We are hunkering down because it seems that the entire world has been canceled and now we're stuck at home with kids!! Have no fear, we are sharing all the tips on how to survive this chaotic time… We got this!

How we get by being stuck at home with kids - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

For those of you who don't know! I'm NOT pregnant anymore! Woot woot! Thank heavens these twins arrived safely. They are healthy and happy little miracles. I was going to share some cute baby posts and videos… but as soon as I brought the babies into the world, the world kiiiiinda fell apart. And I know there is a lot weighing on all of us.

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Most of us are on mandatory or self-imposed quarantine. Who woulda thunk?

In the meantime, I just want to share with you how we are surviving with school being out, work being canceled and restaurants being shut down. This is how we're handling having 8 kids at home 10 and under, including newborn twins, in real time!

You ready for this?

Click HERE to watch the video or scroll down for all the details!

Now doesn't that look fun? We're definitely surviving… Keep reading for a recap.

START THE DAY OFF RIGHT

Start the day off the right way with these tips from Fun Cheap or Free!

These are the things that really help me get up on the right foot.

  • Get Dressed – Even if you don't leave the house. Your outfit doesn't have to be fancy, but getting out of jammas into something comfy will make you feel a little more human!
  • Open Your Windows – Fresh air and natural light does wonders!
  • Make Your Bed – This is a productive way to start your day, helps you feel accomplished and makes everything feel cleaner. Have your kids make their beds, too! We use Beddy's because they're SO easy to make…literally, you can make your bed in 20 seconds! Use code FUNCHEAPORFREE20 for 20% off.
  • Ground Yourself – We are seriously being inundated with messages, news updates and social media posts that build on our sense of dread and anxiety. Before I read any news, I make it a rule to read something uplifting. For me that's my scriptures.
  • Prayer and Meditation – Find a moment of peace. It will go a long way in preparing you to handle the challenges of the day!

Check out more details on my morning routine! Of course it's a tad different when we're stuck at home.

MAKE YOURSELF A BLOCK SCHEDULE

I've shared my actual block schedule for right now on Instagram. This is how we're running our day. Check it out HERE.

The reason why a block schedule is so valuable is it helps you realistically plan your day, but also allows for some flexibility. That way when things don't go according to plan, there's no need to panic. You have a whole chunk of time to get things done. Need more info on how to create your own block schedule?

Block out specific chunks of time for specific things. A time for play. A time for chores. A time for school/learning. A time for meals, time for cleaning up those meals…even a block for work if you have to work from home.

Your schedule can be more loose if you need it to be, but when you have kids at home, a block schedule can really help give you a sense of routine and normalcy! When expectations are clear, kids thrive, and about 1,000,000 pounds of parenting pressure is relieved off mom and dad’s shoulders.

MORNING BLOCK

Use the morning to your advantage while everyone is still awake - Stuck at home with kids tips from Fun Cheap or Free

You've already started YOUR day off right, help your kids do the same. This is when we encourage the kids to get ready for the day, we have breakfast and clean it up, do morning chores, start a load of laundry and other basic things that need to get done around the house to start us off on the right beat!

SCHOOL BLOCK

Kids have more energy in the morning and can focus better so we choose to make this our learning block! Here are a few resources we use and love!

By 12:30 we've cleaned up school and we're done with lunch and it's time for FREE time! The kids love this and it often motivates them to work hard.

NAP OR WORK BLOCK

Make the nap or work block work for you! Stuck at home with kids tips from Fun Cheap or Free

We need to keep our working block because somebody's gotta pay the bills! We also have newborn babes, so occasionally this mama needs a nap—and that's totally okay, too. The littles nap, too. But the older kids need to have some free time! Here are some of our favorite activities.

This is the perfect time to send them outside for fresh air and exercise. Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, though! Check out this post full of fun indoor activities for kids!

DINNER BLOCK

Tips on making your dinner block work from Fun Cheap or Free

There are a lot of tasks that you do throughout the day that you can use to help teach your kids some life skills! You have to make dinner anyway, why don't you turn it into a cooking class? I'm planning on rotating kids and teaching them as much as possible. This is a perfect opportunity to teach kids how to do every day tasks that you are doing anyway.

After dinner, we also do a blitz clean and the kids have more play time! This is a great time to have some more family-friendly activities.

Check out our night time routine for more details!

BEDTIME BLOCK

We love our bedtime block. We read from Come, Follow Me and have family scripture study. We finish getting cleaned up, have showers and the kids do their reading at night for 30 minutes. This is a great way to unwind and settle down for the night and allows them to break up the learning a bit!

NIGHTTIME BLOCK

After the kids are in bed, it's a great time to do any final cleaning, catch up on any projects, and enjoy a little down time! We also prep for the next day to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

SCREEN TIME TIPS

Screen time tips from Fun Cheap or Free

Be really selective about your screen time! The more screen time kids get, the harder staying at home will get. We let our kids use screens, but we try to make sure they are learning something.

  • Learning Games Online – We love Adventure Academy, Prodigy, ABCmouse, etc.
  • Art for Kids Hub
  • Learning Shows – Shows like National Geographic, etc.
  • Learn New Skills
  • Just Dance – We love this game so much! It gets them up and moving!
  • Podcasts – Work on those listening skills when you let the kids listen to podcasts while coloring.

Use technology to further lessons and teach new skills! We love Simply Piano for teaching the kids piano. But there are so many out there.

USE THE CLIPBOARD SYSTEM

We let the kids earn screens by getting their clipboards done—learn more about our clipboard system here! But a real quick run-down, their clipboard includes things like homework/school work, chores, etc. They have to have everything on the clipboard checked off before they can do screen time or play with friends. If the kids understand the expectations, then it makes it really easy to say yes or no to requests for screens and you don't have to deal with them nagging at you.

BE FLEXIBLE & CREATIVE

The block schedule is built to help you be productive and flexible. It's perfect for moments just like this!

Just remember, there is light in everything, look for the light! I'm considering this an inconvenience… but a gift, as well. Take the time to really focus on your family because kids grow up fast!

Share your survival tips below. What are you doing during this chaotic time to help yourself and your family get through this?

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free