Whether your child is back at school or not, they’re still spending a larger amount of time than normal in the home setting. We’re not yet able to mix and mingle freely and until that time, we need to make sure that our children are safe in our homes or back gardens and that they’re occupied and free of stress and worries.
All of this is easier said than done in the middle of a pandemic. Remember that children pick up on worries and stresses too and they can bottle these up and start to worry unnecessarily without you knowing. It’s important to communicate and be as open as possible (in an age appropriate way), so that your child knows what is going on and why they can’t go out and play with their friend, or why they can’t go and see their grandparents yet.
Aside from being open and encouraging your child to ask questions about anything which they’re not sure of or anything they’re worried about, it’s a good idea to keep them occupied and also to ensure that whatever activities they’re doing, they’re learning something or developing in some way.
If you’re short on ideas, let’s check out a few things you can do with your child during the pandemic, to keep them occupied and actually benefitting at the same time.
15 Activities To Do With Your Children During the Pandemic
Exercise is vital! Exercising together as a family is a great idea because it will add an element of fun and togetherness to the activity and it will also benefit everyone’s health too. You’ll find countless online fitness classes nowadays and yoga is always a great go-to because it helps to reduce stress at the same time. Make sure that you choose a child-friendly exercise class and away you go!
Staying with the exercise theme for a moment, why not head outside as a family and go for a hike? This means you’re getting exercise and fresh air and your child is learning about their natural environment at the same time. Remember to socially distance from other families who are doing the same thing and make sure that you all wear masks and use hand sanitiser whilst out and about.
Unfortunately, the value of money isn’t something which is taught exclusively in school and it needs to be done at home. As you now have the time and space to do so, use the time to teach your child about the value of money in a way which they’re going to understand. You can teach them about what money looks like, if they don’t know yet, you can teach them about other currencies, and you can talk to them about saving. You can also buy a funky piggie bank and start encouraging your child to save some of their pocket money.
You’ll find countless fun apps that help you to learn a new language and you can do this with your child, as a team. Don’t be surprised if your child picks up the language faster than you do, however! Make sure that the app you choose is focused on visual learning and has plenty of practical elements, to keep your child interested.
The imagination of a child knows no bounds and it needs to be encouraged and used as much as possible. It’s easy to suggest just watching a movie or playing a game but that’s not going to help them burn off steam and remain occupied. Instead, build a living room fort with your child out of blankets and cushions. Then, play out a game of pirates or something else that gets their imaginative play working to the max.
With many museums still closed at the moment, it’s not possible to get out together as a family and learn about arts and history. However, the good news is that many museums and galleries have put together virtual tours which you can watch as a family and also feel like you’re there. These tours are totally interactive and they will give your child a little educational fun on an otherwise boring day.
Why not grab some delicious ingredients and make a meal together? Whilst you’re actually doing the bulk of the work, you can make it appear that your child is doing it instead and therefore keep them occupied and totally engaged on the subject! It’s a great idea to get them to do the measuring out of ingredients because this teaches them about measurement and numbers – remember to keep an eye on things however; too much salt is never a good idea!
At the moment there are many people living alone who have to shelter and stay away from their loved ones. This is difficult for everyone but for elderly people who are so used to being around their children and grandchildren, this can be devastating. Talk to your child about doing good deeds for others and perhaps bake some cookies or a cake to drop on the doorstep of an elderly neighbour. They’ll certainly appreciate the thought and your child will learn just how great it feels when you do good deeds for others.
Another good deed suggestion is to declutter toy boxes together and donate the unwanted toys to less fortunate children, via a charity. This one is likely to be tough, because your child is probably going to want to hold onto every toy they have, but this activity will make them aware of how lucky they are to have the things they have and how some children have far less.
If you have a back garden, why not dig up a small space and allow your child to plant flowers, or even vegetables and herbs they can look after and cultivate? If you don’t have space, you can do this in small pots that you keep in your kitchen window. The idea is that your child is learning about how green things grow and how to look after them and nurture them into life.
It’s time to grab the glitter glue as it’s arts and crafts time! Again, your child is probably away from elderly relatives at the moment and it’s nice to make them something. Encourage your child to create something special from them for someone they’re missing, be it a painting, a scarf, a trinket, or something else entirely.
LEGO is fantastic for hand-eye coordination and again, it’s fantastic for imaginative play. If you don’t have any LEGO currently, there are plenty of second hand sets you can buy online. This will certainly keep your child occupied for at least a few hours! Set them a challenge and away they go.
Set some time aside to dress up and act out your child’s favourite stories. This can be via a puppet show, face painting, or raiding the dressing up box (or your wardrobe) and creating fun costumes. Then, do some acting and let your child’s imagination run free. Its sure to tire them out and will probably lead to another acting session in the not too distant future, as they want to recreate all of their favourite tales.
You’ll find countless learning apps nowadays and all you need to do is find the best age appropriate ones for your child. Then, spend some time exploring the app with your child and playing some games. Remember to have breaks when using a device and to make sure that your child gets up and goes outside for fresh air and exercise. These apps can be very addictive!
This one might take a little effort on your part but put together a themed treasure hunt and set up clues which your child has to follow to find hidden treasure in your back garden. Not only will it keep them occupied but it will engage all of their senses, proving to be the best educational type of imaginative play there is.
These 15 activities are all fantastic for the current time. All you need to do is set some quality time to one side and let your own creativity run wild. Your child will love spending quality time with you, you’ll feel the same, and you’ll also help to alleviate stress on both sides by focusing on fun-filled learning.