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The Secret to keep your kids busy and learning at home due the school closure amidst Coronavirus outbreak.

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As millions of students are being displaced from school due to the spread of coronavirus all over the world. Here rise the real crises for all the parents: what will the kids do at home all day? How to keep them busy? Being a mother, I am sure you agree with me that we cannot match the kid’s energy level. I still wonder many times where do they get energy from?

Entertaining them for a weekend is different but now we have 7 days and indefinite period of time where we have to think how we can entertain them and keep them busy. This widespread school closure has sent a contagion effect in the parental communities where they race to find ways for the smooth transition of kids from their school to home life.

From public health point of view, closing schools are the useful measures that will help in controlling this outbreak but from parenting standpoint, it’s very logically challenging and incredibly stressful.

There was a concept of Home schooling which is quite old when there used to be very less schools and there are still many families who believe in this concept of home schooling their kids. That’s all you need to do in this crisis’s situation.

Don’t stress yourself, the solution is very simple. Make a routine. Kids are used to following a schedule. Make a blueprint of what activities you want to do. Plan everything beforehand so that everything falls at its place. It might sound difficult but its easy. Just grab a piece of paper and pen and draft how you want the day to look like. The goal is to keep the kids busy.

Here is how you can set the routine for your kid.

Follow the school routine

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Use school as an example and follow what they do throughout the day.

  1. Keep the breakfast, lunch and snack time, the same.
  2. Break the day into small chunks just like the school so that it gets easy for them to adjust.
  3. If your child has dedicated schoolwork, you need to figure out what time suits them to focus and concentrate. Is it morning or afternoon?

 

Dedicated Play time

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Carving out the day for the dedicated play time for kids is something that they are looking for throughout the day and they will keep pester you by asking you what time it is and when are they going to play. When you have mapped down everything from the food time to the school assignment, its time for some serious learning specially when your child is imaginative and creative.

The more child plays, the more he/she learns. So, make sure you leave approximately 20-30 minutes everyday for their free play time in their schedule.

  1. Toys with lights and batteries or the toys that talk should not be involved in it as it reduces their thinking capability. Make sure you keep the toys that involve some thinking ability such as blocks, racetrack and Lego.
  2. Don’t involve adult in their play. Limit their involvement. Let them play on their own and only come when they need your help. This will help in their own development as they learn to solve their own problems.

 

Make a Screen time Routine

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when the kids are at home, they will definitely have access to the screen and here comes our responsibility as a parent to make them use it wisely.

To keep your child from overindulging in the screen time

  1. Have a set schedule for children that means a specific time so that the children know when they can watch their tv such as when you are sorting down lunches or household work.
  2. Some of the parents switch on the tv to have some background noise when it feels so quiet. If your kid is not watching, just switch it off. If you need any background noise, play some good relaxing music.
  3. Out of the scheduled time block, switch on the tv only when you think you need to. Save screen time for some big moments like when you have a conference call or when you are preparing your dinner or lunch.

 

Plan some easy Indoor activities

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It might sound easy but believe me that’s most difficult to do keeping in mind the temperament of your kid. Don’t think you can only limit 1 activity a day. You should probably think of at least 3-4 activities so that you can keep them busy for at least an hour or so. Easy indoor activities are the lifeline and a great way to practice school skills and keep them entertained. Don’t plan any complicated activities that takes time for them to understand.

Some of the activities that you can plan are:

  1. Build a city: it might sound very weird but just give them their bunch of toys like cars and houses and then give them a box. What they need to do is just flatten the piece of box and make the road with the help of color pens and construct a city with it.
  2. Wash toys: It is one of the best plays I did when I was a child. Give your kid a bunch of all plastic toys and make them sit in the bathroom tub. What they need to do is just wash them. Put them bubbles and sponges so that they can enjoy their work.
  3. Recycled Art: Use a trash or some thing that you think you can transform it into a piece of art and give them a paint and tell them to beautify it. You will not imagine how it will turn out to be because they have such sharp minds and can think of anything which you would not even think about it.

 

Build in Reading

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Many studies and researches have shown the importance of reading to kids. Being at home is the best time to start this. Those who do not have the habit of reading, start with 15-20 minutes a day. Remember that this is the total amount of time and you can break this time like 5 minutes before lunch and then 10 minutes before a nap. Put in the reading block. Consider structuring the reading block in different ways such as parent reading aloud, children reading aloud (if they know how to read it) and the silent family reading time. If your child wants to extend the reading time, don’t think about spoiling the whole schedule. There is no such thing as too much reading. You can always plan the leftover activities for the next day.

 

With the most perfect schedule, planned for your kids. There will some of time where you just can’t muster up the energy to come up with the single activity and instead let them watch their favorite show or a movie. That’s ok!

These next few weeks are not going to be easy for sure. You will lose patience, you will raise your voice, your house will be a disaster and probably amidst all this stress, you are going to overeat. But remember you will also get the opportunity to slow down and refocus, to let go of the demanding schedule. You will get time to snuggle your babies a little more, to play board games. Just be thankful that you are healthy and that you have each other. In times like these we have to find the blessings in the chaos and uncertainty.

Happy Parenting and Be Safe!!

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