The OAC understands the challenges that Covid-19 may be bringing to your everyday life. For many of us, that involves juggling working at home and/or keeping kids occupied while schools are closed.
To help relieve some of the pressure you might be feeling, we spoke with some of our experts about activities for keeping the kids engaged. Check out these tips for families that are both productive and also great for stress management.
Activities for Kids
Advice from Sarah Muntel, RD, a mother of three and a registered dietitian who works with bariatric and metabolic surgery patients:
- Step outside! Fresh air and physical activity can make everyone happy. Take a walk, ride a bike or kick a soccer ball around the yard. Maybe even step it up a notch — instead of a walk, challenge your kids to collect leaves, rocks and other nature items.
- Get your family involved. Take turns choosing an activity. You will be surprised at what they choose: family volleyball, board games, cooking, puzzles, etc.
- Take a step back. Find some of the old school toys kids used to play with. Have a Lego competition, host a bake-off in your kitchen or drag out your old paints. Your kids will love the nostalgia of it all!
- Make the most of your time by working on household tasks. Teach your kids about the necessities. They can help you do laundry, wash dishes or clean out a closet. This is especially great for spring cleaning. You’ll thank yourself later!
- Embrace the boredom. Kids can create and free play when left to themselves. Think of a few activities, but set aside time for free play and creativity.
- Take a minute to just relax. Read a book, take a nap if you’re tired or set aside time for meditation. You might even try pulling up a chair in your backyard to sit quietly and observe the sounds of nature.
Advice from Michelle Vicari, OAC Chairwoman, former Curriculum Director of the largest National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited Child Care Centers in Southern California:
Rock Collecting Idea
Collect some rocks from your backyard or from a neighborhood walk. Use paint pens to decorate the rocks with pictures and inspirational sayings. On your next walk, leave them for others to find! Take a photo of your rocks and post them online with the hashtag #TheKindnessRocksProject to join people of all ages across the globe taking part in this uplifting and fun activity.
Backyard Scavenger Hunt
Spot the following items:
- A bug
- 3 different leaves
- Something yellow
- A cloud
- Something prickly
- Something smooth
- Something green
- Something that smells good
- 2 different sized twigs
- A rock
- 3 birds
Play a Game of Hopscotch
Use some sidewalk chalk (or tape) to make a hopscotch grid. Toss a rock or a stuffed toy and hop the squares and back to retrieve it. Variations:
- Hop on one foot
- Hop while spelling a word
- Sing a song if you land on an even number
- Answer a trivia question if you land on odd numbers
Many zoos have live webcams right now, like these for example. Here’s a good writing prompt: write about one of the animals you see on the cams. If you were an animal for a day, what animal would you be and why?
We all know the classic “ants on a log” with peanut butter and raisins on celery. But get creative and make “ants and friends!” Use ingredients like peanut butter and almonds, almond butter and dried cranberries, dried cranberries and spreadable cheese.
Share Your Tips
Do you have kids at home? How are you keeping them busy and engaged? Share your ideas and tips in OAC’s Community Discussion Forum.