With the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, parents are looking for new ways to entertain children and get creative at home. During this challenging time, we wanted to share some useful tips to help parents connect with their children throughout lockdown, as well as providing a range of useful resources and fun activities to help keep the children occupied.
Experts from the Parenting for Lifelong Health initiative have provided handy tips and strategies to support parents to achieve the most for their children, of all ages, and help to optimise the extended time at home.
It is normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed during times like these, but it can also be seen as an opportunity to foster better relationships and enjoy quality one-on-one time.
Keeping it positive
It can be difficult to try keep a positive perspective during heightened circumstances, but it’s important that parents remain positive. Children are much more likely to do what they are asked if they are given positive instructions and lots of praise for what they do right.
COVID-19 has taken away our daily work, home and school routines. This is hard for children, teenagers and for parents. Making new routines can help, it’s important to create a flexible yet consistent daily routine, which helps to maximise productivity.
Naturally, children can misbehave, particularly if they are tired, hungry, afraid or learning independence. It is important that this behaviour is both approached and managed in a calm and proactive way.
Keep calm and manage stress
During such stressful times, it is crucial that parents take care of themselves, this enables them to support their children in the best way. There are a number of ways to do this, and it’s important to remember that no one is alone in this situation.
Talking about COVID-19
Parents must be willing to talk about COVID-19 with their children, this is important because to protect children, parents must be honest and open. In this way, subjects can be spoken about in a secure environment and you can answer any questions to help them understand and be supportive.
For those who are at home with children for the next few weeks, it can be difficult to come up with new ideas and ways to make fun at home. So, if you’re stuck with what to do, here’s a whole range of activities and resources to help keep the children entertained.
Tips and Resources to help:
In light of the current situation, we have created our OneWellness Online Community a community of our patients, staff members, friends and family members who can all come together to share all things health and wellbeing through these uncertain times. There’s a series of great workouts, morning yoga sessions and other brilliant resources all in one place. We look forward to welcoming you.
There is a whole range of online sharing resources including Twinkl, BBC Bitesize, Oxford Owl, Doulingo, National Geographic Kids and The Literacy Shed which can help with home-schooling. Even for older children, Ivy League is offering 450 different courses online ranging from computer science to business and art & design.
Turn mealtimes into a cooking club, by giving children the responsibility for the creation of the menu, as well as the prep and clearing up. The BBC provides a whole range of Kids and Family Recipes which are fun, easy and nutritious. Handy step by step guides make cooking fun for all the family. The Little Dish and Tasty have also provided a range of recipes to make with the kids, as a way to encourage fun, creativity, good health and to learn an invaluable lifelong skill.
Edinburgh Zoo provides live animal streaming, from pandas to tigers, kids can be mesmerised by an up close and personal digital encounter with their favourite species.
Forestry England is bringing the forest to life, through an immersive virtual field trip experience. By partnering with Google Expeditions, children can visit a tree nursery, explore forest machinery and learn about different habitats for wildlife.
Although the doors are currently closed, The National Theatre is showing a production every Thursday on YouTube which is free to stream and is made available for seven days.
There are plenty of ways to repurpose the contents of the recycling bin at home. Using recyclable contents for art supplies eggbox caterpillars, jam jar lanterns, cereal box puppet theatre, lolly stock finger puppets and tin can planters. Red Ted Art provides a whole range of crafty ideas with video tutorials to keep the kids busy for hours.