With the outbreak of COVID-19, families may be looking for ways to pass time. With kids home, parents need to come up with ways to keep children physically and mentally active. Here are some suggestions.
Cosmic Kids Yoga YouTube Channel — This is an easy way to get kids, of all ages, ready to start their day. Cosmic Kids Yoga will encourage kids 3 and up to get moving, while also teaching the basics of mindfulness and relaxation.
Dance sessions with celebrities — Celebrities such as Lady Gaga’s former backup dancer, Mark Kanemura, and Debbie Allen are taking to social media, especially Instagram, to host virtual dance sessions for all ages.
Backyard or indoor obstacle course — Grab household objects such as towels, chairs and boxes and set up an indoor or backyard obstacle course. If you need inspiration, the Southington YMCA posted a fun video on Facebook of an obstacle course the staff made outside. Send a video of your home obstacle course to the Southington YMCA.
Twister — This classic family game may be in your closet, unopened for years, but now is the perfect time to pull it out and play with the entire family. If you don’t have the game, you can draw it out with chalk or use colored masking tape. Instead of using the spinner that is a part of the game, write the commands on a note card and put them in a hat.
Active video games — A lot of kids may be turning to video games. If so, encourage them to choose a game that requires some physical activity. Some options are Just Dance and Wii Sports
Digital Harry Potter Escape Room — A free Harry Potter themed escape room created by the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania is available for families online. Clips from the Potter movies are accompanied by questions. Families have to figure out the exchange rate between different coins and how to cast spells.
Keep to a schedule — While home, parents may be unsure about how to keep kids organized and productive. Creating and keeping to a schedule will allow kids to stay on track while away from school. It will give them independence and structure, while allowing parents to be able to step away to focus on their work or chores. Remember to schedule in some time for physical exercise.
Put a puzzle together — A puzzle is a great way to kill some time. Puzzles can also be a way to teach children skills, such as problem solving, patience, listening, good sportsmanship and paying attention. Teaching and enhancing these skills while at home will help kids stay on track and feel socially connected.
Virtual tours of different places — Museums such as the Boston Children’s Museum are creating virtual tours so those stuck at home can interact with the world around them. Kids, with parental permission, can sit at the computer and feel as if they are walking around a museum or checking out a planet in outer space.
Virtual story time — Many libraries around the world and in surrounding areas are hosting virtual storytime on applications, such as Zoom. The Southington, Wallingford and Meriden public libraries are each hosting a storytime. Check out their websites and join in to the next storytime.