It’s not easy to get out of your normal routine with your kids. Especially if you’re facing shelter-at-home orders from the government in the midst of the pandemic, having to stay home with your children all day, every day, can be challenging. Boredom will set in quickly, or you might find that your kids want to be on their electronics all day.
Despite that, you can use this unique opportunity as a bonding experience. You’re spending time with them in a way you couldn’t before. This is also a scary and uncertain time, and though you may not have all of the answers, being there for your kids can help to reassure them that everything is going to be okay.
So, what can you do with your kids in the wake of a school closure to keep everyone happy and healthy?
Firstly, especially considering the importance of health and wellness in this time, getting your whole family involved in spring cleaning can help to eliminate harmful germs from the house and will get everyone feeling a bit more refreshed.
You can get your kids by having them clean their own rooms. If they feel overwhelmed by the task, make it a game. Set a timer and give them these tasks:
- Put everything in its proper place
- Make sure everything is organized using storage bins or lockers.
See who can get done the fastest, making sure it’s still done correctly. A little healthy competition can be a great motivator!
Having a clean house can set a tone of positivity as you move forward through this long break. Getting your kids involved will make the process go by quicker, and they’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment. Once everything is clean, you can take the opportunity to redecorate. Now more than ever, a fresh start can feel good. Bring your home to life for the spring with bold colors, floral accents, or soft, neutral pieces that can bring comfort and peace throughout this chaos.
Set Up a Homeschooling Routine
There’s a good chance this current school closure could flow right into summer for some students, so the break could be even longer than originally expected. What can you do to keep your kids learning during this time? One of the best options is to set up a homeschooling routine.
Even if your kids are e-learning through their school, that will only take up a part of their day. It’s up to you to supplement that.
First, create a learning environment by setting up a homeschool classroom. While the kids are on this break, one particular room should be used solely for schooling, and you should arrange it to feel more like a classroom:
- A sturdy desk for kids
- Cabinets for storage
- Craft bins
- Individual cubbies
How you structure your day is up to you, but most people, including kids, benefit from some kind of routine. Try to mimic most of the things they learn in school. You can find many sample schedules online that include times for the various subjects. By dedicating certain hours of the day to learning, you can keep some structure in your children’s lives during this time when everything seems so unstructured and uncertain.
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Cook Meals Together
Another great bonding activity that you can do is to cook together. Your kids can learn a lot through cooking, and if they’re picky eaters, they may be more likely to try something if they helped make it.
In the kitchen, it’s especially important to keep things clean and to practice proper hygiene. Other illnesses including the flu and colds can still spread during this time, so make sure your kids wash their hands before they start cooking. It’s also a good idea to continuously wipe down your counters and cooking surfaces with sanitizing wipes. Other food safety habits to teach your kids include the following:
- Not using the same cutting boards for meats and vegetables
- Using thermometers to ensure safe temperatures for meats and poultry
- Continuously washing utensils
- Don’t cook for others if you’re feeling sick
Cooking is a great way to continue teaching your kids. It uses elements of science and math as well as creativity and imagination. Try looking up some recipes together and letting your kids pick out ones they want to try. Food can be a big comfort during times of turmoil, and cooking it together as a family can make the whole experience feel special.
Even if you’re cooped up at home for the next several weeks, it’s all about perspective. Will certain times be harder than others? Yes, but, if you view this as a special bonding time for you and your kids and take the opportunity to try new things with them, it will be a period of time you can look back on with happy memories.
Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book.
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