Coronavirus: Kiwi parents share their tips for keeping kids entertained during lockdown

There's less than one week left of New Zealand's current month-long lockdown and whether the Government decides to change the alert level or not, children are likely to still spend a lot of their time at home.

Homeschooling is still considered the safest and most preferred option during the COVID-19 pandemic but some parents are struggling to keep their kids entertained. And for those still working, it's even harder.

The Project asked some Kiwi parents for their tips for surviving the lockdown and staying sane.

Kylie Matthews a mother of three and the co-founder of AWWA says she is waking up a few hours before her children to get some work done in the mornings.

"I've got Skype meetings and Zoom meetings planned with people so it's just trying to fit those into the schedule and trying to find an activity that will keep the children entertained for the duration of that."

Small business owner Tristan Marris says for his family, getting the kids exercising outside has made a big difference.

"Trying to keep the kids entertained, being at home with the kids all this time is hard work and it is definitely not a holiday," he says.

"One of the key things we've had to do is set a routine. The first thing we do for the day is we'll go for a bike ride and get some energy out of them so they can actually come back and they aren't so crazy in the house."

He says the lockdown has given him a new appreciation for teachers. 

Fiona Modderman, a health and fitness coach, has been busy juggling filming home workouts, and keeping up with clients- and her three children.

"When I am working I just try to set the expectations like you need to be quiet," she says.

"If I'm on a coaching call I shut the door in my little office and am like leave me alone. But that didn't happen this morning, there were quite a few children passing by in their pyjamas."

She's encouraging parents to focus on their own family during the lockdown and not compare everything on social media.

"There's so much on social media, everyone is on Facebook and Instagram at the moment and they are showing all these amazing crafts that they are doing and all the baking and I went and bought flour but I haven't had the time or inclination to go and do the baking or do all of those things."

Hollie Colgate, a teacher aide and mother of three, says she's struggling to find space.

"For me, the challenges have been maintaining a bit of space between us, we don't have the benefits of the Trump mansion or the White House or anything like that."

Colgate is calling for parents to not be so hard on themselves during the lockdown period.

"You don't have to be changing the world right now, we don't need to homeschool these children, they'll be fine. 

"We need to keep them happy and entertained and I kind of figure if I get to the end of the day and nobody's lost an eye and we are all still talking to each other then it's a good one.

"Let's cut ourselves some slack I think is what I want to say to everybody."