Keeping your Children Happy, Healthy and Engaged during the COVID-19 Pandemic
These days of parenting and working from home are challenging. We’ve already covered how to talk to your children about COVID-19, and now we’d like to offer you some tips and resources for keeping your kids happy, healthy and engaged during this uncertain time.
Say No to Playdates, Slumber Parties and Everything in Between
No matter how much your children beg to meet up with friends, it’s important to follow physical distancing guidelines and say no. Instead, encourage your children to keep in touch virtually with friends and family.
Try to Limit Screen Time
The benefits of limiting screen time are endless. Time away from a screen encourages creativity and mindfulness, while reducing potential developmental and behavior issues. Below are some recommendations for screen free activities:
- READ! READ! READ! Reading is a must every single day for children of all ages. Your local library most likely has an option to borrow eBooks online, so head to your library’s website to see what’s available. The New York Public Library has also made 300,000 books available online.
- Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. Create a scavenger hunt, either indoors or outdoors, to keep your kids active and engaged for as long as you need.
- Get Crafty. Encourage your children’s’ artistic side with crafts projects. If you’re short on supplies, get creative and find your own – paint a rock from the backyard to make a paperweight, or carve a potato from your pantry into a stamp and make your own cards and wrapping paper.
- Chores. Now is a great time to engage your children in helpful tasks around the house such as organizing their room or helping with the laundry. It’s a win-win situation for busy parents!
Parent Approved Screen Time
Let’s face it, we’re not superhuman. When you need some back-up in keeping your children engaged, give these online suggestions a try:
- Scholastic offers a free online learning hub with resources for children up through grade 6.
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems are a great way to encourage creativity with bestselling author Mo Williems.
- Virtual Field Trips offer relief from staying home by taking advantage of the webcams in many museums, monuments and zoos. You can even travel virtually to 33 national parks.
- Common Sense Media provides recommendations for both free and paid kid friendly television programs, as well as privacy tips.
- Amazon Prime is providing free access to certain children’s television shows such as Arthur, Caillou and Martha Speaks normally only available to members with a prime account.
From BU Employee Wellness newsletter 4/13/2020