With schools shut down for the next two weeks to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, parents are faced with the task of entertaining their kids and finding activities that they can do. Despite so many public facilities shut down, such as libraries and gyms, there are still many fun activities that can be facilitated at home.
Here are some suggestions for things to do with your kids :
- Get outside: With the weather warming up, taking kids outside for a day hike or bike ride, is a wonderful way to help them let off some steam and stay active. Being in nature improves the mood, makes you feel relaxed and has a calming effect on the mind. Check out Boulder’s website for trail closures before heading out. https://www.bouldercounty.org/open-space/parks-and-trails/trail-closures/
- Let kids video chat with their friends: Suggest they play a game like hangman or apples to apples with their friends over video chat.
- Have them research a topic to present to their siblings or family at the end of the day. Some topics may include: what animals live in the outback or what future space travel may look like. They can also pick a country to research and give a presentation on. This activity teaches your kids how to use online references and also gives them experience making a presentation.
- Practice mindfulness with your kids: Mindfulness is teaching kids to focus their attention and awareness on the present moment. A simple exercise to try is setting a stopwatch for 5 minutes and just have them be aware of their 5 senses, such as the feel of their hand on the chair, sounds in the room, texture of the couch or their clothes. Instruct them to be conscious of their own feelings and thoughts without passing judgment, just be, and accept. I am happy to share some worksheets with parents who would like to start this practice at home.
- Watch some movies that uplift the spirit, such as Because of Winn Dixie, Wonder, Akeelah and the Bee, The Waterhorse, Pay it Forward, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music.
- Use the time to complete cleaning projects around the house; Whether it’s organizing their closet, donating toys they no longer use or organizing their schoolwork.
- Read for pleasure: Kids often don’t have time to read for fun because of homework, so let them pick a book of their choosing and enjoy!
- Create a happiness collage: Have kids find images that they like, as well as inspirational quotes and/or poems, and glue them on a poster board. They can use images off of the internet or from magazines.
- Have kids practice gratitude: Ask them to think of what good has come out of their time off from school, such as more time together as a family, learning a new skill…
- Have kids plan and prepare meals every day: Look up some fun recipes online and have kids prepare a meal with your help from start to finish.
- Learn a new hobby such as knitting, painting, diamond painting, and making lanyards. You can look up instructional videos online.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity” Albert Einstein