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With the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic around the world, more and more people are in quarantine. Most of the schools have been closed and most of the jobs are being attended to remotely to keep the infection rate low.
Now parents around the world are faced with a dilemma about how to occupy their children without sitting in front of the television all day. If the thought of having to keep your kids entertained without the help of school or being able to leave your home makes you panic, don't worry, here is the list of 10 ways to keep your kids happy and healthy at home:
When children cannot be physically active, frustration and boredom soon ensue. There are endless ways to help kids stay active when they can't travel. It can help set up an obstacle course around the house or in the backyard. You can also end the day with small sets of exercises like rope jumping, yoga, stair climbing, or even playing a game of catching.
-Maintain a schedule
Daily life has changed for all of you, and the best way to adapt to sudden changes is to stick to a schedule. Helping children stay regulated on their regular schedule will keep energy levels maintained and frustration to a minimum.
- Sleep: Maintaining a normal sleep schedule helps children sleep better. The consistency also helps prepare their minds and bodies for bed, leading them to fall asleep faster.
- Meals: keep the same meal times that your children are used to. If they are hungry between meals, offer them a healthy snack, such as fruits or vegetables, to control them. Having an established meal plan helps children get all the nutrients they need and avoids overeating, lowering their risk of obesity.
Involve your children in creating a daily plan each morning. Asking them how they want to spend the day will help them feel cared for and heard. It also prevents monotony, which prevents boredom and frustration in the future. Keeping your children involved every day will help keep a clear mind and reduce stress levels.
-Gain time in front of the screen
It can be easy to rationalize letting kids watch TV all day, since they are stuck at home. Instead of letting them sit there for hours, ask them to spend time in front of the screen. Ask your child to do some chores, adjust what you ask him to do based on his skill level. Have teens vacuum or have teens put away their plates or pick up their toys. This will help your children contribute around the house and develop their levels of independence.
Children need alone time as much as adults. Section of spaces in the house that can be dedicated to reading, listening to music or simply relaxing. It is important to respect alone time as well as family time. It is difficult for children and adults to go from days filled with independent activities to being forced into endless family time. Time will only reduce stress and friction between family members.
-Keep in touch
It is important for children to feel connected to others outside the home. Setting times for kids to call friends or use social media to stay connected with their social circle can ease mental stress. Children are used to elevated social settings and need the mental stimulation that goes with them.
Although some schools are switching to online learning systems, there are some that are not. Even with online learning, it is important to supplement children's education with other activities. Help your child stay sharp with fun science kits, sentence puzzles or math books.
- Family council
It is important to make sure that you and your children are on the same page. Holding a regular family council will help promote discussion among family members. This is a time to let everyone voice their concerns, what challenges they are struggling with, what everyone's strengths are, and how each person can help each other. Discussing everyone's concerns and expectations will reduce stress levels and help plan each day to support individual needs.
Just because you can't leave your home doesn't mean you can't travel. Many museums offer self-guided online tours of their exhibits. Take the time to teach your children about art history and culture. Start with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum. If your children want to learn about cultural supervision, Google Arts & Culture offers virtual tours of many international museums.
Most importantly, don't stress and have fun. It is a wonderful experience to have more time with the family. Spend time together playing board games, showing each other your competitive sides. Complete a giant puzzle to improve the team's skills. Make art and have a homemade art show, showcasing everyone's talent. The weeks can seem different for a while, the best way to get through them is to be together as a family.