January 4, 2021, Family Education –
Keeping kids busy and entertained during the COVID pandemic has certainly been a challenge. Here are some new ideas for activities you may not have tried before that offer a digital detox for your children.
COVID-19 is here with us for a bit longer. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still make this winter season a fun one.
Parents are reporting their children’s screen time has increased by 60% with remote learning and the use of social media. It’s a challenge we’re all facing, and we may see a further increase this winter, so activities that don’t always involve more screen time can be a great option.
By this point, most of us have arts and crafts supplies, games, and perhaps some workout gear, and other additional items. However, it can be overwhelming to figure out creative ways to put these items to use and keep your children engaged. So, here are some new ideas you may not have tried before that offer a digital detox for your children.
Walk it Off
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children get a minimum of 60 minutes of activity a day. Many now have PE online which is a positive start. Keep in mind, even if the 60 minutes isn’t feasible, a shorter workout is always ok too. Don’t be hard on yourself, do what you can!
A change of scenery goes a long way for children. It improves heart health as well as all kinds of other things. Bundle up and go for a nice family walk around the neighborhood or through the park; it could be just what the doctor ordered. While you are on your walk you can mix things up by adding different kinds of “walks.” Why not walk like a kangaroo, or maybe like a gorilla or how about a praying mantis? You can come up with all kinds of ways to switch up your walks by thinking of different animals!
Get Resourceful and Craft
You likely don’t have everything you need to keep up constant activities, but even if you don’t, you can always improvise!
A busy box filled with crayons, paper, scissors and crafting materials is a must-have for keeping kids entertained at home. If they can’t think of anything to create, there many different templates you can print off and they can design: a simple penguin craft, printable owl craft, unique movable fish craft, cat and dog bookmarks.
You can liven up your busy box with some unique craft supplies such as:
- A resealable snack bag filled with dried macaroni
- Colorful yarn scraps
- Cleaned plastic or glass jars/tubs after you finish your jelly, margarine, etc.
- Colored glue and even colored glitter glue
- Leaf-shaped sequins – and other unique shaped sequins
DIY Bubble Baths
Make a Yowie DIY bath bomb using common ingredients you can find in your kitchen. After the bath bomb(s) are ready, start running the water and grab some other bath toys. Let your child enjoy a fun-colored bath with the bath bomb and do their own version of relaxing.
Sometimes it’s hard to start writing, so give your kids a specific topic. They can even make up a story and draw if they want. The important part is there are no rules and that they are free to be creative. They may not realize it, but it’s therapeutic for them to write down their thoughts and can help alleviate any stress or anxiety they may feel.
Here are some options for topics to get you started:
- The Arctic Tern is a migratory bird that literally flies from one side of the Earth all the way to the other. Let’s make believe that one of them landed on our window-sill while on its journey!
- The White Cave Velvet Worm lives its whole life underground in caves in the pitch dark. What would it be like to have an animal like this amazing worm (that isn’t endangered like this one is of course) as a pet?
- Many kinds of cool looking crabs can live both in the water and on land. An octopus can take a stroll out of water and hang out in air for a bit. And there is a type of mudskipper, the Gobies, that can actually breathe in water and in air! What if we could too?
Partake in Random Acts of Kindness
Teach your children the importance of being kind by letting them come up with a way to make someone’s day. This could be as simple as writing a letter to a grandparent or calling to check in on a neighbor, or a bigger act like making or ordering delivery dinner for a friend.
Above all, this winter keep talking to your kids. Check-in with them and make sure they know you’re there for them and this isn’t forever. This too shall pass. Don’t feel guilty, because you can only do what you can do. We’re all in this together and 2021 lies ahead and will present many new opportunities.