The Coronavirus has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Some people think it’s being blown way out of proportion, other’s are scared sick for their families that may contain an immunocompromised or elderly family member. Then there are others that are somewhere in between. We fear for those who are at a higher risk, but we’re not going out and buying all the toilet paper (I’m still not quite understanding that one). Either way, this is a time of uncertainty that we’re all just trying to navigate.
My daughter’s preschool has cancelled (along with all schools here in Ohio and many other states), which leaves me and many other parents wondering, what can I do to entertain my child all day. There’s the obvious like they can *finally* clean their rooms, or help mom with the dishes, and help dad organize the garage. But let’s be real. We can’t expect (nor should we) our children to spend this entire “break” doing the boring stuff. I’ve put together a list of things you can do with your child during the “social distancing” to keep them entertained, engaged, excited, and keep their mind off of COVID-19.
- GoNoodle.com– I absolutely love this site! Experts in child development have produced hundreds of “get up and move” type videos for your kiddos. It’s free to join and a fun way to get your child up and active!
- Wikki Stix– These are pretty cheap to purchase (I think I paid $4.50 for a pack of 24), but insanely fun. Basically, they’re pieces of yarn covered in wax that you can build a gazillion different things with. We even practice making letters and words with ours! They don’t crack or dry out, so there’s endless ways to get creative.
- Tegu Blocks– We bought my daughter some of these for Christmas and they are a blast for all ages of kiddos (and even adults). They are a little pricier, but you can use them for years to come. They’re essentially building blocks with magnets embedded in them. They teach kids about fractions, magnetic poles, and are also just a blast to play with.
- Kinetic Sand– This one really is a no brainer. Kids love kinetic sand, it doesn’t dry out, and is easy to clean up. In our house, we may even like it more than Play-Doh. We paired ours with a separate container of water beads and it’s basically like taking our hands to the beach. My daughter even loves playing beach with her Barbies in them.
- Homer Learning- If you have younger children learning to read like mine, you’ll be obsessed with this site. It’s teaching my daughter how to write her letters, recognize letters and their sounds, and so much more. My daughter doesn’t even know she’s learning, but begs to play on Homer. There is a monthly subscription, but if your child is in that developmental age, it’s well worth it.
- Scavenger Hunts– These are so much fun! Depending on the age of your kids, there’s so many ways you could go about this. Hide some of your child’s favorite toys around the house, write them clues, and send them off to find them (you could even do this outside in your yard weather permitting).
- Story Cubes– These are relatively inexpensive and another great way to get your child’s creative juices flowing. Using their imagination is such an important skill. Story cubes look like dice with pictures on them. Have your child roll the dice and then come up with a story involving the corresponding pictures. If you have multiple kids, they can even take turns telling the next part of the story and trying to get it all to flow together. Take it a step further and act out your story for even more fun!
- Puzzles– There is a puzzle for every skill level and interest. Find one your child likes and help them complete the challenge. It can be done any time of day, and depending on the size of the puzzle, could even spread out through multiple days. What a great way to keep those brains thinking!
- Build a Fort– This is quite possibly my daughters favorite activity. Build it around the TV and watch a movie together. See how big you can make it, or tall, or small. The options are endless and so is the fun.
- Get Outside– This one may sound obvious, but kids need fresh air. Even if it’s only for a short amount of time, get outside. You can run around your yard or just sit on your porch. Play a game of I-Spy, play with sidewalk chalk, whatever!
All of these activities are relatively cheap, if not free! They’re great for times where we’re practicing social distancing, but also for summer/winter break, weekends, and just connecting with your child on the day-to-day. Most can take as much or as little time as you want to put in, and don’t take a lot of preparation. Even though our kids may be out of school for the time being, it is so important that we keep their brains and their bodies active.
This is the time to let loose a little bit and enjoy our sweet kiddos while they’re still young. They don’t understand all of the craziness going on around them, so let’s help them keep their innocence a little longer. I want my daughter to look back and remember the time she got a long break to do all sorts of fun activities with mom and dad. Happy playing!
All my love,