7 Activities To Do With Your Kids That Don't Involve Screens
There is some silver lining to this whole coronavirus pandemic, requiring us to drop our daily routines and to stay at home. That’s being able to spend more time with the family, strengthening bonds, and deepening relationships.
For some mothers who still need to work from home, though, having kids around may come as some sort of challenge. Both work and your own child tugging from opposite ends, demanding your attention. The upside here is that you are more in control of your schedule and you can set your boundaries better being at home. Chances are you also have a helper around, be it in the form of hired household help, your partner, a parent, or a more grown up child.
So, what do you do to manage your child’s short attention span and high propensity to get bored right away? As someone who grew up in the 80s, when life was simpler and entertainment was easy to find or to make even, I have some tips for you.
1. Preparing and eating meals together
This is something we shouldn’t take for granted. Mealtime not only feeds us physically, but it does so emotionally, too. It’s one of the rare times we get everyone in the same room together and in a good mood. What we could only do on weekends, we can now do every day. You can get the kids involved in prep, too. Whether it’s teaching your little one how to crack an egg or your not-so-little-one how to fire up the gas range. Every day is a new adventure in the kitchen.
2. Going ‘swimming’ together
You don’t even need a pool, but lucky if you were able to get one of those inflatable ones from Toy Kingdom before the lockdown. This was one of our favorite activities when we were younger. Taking a shower with a water hose outside of the house, in the garage, the terrace, or the garden. We did this a lot in the province back in the 80s because bathroom showers then were a luxury and could only be experienced in hotels. Whip out those beach toys, beat the summer heat and the quarantine boredom with a makeshift waterpark.
This is the one thing my husband and I will never get tired of doing. He’s gifted with a green thumb, so the kids and I support him by watering the plants, pulling out the weeds, or sweeping dried fallen leaves. Plants and flowers bloom more beautifully when you care for them together.
4. Playing board games
Top of our list… Scrabble! And Monopoly, chess, domino, tic-tac-toe, snakes and ladders, Taboo, Hi Jack/Good Morning Queen, Lucky 9, and it goes on and on. Hearing the kids’ (and my own) giggles and screams can tear the house down – nothing quite as priceless.
5. Playing ‘Make Believe’
I can say I’m a real expert on this. As a little girl, I got so used to playing inside the house without any playmates because I was an only child for nine years. Now, my daughter and I have our pretend restaurant using all the pretend appliances we have in our pretend kitchen. Her toys are more than enough to set us up. She plays the Chef and I play the customer. Then, we swap roles or change the setting to a grocery store. I have to admit, it’s been going on for a while but it’s still a lot of fun.
Generally, now is the time to get everyone involved in the chores. Not only does it teach discipline, but it’ll also going to take a load off your plate. While everyone’s at home, how about sparking joy by simplifying and organizing your home. To avoid things just going from one room to another, do it all together! Go through clothes, toys, accessories, books, papers, and everything you can possibly declutter. Aside from tidying the place up, it will also be a nice trip down memory lane.
7. Watching Movies
Yes, I know, we said without screens. But as long as it’s regulated and can contribute to your child’s formation then by all means go. Introduce them to the classics and to the remakes. The movies that made your childhood. Family movie time is still a lot of fun even if you don’t get to talk to each other while it’s going on. That’s because you have a uniting experience you can talk about later on. Get everyone to contribute to the list of movies to watch so that it's fair game. Then, pile on the couch, get the snacks out, and next thing you know you’ll be laughing and crying and laughing-for-crying together.
These are some ideas I’ve done so far and plan to do in the coming days. I’m sure you have your own ideas and I’ll have many more that will pop up to make this whole quarantine situation more than just bearable for the entire family. Ultimately, I hope more families take this time to appreciate one another, strengthen family bond and values, and continuously support and love each other. Family gives us the roots to stand tall and strong through life’s hurdles.
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