Are your kids home for spring break or an extended break due to COVID-19? Are you working from home or perhaps not working, but quarantining at home? If you’re finding yourself with a lot of time in close quarters with your kids, you’re not alone.
Experts recommend that to keep everybody from getting antsy and feeling trapped while awaiting the coronavirus to run its course, parents and care givers should establish a loose daily schedule that includes gentle changes of activity and scenery for everyone. Offer an easy rolling set of alternatives from down/alone time, perhaps reading and writing, to cooperative/competitive activities that include individual physical challenges of long and short duration to even long-term, multi-day invitations to build or create something fanciful.
And it’s a perfect time as a family to research, and in age-appropriate ways to discuss, germs and communicative illnesses, vaccines and immunities, along with conditions that boost or reduce susceptibility to illnesses. Children of all ages need some clear guidance about just how unique this coronavirus situation is. This entire ordeal as a learning experience that should be taken seriously and undoubtedly will result in a lifelong “remember when” experience for all of us.
Beyond that, it’s almost certain that children and adults will have more screen time than usual over the coming weeks and that’s not all bad given the expansive options of constructive online offerings for kids and families.
Adults’ first stop for ideas might be a daily updated list of suggestions published by the New York Times: “What to Watch, Listen to and Cook During Your Cornonavirus Self-Quarantine”.
For kids, there’s plenty of opportunities for fun and learning. Here are some suggestions:
- Virtually visit your local library where you’re sure to find many e-books and audio books to enjoy.
- Mo Willems is a children’s book author and illustrator who has given the world several popular series featuring the Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant and Piggie. Mr. Willems has just launched what he calls a “Lunch Doodles” series on YouTube. He describes it as a way to be “isolated and together at the same time.” Just what the doctor ordered!
- And, of course, Unite for Literacy provides free digital picture books for early readers and those new to literacy. There are 500+ books, narrated in up to 47 languages.
- The National Center for Families Learning’s Wonderopolis is a great source for engaging, digital fun for inquisitive minds.
- TheWirecutter.com reviews and recommends educational programs and games. Further, it reviews what it considers to be great board games for kids.
- Take a virtual field trip. Southern Living and Daily Kos recently published round-ups of virtual, cultural experiences.
- And Time magazine has compiled a list of activities for homebound kids.
Hang in there, Folks!