There is no doubt, that keeping kids (and teenagers) busy during this time of social and physical distancing is hard work! The first few days together went smoothly but now we’re hearing “I’m bored” and “I wanna see my friends”. So, what do we do? How do we manage our kids to create structure in their day-to- day?
We’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind while you and your family navigate through the coming weeks:
- Be patient. Give your kids (especially your teens or tweens) time to adjust. For many kids, especially those in their teens, this time to adjust is especially important. Many who were active in sports, school clubs, or other activities have had these come to a screeching halt. Give them some space, suggest other ways to keep busy, such as a new hobby, project or new skill they would like to learn. Learn to cook a new dish, or play guitar, or even a new language. Everyone has put off something they have wanted to do – now there is the time, so let’s get to it!
- Get or stay connected. There are so many ways your kids can connect with friends, even while physical distancing. If you have younger kids, set-up Facetime or Skype playdates. You will be amazed how just seeing a friend’s face will brighten your kid’s day!
- Keep active. Make sure you get outside for a walk or bike ride every day. The fresh air and sunshine have immeasurable effects on how you feel. Just remember, social distancing doesn’t mean you cannot go outside. It just means you need to stay away from others – at least six feet apart.
- Schoolwork. We all want our kids to succeed even though we are uncertain when the school doors will be open again. Many schools and teachers are coming up with innovative ways to stay connected to their classrooms. Some teachers are teaching online, some are recording class lectures, and some are recommending self-guided homework. In addition, the Ontario Government has launched Learn at Home – a web portal with links to elementary and secondary school content and other resources at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home. It’s important to remember that kids need structure.
- Other fun activities. There are so many ways to stay busy while at home. Here are some ideas to try:
- Start a puzzle
- Play a game
- Make a vision board https://blog.mindvalley.com/vision-board/
- Paint a picture or paint by numbers
- Make up your own choreography for a TikTok https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-use-tik-tok/
- Do an online workout – yoga, barre, or weight class online
- Listen to kid-friendly podcasts https://www.parents.com/parenting/technology/podcasts-your-kids-should-be-listening-to/
- Have a virtual visit at a famous museum around the world like the Guggenheim in New York or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
And most of all, stay in and stay healthy and safe!