In this global crisis of Corona, we’re all locked down in our homes and there is really nothing to do. Thats why I decided to write about few things to do with kids
Its very difficult for us grown-ups also to stay just at home and do nothing and it does take a lot of toll on mental health as well. Moreover those with kids know situation much better. Kids are home all the time, they can’t even go and meet their friends and play something. This is very difficult. Adults at time, can cope with their mind to be completely isolated from others. But with kids, the situation is difficult to understand. They’ve never seen such situations. And probably, they’re not getting it fully why they’re locked down at home. Apart from being grateful to our kids for showing understanding, there are few things that we can do with them to spend time. And not only to spend time, but to utilize it little productively as well. So I am sharing few nicer ways to engage children at home and yet have fun at it
List of 10 Things to do with kids at home
So here’s the list of 10 things you can do with your kids right now at home
1. Play with them
As difficult as it may seem, but this is the best thing we can do with our kids right now. Just play with them. It’ll give a mental relaxation for both the parent and kids alike. A good time off from netflix and all the mobile games. There are plenty many of indoor games that you can play with you kids to stay feeling fresh and active. Here are some indoor games that you can do with your kids. Off course there are plenty of things to list here. And am sure you already are doing some of these things, but just to expand the ideas
- Playing Chess and Other board games
- Hide and Seek
- DIY Craft activities
- Simple Card Games
- Treasure Hunt
2. Cook with Kids
I don’t know if cooking is your hobby or not. But believe me, kids of almost every age loves cooking. They feel very excited to even think about an idea of cooking something themselves. And you really need no fancy dishes to make. You can start with some simple recipe including how to make tea and simple day to day stuffs. I would rather say, start with something simpler so they get interested and then move forward Here are some recommendations of activities.
- Make Hot milk chocolate, make an evening of entire family gathering with the hot chocolate made by your younger master or angel
- A Khichadi lunch prepared by your kids will make your morning fade away
- Make your afternoon interesting with cakes made at home. You don’t need an oven for it, you can create one with a large PAN Filled with lots of salt to produce oven like heat and bake anything
- Spanish omelette, very tasty and interesting to cook. Kids just love this.
- Roti Pizza ( using the chapati we do at home, just spread sauce, veggies and cheese on it and place on a flat PAN by covering it from top, tastes very good)
- Sweet and Sour Lemonade
- Oreo Milk shake (If you can get hold of Oreo biscuit and Vanila ice cream and some milk, just put them together and whisk in a blender, a tasty oreo shake is ready which everyone likes)
- Ice Candy ( Refrigerate the lemonade or any other flavored drinks made at home in a kulfi maker to make nice and crunchy ice candies)
3. Exercise with Kids
Staying just home has one very big drawback. And that is inactivity!!
Inactivity is not good for parents as well as children. In regular times, children play alot. They jump, they run and they do hundreds of activities daily. But in a stay home situation, there is hardly any movement that kids get to do. And so is the case of parent. Not going to work, not moving out of home, will easily make one inactive robbing you of physical health. Moreover the mental depression that comes is a different story altogether. Doing light exercises with kids will keep both you and your kids happy and healthy. The exercise keeps the mental and physical well being in balance. There are many simple exercises which you can do, I’ll list some of the most effective one’s here which will give you a big energy boost and mental peace as well.
- Suryanamaskar, there cannot be much said about this one fantastic form of exercise / Yog Asan. read more in detail here about the great many benefits. Any kid of age 6 and above can do Surya Namaskar with you
- Other beneficial Yog Asana’s, learn more and watch with instructional videos here. I’d recommend do not go for any wanna be Yog teacher and instead go to an authentic source like Isha foundation
- Jumping Jacks (with nice music, doing this just for 3-4 minutes is a great fun and workout)
- Dance. Even my 3 year old moves like nothing else watching his favorite songs. Better to watch videos on tv instead of that cramped out mobile screen
4. Read books with kids
If you (and) or your kids are never into reading books, this can be a very good times. No matter how much you hate books, after all all formal education we have got is through reading. We learn new recipe through reading. We learnt all our formal education through books. So there is no point denial of importance of books from life. And this can be a great chance to give this indulgence to yourself and your kids. But yes, there are limitations that if you don’t have books then its a problem. For a book worm like me and many other, the shelf’s are loaded with at least 100 books to begin with. But for a newbee, there’s a good way out. You can read it on phone. I won’t go in details of how much you or your kid should look at screen, you already know that. But I’m going to share a wonderful app on which you can read almost every famous title free of cost. Anybooks is a free android app to read books and it has almost every famous book in its ocean of libraries. I’ll recommend starting with simple stories with hidden lessons and then move to different genre. Here are some of my recommendations.
