Quarantine life is especially tough on kids. With playdates not allowed and school being online, children had to make do with being stuck indoors. For some, the new normal is confusing. To other kids, cabin fever is plainly unbearable. As a result, tantrums erupt in the house, which adds more tension to the situation.
Now that some places in the country are reverting to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), you’re probably worried that you can’t cope with all this stress any longer. You can reduce the tension in the house by introducing activities that would fill up kids’ free time and put their ball of energy to good use.
Here are some educational and recreational activities you can try:
Take Them to the Museum
Although their physical doors are closed, a lot of museums have opened up their galleries digitally to the public. Bring your kids to the Van Gogh museum and let them appreciate the masterpieces, such as the famous The Potato Eaters, View from Theo’s Apartment, and The Bedroom. After your virtual museum visit, spend an afternoon of drawing and coloring books with the kids. Ask them about their inspirations for their art.
This is perfect when you live in a place away from artificial lights, such as street lamps or neon signs. Do this when the sky isn’t cloudy or there’s no moonlight, so you can better appreciate the light coming from the stars. If you’re not too familiar with the stars, no problem. Download stargazing apps. In your science lessons later, revisit the stars you saw.
Organize a Treasure Hunt
For toddlers who are still trying to learn how to read, this is a fun activity to exercise their new skills. Fill your treasure maps with directions and instructions that would test their reading comprehension. Once they’ve mastered a few hunts, reverse the activity, with them hiding the treasure and drawing the map, and you finding it. This will, in turn, help them apply spelling skills.
Grow a Vegetable Garden
Educate your kids about the benefits of each of the vegetables you’ll be planting. This will not only give them a good crash course on their science lesson of “Glow Food”, but it will also inspire them to eat healthy. Kids are more likely to eat their own produce, precisely because they’re the ones who cultivated it and especially because they know its benefits.
Throw a Dance Party
Put on some groovy music and let the kids dance to the beat. Take it to the next level by having a cypher session, wherein you form an open circle and the family members take turns dancing in the center. Hype up the kids as they do their freestyle moves. To wrap up your session, make a dance video and post it on your social media.
Put on a Puppet Show
While theater houses are still closed, have your own show at your home. Pick a story. It can be a fairy tale, a superhero movie, or a parable. From there, make your puppets (using cardboards, strings, or yards), and accent decorations, such as sequins, glitters, and buttons. Plan your show, who’s going to play which character, and then stage it for mom or dad as the audience.
Play Dress Up
For one night, let the kids scramble through your closet so they can play dress-up with mom’s and dad’s clothes. If you have costumes from Halloween and Christmas, that can also be part of your dress-up night. Then, use your living room as your “runway,” have the kids strike different poses, and snap a picture. Print your photos and hang them up on your empty walls.
Make a Time Capsule
Time capsules contain present-day items, which will serve as a reminder of the past when you open it in the future. You may ask your kids to write their future selves a letter about what they’ve been feeling lately, coping with the pandemic. Or, let them compile a bunch of photos from the activities you did for the past weeks. This will help them make sense of their present reality.
The coronavirus pandemic will always be a big part of your kids’ childhood. While they may remember it as the year when school closed and outdoor play wasn’t allowed, they can also look back at it as the time when they bonded well with you and their siblings. Try these activities at home to shake the cabin fever blues and churn out something productive despite the lockdown.