Nearly every parent knows the familiar feeling of frustration when they hear their child say, “I’m bored.” Many children today are used to constant stimulation and a jam-packed schedule to keep them busy. But now, with the dangers of COVID-19, many families are practicing social distancing to stay as healthy as possible.
While stuck at home, you AND your children may start to go stir-crazy. It is important to provide your children with activities that do not solely consist of screen time. It may seem like the easy answer to hand them an iPad and go about your day. However, with so much downtime, it could easily foster unhealthy habits.
Here is a list of activities to do with your kids that don’t involve staring at a screen:
Read a book
There’s no better way to inspire imaginative learning than getting lost in a good book. This activity is both fun and educational. Now could be a good time to kick off a multi-book series to keep kids occupied for hours on end.
Draw, paint, and try out other crafts
Nurture your child’s inner Picasso and set up an hour or more dedicated to making art. Break out the paints, crayons and colored pencils, clay—whatever medium your child most prefers—to encourage creative self-expression. Art is also therapeutic and could aid an anxious child during these trying times. Be sure to clear off your fridge to make room to showcase their new pieces!
Learn how to bake or cook
Now is the perfect time to dust off those old recipe books and hunt for some kid-friendly dishes. Teach your child about the different ingredients, baking or cooking process, and the sweet results of working hard in the kitchen.
Teach them common household chores
No child will be immediately thrilled with the idea of putting down their tablet to do chores. However, this could be a great time to teach them the proper way of doing things and instilling the habit of completing these tasks. Start with something easy, such as sorting laundry, making the bed, feeding pets, sweeping small areas, or wiping down surfaces. Doing so can often be a good time to discuss why cleanliness is so important during a virus outbreak.
Play board games
Countless memories can be made while having a family game night. Choose a game to play, such as something simple, like Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land, something a bit more complex like Clue! or Monopoly, or a good old-fashioned card game like Spades or Go Fish. Your child will learn a fun new game and, the best part? You will probably have a great time playing with them!
Engage in exciting science projects
If you’re looking for a STEM-related activity for your child, think about conducting some science experiments with them. Some experiments like Tornado in a Bottle, Diet Coke and Mentos, and Most Absorbent Paper Towels, and more can be done from the comfort of your own home (though you should probably take any messy activities with explosions to the back yard!).
With the Centers for Disease Control advising social distancing, there’s a pretty big chance you will be spending a lot of time at home with your children. Keep them off their screens 24/7 and engage in fun and educational activities that will have a positive impact on children—and parents alike!