With the coronavirus pandemic causing mandatory quarantines, social distancing, and business and school closures, many parents feel overwhelmed with the task of having to work from home and homeschool their children.
If you are worried about how to entertain your children while they are stuck indoors, we have some great brain stimulating activities that can help make your time indoors a little more bearable.
Try out an art class on YouTube. If you struggle with art or being creative with your children, there are plenty of art classes for children of all ages and levels on YouTube. Children’s book illustrator Mo Williams is currently leading classes on YouTube. The Today Show also has free classes for children on their website.
Have your children participate in music classes on YouTube. There are tons of free music classes available on YouTube. Most classes don’t require the use of any instruments. If you don’t have any musical instruments, you can easily make shakers with empty Easter eggs, rice, and tape.
Download a FREE book. Book loving bloggers, like the author of the Everyday Reading Blog, have created lists of places to get FREE books online for children and adults. You can even host a virtual book club with your friends.
Listen to a live reading from one of your favorite authors. Many popular authors and actors have uploaded videos to Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, of live readings of their favorite children’s books. Josh Gad (voice of Olaf from Disney’s Frozen) reads a new book daily on Twitter and Jimmy Fallon hosts an online story time.
Try out “kids yoga” on YouTube. Take this time to teach your children of all ages the importance of regular exercise. Regular exercise offers many neurological benefits and yoga is a great way to help your children move their bodies while watching entertaining yoga instructors with Disney themed backgrounds.
Go for a walk or bike ride every day. Getting outside (while permitted and following recommended guidelines) during this hard time is essential for mental health and wellbeing. Remember to wear your helmets to prevent brain injury! For younger children, a walk around the neighborhood can include a nature scavenger hunt, like this free printable one. When outside, try and stay at least six feet away from other people.
Play exercise games with your children to get them moving. You don’t need to have a Wii to get your kids up and moving. Freeze dance, homemade obstacle courses, and volleyball with balloons are perfect ways to get your little ones up and moving.
Complete word searches, scavenger hunts, brainteasers, and cross word puzzles with your older kids. For older kids, get them off of their devices by printing out a free crossword or word search to get their brain working. You can even make a competition out of it by printing one off for you to do, too!
Bake something with your children. – Did you know that there are mental health benefits to cooking? Make sure to include your kids in some of your meal prep or baking your favorite dessert. Your children can practice counting, adding fractions, and practice following directions.
Try out a simple home science experiment with household items. These home science experiments are easy for kids to do and use household items that you probably have in your home.
Keep your toddlers and small children busy. Keep small children out of the cabinets with activities designed for their young minds. The Busy Toddler is a great blog full of activities for small children from toddlers to elementary school ages. Many of the activities are simple, but designed to hold their attention while helping them learn essential skills.
Let your young children make some messes. Let your child still experience the world with their senses by allowing your child to paint, glue, or craft. Then let your child help clean up the mess after. One great sensory activity is to allow children to use washable paint on plastic toys, and then wash the toys in soap water. Water stations can easily be made out of Tupperware, cups, and dish soap. Another simple activity is “rock painting”. Have your children find rocks outside, then use paint to decorate. Easy!
Thank you to all of our providers and nurses who are working hard to still provide exceptional health care to all of our patients. Please stay safe, stay home, practice social distancing, and remember to always wash your hands.
(*This post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with any of the referenced blogs or websites. This post is meant to be a helpful guide to help all parents get through COVID-19.)