Can you imagine what your reaction would have been if someone had told you at the beginning of the year that in a few months, every single country in the world would be quarantined? That something would be introduced to our world and shut down the entire economy? I wouldn’t have believed it. But can I tell you something that would scare most families even more? That you would have to be quarantined in your home with your children for an indefinite amount of time.
Nowadays, families have become infamous for their endless activities and filled schedules. School, sports, enrichment classes, tutoring, scouts, and the endless amount of extracurriculars kept families of today busier than ever. One activity would lead right into the next with dinner and homework being slotted in during car rides. And then it all came to a halt.
We’ve been home for a month now. Although I initially cherished our time without schedules and chauffeuring the kids around – it has also become evident that those same activities saved us from constant screen time and developed skills in activities we loved.
If you’re a family that’s quarantined with kids at home, it’s already been an incredibly long month. With virtual schooling, working from home and managing a house with everyone in close quarters, we still need to get geared up for more weeks at home, together.
Here’s a list of 5 activities you can do with your children at each grade level:
- New Craft: looming, bracelet making, painting, the craft activities are endless. Crafts bring out your child’s creativity and imagination; they also develop fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Most craft stores have curbside pick-up available with significant discounts at this time.
- Outschool.com: This is a great online platform for classes that cater to your child’s interest. These online classes range from arts, writing, coding, and woodworking. Each class and teacher is rated so you can read extensive reviews before signing up.
- Reading Aloud: While being at home together, it’s still possible to not spend quality time with each other. If you find that everyone is in separate rooms and not really interacting, try choosing a book to read aloud to your children. By reading aloud, you’ll all be experiencing an adventure and it’s a great conversation starter.
- Skills Development: If your child was working on a certain sports skill, a hobby or an enrichment class, there are apps that can help them keep up with those skills. If not an app, keep practicing and working on things that they love – they have less of the stress and can take their time to perfect it.
- Legos/Puzzles/Blocks: Any tool that allows you to build creatively will occupy your kids for hours, which is a win-win for everyone in the house. We usually do the 1000+ puzzles because it involved the entire family and can take up a day or two to complete.
- Sewing Masks: Teach them a life-skill while also giving back to the community. If you have a sewing machine, find a mask tutorial on Youtube, and teach your middle-schooler how to sew. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can still help out by cutting fabric or assembling materials together. This is a great time to reinforce the importance of generosity and community.
- Journaling: We are living a history that will be remembered for centuries. Ask your children to begin a journal that documents their activities, their feelings and anything else that comes to their mind during this time. This will become a valuable keepsake for them for years to come.
- Baking: Another life-skill that can also benefit the whole family. You can encourage and teach your children to bake bread or other goodies that will help cheer up the household and spread a wonderful aroma.
- Coding: Middle school is a great time to teach your kids about coding and the basics of programming. Coding is the new literacy of the digital age and it will only help kids stay up to date with evolving technology. This is also productive screen time.
- Online Games: Find a safe platform for your middle-schooler and their friends to play games and interact online. Online games will allow your child to remain social along with learning strategy.
- Invest in the Stock Market: With teens at home, this is a great time to teach them about investments. Try giving them some money and let them invest in real stocks. Most stock prices are still low and the teens have the opportunity to watch the stock market throughout the day and learn how investments work.
- Cooking: This is one of those life-skills that you shouldn’t send your kids off to the real world without. With everyone turning their attentions to the kitchen and constantly opening the fridge, hand your high schooler a recipe and save yourself from making dinner once or twice a week.
- Gardening: Your high schooler is probably beyond knowing and being excited about a seed sprouting from the soil. However, you can teach them about sustenance, maintaining a garden, effects of pesticides and the importance of vegetables and healthy eating.
- Scrapbooking: many high schoolers will either be heading off to college in the fall (hopefully) or will be getting ready to leave in a few years’ time. Use this opportunity to put memorabilia together into a scrapbook or digitize them for safekeeping.
- Workout Routine: Keep your kids moving! Don’t let this quarantine stop your high schooler from staying fit – maybe gym class was the only time they were active. Teach them the importance of having a workout routine, even if it consists of walking around your neighborhood and make it a habit.
This quarantine isn’t easy for any family. I hope the suggestions above help ease this time and make your family’s time together more enjoyable.
Ayesha Siddiqui is a mother to four children whom she homeschools. She blogs at www.acupofhome.com about homeschooling, parenting and her endless craft projects.