How To Keep The Kids Entertained While Social Distancing
Families around the globe are slowly getting frustrated with the lockdown and the laws that are in place to avoid more spread of the virus. After a while, computer games, nursery rhyme/story videos can become monotonous and boring for them. Also, even in the current situation, where everyone is at home for longer hours, it isn’t a good idea to allow young children unlimited screen time.
That can affect their vision and their circadian rhythm which can ultimately result in long term health problems. However, as a parent, you need a break. You need your children to engage in activities that do not include you, because let’s face it, you need time to work (if you are working from home) and do other household chores.
Family Activity Ideas
The key is to have a list of ideas ready to keep the children occupied. Social distancing can be a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family, but you can use the list below to give your children an array of options to play on their own. Here are 5 fun things your children can do:
1. Build a Fort
Building a fort is an all time favourite for so many childrens. Get some sheets and blankets, rearrange some of the smaller furniture and have your children build a fort. You can also spend some time with them in the fort, reading stories to them; catch a cartoon show or movie on a laptop. Prepare some snacks and eat them in the fort.
Activity time – Approximately 1-2 hours without a movie. About 2-4 hours with a good movie.
2. Look For Insects And Bugs In The Yard
If you can go to a local park or if you have a yard, take your child out to look for insects and bugs in the flower beds. If you are lucky, you might even find some butterflies flying around. You can put some of the bugs that you find, in a plastic bowl and then release them back to nature.
Activity time – Approximately 30 minutes
3. Let them assist in De-Cluttering the House
There is no better time to clean your house and minimise clutter, so why not use this time to go through your closets and other cupboards and sort out what you need and what you don’t. Go through your closets and pantry. And better yet, why not get the children involved and let them help sort out items with you.
Check for items that are no longer in use, expired or deemed unnecessary. You can also take this opportunity to clean out your closet and donate what you don’t need anymore. Create categories of things such as “like”, “throw”, etc. It’s a fun activity and spring cleaning all in one.
Activity time – Approximately 2-3 hours
4. Make a Village Out Of Craft Paper
If you have any craft paper, a pair of scissors, tape/glue, you can make a village, cars, stores with cut-outs of paper or cardboard (anything that you have handy around the house). Set the village up on a table, create roads, colour all the landmarks and add some parks and more.
Activity time – Approximately 2-3 hours
5. Bake Something
Some children take a keen interest in cooking and baking. However, some may be too young to do it by themselves. So get them involved anyway by allowing them to help. Believe it or not, they love all the flour flying around and can help with measuring out the ingredients. You can count with them while adding these ingredients; teach them what they are and purpose they have in the dish.
Look online for basic baking with children, and you will find thousands of recipes that you can bake with minimal ingredients you might have in your pantry. If some of the ingredients are too hard to measure, you can do that for your son or daughter and get them to pour them out in the mixing bowl.
Most children will be more than happy to help with the mixing and its great way to keep them occupied for some time. It’s also an excellent opportunity to teach them the importance of cooking with you. Also, once the dish is baked, you can get them to add the toppings, chocolate or syrup etc.
Activity time – Approximately 1 – 1 ½ hour
Shield them From the Worrisome News
Don’t forget that it’s easy to lead by example. Help your children pick up some necessary skills without making it seem like a learning session. It’s also a good idea to explain to them how crucial it is for you and your family to be at home and stay safe. Do not discuss the current pandemic situation with your spouse/partner, in front of the children even if you feel they aren’t listening. Resist the urge to watch the news for coronavirus and other related updates on television when the children are around.
Even if it isn’t apparent, they do pick up everything that’s happening around them. Hearing talk about the crises and all the COVID-19 updates can seem like impending doom for them, making them feel stressed and anxious. It’s something you need to avoid at all costs.
Just let them know that they don’t need to worry about catching the illness as long as they are in the house and that it’s the safest place for them to be. These times can be trying for all of us. Children are very perceptive; they become affected by changes very quickly, but fortunately, most young children are quite adaptable too. As long as you don’t alarm them with talk about the pandemic and make them too anxious about the virus and how it is spreading etc. they should be fine.
For any more information, call Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centres, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Just give us a call at 02 9199 0294 or via this contact us form.
Thanks for reading,
1300 863 986