I wanted to write this special post because I feel most of us might need it more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some of your children might be old enough to understand what’s going on in the world, whilst some are still quite young to know. Either way, making the most of their time at home is important for their physical and mental health. As a result of the circumstances, I want to provide you with some ways to keep your children engaged at home, subject to age.
There are many ways you can do this. One is just before you start your day by making breakfast together. Gather all of your ingredients and have your children help you in the kitchen. This also goes for lunch and dinner. Cooking stimulates their minds to do something new and also provides them with some cool new recipes to follow when they’re home alone (for teenagers only).
Here are two amazing websites with kid-friendly recipes:
Just like how you want to squeeze a home workout in before or after work, kids need physical activity as well. Regular exercise can positively stimulate the serotonin levels in our brain, which boosts our mood and overall sense of well-being. So, how about doing a workout together? Make it as fun and creative as you want, regardless of age. Another idea is to simply go for a walk, provided we have acceptable weather.
Ask them to help with housework
Doing chores is something that will not only help you but will also allow your children to become more independent, if they’re not already. It also builds their relationship skills as they communicate with you or their siblings, urging them to work together as a team. For some, it will allow them to feel satisfied with completing a task for their parents, even if they didn’t like the chore.
For you, as parents, it can help reduce some stress and free up more of your time to play and interact with your children.
Encourage them to read
Like us, many children have a lot of books they haven’t touched yet. While you are cleaning up the house or working on a deadline for your colleagues, give them a fun task of reading a few chapters of a book they’ve been wanting to read. As a reward, they can pick any toy of their choosing to play with.
For teenagers, reading the newest novel or an article in an online newspaper will help them be engaged with what is going on around them. For example, when I was younger, my dad had me watch the news and pick out one report to write a summary about. This was beneficial to me as I became more aware of what was happening around the world.
Have them explore learning websites
As with any break, your children will have homework to complete. However, to make it fun, there are so many great learning websites to assist your children with their homework. Nevertheless, these are bound to keep them busy. Here are some of my favourites:
Fun Brain: https://www.funbrain.com/
Scholastic Learn at Home: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
IXL Learning (for all ages): https://ca.ixl.com/math/
PBS Kids (sign up for their newsletter for fun activities): https://pbskids.org/
Take virtual tours
With schools and most public places being closed, museums around the world are holding virtual tours. You can find a list of them here: https://www.abc10.com/article/entertainment/museumsofferingvirtualtours/103-3b3be900-2956-4ac3-88e3-43ec2880fc2b
For the art lovers both young and old, this will keep them intrigued for hours.
Arrange virtual chats with friends
Our day and age has turned towards technology, so why not let your children talk to their friends remotely. They can watch a movie together or play card games, chat, eat lunch, etc. It’s a perfect way to keep them connected. You can also do this with toddlers as a fun play date with your friends’ kids. Have them interact with colouring books or building blocks.
So, there you have it. These are some handy tips that will spruce some positivity and fun into their extended school break. As always, movie marathons, building forts, baking cookies, etc. are more than welcome at any age.
Thank you to my family, friends, and The Literary Tutor for your tremendous amount of help and advice in writing this post.
If you enjoyed today’s post and want to see more like it, please leave a comment below.
Stay positive and stay safe!
Local and world-famous museums offering ‘virtual’ tours to help keep kids entertained. (March 14, 2020). ABC 10. Retrieved March 17th, 2020 from https://www.abc10.com/article/entertainment/museumsofferingvirtualtours/103-3b3be900-2956-4ac3-88e3-43ec2880fc2b
Games, Videos, and Books for Kids. (2020). Fun Brain. Retrieved March 16th, 2020 from https://www.funbrain.com/
Kids’ cooking recipes. (2020). BBC Goodfood. Retrieved March 15th, 2020 from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/kids-cooking
PBS Kids. (2019). PBS Kids. Retrieved March 16th, 2020 from https://pbskids.org/
Recipes Kids Can Make. (2020). Food Network. Retrieved March 15th, 2020 from https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids/recipes-kids-can-make
Recommendations. (2019). IXL Learning. Retrieved March 17th, 2020 from https://ca.ixl.com/recommendations/
Scholastic Learn at Home. (2019). Scholastic. Retrieved March 16th, 2020 from https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html