Surprise! COVID- 19 has caused a shockwave amongst parents as the Department of Education has announced that the State’s schools are closed. Many parents are concerned about the disruption to their child’s education. So, what’s the best way to keep kids learning at home?
This news will not come as a surprise to anyone that experts are telling us to increase the level of physical activity and cut down on time spent in front of a screen. There’s plenty more to do than watch TV! Here are some essential things to keep in mind.
Enforce Daily Routine
This comes as advice from experts and mimics protocols put in place by your local school. Schools moving to online courses have a suite of educational platforms available to support student learning and encourage ongoing connections between students and teachers.
Stay On Top Of Info
Pay attention to new information shared by the school on how online learning will be facilitated. Make sure to download any recommended apps and programs to help support your child’s education.
While social distancing is vital, children need to interact and socialize with their friends and help them strengthen their confidence and social skills. There are a bunch of technology options available to support virtual connections, including FaceTime and having a Netflix watch party with friends.
If it’s practical, spend some time outside riding, jogging or walking. There are a bunch of fitness apps available that can help organize your activity.
It is difficult to protect kids from the ongoing news related to COVID- 19, which continues to be broadcast across radio, TV, and newspapers. Parents and caretakers should take the time to listen to children and hear their concerns about what is happening.
With that in mind, we must provide children with age-appropriate information that is based on the facts. It’s essential that you avoid making guarantees you can’t keep but equally as important to validate your child’s emotion around the uncertainty and assure them that you will share information as you have it. Constant communication with them will help to maintain a sense of calm and help them minimize their anxiety surrounding the topic.
We’ve also pulled together some fun activities during ‘recess’ and ‘lunch break.’
Teachers always encourage kids to go outside during their lunch break, play with their peers, and be physically active. We understand that this may be a little difficult given 1:1 homeschooling restrictions, so we have prepared a list of simple activities aimed to entertain children while they are not ‘in class.’
Garden with Children
Gardening with children will help develop cognitive and physical skills. Young children can practice locomotor skills, body management skills, and coordination as they move from one place to the other carrying tools, soil, and water.
Older children will love the responsibility of potting saplings and watching them as they grow. This will give kids responsibility and reason to get closer to mother nature, encourage questions, and engage in exciting discussions related to mother nature. We recommend choosing fast-growing plants, such as sunflowers, as kids can lose interest pretty quickly.
Art and craft activities works to improve coordination and help with motor skills and makes a great activity for developing little minds and bodies. What’s more, craft activities foster communication, creativity, listening, attention, and imagination.
Prepare a Picnic
Organizing a picnic helps children differentiate ‘learning time’ from ‘playtime.’ Fresh air does wonders for children’s mental health and provides them with an excellent opportunity to learn about nature and its many plants and animals.
The sun will not only provide light, heat, and vegetation; it also provides the body with vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of calcium, a necessary component when building strong bones and teeth.
Make a date for this special event and encourage children to create the menu, prepare the food, pack the basket, and set the picnic’ table.’
Picnics encourage spending time outdoors and do wonders for your child’s mental health. What’s more, they can invite their friends virtually on social media and share the festivities.
Chess for Success
Chess is a great indoor board game to play at home; it helps in developing the habit of thinking strategically and of analyzing situations from different angles. As each piece has a significant role in chess, children will enjoy deciding just which part should move. Chess will help to develop your child’s IQ and aid in better decision-making capabilities.
Music is the answer! Songs such as “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake are fun, encourage movement, and relieve stress amongst children.
ncourage your children to choreograph a dance with you, rehearse the steps, and perform a ‘school concert.’
Kids in the kitchen
Cooking classes will also help kids build confidence, create an interest in food and cooking, and educate them on the importance of healthy and nutritious eating habits.
Select tasty, healthy, and fun recipes that are packed with nutrients such as ‘Banana Bread Pizza,’ ‘Tuna and salad mini wraps,’ ‘Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries’ or ‘Mexican Pita Pizzas.’
Involve children in the process of cooking by encouraging them to select the bananas, pick the herbs, and prepare the salad. When kids are involved in the process it will significantly increase the chance that they’ll try the finished dish.
Treasure Hunt Challenge
Here’s an activity that just about any kid will know and love. Hide one of your kids’ favorite toys somewhere in the house or backyard and create a bunch of clues for them to find it. Treasure hunt challenges can help kids with strategy, comprehension, problem-solving, and analysis as they have fun looking for new clues!