Best gifts for parents on International Parents Day: End of CB and these parenting hacks

PHOTO: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

Many of us may not know that it's International Parents Day today, but parents in Singapore are likely to be celebrating the day for a completely different reason, as June 1 also marks the last day of the circuit breaker.

This means that the kids go back to school and stay out for their parents' hair, at least during the day.

However, this is only for those with kids who are kindergarteners and older. Younger preschoolers will only head back to childcare centres from next week.

If you are one of those who still have your kids hanging aroud you for a week or more during work hours, here are some nifty tricks worth remembering to keep your little ones occupied, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

Put your kid in a box

If you've got plenty of cardboard boxes lying around from excessive online shopping, this is the best way to use them.

Yes, this hack literally means putting your kid in a big enough box if you can find one (just don't seal the lid).

You could create hours of play by leaving them in there with child-friendly markers and crayons. They can doodle on the cardboard (or on themselves) to their hearts content, or indulge in some pretend play.

Turn chores into fun games

PHOTO: 123rf

If your child is old enough to take instruction or is always eager to please, get his or her help to do some of the work around the house.

One idea — mark a square on the floor using tape and get them to sweep all the rubbish on the floor into that square.

Another idea — create a treasure hunt of things you've misplaced (accidentally or on purpose) that you'd like them to find. Rewards are optional.

Let them play 'video games'

PHOTO: Pexels

All kids like video games, but you may not want to invest in getting one, especially with just one week left to go.

We suggest dusting off your old gaming controllers (best if they're wireless) that you still have lying around. Let your kids think they're going to get to play a video game and hook the big screen to a video game walkthrough on YouTube instead so all they'll be doing is simply banging on the controls. Cheap thrills — and they’ll be none the wiser, for a while at least. 

Build a blanket castle/fortress

Create indoor castles and tents using this list of easy instructions released by Ikea Russia. All you need is be your existing furniture, a large blanket some clothes pegs, and random items like a portable clothes hanger. Plus a little imagination, of course. 

Hire a remote babysitter

PHOTO: Pixabay

With the coronavirus an ongoing threat and social distancing measures still in place, help is hard to find. Enter remote babysitters, which we've only just realised existed.

Babysits is probably one of the first to offer its remote sitting services in Singapore, where babysitters can entertain your child through reading and songs. But it's best recommended for children aged five and up.

Otherwise, there's nothing against hiring your own trusted babysitter and putting your kid through to them via a Zoom call.

Creative play without the mess

If your kid loves to play with watercolours and paints. Here's a way to indulge him without the ensuing mess.

Idea #1: 'Paint' without mess

PHOTO: The Straits Times
  • Squirt different-coloured blobs of paint into a bag and seal it
  • Tape it onto a table (with a piece of white paper underneath so colours show up more clearly)
  • Your child can mix the colours around without creating a mess

Idea #2: Colourful sensory bottles 

PHOTO: The Straits Times
  • Take a small screw-on bottle and fill it with olive oil, or glue and warm water
  • Add some glitter, colour dye and any small object (toy or a leaf can work)
  • Watch the textures and colours swirl around

Of course, these tips and tricks may only work if your child is below the age of formal schooling. 

Some useful online learning resources for slightly older children are also available here:

ALSO READ: How to effectively work from home with children

candicecai@asiaone.com