- Parents should spend time with kids by playing board games
- Make children learn fitness activities like zumba or dance
- Various videos are available online which can help you with this
Parents are always prepared for the annual summer, autumn and winter break but this unexpected long spring break has come with a twist. It comes at a time when exams are done and kids are usually itching to go out with their friends to the mall, watch cinema, go for play dates, night outs, sleep over or a family holiday. However, the recent Coronavirus scare has forced us to stay home for the safety of oneself and those around us. Social distancing has been strongly advised which means engaging in outdoor activities or going to crowded and / or public places is out of the picture.
In such a scenario, when kids are going to be home bound for extended periods of time, keeping them productively engaged can be a huge challenge for the parents. To ensure that neither the parents nor the kids get on each other nerves, we need to think of some real good alternatives.
Coronavirus: Tips to ensure that your kids spend this time more productively
1) Play board games
Yes, as parents belonging to Gen X or Gen Y, we have all grown up to playing board games with friends and family. This time play again but with your kids. Board games can be extremely fun and interesting. Some can easily go on for a 2-3 hours thus, utilizing some part of the day productively.
If you can't go out to buy new books, there is always the option of ebooks. The internet has unlimited collection of ebooks for all age groups.
3) Upcycle with household items
Working with paper, scissor, cutter, glue, tools, old boxes, clothes etc can be extremely cathartic for some people - which is why we have the arts and crafts class in school! Pull out some junk from the cupboard and let the kids use their imagination and creativity to invent something out of it.
4) Paint furniture, bedroom walls, etc
Get some paint and brush and pick a wall of the room or a wooden chair or table that you don't mind being used as a canvas. Choose a theme and work on drawing and painting it together with your kids.
5) You tube channels / TV
If your kids are more of the digital/internet kids, subscribe to shows on science fiction, discovery, animal kingdom, geopolitics, world history and culture that are not only interesting but also help them in gaining more knowledge.
6) Fitness activities
Do a zumba or a salsa class at home with your kids. You will find a ton of them online!
7) Prepare a dinner gathering in the house where guests are the family members
Plan a three-course menu and give age appropriate responsibilities to the kids to execute the same. This can be a great way to get everyone going from washing veggies, to cleaning, chopping, baking, laying the table, dressing up in the evening and finally sitting together on the table to enjoy the meal.
The pandemic is real and hence, the precautions we need to take are also important. As they say, in every situation, there is always a silver lining. We just need to open our eyes to it. This crisis perhaps gives us the opportunity to disconnect with the outdoor madness, stay home, connect with our dear ones, recuperate and pray that this too shall pass, very soon!
(Dr Sanjay Chugh is Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Dr. Chugh's Neuropsychiatry Clinic, New Delhi)
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