Trapped in a small space with small and very energetic children, parents across the world need all the help they can get!
Since the Moroccan government announced a nationwide state of emergency and imposed a lockdown on March 20, parents and children across the country are stuck inside until at least April 20. Children should continue with their education remotely, but that still leaves a lot of unfilled time.
Fortunately, moms and dads do have plenty of cost-free, mess-free options to keep their little one busy and happy until the coronavirus crisis abates.
Tire them out!
Being stuck inside all day can be hard on kids, particularly if they have no outside space to play or a run around.
British Youtuber and fitness coach Joe Wicks is running live sports classes for kids to follow at home every morning at 9 a.m. GMT during the global novel coronavirus lockdown.
The videos are available live on the Body Coach website or to stream later on Youtube.
On his official website, Wicks, who has published a series of recipe books to promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, says “Exercise is an amazing tool to help us feel happier, more energised, and more optimistic.”
“The workouts will be fun and suitable for all ages and even adults can get involved,” the influencer says on his website.
Kids (and parents) all over the world are tuning into the videos everyday to keep fit and expend some of that pent-up energy while the world waits for the COVID-19 crisis to cool off.
Exercise the brain!
After all of that running around, the little ones may need some down time. Fortunately, Amazon’s online marketplace has exactly what they need.
A lot of kids might not be too excited about the prospect of reading, but listening to a book is a perfect compromise–it is educational and fun!
Amazon’s audiobook platform, Audible, is offering hundreds of books for free in all countries.
The website has categorized the books by age. If your kids are not in the same age bracket, the platform also offers recommendations by genre.
The suspension of schools does not have to mean a pause in education. The platform says that “exposure to spoken language reveals a marked improvement in reading and cognitive development.”
You can find all the available titles here:
A change of scene
Being stuck inside can get boring–not just for kids–so mix things up a bit.
One way to change the monotony is to set up an indoor campsite. Have a picnic on the living room floor and set up a tent under the table using a couple of chairs and a blanket.
It is easy to tidy up (that can be the kids’ next activity) and it provides some excitement during what could be another day of the same tired activities.
You can sit around a (fake) campfire, share stories, and eat on the floor. A living room adventure could be the answer to shaking up your daily routine.
Painting and modeling can get both expensive and messy, while coloring books will definitely get boring after a couple of weeks–if not days.
Salt dough could be the answer. Salt dough is a simple modeling clay made from household staples–plain flour, salt, and water.
You can mix the dough for the kids to keep everything clean. Once the dough is ready, it should be smooth and easy to mold. You won’t find any little crumbs in the sofa or on the carpet.
A bit of food coloring or natural dye, like red cabbage water, can change the color.
Older kids can get really creative and produce a beautiful ornament or a bowl, while tots will just love playing with the squishy dough.
Once your little munchkins are done playing, you can bake their statues or salt dough models in the oven, giving them a sense of achievement and a coronavirus keepsake!
You can find a basic salt dough recipe here:
Additional noise might not exactly help the headache I am sure you’re developing after a week or more inside, but recycling plastic packaging and bottles to make musical instruments will keep the kids busy creating music and playing for hours.
Even if this adds to your headache, it will give you a new way to persuade the kids to take out the trash!
All you need is a couple of empty bottles, some dry pasta, and any other (clean) empty food packaging.
Challenge older kids to create an innovative musical instrument–or more than one–and see how many different sounds they can produce.
If you have a few kids at home, you have a ready made orchestra–watch this space for budding composers and musicians!
Routine, routine, routine
Staying inside and not seeing friends will be hard on kids across the globe, so, parents, we need to do our best to keep their minds–and ours–off the uncertainty.
Establishing a routine will make the time inside much easier on both them and you. Try setting up a timetable including allocated hours for school, play, and sports. Keeping them busy is key!
It may be difficult to limit computer and television time while everyone is stuck at home, but keeping it to a minimum will make them appreciate it more and make it easier to get back to your routine when this is all over.
Good luck and stay safe–we are all in this together!