With movie theatres, YMCA camps, libraries and schools being closed, are you having trouble thinking of positive ways of keeping your children entertained?
Yesterday was a perfect day to spend some time in the kitchen making St. Patrick’s Day cookies. Involve the children in measuring, mixing, cutting out the shapes and then the fun part of decorating and eating them.
Depending on the age of the child, let them use a crinkle chopper to help get vegetables ready for a salad, e.g., cucumber, hard-boiled eggs, etc. An older child could handle cutting potatoes and carrots.
Going for a hike can be a fun thing to do – watching for birds or playing I Spy – while at the same time getting some fresh air and exercise. Or hide some new, inexpensive toys (or toys they may have forgotten about!) in the backyard, and then give the child clues as to whether they are getting hotter (closer) or colder (farther away) as they look behind bushes and trees. This could even be Easter Eggs with Easter approaching.
Dig out some things to make crafts, for example – colourful wrapping paper, empty cardboard tubes, yarn, stickers, paints and more. Let the child decide what they will create.
Learn about the world
If you are concerned about your child missing school, a number of educational programs are being offered by virtual reality including a tour of The San Diego Zoo, The Great Wall of China, Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach and more. Activities that would normally not be free and for most, too far away.
Learn about how we’ve handled pandemics in the past
Experts recommend talking to small children about the virus if they ask, and then with the assurance that we are doing things like carefully washing our hands and staying home to stay healthy.
For older kids (grades 3-5), I have a novel Grounded and an activity book to go with it. It has lots of fun activities and older children can learn about how kids in the past lived through a pandemic. This might also be a time for learning about what life was like for their grandparents and great-grandparents, who will probably remember the polio pandemic.