5 Pandemic friendly Activities for Children
The effects of COVID-19 are not only felt by adults, but children as well. Children thrive when they are part of a healthy and consistent routine, but this pandemic has halted and uprooted all their previous extracurricular activities. The children who enjoyed dance, karate, music, or organized sports are now missing out on their favorite past-times and the friendships they nurtured along the way. The pressure now lays on the shoulders of parents for additional entertainment, exercise, and education. It can be a lot to juggle for even the most organized parents, so here are some pandemic-friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy.
- Scavenger hunt- This is a classic game beloved by many where the child needs to locate and gather items on a list. It can be a great reading exercise for older children, or a picture matching game for younger children. What’s great about this game is it can be played indoors, outdoors, and anywhere in-between. Creating an extensive outdoor scavenger hunt with different bugs, leaves, trees, and flowers during a walk in the park can last longer, whereas an indoor scavenger hunt with a few household items can be played quickly. This leaves room for variations of the game which can maintain a child’s interest.
- International picnic- Living and raising children in a capital city like Prague means families have easy access to an abundance of delicious international foods. Restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores offer an array of food items from neighboring countries, or from countries across the world. Having an international picnic with children can not only be a tasty experience, but an educational one. Showing children pictures of the country, the location on a map, and some well-known monuments can stimulate educational conversation. Do you have any friends from this country? Have you ever visited this country? What do you think of the food? How far away is it from Prague? What language do they speak? Questions like these can prompt dialog about geography, history, language, and culture all while indulging in some tasty snacks.
- Fun in the kitchen- One of my favorite things to do with children is spend time in the kitchen creating something delicious. In a class full of preschool-aged children it can build cooperation, communication, and teamwork. When we work together we can create something delicious! This can work at home too. Cooking or baking blends mathematics, literacy, and science into one delightful activity. Children can help read the recipe, measure and count ingredients, then see what happens when we mix them all together. If you’d like to spice things up with some friendly competition, a family-style version of “Chopped” can be a fun way to see who’s the best baker or cook in the house.
- Movie night- Although we’d all like to limit screen-time, a movie night can be a great way to unwind after a busy day. A Friday night movie with some popcorn and cozy pajamas can be a relaxing way to wrap up the work week and say hello to the weekend.
- Building a fort- One of my favorite memories growing up was building forts with my brother. We worked together to bring blankets, chairs, and pillows and constructed our architectural masterpieces to create new worlds. This activity can be done with children or, depending on age, they can build forts independently. To adults it may look like a big mess of blankets draped over kitchen chairs, but in a child’s eyes a fort is a top-secret hideout, cave, castle, and anything in-between. The only downside of building forts is that children will beg and plead that they stay up for a day…or three…
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