This global pandemic is harming the health, social and material well-being of children worldwide. With school closures, social distancing and confinement, the number of time children are spending inside their home is increasing day by day.
It has not only changed the way we used to go about our everyday life but also doubled the time we usually spent with our family. With school holiday vacations being cancelled where families used to go on vacations away from home to spend their holidays now have to stay at home due to COVID-19 which has brought in new restrictions and regulations to keep everybody safe.
All hope isn’t lost as we bring you a list of activities that you can do with your children from the comfort and safety of your homes to keep them entertained, happy and above all safe from this contagious virus.
- Take a family fitness class
Participating in a fitness class with your family is a fun way to get some quality time while sneaking in some exercise. You can go online to find a variety of free fitness courses you can stream from the comfort of your home.
There’s also the Smile and Learn channel on YouTube, which has a Yoga for Kids video playlist. Each workout lasts about 10 minutes and incorporates music and cartoon characters to help children to stay engaged.
- Build a blanket fort in your living room
This is another at-home activity that takes minimal effort and gets the children away from the TV or tablet screen. All they will need are some blankets and a little imagination to help construct a fun hideaway in the living room. Parents might even be able to get some work done while the children play.
- Make a building out of LEGOS
If you have children, chances are they own multiple sets of LEGO building blocks. Lucky for you, the toymaker has made it a little bit easier for you and your children to enjoy hours of fun right at home. Every month, you can go to the LEGO website and download a step-by-step guide on how to construct one of their mini-build structures using the blocks your children already have.
- Go for a walk around your neighbourhood
You can still round up the children and explore your neighbourhood as long as you follow the social distancing guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Stay at least 2 metres away from anyone outside of your household, and wear a facial mask that covers the nose and mouth.
You will also want to take into consideration when is the best time of day for a stroll. This is typically when there’s the least amount of people out and about at the same time you are. Doing this helps lessen the chance that you will run into groups of people.
- Cook a meal together
Preparing a meal with your children is a smart way to teach them about nutrition and how to follow step-by-step instructions. There are a variety of kid-friendly recipes available online that are simple and don’t take much time to make. This includes and FoodNetwork has an entire section on its site dedicated to recipes the entire family can make together.
- Go on a virtual museum or aquarium tour
A number of museums around the world are offering free virtual tours. So if your travel plans were ruined due to the coronavirus outbreak, there’s still an opportunity to expose your children to new cultural experiences.
At the Louvre in Paris, virtual visitors can experience their Egyptian Antiquities exhibit. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, which is based in Washington, D.C., is offering virtual tours of past exhibits no longer on display, as well as current ones. At the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey Bay, Calif, visitors to their website can watch a live webcam of a variety of their aquatic displays from sharks to penguins to moon jellies daily.
- Register for a kid-friendly workshop with Microsoft
The tech giant is offering free virtual workshops, for example, a two-day Literary Skills for Emerging Readers course for children ages 6 to 8 and other programs for older children. The sessions are aimed at helping children improve their reading comprehension skills.
- Plant a vegetable garden in your backyard
This is a fun activity to do with your kids, especially since there’s a delicious reward for them once the vegetables are ready to harvest. Try everything from green beans (which take up to 65 days to grow) or tomatoes (which take about 60 days to grow).
- Have a backyard scavenger hunt
If you have a home with a backyard that’s big enough to accommodate children running around having the time of their lives, add this activity to your to-do list. A backyard scavenger hunt is easy to do and doesn’t require spending any money. You can dig through your child’s closet full of toys to find items to use, such as a small bucket, toy shovel or a beach ball. Then hide the objects in places such as a treehouse, garden watering canister or patio chair.
A parenting suggestion we would like to give is: “When it rains, play in the rain.” There are ways of making the best out of any situation, this one included. We can make this COVID-19 crisis into a moment that will live vividly in our children’s memories so that in other times of uncertainty they will recall fondly how their family spent time together and made the best of things, and they will be able to do the same.
“Children more than ever, need opportunities to be in their bodies in the world – jumping rope, bicycling, stream hopping, and fort building. It’s this engagement between limbs of the body and bones of the earth where true balance and centeredness emerge.” ~ David Sobel