Today, I want to discuss how to play during this quarantine. While so many people are off or at a standstill, finding things to do with your kids can be hard. I know it gets stressful, trust me, I can relate. When all you need is time to think or relax it can be difficult when you have little ones underfoot. Yes, even the ones that are not so little anymore can become frustrating too.
If you are like me, you do not rely on electronics to occupy your kids because it is not healthy at all for their mind or attention span. Games or phones do not do anything but become a distraction and I find the more kids mess with them, the harder it is for them to not only focus on regular everyday things but makes it hard for them when they do not have them and they have to rely on their own brains. There are grown adults with these problems too. So, in learning from those problems, I find other things to help my kids grow and learn. Today I am going to share some of the things I like to do with my own kids.
Take kids outside. Yes, I know it is not good to be in crowds. I let my kids go for walks on back roads, hikes, or play around in an empty field. They bring their Frisbees and throw them. Playing together. We brought two trashcans and had a game of toss with the Frisbee and a tennis ball. You can do this with bins too. I let them rollerskate and rollerblade. Yes, they still sell them in stores. They rode their bikes. My oldest worked out while we were in the field too and I bet his football coaches will appreciate his dedication. Let them take the dog(s) on a walk. There are so many ideas when you finally have the time to spend with your kids. You may or may not want them to grow up fast. But either way, this is good bonding time. Do not lose it.
If your kid(s) need to work on certain areas of school, now is the time to help them with that. Like band for instance. I help one of my children with their music and concentration. Allowing them to perform for me also gains them confidence. Another one needs help with reading, concentration, and writing. I have all of them read and ask them to write about it. I have had them all write a story of their own choosing but it has to have a beginning, middle, and end. I have had them use their brains and make a prelude or epilogue too so they know what those things are and how to properly use them. It gets their imaginations working and helps tune their writing and concentration too. I have them try and make poems. Now, my youngest cannot really write yet but I have him tell it to me and we write it out together. That way I can work on letters and spelling with them too. I have also suggested they all come up with their own secret language, where they make a key of symbols and each symbol is a letter. This is not only time consuming but fun. They get to collaborate with each other and work together. Then they have something fun they can share later.
Pen pal. This one is something you can do with multiple kids or if you only have one child. If you do not know anyone’s address this is where you reach out to the school. You can ask them for a parent’s phone number to call and ask, or you can have the school ask for you. This is a great way to stay in touch and have your kids learn the art of mailing letters. How to properly form a letter, work on their writing, and it is nice to receive something in the mail that isn’t bills. You can always email too, I know the older kids do this, but email isn’t always as exciting as getting something someone took the time to write. Besides, you can always mail other things with a letter that you can’t do through email. Not to mention the added bonus of giving the post office employees more work again. Job layoffs are a big thing and helping them with jobs (if more people did this again) is adding to the economy.
Arts and crafts. This can mean many things and I am going to share some of the things I have done with my kids.
Painting. You can get supplies from the dollar store or your general store. I had them do it on regular paper, cardboard, and canvas. They love making art and displaying it. Plus, your art teachers will find this fantastic too. You can always look up videos on different things to paint or things to make
Make a tree. I had kids use a canvas board, paint any color tree they wanted and add buttons. All of these things, except the canvas board, I got at the dollar store. You will need paintbrushes, paper to lay under canvas, canvas board, paint, a glue gun, and buttons. After laying down paper, place canvas over top. You paint your tree. Just the base without any leaves because the buttons will be your leaves. When that dries you plug in your glue gun and layout whatever kinds of buttons you want to use. Adding the glue to the back of the buttons you apply them to the canvas. I laid some of mine out before I added glue so I knew where I wanted them but you don’t have to do this. When it all dries you have art you can hang up. it looks great in my bathroom.
Make stained glass. I bought an old window frame. Some of the glass was either missing or broken but that didn’t bother me. You can have the kids sand it down if they are old enough to do that, if not then the parent can do this part. Remove the glass and paint the frame. This is fun for the kids because they get to pick whatever color they want. Then add the glass back. If you have glass that is falling out, they have pieces to add to the back to hold the glass in place nor you can use spackle that dries and holds it. Spackle you will have to sand down too. Then you and your kids pick out what design you want on the glass. When you pick a design, you need to make sure it will fit in the size glass you have. I press the image against the glass and then use a fine tip permeant marker and trace on the glass. Be prepared for this whole process to be time-consuming. If you make a mistake, it is ok. Windex with vinegar will wipe it off. When that dries, you then can add your paint. I add food coloring to modge podge or you can add paint to modge podge and mix. I take a paintbrush and apply the paint where I like it within my outline. When it dries you should have something resembling stained glass you can hang on a wall, in a window or outside. This is a fun and enjoyable product you can keep.
Chalk drawings. I like to get my kids out as much as I can and this is a great way to make some art and have them go crazy. No matter how many kids you have, drawing with chalk is always fun and brings out the imagination.
You can pick any toy and use the sun to draw shadow images of the item you choose. They can do this inside or outside. It allows them to learn how to trace and then you can paint or color the image you trace. If you make a long strip of paper images that you paint, you can apply it to a wall as a boarder. Something your kids love looking at because they made it.
My final idea for this post, is to have the kids help with cooking something. I switch around and give my kids each a meal to help with. This way they learn cooking and how to handle utensils in the kitchen, plus they also get to spend quality time with you making whatever meal they pick out. This can also be a learning tool for them to learn how to make something new. If you choose something, you can have them write down their own recipe from what you make together. They will have that as a family memory and it is something they can pass down when they get older too.
A lot of parents get frustrated when kids are at home all the time. Not used to having to be home and then the kids on top of it can be a problem for the parents and children. Learning ways to be involved while still learning things can be difficult. I hope these posts help anyone reading them, to find something new and fun to do with their family. If you have any added suggestions please let me know. I would love to hear them. I am also on www.gt-publishing.com for more ways to reach out to me.
I am a children's author of the imagination. I love to inspire and be inspired. There are so many people out there, both young and old that could use a little magic in their life and I like the create the magical in any passionate situation. If you wish to know more please read some of my work. I will post my books as they become available on here as well.
Mistakes are not only learning experiences but how we can create magic of our own. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, be afraid of never making any and never finding the "wow" moment in life.