Tips on how to keep your kids inspired, entertained and learning during this weird and not so wonderful time.
To add to already challenging times, is having children at home and trying to home school & entertain…without the assistance of teachers, extended family and friends. YIKES We may soon have the option of trips to parks but without libraries, theaters, museums and other public gathering spaces, the challenge will continue. Here are some tips on how to keep your kids’ minds moving and motivated throughout however long this takes.
Create a schedule.
Kids thrive on a routine, so involve your kids to create a daily schedule, including regular meal and sleep times. Plan activities around online school course hours, and include a couple of breaks where they get to do whatever they want. Assign at least one daily chore – which is a definite win for you too! Post their schedule for them to see and cross off the list as items are accomplished.
Make learning at home enjoyable as well as productive. Use this chance to introduce your kids to subjects that may not be offered right now, such as art, music and physical education. Schedule special education times on a subject of their choice. Check online for a multitude of helpful resources.
Take a Virtual Trip.
Have your kids research a destination, learn about the country, things to see and do, the culture, the history, the food. And then find ways to experience it. Movies set in that country, cook the ethnic food, make a costume…use your imaginations!
Creative projects using items from around your house will occupy time. Set your kids up with a bunch of old magazines, settle on a theme and have them cut out corresponding pictures. Or print out images from the computer. Have them arrange the cut-outs on a sheet of paper, give them a glue stick – instant collage! Paint and write positive/ kind thoughts on rocks from your yard Make a batch of salt dough for hours of countless fun. Final pieces can be baked and decorated. Running out of coloring books? Print free coloring pages.
Choose simple recipes – for things that your kids love to eat, and have your kids help with the preparation. Even toddlers can participate by adding already measured ingredients into a bowl and giving a stir or two. Baking cookies, cupcakes and other sweets can be its own rewarding afternoon activity. Maybe now is the time to introduce fine dining etiquette and enjoyment of a little fancier food! Or use the BBQ , pretend you are camping and have a backyard picnic.
Take up hobbies.
From playing a musical instrument to knitting, art, writing, or video producing. What resources do you have at home where you can encourage a new hobby?
Get fresh air.
Make your backyard an extension of your home. Kids can spend quiet time outside or play the usual athletic games. A well-planned scavenger hunt can provide both physical and mental exercise. Start a garden if you do not already have one. Take your kids for a walk or bike ride each day (still maintaining proper distances) to give everybody a change of scenery.
Above all, remain positive.
This too shall pass – and your attitude will be picked up and then mimicked by your kids Stay calm, positive and make the best of this unique opportunity.
Explain to your kids that “sheltering in place” and “physical/ social distancing” are situations over which we do have control. We can help in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. We are also presented with the chance to spend quality time together and maybe create some new traditions.
It is hard to be separated from friends and other family members. However, explain that we are six feet apart right now – so we can all be together when this is all over. Just keep your kids’ minds moving for the best motivation.