COVID-19 has bought the world to halt – staying indoors, social distancing, and quarantine being the only way to avoid this disease. Everyone is coping by doing something and engaging themselves. Families with kids have a new challenge – how to keep children busy and calm during such times.
Since children now cut off from their school, outdoor activities, and their friends, it’s only natural; they would be fussy about something they don’t understand. Especially younger kids, older ones are easy and generally sorted about their stuff. It is important for parents; they stay calm and don’t be overly anxious. We have constructed a list of 10 things to do with your family during the quarantine.
1. Learning activities
Many schools have started online interaction with students – giving them homework and exercises. Parents can create a schedule for schooling activities that match with their original school time table. Providing lunch and snack breaks in between, so kids won’t get overwhelmed by the schedule.
For parents, it is a great time to know where their children’s interest lies. Taking the help of various apps or websites like Scholastic and Seesaw, parents can give some screen time for learning rather than entertainment purposes. Learning new languages is another way to spend time with kids, where the whole family can enjoy the interaction.
2. Driveway/Backyard activities
There are hundreds of backyard/driveway activities the whole family can participate in. It’s a great time to teach and learn gardening, taking care of plants, and getting dirty in the mud. Create castles and bunkers to play tag. At night time, lay down in the same castles to stargaze and find constellations. Kids can make bird feeders, record leaf journals, and create rock gardens.
Parents can teach kids to clean and maintain their dirt bikes. Children can learn the basics of repairing and washing automobiles. Adventure setups for bikes could give some sporting exercise and movement for both kids and parents. Everything should be under a controlled environment only.
Kids do have unlimited energy to play games! Online games are definitely tempting – it is better not to resort every time on screen. Make a setup for a historical scavenger or treasure hunt. Play general knowledge games, where kids are the host and parents are competitors. There are tons of options to teach children cards and board games. You can also get them sensory tools & toys to fulfill their sensory needs.
DIY activities could boost creativity in them too. The whole family can engage in making useful household stuff. Write letters and postcards to each other. Build forts from blankets and cushions to play like old folklores.
4. Science experiments
At-home science experiments are a great option to entertain kids. These are petite experiments easily derived from ordinary household objects. Kids from every age group could learn and perform the same as science day at school.
Parents like to learn from websites like San Francisco Exploratorium, Spangler Science, and Kitchen science resources from the Franklin Institute. Divide science projects between kids, give them time to research on it and invent an indoor science day.
Exercising will keep the whole family physically and mentally fit. It is not compulsory to have an extensive gym workout or any outside movement. There are plenty of apps teaching how to do easy work out in homes.
Parents should involve their children in workout activities; it will increase communication and interaction. Perform yoga, watching videos—set challenges and completion in simple exercises like rope jumping, sit-ups, etc. Use music to motivate and excite the family.
6. Creative Arts and Crafts
Parents can get back in touch with their childhood hobbies with kids will undoubtedly be amusing. Learn origami, create papercrafts, and let kids decorate homes with crafts. Teach them the basic techniques of sewing and knitting. The whole family can learn calligraphy and to make home accessories.
Teach children cursive writing. Make comic books of favorite superheroes. Learn to read and draw maps. On-screen time download low-cost animation apps to create a stop motion animation; they are generally free.
Children are generally attracted to cooking. They are curious and somehow want to participate in making meals. Two-year-olds can help wash and scrub vegetables. Three years and above could help in mixing or shaking ingredients and help clean up. Older kids juice and peel fruits. Parents can try recipes like Red wine Sangria and many more. Let kids make sandwiches or jam bread that are simple cooking activities.
Parents can give them a plastic knife to cut soft vegetables or fruits. Let them be part of the observation process. Teach them proper ways of cleaning up. Let kids make sandwiches or jam bread that are simple cooking activities.
Children always imitate their parents on actions like what they do and what they say. If parents start reading enthusiastically, kids will follow in your footsteps. Get apps like Epic and Vooks; they have fun interacting stories with eye-catching animations and narrations.
Make their pronunciations better; it will provoke good speech improvement. Read old plays with family, let everyone have some part in the reading. This activity will make reading a compelling event.
Reading and writing go hand in hand. Teach your children to create journals of their favorite stories, animals, or anything their curiosity takes them too. Hold a competition for essay, story, or paragraph writing. Rewarding will surely help to keep their interest for long durations of time.
Let kids write their poems or haikus. Communicate with them to improvise their skills. Reading and writing foreign languages is also a good option.
10. Performance arts
Performing is the best way for kids to open up. It will slowly kill the stage fright and will allow your children to muster courage in public speaking. Dancing, magic shows, puppet parties, and signing are good ways. Learning or practicing to play new instruments is one way to step up to the performance.
While reading plays perform like an actor/actress – it will bring fun color into both reading and performing. Shoot small acts or movies of your kids and play it later for other family members.
There are unlimited family engaging ideas available everywhere. Being anxious will not help anyone in the house. Schedule screen time for kids, make video calls to their friends – it will keep the communication chain running. Stay inside the home, practice sanitization, and maintain social distance. Stay safe!