Like many children around the world, my kids Adam, 10, and Maggie, 8, are stuck at home due to pandemic. Everytime I barge into their rooms, they are either glued to screens or crashed like zombies on the beds.In all honesty, it’s making me bonkers!
Half of the day, I feel like I work in a catering business. The other half goes into resolving those teeny battle royals.Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. But these days, it seems like life is going down an endless tunnel!
Of course, I am not alone in this. As per the latest figures released by UNESCO, 1.3 billion learners around the world were not able to attend school or university as of March 23, 2020.
Given the numbers and the fact that the virus is here to stay for sometime, we better get used to this new norm and plan for the future.
Experts suggest using a combination of measures to help with the transition. Parents must structure creative ideas and observe the flexibility to develop an environment that positively nurtures those tiny brains.
Easier said than done, but there is no harm in giving it a shot, right?
Below, I have rounded up some ways to keep my tots occupied during this quarantine. Let’s try these out together:
1. Design a Schedule Together
In the face of scary events that are primarily out of our control, it is essential to be vigilant about things you can control. As most of us are working from home these days, it gets pretty disturbing if your kids follow a different routine every day.
Design a daily plan for the whole family. It must consider the school and work responsibilities of each member. According to Holland Haiis, a New York-based professional speaker, a family schedule lets everyone know what they will go through in this new environment where everything feels a little different.
Make sure you keep kids in the loop during the scheduling phase. Let them grab a whiteboard or a piece of paper to jot down a timetable. You can take turns to let each one decide what they want to do in different time slots.
2. Involve in Household Chores
As noted by The American Academy of Pediatrics,children as young as three years old can benefit from including chores in their routine. This is something that I’ve noticed, as well.
My younger one seems to be on cloud nine whenever I ask her to vacuum the floor, while the big bro keeps delaying tasks.
When you hand over some domestic duties to your children, it will teach them essential life skills. The best way to boost their motivation is to involve them in the decision-making process.
Also, you can turn chores into a game by incorporating your child’s passion into what they are doing. For example, they can dress up as their favorite superheroes while they mop the floors. Or you can keep rewards, such as a star or a cookie when they finish work on time.
3. Keep Active
It is, indeed, hard to motivate yourself to exercise if you remain indoors most of the day. However, for kids and adults alike, working out can do wonders for their mental and physical health.
Richard Goodman, who runs sports-inspired nanny agency AthleteMannies and Nannies, believes that amid the uncertainty going on and how everyone anxious about the future, exercise is a fantastic way to distress and take a break from daily stress.
The regime you select depends on your comfort level. It also depends upon the age and preferences of your children. You don’t need high-end gym machinery to stay active at home. It’s so fun improvising around the house. For instance, you can use baked bean tins or water bottles for weights.
4. Engage in Creative Tasks
The home quarantine is a refreshing experience for many adults. But for those little ones, it feels more like a house arrest.
Angela Pyle, an assistant professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, says it is important to let children use their imagination and have unstructured free time so that they don’t feel too cooped up.
It is our responsibility as parents to pull them out of the monotony and engage them in ingenious tasks, like:
- Create your puzzles
- Paint superhero capes
- Make Slime (if you don’t mind sticky substance oozing from under the sofa or other unusual places)
- Make up your yoga routine
- Make DIY baskets for neighbors
- Cook homemade ice cream
- Design a reading nook
- Design a treasure hunt for a family fun night
- Host a food contest
The list can go on
The main motive is to cut the time spent on wasteful activities and make them more and more productive. If your child remains glued to the smartphone or tablet for most of the day, then you should try using this factor to your advantage.
You can encourage them to spend time on educational websites with learning resources for kids like MiniMe 500c It is a platform where they can enjoy educational games and videos. Online platforms like these will help to refine their sensory and motor skills.
Generally, the mind of children craves newness. Dive into a think tank together to come up with fun ideas to keep them engaged.
5. Spend Quality Time
Our typical work routine feels more like a mechanism than life. But now we have all the time at our hands to make up for the missed bonding opportunities with kids. So try to spend some quality time with them (Put all screens a mile away while doing that).
Children need to be aware of the extraordinary circumstances we are living in. Child psychologist Dr. Jonathan Kratter said the last thing a parent should tell a child who expresses concern over the coronavirus is “don’t worry.”Instead, allow them to discuss their beliefs. What have they heard from their friends? What is it that worries them?
Then together, help them explore what is real and what is not. Open communication is a proven technique to improve parenting skills.
Verdict – Keep Calm and Stay Home!
This pandemic will bring significant transformations to human society. It will take a while for the world to adapt. In the meantime, you can make things easy for your munchkins by following the tips mentioned above.
Do not let the anxiety win. Devise ways to structure a cohesive family. This is all we need right now!