- Chicken Soup for the soul
- Harry Potter Series
- Ramayan, kids are thrilled to read Indian mythology
- The serpents Tale : Unusual tales from Mahabharat
- Head over to Dogo Books, a Goodreads like platform for kids
Moreover, you can switch to audiobooks as well. Listening to audio book is like watching an interesting movie which doesn’t end in 3 hours, instead runs for 10-30 or more hours. Audible has good collections of audio books as well
5. Teach computers to your kids
Depending on the age of your kids, you can start teaching them computer. If the kid is 4 years or older, its good time to start the basic mouse movements using the paint tool in windows. If the kid is in 1st std and onward, you must have started teaching her / him about typing using microsoft word and creating simple presentations. Teaching computer to your kids will be a great fun for kids of all ages and it’ll be a good long term knowledge that they’ll benefit from. Moreover, who knows, it’ll shake some dust off your minds too 😀
6. Create fun mobile apps with your kids
App Inventor is an Android App making platform provided by Google and now maintained by MIT USA. This follows the same syntax of putting blocks together as in Scratch which is a block based coding language. Whats more interesting for both parents and kids in this is they can create real apps for their phones and also download it onto their own phone. Imagine you and your kids made an app for sending sms to your wife by simply giving a single voice command, will it impress a mother and wife? I definitely thing she will. Whats most important is its endless fun to create things which you can run on your phone with your kids. Checkout app inventor here.
What all is needed to learn App Inventor: A Computer/Laptop, Android phone and Internet Connection
Who can learn App Inventor : Anyone who can use android phone, and read english
Can I teach App Inventor to my kids: Yes, if you can use android phone, and read english 🙂 🙂
7. Teach your kids programming (and yourself too)
A computer program is nothing but a way to instruct the computer to do something. This “something” can be anything from printing your name on screen to playing some sounds and also sending emails to creating games. When someone is doing programming, he’s solving some problem, he has to use paper and pencil and think on ways to achieve something. Yes, there is fixed outline in which he has to do this, but it involves 2 of the most important things
- Problem Solving
- Creative thinking
Programmer has to dwell on to something to achieve and it mugs his mind to search for answer by doing some things / writing codes. off course we don’t want to give such painstaking programming assignment to our kids, but what if that assignment is fun to do. What if it excites them and makes them want to do it more often. There are plenty good techniques to teach coding to your kids which you can read here
But if you’re serious about it, then best to start with python programming. Its simpler and both you can your kids can learn it together. You can take up an online course like this to aid you in learning python in a systematic way instead of running through jungle of online tutorials and finding right one.
8. Create videos with them
You know it for a long time. You and your kids have been watching youtube for a long time. And we know that there are plenty of youtube channels where parents and kids are making some videos. It doesn’t matter whats the content of video. It doesn’t matter if you want to make money out of it or not. Just the idea of creating a youtube video will make your kids jump with excitement and fun. Just tell them about it and see their reaction. You don’t need anything to create youtube videos and upload them except your phone. Just record and upload it on youtube. And once published, show your kids their videos on big screen, they’ll go crazy.
9. Play video game on computer
I know many will scoff at this idea. But there’s a reason I didn’t wrote “play video games”. But I wrote “play video game on computer”. Playing on a computer with a proper game controller has enourmous benefits. First video games are fun, kids absolutely love it. Moreover gaming in limited timeframe has several benefits like
- Improve Hand-eye co-ordination. Gaming kids learn driving faster
- Foster patience in kids. As they fail again and again to complete a level, they get frustrated, its a nice dosage to teach them patience. (Cuphead, one of the most difficult yet fun game)
- Socialism. For remotely locked down kids, playing online with their friends can be a good way to socialize them for a while (online)
- Joy of Competition (any and every game)
- Problem Solving (minecraft / little big planet)
- Brings parents and kids together (FIFA games)
Just make sure the games you buy for your kids are appropriate for their age groups.
10. Start a family blog
You went to a nice vacation last Christmas and have all your photos in your google photos album and you can see them once a while. Its good, yes its off course good. But what if you create a family blog of your own? What if you create a blog post of every tour you made. Every single recipe you and your kids make? Every good/bad thing happened for you? It’s a kind of journal writing itself but a very pictorial one. Blog is just a log created on internet which can have text, images and videos everything which can be viewed by just scrolling down the page. You blog has many benefits, but most importantly, it’ll be like writing your life journey on a blog. When your kids will be grown up, they’ll be looking at your entire life, how they grew up and what all they did in their childhood through your blog. Not to mention you can make money from your blog as well. But that is not the point here. Point is to give your kid a hobby and asset like no other kids by starting a blog and letting him write there.
You can create a blog with blogger or wordpress. WordPress is highly recommended. Because with wordpress, you can create a simple free blog in minutes. And in future, you can create an entire website around your blog as well. This website is also created using wordpress. 🙂
So this was my short list of engaging kids at home. Please add in comments what you love doing with your kids and any other addition to the list and your views on this.