged 3-6, LingoAce’s Pre-school Program is designed to cultivate their ability to process thoughts in Chinese and build their language confidence through interactive games and story-telling.
Image credit: LingoAce
Mother-of-three Nirelle believes that virtual classes are a valuable learning experience packed with live online interactions. Engaging class material, an encouraging teacher and a whole lot of storytelling – to help keep a child’s interest.
And while parent Sandra was initially concerned that it might be challenging for her daughter Clarissa (12y) to focus since she was brought up in a household that speaks primarily English, she appreciates that LingoAce plans each lesson around interactive game-based learning to allow kids to develop genuine interest in the Chinese language.
Image credit: LingoAce
Those who want their kid’s Chinese to improve this year-end holiday can sign up for a LingoAce free trial class by 31st October 2021. This comes with a 25 to 55-minute live class for those aged between three to 15 years old – a perfect way to keep them engaged during the year-end holiday.
This post was brought to you by LingoAce.