With school closures, working from home, and social distancing, our daily routines have changed completely! We are here to help you with some practical advice about how to keep your kids busy (and keep yourself sane!) during the days at home. Below are a few ideas:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed ON TIME every night, getting the right amount of sleep (toddlers need 9-12 hours per night depending on their naps, school aged children need 10 hours per night, and teenagers need 9-10 hours per night), and waking up at a consistent time each morning.
- Schedule your day – create a routine. Structure and consistency are important for kids! The routine can allow for some flexibility, of course, but having a “schedule” as if you were at work or school is a good idea. Planning set meal times with morning and afternoon activities can help provide you some structure. Be sure to continue regular nap times for young children. School age children will need scheduled times to participate in online learning and will need your help to ensure they are able to complete their work at home.
- Plan activities. Activities will depend on the age of your child. Crafts encourage creativity, are easy to do indoors, and help develop fine motor control for younger children. Some fun ideas include making sock puppets, popsicle stick or paper plate animals, paper-mache flowers, and glitter jars. To blow off steam, try building forts indoors, going on an indoor scavenger hunt, bathing and grooming the dog, or camping in the backyard. For older teenagers, it is a good time to encourage a hobby, such as playing a musical instrument, writing in a journal, model building, or making a scrapbook. Families can take part in fun activities together, like building a puzzle, playing board games, sidewalk chalk, or watching a movie. Try starting a TV series together. Check out the picture of Dr. Berger’s cousins and their cool sidewalk chalk – to recreate this, use masking tape to create lines and color in sections! It’s also a good time to teach kids lessons they don’t learn at school – how to do laundry, take out the trash, mail a letter, and how to grow plants.
- Get outside. Going for a walk around the neighborhood or along an uncrowded path is important for our mental health. Make sure to stay 6 feet away from others. Your dog will probably never be happier than he is during quarantine! Gardening and simple yard work can include kids as well, give everyone a dose of vitamin D, and provide a break from being indoors. And a bonus – your yard will look fantastic!
- Make time for friends. This is especially critical for teenagers. This may be through phone conversations, skype, or even playing cooperative online games together.
- Keep up with family. During this pandemic we encourage limiting your physical interaction with older members of your family for their own safety. Phone calls, skype, Zoom birthday parties, and even writing letters or cards are important ways to maintain connections.
We miss you all here at WPP! We encourage you to share your home exploits with us on Facebook. As always, we are here to help you! Stay tuned for our next blog post on how to make your child’s quarantine birthday the best birthday party ever! For more information about kids and home activities, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children.html