With the recent and rapid spread of the Coronavirus around the U.S, quarantine is proving to be a very stressful time for parents as they try to juggle working at home and keeping their children occupied and up to date with their schoolwork.
It won’t be long for those kiddos start getting stir crazy, but never fear! Dan Pegram, children’s author of Pop-Pop Airplane, How Do You Fly?, has developed a great list of activities that will bring the whole family together and keep everyone sane at the same time.
Here are Dan’s top 10 ways to keep the kids from driving you insane during quarantine.
Continue your children’s assigned schoolwork. Most schools are providing guidance and lessons via the Internet. Just like the classroom environment, make this time structured and devoted to accomplishing their daily assignments. Also, create a workspace for the school age kids equipped with a chair, lamp, pencil holder, crayons, etc.
2. Engage Without Electronics
Limit their time in front of the television, video games, computers and iPad type devices. This may prove difficult at first but if you’re creative this could turn into a blessing in disguise. Assign them simple chores to do so they can earn time on these devices. We have all become increasing addicted to our cell phones and computers. Spending more time engaged with your children during this uncertain period is comforting and lets them know how much you care.
3. Go Outside
Plan activities outside and show your children how we used to entertain ourselves before the Internet and social media. Go for hikes in your neighborhood or on local trails and look for birds and other wildlife. Look up bird species in your area and then see how many you can spot. This could turn into a lifelong hobby. It did for me.
4. Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are perfect for promoting creativity and learning new skills. My granddaughters and I try to build something out of balsa wood every time we visit. I do the cutting and they do the building. There are numerous sites online for arts and crafts projects. YouTube art classes are great and age-appropriate. Pick a few and get started. It’s a great way to spend time together and be creative. Our grandson and his friends are coloring pictures for each other and putting them in each other’s mailboxes to keep busy and stay in touch with their nearby friends. I recently built three birdhouses and mailed two to our granddaughters. I kept one and we’re decorating them as a project and plan to share our finished products. Putting puzzles together is also a great way to pass the time.
5. Cook Something Together
There’s no better way to teach your kids a valuable skill than by cooking. Dust off your cookbooks, pick a couple of simple recipes and let the magic begin. Your children will learn about ingredients and through measuring will learn a little about fractions. Plan your meals together and let them do some of the simple things like measuring the ingredients, greasing a pan or setting the table. Spending time together at the dinner table talking about the days’ events, discussing this quarantine situation at their level and planning for tomorrow can’t be over-emphasized. This may be new to some but you will find this time very enriching.