Staying at home: tips for the whole family

June 24, 2024

With many days being spent at home, sticking to your daily routine may have become more difficult. This is especially true for those with children, as the need for homeschooling has added extra challenges to this new, stay-at-home situation. 

Keep yourself on track — and help keep the kids engaged — with these tips for your daily routine.

Tips for adults

Without the consistency of a commute and in-person social activities, your regular day-to-day routine may need some adjustment.

Create an automation for the weekend

Is it Saturday already? The weekend can seem like it creeps up on you, and the lack of plans often leads to listless days. Ensure you make the most of your weekends by scheduling a different Wake up with light automation in the Hue app for your days off work. If you want to keep your Saturdays productive, for example, push your wake-up automation a little later — but not too late. Give yourself a boost by setting your lights to a cool white light for when you wake up.

Make Sunday a true day off by setting your bedroom lights to a soft warm glow — or turn off your wake-up automation altogether — to let yourself sleep in and wake up more naturally. After your morning coffee, schedule a special customized Sunday automation that triggers the Read light scene for an hour or two so you can curl up on the couch with a good book and enjoy your well-deserved downtime.

Schedule video calls with friends

Many people have turned to video calls with family to keep in touch while staying apart, but don’t forget your friends! Texting has its merits, but a face-to-face chat always feels more fulfilling. You don’t have to limit it to just chatting — there are plenty of games to play while in a video call. Games such as 20 Questions (or 21 Questions), Never Have I Ever, and charades are easily played via video call. 

If games aren’t your thing, set up calls to teach each other something new: if one of your friends loves the way you make a certain dish, make your own personal “cooking show” by holding a video call while you cook. Throw your own painting party by gathering materials — and friends, via video — and following along to a tutorial while chatting. Compare your creations afterwards and award someone the winner!

Family in kitchen with smart lighting

Adjust your smart controls to your new routine

Smart accessories are truly flexible, especially if they’re from Philips Hue. If you have a Hue motion sensor, set it to trigger the Energize light scene while you enjoy your morning coffee, Concentrate during the day to stay focused during working hours, and Relax to wind down when the day comes to an end.

Program a Hue dimmer switch’s five presses to match your new daily routine — factoring in working, playing, relaxing, and more.

Learn a new hobby or skill

While you don’t have to be overly productive during this time, you can still learn a little bit. Do you remember that hobby that you put on the back burner? Now’s your chance. Start a gardening plot in your backyard, learn a new language, or finally put all that yarn to use. 

Bright idea: Schedule your lights to trigger a special scene every day, every other day, or every weekend that reminds you to keep going with your newfound hobby. You can set the pace! 

Tips for parents and kids

Having your kids at home 24/7 is a wonderful opportunity to bond, but it can be tricky to keep them focused and entertained when they need to be.

Schedule the day with light

School is still in session, even if it’s from home. Set up automations for school in addition to the daily routines you’ve set up to work from home efficiently. For example, have the lights turn on to the Energize light recipe in the kitchen while the kids are eating breakfast. When school is about to begin, let the lights turn to Concentrate. When it’s time to take a break and play, turn the lights to their favorite color so that they know it’s “their” time.

Bright idea: You can even use Philips Hue to help them learn! With IFTTT, for example, you can program your lights to turn purple as the International Space Station passes over your house. When the room suddenly transforms, you know it’s time to go outside and try to spot the ISS.

A mother helps her children decorate a cake in the kitchen using task lighting the Hue Concentrate light scene to help them focus.

Set up a learning area

Just like you’ve set up your own workspace, set up a designated “desk” for the kids, even if it’s just a seat at the dining room table. Remember to keep essentials — pencils, paper, and craft supplies, for example — organized and in an easy-to-reach location. 

If there’s not enough space to store all their school supplies by the desk, encourage them to pack their backpack each day. Keep the packed backpack in their bedroom, and have them carry it to their desk when it’s time to begin the next day. 

Use technology as more than distraction

If you feel as though your kids have become too acquainted with the TV since you’ve all been home, turn their daily screen time into a learning experience. For kids that have learned or are learning to read, mute the TV and turn on closed captioning. Have them pick out the words they see that rhyme, write down words that begin with a certain letter, or simply read the subtitles aloud to you. 

If you have a spare tablet, download educational games to help them learn numbers, letters, or even another language.

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and color ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness