Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused widespread panic in communities where the virus has been confirmed. The government has called for closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and other places where large amounts of people congregate. With many school closings happening across the United States, parents are struggling to keep their homebound children occupied. We've come up with a list of ways to keep kids entertained while on lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak.
Establish a Family Routine
It's pretty well known that children are happier when their day is structured. According to researchers, kids learn time management and attention skills through routines that bring about family stability. While your child is out of school, you can still create a schedule rather than just relying on random activities. Activities may include everything from chores and homework to nature walks and game playing to arts and crafts. Get the kids involved by letting them choose some of the activities and design a chart that they'll be proud to stick on the refrigerator.
Read Books and Encourage Critical Thinking
When done interactively, reading can be a great language and literacy activity for kids. Rather than reading to them or them reading to you, encourage your child to ask questions, predict what's going to happen, talk about pictures, describe what the characters might be feeling and so on. You can also have your child read a book that's been made into a movie then discuss the differences between the two versions. Any of these types of activities get children to put on their critical thinking caps to make sound decisions.
Turn Household Duties Into Learning Experiences
No matter the chore, there are lessons to be learned within each. Motivate kids to participate in helping to do things around the house but make it fun and educational. Cooking, for example, is one of the most versatile activities that you can use. Measuring ingredients requires math skills, following a recipe requires reading literacy and mixing ingredients can become a science lesson. Similar activities can be done with cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc.
Incorporate Crazy and Unforgettable Activities
The Internet is loaded with fun and crazy activities, it's just a matter of taking time to search for them. Amidst the looming toilet paper shortage, jokes and memes have been spreading on social media faster than the coronavirus. While you probably won't have to take drastic measures like gathering leaves from the backyard, you and your kids can learn how to make your own TP. This can be a valuable survivalist activity that your kids will never forget. But, be warned… kids love to say "poop" and find it hilarious.
While on lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis, there are many ways to entertain kids other than TV, video games and mobile device. Establish a routine so kids know what to expect and won't be as likely to get bored. Fill the routine with activities designed to be fun and learning like reading a book or helping to cook a meal. Make things interesting by looking for activities that are out of the ordinary, like making your own TP.