For families with working parents and children who are normally at school during the day, this period of self-isolation and social distancing can pose some pretty complex challenges. Kids might be running out of stuff to do, missing their friends, or feeling cooped up. These are all completely normal during such an abnormal time, and the best thing we can do is to be patient with each other and to be creative with our time and loved ones.
While at least here in British Columbia, the government is working on providing further educational directives for helping our kids get back to their normal routines when this COVID-19 crisis slows down. In the meantime, though, as parents we might be struggling to entertain and engage our children during the days, much less getting any of our own work done. The good news is that
a) this is temporary, and b) we're here to help.
Check out some great ways to keep your kids happy and engaged!
For the bookworm
- Check out Audible's free read-aloud books for kids.
- Here are book recommendations for every reading level.
- To help kids understand what is happening in our world right now, here is a free download of our CEO, Child Psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts “On the News” book. She discusses how to help kids process the news, including tragedies, in an age-appropriate way.
Bring the zoo to you
- For kids that love animals, check out the Edinburgh Zoo live cams! From tigers to koalas to penguins, your little ones will get a chance to get up close and personal with some cool critters.
- For our young people who need some inspiration, here are some great Ted Talks for kids and teenagers.
When your kids are bouncing off the walls
- Try out some creative indoor activities for kids when the weather's not great.
- Take advantage of good weather when it's here. Throw around a frisbee in the backyard, build a fort, play soccer, or active games like Twister or hide-and-seek.
When they need some downtime
- Check out the best educational programs available on Netflix
- ... or some cool, free colouring books from the world’s best museums!
For families needing homeschool support, consider the following great options when structuring your days:
- _For Reading: _Nessy and Ooka Island.
- For Math: Prodigy Math & Khan Academy
- For Second Language instruction:Duolingo. Core subjects are best taught in the morning.
- _For Science and Social Studies: _consider project-based learning where your child researches a topic of interest and demonstrates that learning in a science fair type display.
- In the afternoon, ensure your kids get daily exercise (outside if possible).
- Order or buy art supplies to finish the day off with a creative outlet.
- For kids who have a disruption in speech therapy, check out SpeechBuddy.
Most importantly, kids need a high-warmth, high-structure routine and schedule. Try to keep as much normalcy in the home as possible. If your family requires some extra emotional support, more resources and digital counselling are available at www.familysparks.com.