With schools and daycares across the state closed for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, thousands of kids are suddenly home and looking for something to do. Below are some tips to help your kids — and you! — navigate this new and uncertain time.
Create a routine or daily schedule. Creating a new routine for your time at home will help your child know what to expect, which enhances their sense of control. Include wake up/bed times, meal times, screen time and activity time into your routine. Other ideas include: chore/task time, art time, reading time and alone/quiet time.
Have and keep rules for behavior. It may be tempting to let rules and boundaries slide during this time, but children feel secure when they know what behaviors are expected. Keep clear rules and consistent consequences during your time at home. This is important on any normal day.
Self-expression activities. Young children are still learning how to communicate. This can make expressing their fears about the changes in their lives challenging. Use creative methods such as play, art or music to give your child healthy ways to express their thoughts and feelings.
Video chat. Stay in touch with friends and family members by using video chat such as FaceTime or Skype. This can help you and your child feel connected to the people you care about.
Get active. Take time every day to exercise. This can help everyone in your family feel strong and healthy. Bonus: it will also help your child burn off some energy! Try family-geared yoga videos or make an indoor obstacle course. YouTube is a great resource for finding family friendly exercise videos.
Practice mindfulness. Make time each today to practice mindfulness. This will help everyone in your family cope with the stress of being cooped up inside.
Here are a few mindfulness suggestions:
Try something new. Make the most of your time together and learn something new as a family. Try out some new card games, create a family art project or learn a fun dance routine together.
Self-care. Take care of yourself. This should be a daily priority. Take a bubble bath, read a book or watch your favorite TV show after the kids go to bed. This can help your family get the best of you, not the rest of you!
Keep busy. Below are some ideas for simple activities you can do in your home to keep your child busy during these long days.
Arts and crafts
Cardboard box play