A friend asked me this morning: “are the schools perhaps closing with the kids in them?”. The joke is good but hides a real fear. Most of us have understood that social distancing is the only way to avoid too many coronavirus infections at the same time that would overwhelm the capacity of hospitals to successfully treat patients. That means closing schools, working from home, canceling gatherings… And all parents are feeling anxious about having their kids at home for weeks in a row.
To make your life easier, try to create a schedule and have certain normality. Depending on the age of your kids, you will get some guidance from school and will have homework to be done. That means approximately two hours a day will be spent on that. To fill the remaining 10 hours of the day, you need a broad option of activities that kids can mostly perform on their own, so you can get some work done.
Here are 10 fun activities for your kids to do while schools are closed:
1. Recycled art
Use all those bottles, caps, boxes and packaging materials that would end up in the recycling bin to create a fun, creative activity. First, make sure everything is clean. Then put all the pieces on a table and let your kids choose which ones they will use and for what. You will need tape (and/or glue), scissors and markers. Let them create freely or get some ideas here:
2. Fashion show
Take out all Halloween costumes, select scarfs, shirts, dresses, hats and let your kids prepare a fashion show for you. They should choose 2-3 outfits to take to the catwalk. You have around 30 minutes for yourself in the meantime.
If you do this right, you might even be able to tidy up your closets, find clothes and costumes to donate and take some amazing pictures.
The more practical storytime... You cannot be there the whole time to read to your small kids, so why not get them to hear some stories from an audiobook? It will spark their imaginations. They can listen to beautiful classics or exciting mysteries, perhaps a musical… and many of them for free.
Overview of all free alternatives: https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/raise-a-reader-blog/free-audio-books-and-why-you-should-try-them.html
Paid alternatives: https://www.audible.com/ep/kids-audiobooks
4. Letters to friends
Your kids will miss their school friends. Why not use this time at home to let friends know someone is thinking of them? Have your kids make drawings and write letters to their friends (if they cannot write yet, you can give them a hand) and send them out by mail. Let them write about what they are doing every day and which activities they enjoy the most. Their friends will be so happy with the surprise and their parents will be thankful for the activity ideas. You will get letters back and have a great time reading them together!
If you have the strength, you can even organize a chain with everybody in the classroom: make a list, send the letter to the first name asking them to cross their name and send one letter to the second name – and so on.
5. Creative bath time
Bath time is and will remain one fixed part of your daily routine. Make that time an exciting experience for your kids with tubbubble. They will have 20 minutes in the tub to get their skin cleaned and moisturized with natural ingredients while having a great time exploring colors, foams, crackles, and bubbles. You will get 20 minutes to read a book, get through your emails or just relax (while not leaving them alone in the bathroom, of course).
www.tubbubble.com (buy online and get the products delivered to your door)
6. Play outside
We are practicing social distancing that doesn’t mean we cannot leave the house. Nature will be our best friend during this corona-virus craziness time. Going out on a hike, to a forest nearby or just playing in the yard will be your kids’ favorite activity. The options on outside activities are infinite… Just enjoy the warmer weather and explore! It will calm the whole family and make us so happy.
7. Play with all the toys
Make a plan with your kids to play with each and every one of their toys during the time they are at home from school. Identify a time of the day in your schedule to play with a different toy every day and go through them all in the next weeks!
They have so much fun to re-discover their older toys – each day a new surprise. And if they don’t like a toy anymore, you know what to donate or give to your friend with younger kids next.
8. Read all the books
The same thing can be done with books. Make sure you schedule a time for reading every day – additional to the bedside story. Read a new book every day. Go through all your books. If you do not have that many, make a run to the local library and get a bunch. It will be fun!
9. Chores game
You will be exhausted. Ask your kids for help with the chores. You can make a game out of it. Every chore performed gets them points. They can exchange their points at the end of the day for a treat: 30 minutes of TV, an ice cream, going to bed 30 minutes later or a foot massage… wait. That one is for you!
10. Spring/Easter decoration
Schools will be probably closed until after Easter (April 12th). Use the time and ask your kids to prepare spring or Easter decoration. They can paint eggs, make paper flowers to put on your windows, get a tree branch during your nature walk and decorate it with colorful pompoms and strings. Your house will be beautiful! Don’t forget to take pictures!
I hope this list helps your family have a great, creative, educational time while at home. We have put the activities into an example daily Covid-19 schedule for your family:
Remember: you’ve got this! Enjoy the time with your family as much as possible and don’t forget to wash your hands with a lot of soap singing happy birthday… I love every hand wash since I learned this!
Please visit our website to learn more about tubbubble and making each bath count: www.tubbubble.com