How to survive quarantine / stay home notice (SHN) with young kids?

How to survive quarantine / stay home notice (SHN) with young kids?

Have you found yourself being stuck indoors with your toddler? Whether you have received a stay home notice, or have to serve quarantine at your place of destination, we will make sure you are well prepared! Having served 21 days of quarantine with a 3 year old with jet lag no less, we have researched and tried-and-tested tips to share!

1. Explain what’s happening

Let them know why you are staying in quarantine/ at home and for how long. Offer age-appropriate information such as, “We are staying home to help protect other people in our neighbourhood.”

2. Adapt your routine

Familiarity and knowing what to expect help kids to feel secure and safe in times of change. Try to wake, sleep and have meals at the usual timings, and continue to snuggle up for bedtime stories.

3. Brighten up your day by ordering in!

Now is the time to indulge in your (or your child’s) favourite food. Make sure you have a pair of food scissors and/or bib to minimise the mess.

4. Snacks

Get a variety of little nibbles for those rumbly tummies and flared tempers. Stock up on raisins, cheese sticks, rice crackers, berries, little mandarins or other fruits.

5. Turn on that exercise video

Find a video with simple repetitive exercises, and get moving! You need to take care of yourself to take care of your child. Who knows, your child may even enjoy it!

6. Throw balloons / paper aeroplanes

If your child is not into exercise videos, get him or her moving by pumping up a balloon or two! No balloons? Fold an old school paper aeroplane! Up for an upgrade? Check out this cool flapping bat that actually flaps its wings when flying. Watch the reel for the instructions.

7. Prepare a variety of things to do and rotate them

Keep little bags of fiddly toys, puzzles, books, stickers, art materials. Try to rotate them every 1 to 2 days so that it does not feel old. You will definitely feel better instead of all the stuff strewn all over your bed or floor at the same time. Need more ideas? Check out our other post on types of play activities. You can also check out our FREE activity pack to let your child have some fun practising Mandarin independently!

8. Remember that children love non-toys

After our long distance flight, we had no lack of ziploc lock bags. My son spent close to an hour putting items in each bag and taking them out. We also had all these plastic disposable water bottles, and played bowling with a massage/tennis ball.

9. E-books/ Storytime

Screen use can be a healthy part of your quarantine/ stay at home. Check out educational stories or non-fiction content on your local library, Spotify, YouTube! We have a few playlists on YouTube Spotify.

10. Reach out to your friends

Tell your friends about your plight! Help can come in many forms, such as a zoom call to stay connected, sending in some of their kids’ books/ toys/ food, or even extra clothing if you do not have access to a washing machine during the period. Nothing like a little something extraordinary for the day or a surprise for both adult and child!


COVID-19: tips and links for families in isolation, quarantine or lockdown. (2022, January 31). Retrieved from

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