This pandemic has brought tons of change to our lives, and children are definitely affected by the drastic switch in their lifestyle. Without the structure of school, playdates, and normal life, your kids are stuck at home and are looking to you to keep them entertained.
We’re all used to staying home with the kids for summer breaks, school vacations, and weekends, but this endless extended break seems like a never-ending cycle of the rare mischiefs, emotional rollercoasters, and overwhelming tantrums. For some parents, dealing with the not-so-fancy aspects of parenting is a breeze. However, for others it can be unbearable. As you stay home to flatten the curve, we’ve gathered helpful tips to survive and make the most out of this situation with your kiddos.
Include Your Kids in Daily House Routines
Vacation sometimes means endless screen time, but how much is too much when the vacation has no end date? Without enough opportunities to play outside or socialize and get their energy out, children are most likely glued to their tablets and TV screens. Instead of having them sit around or even distract you during work, why not involve them in chores around the house!
To keep them busy and entertained (with less reliance on TV screens and funny videos on the internet), include your kids in household tasks appropriate for their age. For example, they can water the plants with you, sweep the floor, or even help you set the table before every meal. These small tasks are the perfect way to teach them fundamental household responsibilities. Try making a game out of it by ‘paying’ them with play money that each child can use for purchasing snacks or toys too!
Learn a New Hobby or an Interesting Skill
The internet is a gold mine for learning resources. There are tons of great videos and instructional sites you can use to take up a new hobby or skill with all your free time, and getting your kids involved can keep them actively learning and trying new things! One example of a new skill to learn is the art of indoor gardening. Imagine how great it would be to have cherry tomatoes at your disposal, and to have your little one get their hands dirty and help out! Learn how to garden indoors while instilling the responsibility of growing and looking after something in your kids while having fun and learning something new!
Looking for a more creative activity? Aside from indoor gardening, you and the kids can try out some DIY projects as well. Try making a DIY sock bunny, fancy bracelets and charms, or a family photo album! Your child will be able to express their imagination and creativity in a way that you may have never seen before. Plus, this is a great way to see your child’s thought process and how your child responds to problem-solving tasks. In a nutshell, this activity will not only keep your children occupied, but you’ll also get to bond with them, so it’s a win-win!
Bring Back the Value of Storytelling
Storytelling is proven to be one of the best ways children absorb information. In fact, storytelling does more than entertain children with fancy stories of adventure; scientists have discovered that children who have stories read to them at an early age develop empathy, improve their theory of mind, and do significantly better in school. With all this extra time, reading together can be a great bonding activity and encourages your little ones to stay academically active.
If the workflow isn’t giving you enough time to read stories with your kids, maybe a podcast or an audiobook can help! Let your child pick an audiobook with you and be sure to ask them plenty of questions after they finish it.
Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
Your children might get a little antsy about the fact that they can’t play outside for the time being. Let’s face it, being quarantined with the fear of a deadly virus is scary, annoying, and downright uncomfortable, no matter what age you are. Rather than avoiding the topic and your child’s feelings entirely, here are some tips for to spark a healthy conversation about current situation:
- Ask them first on what they know about the virus. If they are on the older side, they may be more aware of the news. Comfort them and correct any misinformation and tell them that home-quarantine is essential for them to be safe. If your child is younger and they can’t understand much about the virus, you may want to be more cautious about discussions that can increase the likelihood of fear and anxiety.
- Never dismiss your child’s fear about the virus. Instead of brushing it off by telling them that it will be okay, acknowledge that their anxiety is valid and ask them how you can help with coping.
- Emphasize the value of home quarantine and good hygiene. Tell them that for the time being, everyone needs to stay at home so that the virus won’t spread any further. Ask them to always wash their hands and be a good role model by demonstrating good hygiene constantly. You now have a captive audience watching your every move – take advantage of the attention!
Although everyone is itching to be outside to breathe fresh air, enjoy the warmth of the sun, and socialize with friends and family, the best thing everyone can do is stay at home. If we all take the necessary responsibility to follow health guidelines, it won’t be too long before your kids are out of the house and are playing under the sun!
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Meggie Nahatakyan is a Marketing Manager at Muchneeded. Meggie is a marketing expert and a data junkie with more than six years of experience in the field. Aside from being a marketing nerd, she loves taking her life to the extreme with bungee jumping and skydiving when she feels some freedom.
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