The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and other parts of the world continues to restrict social interactions. To follow health protocols and prevent the spread of the virus, everyone has to stay at home for an indefinite period.
For families, this COVID-19 restriction has its benefits and setbacks. The good thing is that parents and their children can now spend more time together. But parents have to keep in mind that social isolation can also badly affect their child’s development.
Growing up in a Pandemic
Today, the “new normal” for kids means that they can’t go to school, meet their friends, nor play outside. Being stuck indoors for a long time can make them feel frustrated, sad, and angry. These negative emotions take a toll on their mental health and might have short- and long-term consequences.
This is why the role of parents in their child’s life is more important than ever. As a parent, you have to ensure that your children keep on learning and having fun while they’re stuck at home. Of course, this is not an easy task because children get bored and distracted easily.
To overcome this challenge, you have to come up with creative ideas to get your child’s attention and support their growth in four key areas: physical development, cognitive development, language development, and social-emotional development.
Family Activities to Do at Home
One of the best ways to help children learn is to allow them to experience different things. There are various activities that they can do to explore their interests and develop skills, which they can use to adapt to any situation as they grow older.
If you have no idea where to start, here are some indoor and outdoor activity ideas that you can try out with your kids.
Make use of your front yard or back yard to let them play and stay active. Physical activities are a good exercise and are essential to improve their health.
- Camping — You can set up a tent together and teach them how to use other camping equipment. At night, you can start a campfire or go stargazing. Doing this activity can make your children appreciate playing in a natural environment.
- Swimming — If you have a pool at home, you can start teaching your kids how to swim. But before you do that, make sure that you have safety measures in place. You can check out swimming pool fences sold online and buy one that fits your needs. This way, you can secure the area and prevent any drowning accident when your kids are unsupervised.
- Gardening — Teaching your kids how to plant seeds and take care of plants helps them develop a sense of responsibility. When they start gardening, they will have something to look forward to doing every day. When their plants bear fruit, they will also feel proud of their hard work.
- Scavenger Hunt — Hide objects around the area and give your kids clues to figure out where to find them. Searching for the items can take a lot of time, so this will keep your kids entertained and occupied. This activity will also help develop their problem-solving skills.
Transform your living room or an extra room in your house into a play area. Instead of letting your kids stay on the couch all day, encourage them to try out these indoor activities.
- Science Projects — Assisting your kids in doing science experiments is a good learning experience for them. For example, you can do the classic baking soda volcano experiment. When you do an activity together, you strengthen your bond with them and keep them safe.
- Virtual Field Trips — Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to have a tour in different places online. Different organizations offer this service at no cost. Take this opportunity to show your children places that you can visit once the pandemic is over. Explore museums, art galleries, zoos, and other interesting sites virtually.
- Game Nights — Introduce your kids to different child-friendly board games. This will help them learn how to follow instructions and how to have a healthy competition. While playing board games, they can get familiarized with the concept of winning and losing.
- Virtual Meetups — Even if you can’t meet your loved ones personally, you can still have video calls with them by using online meeting apps. Let your kids stay in touch with their friends and other family members by scheduling virtual meetups. This way, they can still have social interactions and develop their communication skills.
Better Parenting in Times of Crisis
Parents play a crucial role in their child’s growth and development. To do your part as a parent effectively, you also have to take good care of yourself. Working parents are now working from home, and the stress caused by juggling work-related tasks and household chores can lead to burnout. Be careful not to overwork yourself, so you can still have the energy to spend quality time with your children and create wonderful memories with them.