Categories: Coronavirus

Helping kids cope with Corona Quarantine: Activities for children

With the entire country on lockdown, parents now have been given the added responsibility of handling kids at home along with their education. Whether you are a parent who is working from home or you are missing work and have to look after your kids and the family, the coronavirus is disrupting your routine. 

Most kids are very happy to be left in front of the television, watching videos online or playing video games throughout the day. During stressful times like this, kids should be given time to relax and do what they like. 

However, the amount of screen time the kids end up getting does become appalling as the days go by. Though we are living in the digital age, it is essential to find ways to minimize the amount of time your kid spends staring at the screen of their device of choice. 

Here are recommendations for disconnecting from the virtual world with activities and ideas your kids will love:

Motivate them to be Useful Around the House

This is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about the coronavirus pandemic and how the community is getting together to help each other. Tell them ways they can follow the same model at home. Younger kids can be “allowed” to sweep the floor or gather clothes from the clothesline. Older kids can be motivated to do jobs around the house for a raise in their pocket money.

 

Start Bonding Exercises

This is truly a time to create activities for kids that mix self-care and having fun. For example, you could find vegetables or fruits that are good for your hair  and skin, your could indulge in fun activities such as making smoothies out of them, using them as a face mask or hair mask.

 

Create a Time-table

Structure a weekly schedule for your child with a set timetable that includes breaks and start and end times. Plan out how much they have to learn and split the portions accordingly. Make plenty of time for hobbies and other fun activities so they are motivated to follow the schedule.

 

Use Arts and Craft as a Distraction

Colouring or painting by numbers is a common pastime activity to do with kids. You can get creative and come up with activities like scrap-booking, making a collage, creating paper garlands or face masks to mix things up a bit. You can encourage your kids to decorate their bedroom walls with their favourite photos, making friendship bracelets, draw comics or make jewellery. It would also be very thoughtful to make cards and send them to those in nursing homes or hospitals.

 

Sort out your Collections

Bring out your kids’ collections, whether they are collectable toys, stamps, seashells, crystals or pebbles. You can use this time to spend it with your kid and find a way to sort and store them.

Even if you had a collection from before, sharing your interests with your kids can be a great way to bond.

 

Build a Fort

Kids, even those in their early teens will find this an entertaining activity. You can use chairs, bed sheets, cardboard boxes and cloth clips for the structure. Get creative and encourage your kids to decorate the fort with stickers, washi tape or markers. You can build this fort in your dining room or their private room.

 

Encourage them to Create Something out of the box

Drag out the Legos, model aeroplanes and other construction sets and you will be amazed by the hidden talents in your kids to create something. Nothing like a pet project like making an airport or building a gadget to keep them occupied for hours and stimulate their creativity.

 

Puzzles and Board Games

Jigsaw puzzles, when age-appropriate, are very entertaining, and can even be a joint activity for siblings for a significant amount of time.  Apart from the usual games such as playing cards and Monopoly, explore newer games like Doodle Quest, Bugs in the kitchen and other such games.

 

Photo Albums

Nothing like nostalgia to brighten up a boring day. In today’s era of Instagram and Facebook, bringing out your childhood photo albums and baby photos of your kids will surely excite them and take you on a trip down memory lane as well.

 

Bake Away the Blues

Ask your kids to assist you when you bake, be it cookies, cakes or banana bread. Younger kids can be allowed to lick the batter as a bonus, and older kids can participate in selecting recipes to make. Baking is a great skill to have, and it gives your kids an indulgence they can look forward to. 

 

Reading or Writing

Encourage your kids to write a letter to their grandparents, ailing aunt or a friend they are missing. This allows them to express themselves creatively. Journalling their time indoors can also be an idea you can throw their way. Find and download an ebook or a collection of short stories that they’ll enjoy for hours on end. 

 

Podcasts for Kids

There are scores of podcasts specially made for kids that are now available to stream online. Let them make their choice and allow them to get enthralled in the stories.

 

Use Daily Positive Affirmations

Repeat these positive affirmations aloud with your kids two or three times a day. This helps keep the atmosphere positive and boosts morale:

  • I focus on opportunities over obstacles
  • I cherish the extra time I get to spend with my family and am happy about creating memorable moments together
  • I am grateful for being healthy and for all the things I can do
  • I was created to blossom

Hope these suggestions help you keep your kids entertained while staying indoors. Remember it is important to also keep yourself sane. Ensure you get some me-time. You could read, exercise or pamper yourself. Be honest with the children about the situation to ensure they do not get distressed but still take the isolation seriously.

Set expectations for your kids and be clear about playtime and study time. Spend this time listening to your kids and indulge in tasks you haven’t been able to perform because of your regular work schedules. The only silver lining is this pandemic situation is that you get to spend more time with the people you care about, make sure that you use this time well and cherish it. 

Dr. Maneesh S Giri | Consultant – Paediatrics | Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Mysore

Narayana Health

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