How to Keep Kids Engaged During Coronavirus Pandemic

Guess which is the only section of people who are happy about the complete lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic? Yes, you have guessed it right, your kids! While the rest of the world is sulking about the lockdown and “stayathome” situation, your kids think otherwise due to the cancellation of their exams and extended holidays, and also about the uncertainty about when exactly their school would open. Since most of the parents are in a “working from home” situation currently, it also adds to their nightmare that their children cannot go out and play in the park, or in any outdoor activity, nor can any other regular holiday activity be planned because right now “staying at home” in reality with no social contact is the best way to stay safe! The “work from home” situation requires parents to spend a major chunk of the day before their laptops/computers; however, with kids at home, they also need equal attention. For parents who are confused about how to go about managing their kids during social distancing and lockdown, we have got some amazing tips down here.

How to Keep Kids Engaged During Coronavirus Pandemic

First and foremost, make your kids understand the gravity of the situation and explain to them that these are not regular holidays, the lockdown and social distancing have been implemented to prevent a disease from spreading and that’s why venturing out into the park or mall or playing with friends are not correct options at all.

The main aim should be to keep the kids entertained but at the same time, use this time to teach them correct values, the importance of little things in life, and also help them learn new things. Before planning anything, check with your kids school (that is if they are of school-going age) whether the school is planning to conduct any online classes. Since most of the schools have already chalked out details about online classes, check with them how to go about these classes. Other than that, use this lockdown period to spend quality time with your child/children, letting your child make good decisions in life, and to learn things about life.

1. Set a morning routine for the kids – starting by teaching them how to make their own bed. It is a proven fact that most successful people make their own bed in the morning. Thus it’s a good start to teach children the importance of doing their own things.

2. Improve their social and emotional skills by helping them understand others’ feelings, being helpful to others, and the importance of sharing things with others, and also caring about people.

3. Chalk out a schedule for your kids. Include reading books, fun activities like painting/drawing, board games in this school. Include snack time and lunch breaks in this schedule, just as they would have in school. Here’s a sample schedule, you can tweak and work out the timings according to your kid’s preference and your convenience.

8 am – Wakeup time.
9 am to 10 am – Breakfast
10 to 11 – Activity.
11 to 11:15 am – snack time
12 to 1 – Help prepare lunch.
1 am – Lunch time.
1 pm to 2 pm – Reading time.
2 to 4 – Nap time.
4 to 5 – Painting/activity time.
5 to 6 – Play time with family/board games
6 to 7 – yoga
7 to 8 – Preparation for dinner
8 to 9 – Dinner time.
9 to 10 – TV time.
22:00 – Diary time. Sleep Please, bedtime.

4. Allow your kids to share daily chores with you: By including your kids to help with daily chores like dish washing, mopping, sweeping, etc., you are not only teaching them to share the work burden, you are also letting their personalities develop. They would learn that doing house work is not a cake walk.

5. Get them interested in Cooking: Cooking is a great way to spend quality time with your kid. Baking cakes and cupcakes is a fun activity not only for kids but also for adults, it’s therapeutic! Also, get them involved in planning and preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. Help them roll out chappatis and rotis. They can also be encouraged to cook without fire/gas. Try out these recipes with them:

  • Fruit chat.
  • Corn chat.
  • Cucumber and tomato sandwich.
  • Banana and peanut butter smoothie.
  • Fruit salad.
  • Coconut ladoo.

6. Free children’s Magazine Subscription: Haven’t we all loved reading Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle as children? Just found out they have apps that you can download – what’s amazing, you ask! They have made one-month subscription free for all kids during this lockdown period. You can thank us later for this info.

7. Inculcate reading habit: Reading is a habit that every child be given a chance to inculcate. Read books to your kids, whether they are tiny tots, toddler, or a teenager. Allot at least one hour during the day where they have to sit down with a book. Ask them to underline hard words and search for them in a dictionary or Google. If you have kindle at home, get kindle unlimited and download as many books as you can.

8. Teach them how to eat healthy and on their own: It’s a good time to teach how important it is to eat healthy food and that burgers and pizzas are just rare treats. Also, teaching them how to eat on their own is a good idea.

9. Make a playlist of movies that they could watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix. For example, here’s a list of some really good movies that kids of all ages can watch:
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
2. Finding Nemo
3. Frozen
4. Toy Story
5. Home Alone series.
6. Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs.
7. Moana
8. Shrek
9. Aladdin
10. Lost World
11. Jurassic Park
12. Pirates of the Carribean
13. Zootopia
14. Mary Poppins
15. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

9. Folding clothes: Ask them to fold their own clothes and stack them up neatly in their cupboard. Also, it would be a great idea to teach them to do their own laundry.

10. Ask them to sort out toys, books, and clothes. Make sure you teach them the importance of donating toys and books.

11. Gardening and learning how to grow plants from seeds: Your kids would be amazed and delighted to see that seeds that they sow can grow out into plans! Get them to grow fast-growing plants like radishes, melon, beans, peas, mustard all of which germinate and grow out within 7 to 10 days. If you do not have a backyard, you can still use ice cream cups or pots where the seeds can be planted. Terrace gardening would also work. If none of those are viable options for you, you can still show the kids how to  care for indoor plants.

12. Colouring, drawing, painting: Colouring and painting are sureshot ways to keep the kids engaged. Make it a family activity and kids would love it all the more!

13. Online video tutorials on youtube: There’s a lot of useful stuff that kids can learn over youtube. Some channels do teach kids to make DIY stuff, from old newspapers to cardboard boxes, everything can be made into amazing stuff.

14. Educational and fun videos on Youtube: Youtube also teaches kids amazing things that are also educational – “Bright Side” is the biggest example. Some other channels that you can subscribe to are – crashcourse kids, brainscoop, soulpancake, dave and eva, mike likes science.

15. Get them into fitness, yoga: Since going to the gym is not option for you either, make fitness a family thing. Your children will love working out and doing yoga at home if it’s a family activity.

16.Teach them the basics of coding: Many online apps have basic coding courses for children. Coding encourages critical thinking and problem solving in children. Also, teach them the basics of computers.

17. Teach the child to keep a diary/journal: Ask your kid to write down his/her feelings in a diary/journal and also a gratitude journal which would help him/her to pen down their thoughts and also they would make amazing memories.

18. Educate them about good touch/bad touch: Yes, this is the right time to teach them good touch/bad touch.

19. Get them in touch with near and dear ones: Let them get to know about their extended family members. Make video calls to their uncles, aunts, cousins, and relatives and teach them the importance of keeping in touch with near and dear.

20. Teach them the importance of personal hygiene: Most importantly, no time more appropriate than the current one to teach them the importance of personal hygiene, hand washing. Show them Ignaz Semmelweis hand washing method.

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