Keeping Busy: Kids in Quarantine
For many people around the world, the COVID-19 outbreak means being trapped indoors. The schools are closed and, for parents, that means dealing with kids in quarantine. For today’s blog, let’s step away from safety for a moment and talk about keeping our children occupied while they need to stay inside.
Structure for Kids in Quarantine
When it comes to occupying the time of kids in quarantine, one tactic is the most important: structure. Even though kids may seem to love running around causing chaos, they actually crave routine. It’s how they learn to understand the world and can even help to improve their psychological development.
Before we get started with some fun ideas, here are some ways to maintain structure for your kids in quarantine:
- Go to bed at a normal time. Just because school is out doesn’t mean the rules don’t apply. Parents should maintain normal bedtimes for their children.
- Eat at regular times. Breakfast, lunch and dinner should remain at their appropriate times. This divides the day clearly and reinforces normalcy.
- Teach and play in usual intervals. If you’re teaching your kids at home, remind them that there is a time for work and a time for play. Keeping these separate will greatly help you to maintain order.
Keeping the Fun Alive
Now that we’ve gotten the structure part out of the way, let’s talk about some ideas that will keep energetic kids in quarantine happy!
Games, Arts and Crafts
Board games and puzzles are a wonderful way for an entire family to bond. Plus, some games can occupy your mind for hours at a time. Additionally, arts and crafts are a great way to keep the creativity flowing. With just some marker and construction paper, your children can let their imaginations run wild. Luckily, filling the pages with whatever their creative minds can conjure up will also occupy some time. Parents can show off their kids’ art by displaying it on the refrigerator door. It’s a time-honored tradition that still works great!
We may be trapped inside, but the world of imagination is always open to readers. This is a great opportunity for kids to discover stories they’ll love for the rest of their lives. For parents of younger children, reading to a child can open up a world of possibilities. It can also be a great way of increasing reading and language comprehension.
Additionally, Storyline Online offers a great series where celebrities read children’s books. Parents and kids in quarantine can read along with the stars. It’s a great way to introduce new stories into their lives.
For a lot of us, cooking is coming back in a big way this month. Many folks are also discovering how to do more with less. For older kids in quarantine, this is a perfect time to learn the useful life skill of cooking. You can even throw in a fractions lesson as you measure out the ingredients. It gives parents and children a reason to spend time together. Even little kids can help out in the kitchen by helping mix ingredients or set the table. The best part of cooking together is that, at the end, you’ll have a new meal you created together. This is instant gratification for everyone.
For inspiration, CoolMomEats has compiled a great list of food documentaries and shows to watch with the kids on popular streaming services.
We’ve written about children and screen time in the past. Obviously, no parent wants their children to stare at a TV or screen all day. That said, it can be difficult to fill every minute of the day and still get things done. It’s ridiculous to expect every parent to have inexhaustible energy to constantly come up with family activities. Screen time can be a blessing… just make sure your kids earn it, and that it never lasts too long. When stuck indoors, it’s a great time to get chores done. Before letting your kids play games, have them help you clean the house or some similar task. That will occupy them for the time it takes to do the task and reward them with some precious game or streaming time!