Times are challenging with the lockdown imposed in many countries. You’re not allowed to go to your office, and your children aren’t allowed to go to their schools. Some will see this as an opportunity to spend more time with their children, but as the days pass by with no end in sight of the lockdown being lifted, parents will definitely see that their children need more activities to keep themselves occupied. Sitting on the couch and watching tv is alright but not for the entire day, as well as on a daily basis and becoming a couch potato. Both parents and children must stay active, healthy and occupied during this period.
One activity for parents to teach children is basic cooking. Cooking is a very important survival skill that everyone should know. Showing children that cooking is fun, is great way to start them on the path of developing their cooking skills. Who knows? The child that you mentor could be the next Gordon Ramsay in a few years’ time!
The next suggestion would be playing games with your children. With the lockdown at hand, children would naturally play with iPhones and tablets for hours without end. Statistics have proven gradual worsening eyesight of young children related to more exposure to the blue light emitted from electronic devices. So, spend time with your children by playing games with them like Monopoly, Cluedo, hide and seek, scrabble, Uno, etc. This way, your child won’t feel lonely, is kept occupied, and having fun spending some quality time with the parents.
Scrabble can improve your child’s vocabulary, including yours, as you play further and further. Monopoly can teach you child the basics about business and how to manage their resources to avoid bankruptcy. Who knows, your child may become a brilliant businessperson (another Warren Buffet?) in the future, finding inspiration and enjoyment from this game. Cluedo on the other hand, can sharpen one’s investigative skills and be on the lookout to spot relevant clues and make deductions just like a detective or policeman.
Unlike the games above, Uno has several benefits rather than just one main benefit. First, it teaches one to properly strategize to win, making them think before placing the card. Second, it helps them recognize and differentiate the colours, as you need to both differentiate different colours as well as recognize the same colours in order to play and win the game. Along with this, Uno will improve the mathematical and memory skills of a child, as one needs to quickly recognize the numbers and what to do with them. Lastly, playing this game will help children be familiar with card games, teaching them how to hold and handle their cards.
If you’re the type of person who used to go to studios to practice yoga or Pilates before the lockdown, you might want to consider doing it along with your children. There are many yoga and Pilates centres that have gone online, so as to keep in touch with their clients. Due to the lockdowns, many centres offer family workouts where everyone can join in. Children as we know, have an easier time stretching their muscles as young muscles are more supple and have a greater flexibility range. Focusing on their flexibility in the early years will give them an advantage, as they will have an easier time maintaining that flexibility when they get older.
A couple I know, who are fortunate to have a well-equipped mini-gym at home, plan daily workouts involving their three young children. A board game was improvised using home-made cards to be drawn. The cards were captioned “Do 10 squats before advancing 5 spots”, “Do 5 push ups with a partner before going back 2 spots”, etc., which both the adults and kids found fun to do.
Another good game to play with young children is the Obstacle Course game. Anything safe and unbreakable that can be found in the kitchen or pantry (your wok, baking tins, saucepans, the laundry basket) can be used to lay out a simple obstacle course for the children to go over or around in a certain way, perhaps all the way up and down as well, with simple prizes comprising of whatever can be found at home, eg, fried chicken (everyone’s favorite) or even cookies.
Drawing is another creative way of passing some hours. Give the children a certain subject, example, a family portrait, a birthday party, having a picnic outdoors, bathing the family pet, etc., and ask them to visualize and put down their thoughts and feelings into their drawing, making use of as many colours possible for the picture to be as bright and cheerful as possible.
If you are lucky to have a home karaoke system, use it to your advantage. Organize a singing contest, though mind the volume level so you won’t upset the neighbours who are stuck indoors as well.
There are many more creative ways to keep your children and yourselves healthy and occupied during this lockdown. A bit of imagination will go a long way to keep everyone happy and healthy.
20th April 2020 23:43
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