Ideas on how to keep your children meaningfully engaged at home during this Circuit Breaker period. Each activity is also an opportunity. An opportunity to bond with your loved ones and educate them about Covid-19.
(1) Read the Covid-19 Story!
Click on child-book-COVID19
Learning Point: Such an educational read. Do take some time to discuss their fears about the virus and take this opportunity to answer all their questions. My 5 year old had a good question ” What medicine will help fight it?” I had to inform her that doctors around the world are working hard to find drugs to cure it as well as work on a vaccine for it so that others won’t get it in the future.
(2) Covid-19: Stay at Home Treasure Hunt!
Things needed: Kids, Markers/pens, Scraps of Paper, ONE mystery prize
Prepare the following clues beforehand: CLUES are to be stuck at various venues at home. Stick Clue #2 at Clue #1’s venue and so on and so forth.
Start with giving children Clue #1 in their hands and tell them about the rules. To increase excitement and prolong time for this activity, you may add your own rules e.g sing a song/ do a simple dance when you find a clue to celebrate and the song/dance must be at least 2 minutes long. Other rules may include no running or asking others for help.
#Clue 1: I have four legs but no feet! I come in useful when it’s time to eat! (Dining Table)
#Clue 2: For quick reheating, I come up tops. And yes, I love the smell when popcorn pops! (Microwave)
#Clue 3: I can take you to places you have never seen. But first, type your password on my screen! ( Computer/IPAD)
#Clue 4: I am filled with feathers or fluff. To sleep without me, is quite tough! (Pillow)
#Clue 5: I take your clothes for quite a spin. But first, they get wet. That’s how I begin. (Washing machine)
#Clue 6: Together we snuggle when we watch this rectangle. But what controls it is what you should angle! (TV Remote Control)
#Clue 7: I may have eyes but I really can’t see. People love to make fries out of me. (Potato)
# Clue 8: I’m not a selfie, but I do show faces. Find me in bathrooms and a few other places. (Mirror)
# Clue 9: My job is to put an end to sleep,Which I do with music, a buzz, or a beep. (Alarm Clock)
#Clue 10: I’m hungry! I’m hungry! Please feed me a slice.
I’ll spit it back out all brown and nice. (Toaster)
#Clue 11: I make it possible to have fresh food. Everyone agrees I’m one cool dude. (Refrigerator)
#Clue 12: The more I dry, the wetter I get. A little one can be used for soaking up sweat. (Towel)
# Clue 13: And now… for the grand prize…..
I’m paper, but I’m not used for writing a letter.
The spot by your toilet bowl suits me much better!( Toilet Roll)
Of course, the children can exchange the toilet roll for their grand prize as decided by Mummy and Daddy. You might also want to tell them about the armed gang that stole toilet paper. Click to watch Video here: ‘Armed gang steals 600 toilet rolls’.
Learning Point: Do not panic buy. Only buy what you need.
(3) Covid-19: Family will always lend a helping hand.
Hand painting with family.
This is a pretty easy one. Things needed:Paints, paper and newspaper.
Take time to paint your hands, fingers and create a masterpiece! One by Daddy, Mummy and everyone else in the family.
Learning Point: Good opportunity to remind the little ones that Mummy and Daddy will always be there in these times to take good care of them. Lending them a helping hand and keeping them safe. Always.
(4) Covid-19: Moments with Family
Things needed: Photographs, paper, markers, scissors, glue or laptop with downloaded photos, Powerpoint
Head down to develop some photo prints or for the older ones, use photos from phones or Facebook albums and Powerpoint to create a presentation. Use photographs and sentences to describe a holiday, a weekend or even a hobby. Present the project to family members and work on your child’s public speaking skills. Take time to decorate the photo book and for older ones, keep them busy with animations and GIFs to make their presentation a lot more exciting! You can set a 2 hour time limit for this and remind them to rehearse what they would like to say. It is always important to plan key points before delivering a home based ‘show and tell’.
Learning Point: We may not be able to go out and travel now but let’s look back at what we have done before and appreciate those moments.
(5) Covid-19: Build a bird house!
Things needed: Cardboard box, scissors, disposable or any unwanted bowls/plates
Inspired by my little one’s love for animals, we built a bird house! Bird house was ordered from Qoo10 but you can easily make one using materials at home, a cardboard box with a hole, disposables for food and water. Here we have a slice of banana, some shavings for bird to rest in ( can use newspaper strips) and some water. We have a little birdie that visits us regularly so this can be a fun activity!
Learning Point: We must always think of others during such times. Giving is more fun than receiving!
(6) Covid 19- Vocabulary Game
Things needed: Flashcards or strips of paper with words
This is great if you have flashcards. Otherwise cut paper and make some words up. Some word game ideas : Taking 8 cards and making children come up with a story to string all 8 words together. For example: eggs, job, ill, hot, the, eleven, very, van.
The chicken lay many eggs that day. The farmer’s job was to collect them but he fell ill because it was a hot day. The eleven eggs were very big and the farmer’s wife took them and placed them in the van.
Learning Point: In times like these, you will be surprised at how creative your children’s stories can be!
(7) Covid 19- Win, Lose or Draw
Things needed: List of words, pen and paper ( or an easel)
While ideally this game would require an easel, it is also possible to use plain paper or a pen tool on IPAD. Come up with 30 words or so. It can be a kids vs adults game! I liked some lists of words available here. Divide yourselves into teams, appoint a timer and draw away! You can decide on a 1, 2 min or even 30 second round for each word. A speed round is also fun where each team appoints the best artist to draw and the team to guess, as many words as possible in 2 minutes!
Learning Point: Lots of laughter guaranteed as the family struggles to draw and understand what the drawings mean. Laughter is the best medicine!
(8) Make an Animal Sandwich!
Things needed: Bread, just about anything in your fridge and a butter knife
At some point, your children will get hungry. You will also get tired of making snacks for them. Make it a project. Task kiddos to raid the refrigerator and make a sandwich in shape of an animal. Extra points for those who use the most number of ingredients. They are also to take a full 15 minutes or so to make the sandwiches. Use of butter knives allowed ( depending on the age of your children) and also allow them to use vegetables, fruits and spreads. Clean up afterwards! Winner is the person with the coolest animal sandwich and has ensured kitchen is neat and tidy and most importantly, washed hands before and after preparing the sandwich!
Learning point: It is important that we can make our own meals and practice good personal hygiene during food preparation!
I hope the above has been helpful. Wishing everyone good health and stay safe.