As our nation comes together to address the COVID-19 crisis, your health and well-being continues to be our primary concern. The outbreak and effects of COVID-19 can be overwhelming for both adults and kids. Social and emotional well-being is key to your whole health. Kids will be talking about the days of COVID‑19 for the rest of their lives. It can be a very uncertain and scary time for kids to be stuck at home, and we know that you are looking for ways to help ensure that your kids are spending at least part of their days engaged in fun, productive activities.
It is going to be easy to rely on screens for kids’ entertainment and schoolwork as time at home is increased. However, it is important to get their minds pulled away from their magnetic screens. Kids need time playing “in real life”. Traditional play encourages interaction, creative thinking, problem solving and so much more. Finding ways to break up your daily schedule with play will pay off in the long-term. Here are a few ideas to help bring out the creative side of your child.
- Gather cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper towel, along with different sized bottle caps, yarn, and paint, and make the longest toilet paper roll train in the world!
- Turn cardboard boxes into “cars” complete with cozy pillows and blankets. Then set them up in the living room and play “drive-in” while a movie plays, and they enjoy yummy movie night snacks.
- Make puppets out of toilet paper rolls and other household items, and then help your kiddos put on a puppet show for the whole family.
- Write a short play, then act it out. Encourage kids to work together to write a short story or play and make programs to distribute to the audience. Once they are ready to perform you can pop some popcorn and enjoy the show.
- Open a family art gallery. Set your little artist up at the table, or the easel, with paper, paint, and paintbrushes. You can create an art gallery look with fishing line, mini clothespins. Once their artwork is on display, open a bottle of sparkling cider with fancy glasses, and admire their creations.
- Let your kids be the opening act by telling funny jokes before the family watches their favorite comedy movie in their cardboard box cars that they created. Science has proven that humor improves our mental and physical health. Laughter is a great way for your family to burn off steam.
These are just a few ways to help keep your child’s mind and body active during this difficult time. Make your home a positive experience by reconnecting the whole family in fun and playful activities together.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider for your mental and physical concerns. Together we will come out stronger and wiser!