by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
Children are naturally restless, and drive parents nuts when they have nothing to do. Here we suggest 10 top ways to engage your kids during lockdown time. Each of these activities needs parents to spend a little, but rest assured that it is money well-spent.
Baking is fun for kids of any age as they get to mess with the flour and feel important handling the oven. You can bake cookies, cakes, pies and so on, on any budget. Even though you need to shell out some money to buy the supplies, the results are truly worth it. One item per day should be the target as far as baking is concerned, ideally for brunch.
2. Cook a meal for dinner
It will be a great experience to actually cook dinner for the family, a new one each day. A lot of time will be taken up on browsing and looking for suitable recipes, and getting the supplies necessary. Still more time will be taken up in the preparation of the meal. With all the kids pitching in, this can be a great family bonding experience.
2. Have a picnic
Grab a sheet, get some chips and drinks. You are ready for a picnic ideally outside the house in the yard, or even in the living room if you are living in an apartment and do not have a yard to speak of. Picnics are incredibly attractive to children who feel that it is an adventurous diversion in an otherwise dull and boring time. Get some music going, and you have a full-blown picnic.
3. Get a pet
The benefits of having a pet for children are many. A pet draws out the innate sweetness and caring nature of a child, and taking care of the pet teaches children responsibility. A pet can be a great companion to play with, to alleviate the loneliness of lockdown.
4. Join online contests
There are many online contests in various areas such as short story writing, painting and so on. Many are free, and reward the winners with handsome prizes. A simple google search will reveal contests for children of all ages. It is a great educational way to spend this free time.
4. Plan and organize each day
You may find it surprising, but planning and organizing your days itself is a very fruitful exercise to do with your little ones. Each day, about 30 minutes can be spent planning out the next day, actually writing down what can be done at different times, and finding time for the different activities that one would like to do, such as baking, playing with a pet etc.
5. Do some spring cleaning or organizing
Cleaning and tidying up is definitely a boring chore for most of us, and definitely for children. The key to making it attractive is to limit the time spent on tidying up and cleaning to 15 minutes. You can even set an alarm to let you know when you can stop cleaning. It becomes an attractive chore when the whole family does it in a time-bound manner.
6. Draw and paint
Get a small-sized canvas, easel, brushes and paint. Hardly anyone can refuse an invitation to draw and paint when there is a ready canvas and paint beckoning. An even more attractive prospect is to have the whole family painting one large picture, taking turns to draw and paint.
7. Learn how to edit videos
With mobile phones becoming ubiquitous, even a kid can take videos, but editing a video takes skill. The lockdown time is perfect for learning video editing, because the results are quite impressive. There are many video editing applications available which are easy to use.
8. Do science experiments
Simple science experiments can be done at home by kids under the supervision of adults. Science experiments provide the perfect mix of education and entertainment at a low cost.
9. Start an indoor mini-garden or terrarium
A terrarium is incredibly satisfying for those who miss greenery and nature. A terrarium is a mini-garden that you can create in a glass container, using plants that can grow indoors. Detailed instructions on how to create a terrarium are available online easily.
10. Basket ball
Of all the games, why do we suggest basketball? Precisely because unlike football, volleyball or even cricket, basketball is a very precise game with the players having high control over the ball, so that it will not go out of control and break your window. Also, all it needs is a basketball hoop and a little space to bounce the ball around.