How to Keep Kids Entertained at Home During Covid-19 School Closures
Thousands of schools in countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are on lockdown. Playgrounds were also shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, and kids are being kept at home for their safety. As a teacher, how do you keep kids entertained at home during the lockdown?
The first best thing to do is to contact the parents of your students and ask if you could be of any help. You may offer online teaching for their kids. You could give them advice on how they can keep their kids entertained while stuck at home.
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This age group likes being busy and feeling useful. Here are some activities to keep them entertained.
1. Allot some cupboard space for the toddler, and place some “cooking” utensils, such as a wooden or plastic spoons, mixing bowl, and inexpensive pan or pot. You may also leave some “pasta” (i.e., yarn ball) that they can “cook.” The cupboard should be child-level so they can easily access their utensils.
2. Leave brush, dustpan, and cloths within access so toddlers can “help” you clean or so that they can “wash” clothes in a basin.
3. Mix different shaped or colored pasta in a bowl and let the toddler sort them into groups according to shape or color.
4. If you see the need to turn on the TV, you can play classic favorites like The Muppets, Sesame Street, or go to YouTube and play toddler videos and nursery rhymes (we recommend using YouTube for Kids app).
5. You may create a simple “treasure hunt” inside your home. Hand out clues that the toddlers can easily understand.
- Toddlers like to feel useful, so give them tasks they can perform easily.
- If the TV needs to be turned on, make sure to beat educational TV.
- Give toddlers some fun activities indoors by having dancing sessions, jumping, and skipping. Not only do these activities give them a bit of a workout, but they will also tire them out.
If you’re not self-isolating, a trip to the beach will keep them amused for hours as they go hunting and collecting shells. You may also go to the woods and hunt bugs.
Ages Four to Six
Curious and always interested, that’s what this age group is. They like it when they are able to contribute at home, so give them tasks that will make them feel useful. You may have them help you bake or do simple cooking tasks, like mixing or scooping the cookie batter.
Here are some activities to give kids aged 4 to 6:
1. Farm animals or dinosaurs (hand them miniature animals or dinosaurs and give them playing space)
2. Make fortress using pillows
3. Lego bricks (and challenge them to recreate famous landmarks)
4. Print outlined images that they can color
5. If the TV needs to be turned on, use Netflix Kids channel
- You may also challenge the kids to complete jigsaw puzzles
- Board games are also a great alternative to jigsaw puzzles
- If you own Xbox Kinect, Just Dance is a fun and challenging dancing game. This game will tire them and give them a workout
- Introduce educational and language apps, such as LingoKids and Zoolingo.
Ages Seven to Nine
This age group wants a little bit of challenge, so give them activities that will have them think and reason critically. How about playing treasure hunts at home?
You can also encourage the kids to get crafty. Hand them colored papers, scissors, glue, and pen.
Listed below are some activities that best fit kids ages seven to nine:
1. Treasure hunt outdoor or indoor. If this isn’t possible, how about having the kids play the famous puzzle book Where’s Waldo?
2. Encourage kids to create a collage or a photo album
3. Challenge them to complete an origami
- Like people of all ages, food never fails to keep children busy and entertained. Make something simple like biscuit cake or cookies, and have the kids help you.
Teenagers (Ages 10 and beyond)
Arts and crafts activities work very well for teenagers. This age group also likes to learn new things and explore new skills, so this is the best time to teach them how to cook, build simple house furniture, crochet, and more.
This age group tends to get bored easily, so pick activities that will keep them busy — make fortresses or dens, dinosaur cities, and play cards.
Did you know that you can play Uno online? If you’re a teacher, download the Uno™ mobile game, and connect with your students (make sure they have the game as well).
For Parents and Teachers
There are tons of online resources that provide the needs of children of all ages and stages. You can find online education sources from publishers of school books, such as CJ Fallon and Edco.
Teaching kids about COVID-19 is also important. Nickelodeon has launched a site to help kids understand the coronavirus pandemic with free tips, activities, and games.
Pick the best educational app for your kid, and let us know about it.
There’s no one right answer on how to keep kids entertained at home as there is actually a plethora of activities you can have them engage on. What you should pick depends on so many factors, including the age and passion of your kids. But guaranteed, there is always something you can introduce to kids so that they are kept entertained during this terrible COVID-19 pandemic.
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