We are in self- isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all living in an uncertain period, where adults and children can feel stressed more easily. Many adults know how to handle their stress; however, as parents, we need to teach our children how to manage their frustration, especially during this period.
According to Margarita Tartakov, in the article 7 Tips for Helping Your Child Manage Stress says, “The key to helping kids manage stress is teaching them to problem-solve.” The way I teach my son how to solve problems is by introducing him to new activities. I’ve noticed every time I show him a new activity, he pays attention carefully to what I am doing, and then he tries to imitate it in his own way.
I believe kids learn faster when they play. Kids enjoy playing, this is also a way for them to develop their imagination. I’ve noticed when my son plays, he grows physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
Quarantine or isolation is a period that I have used to pass quality time with my son. As a parent, we have a very tight agenda, and sometimes we don’t spend the time we would like with our kids.
Here are some fun activities my son and I do while we are quarantine.
Playdough provides excellent benefits for kids. According to an article in Parenting Chaos, playdough helps children develop hand strengthening and sensorimotor; also, it improves their tactile and olfactic preception. Furthermore, the article mentions that children can learn fine motor skills, socioemotional skills, creativity, language, literacy science, and math.
My son likes to play with playdough. However, he still doesn’t make any fancy shapes, but I make little balls for him, and he loves to smash them. I teach him different colors and different forms he can make.
It is gratifying to know how much our children learn with the messy playdough. Also, this is something we don’t have to buy if we don’t want it, we can prepare it at home. Here you’ll find the receipt of how to make playdough and also how to add lemon scent to it.
Painting is another activity my son enjoys to do. In the article, The Benefit of Painting for Children says, painting helps kids to communicate their emotions, to develop hands coordination, mobility skills, focus skill, decision making.
Painting is also therapeutic, I would say this activity is a medicine, which helps children to stay calm and relax while they are expressing their feelings through the different colors they choose to paint.
My son has recently discovered the painting activity. In the beginning, when I introduce him to painting, he looked at me as he was confused; but right after, he started choosing the colors of his preference. He doesn’t know yet how to use the brushes. However, I gave him some cotton swab instead, and that works perfectly for him.
Washing toys is an activity very fun for our children, especially if they are like my son, who loves to play with water. The Homeschool Mastery Academy in the article Super Simple Water Activity Preschool is the Time for Play, provides a list of things kids can learn while washing their toys.
The list includes:
- Word growth: mentioning the name of every toy children wash.
- Assign task: asking your children for a particular toy. For example, Can I please get the green ball?
- Life skill: with this activity, kids are acquiring a lesson for life. They are learning how to clean and how important it is to keep toys hygienic.
- Motor skills: washing toys help children to develop the synchronization of the use of their hands and eyes.
How do I prepare the table for the washing toys activity?
I pour water in two containers, in one of them, I add dark chocolate powder, and in the other, I add a few drops of dish soap. I put the toys in the dark water. My son grabs the toys and put them in the container with soap and scrub them. After, I get a new bucket with clean water to rinse the toys and a towel to dry them.
This is a simple and fun activity for children.
A puzzle is an excellent way for children to solve problems. According to Michael Manno, the article The benefits of Puzzles in Early Childhood Development, there are three skills your kids can build playing with puzzles. The skills are:
- Physical: the children grab the pieces of the puzzle and try to fit them, by turning them until kids find the right place where the pieces fit.
- Cognitive: the puzzle is an activity that enhances the kids to solve problems.
- Emotional: children gain knowledge of how to control their emotions while they find the right piece to fit. A good example is they become more patient.
I had introduced my son to a geometric puzzle activity. The first a few days, he used to get frustrated when he couldn’t find the right piece to fit in each hole. But as he kept practicing, he is now able to complete all the geometric holes by himself. The geometric puzzle helps him to learn about the different shapes and also about the colors.
The geometric puzzle my child has I bought it in Amazon.
Go for a walk
Taking kids to walk outside is very important for their physical and mental health, especially during the quarantine period, always making sure to practice social distance.
According to Novak Djokovic Foundation in the article, The Benefit of Walking for Children says, kids enjoying walking because it is fun, sociable; it helps children feel happy, calm and it improves their concentration. Finally, it stimulates children’s independence.
I walk outside with my son, and I name everything we see around. Example: cars, birds, trees. He loves to say “carro” (Spanish word meaning car), every time he notices a car is passing by and birds every time he sees a bird flying in our way.
Those are some of the activities I practice with my son, they are fun and interactive and enhance kids’ imagination and creativity.
Remember always let your child be creative!!