OK Mums and Dads you're trying to juggle working from home and your kids remote learning. The kids are running wild because the latest Baby Yoda Plush isn't keeping them occupied and they can't see their friends and have a slumber party. You are at your wits end and this lockdown is not helping. What to do?
Fear not, below are 7 different activities your child can get on with whilst you attend that all important work conference call and you can regroup after to share in their joy. Hope this helps!
1. Encourage Exercise
Lockdown has definitely provided more opportunities to exercise. There are a number of challenges about (e.g. 1000 mile walk challenge) and as a family you could definitely take advantage of the great outdoors. Running in the park, walking in the countryside, dusting off the bikes, playing in playgrounds etc. When it snows the kids can still go into the backyard and build snowmen. When it rains they can take advantage of the water for sensory play (e.g. jumping in puddles). Nowadays it is also possible to exercise indoors as well. The NHS's Change 4 Life website has a selection of free indoor activities for your younger kids. Exercise video games are also an option. From the Wii to the Xbox there are fitness games for kids of different ages. Check out Raising Tween and Teen Girls website for different video game options.
2. Get Arty
Getting arty does not necessarily mean a big mess and doing more laundry. Children are naturally creative and need opportunities to be creative. Creativity aids development from physical development (e.g. fine motor skills) to communicative development (e.g. art as expression). It could be as simple as doing a free colouring page with some washable markers or crayons. You can print off colouring pages on Crayola's website or encourage digital art through Disney's free online colouring pages. For other more adventurous art projects check out Free Kids Craft.
However, getting arty also means visiting art galleries, concerts, theatres etc and appreciating British culture. Due to lockdown this has been limited. However, many art galleries and museums are offering online tours. Check out The National Gallery's Virtual Tour or The British Museum
3. Create a Club House
Whether this is in your living room with cushions, blankets and recycled cardboard or outside in a tent this can keep the little ones occupied for hours. From setting it up, to decorating it, to bringing in snacks and coming up with a secret password, this can be fun for all. Check out "How to Build a Pillow Fort" from SciShow Kids on YouTube for the science behind a fort.
4. Read a Story Together
So I have written "together" here so it is not really an independent activity. It can be though. Reading can include audio books for kids so they can listen and do other projects at the same time. Check out Audible's free stories for kids. If you have an Alexa you can link Audible to Alexa and choose a kids story. Just say "Alexa, open Audible Stories". Reading can include simply picking up a book and reading (e.g. a story book that is dotting around the house). Most of the libraries are currently closed but some libraries offer free online library book services. For example, check out Borrow Box app with your local library. You can read books online or even using a Kindle app on your phone. There are paid services such as Kindle Unlimited or free libraries advertised such as Oxford Owl. If your child is learning to read check out Biff, Chip and Kipper books.
Reading together at the end of the day can encourage parent child bonding whilst also improving your child's speaking and listening and literacy level. It has been proven that children who read at home outperform children who don't.
4. Ready Steady Cook
You are probably looking at this and thinking I am not leaving my 5 year old alone in the kitchen and this is certainly what I didn't mean. Why not get them to design their own recipe which you then make together and try it out later? This could be creating their own breakfast cereal, designing a cookie shape or choosing a pasta filling or pizza topping. Ever tried melted chocolate and marshmallow pizza?!
5. Independent Project
What does your child love? Do they enjoy stamp collecting, building Lego projects, animal conservation, films, computer programming, video games, playing a musical instrument…? The list is endless but independent learning boosts self-confidence, encourages children to think metacognitively and helps them learn a new skill. Allowing your child the freedom to choose enables them to make decisions and discover what they like and dislike turning them into individuals.
If your child is struggling to find a hobby or interest why not choose from Aarochi Achwal's "40 Unique Hobby Ideas for Children".
6. Get a tutor
As well as all the benefits of getting a tutor, tutoring offers parents time out knowing that their child is being looked after and learning in a safe environment. Parents can get on with important tasks or support siblings whilst their other child is learning new skills such as maths, literacy or art.
RK Tutors offers online tuition to children aged year 2 to GCSE in academic subjects such as Maths and English as well as Art and Art History.
For more information please visit www.rktutors.com