5 Fun Ways To Engage Kids At Home During Social Isolation
So how’s lockdown going with you and the kids? With homeschooling and WFH for many of us, the reality might seem pretty daunting and uphill. Keeping children busy and happy – and making sure they’re not watching too much television/digital content – seems like a big ask. After all, who has the time to plan a spreadsheet of character-building, mind-stretching activities?
So while it might seem like a futile battle, fret not because there’s a whole range of stuff – educational and fun – that you can plan into their day. But before we get to the list, we recommend that you have a structure. Divide the activities for kids at home into a timetable and stick it on the fridge so that everyone can see it. Have time set out for educational tasks and break it up with fun activities to keep your kids engaged and happy.
And one other tip – don’t stress about filling every moment of their day. And even more important, don’t stress if they do end up watching a bit more telly or playing computer games. We are all right now in a unique situation, and it’s all about balance. So, on with the activity ideas.
1. Allot Household Chores
No matter how hyperactive your kid is, you can always sit them down, explain the situation, and ask them to help you with everyday tasks. It is easier when you get children to schedule these tasks themselves. This way, they will feel responsible and trusted. However, make sure you have enough time allotted for play, reading, TV, etc. as well.
Tip – Create a fun playlist on Gaana to keep them engaged through their tasks.
2. Plan Indoor Games
The best answer to how to engage your kids is by letting them play a lot of games – something that will not make them miss playing in the park. Teach them exciting card games and board games like monopoly, UNO, business, etc. You can even help them make their games or jigsaw puzzles. There are also several games you can print off the Internet.
3. Make Screen-Time Meaningful
How does one decide how much screen time is good or bad for kids? Also, it cannot be forgotten that most children will not happily agree to the time slots assigned by parents. The best way to make them feel they can enjoy television or the Internet restriction-free is by letting them watch meaningful content. Documentaries for children, plays, educational films, etc. are the best options. You can even make them enjoy video calls to grandparents or other relatives who they don’t get to meet usually.
4. Get Them To Help You With Cooking
Cooking can be therapeutic not just for adults but also for kids. Of course, you should be careful and not allow children near the gas stove or handling knives. But you can certainly get them to help with cleaning groceries, kneading dough, mixing batters, etc. This will keep them occupied and distracted from the boredom of being at home 24*7, and also give a sense of accomplishment. For some easy recipes- click here.
5. Participate In Craft Projects With Them
Every child has some colouring books, watercolors, stickers, craft paper, etc. available with them. Else, you can use newspapers, strings, cardboard, and similar items lying around to create journals or craft projects with your children. You can even print out colouring sheets from the Internet for them. Fun additions like painting with their fingers, using old toothbrushes as paintbrushes are fun for kids too.
Amid all this, make sure you let them have some time of their own as well – where they can plan their own activities, call friends and chat over the phone, paint, sketch, read, or enjoy nap time.
That’s not all – here are some expert tips to help you plan activities for kids at home and keep them engaged during these days of social distancing.
- Talk to them about the situation in an age-appropriate way – If your child is old enough to be asking questions, answer them as honestly as you can and assure them that the situation is being handled by competent authorities.
- Stick to a routine – Maintaining structure is important for children, so it’s best to stick to a routine. Keep them engaged through the day with activities that they like and enjoy.
- Limit news consumption – With the large volume of information coming in from different sources, it’s important to limit children’s news consumption. Turn off the news. You may start to feel better a lot quicker than you realize – this tip holds good for both adults and children
- Practise mindfulness – If your child is experiencing anxiety, try practicing mindfulness with them. This practice can include relaxation exercises, meditation or positive visual imagery, like remembering a time you went on a holiday or a fun thing you did last summer.