How to Keep Your Child Busy During Extended School Closures

April 25, 2020

The shutting down of many businesses and schools is something no one was ready for. And because these changes were so sudden, we were forced to learn how to cope with them fast. It hasn’t been easy, especially if your work has shut down and you have children who are displaced from their schools at the same time.

But don’t worry. There are ways to make the transition from school into at-home life easy and fun for your kids. Read on for some helpful tips on keeping your little one entertained during extended school closures.

Explore the zoo virtually

All over the world, parks, museums, zoos, and other child-friendly places may be closed during a state of emergency but the animals are still there doing their thing.

Allow your child to have the same type of experience and learn more about these animals by visiting zoos virtually. Many of these zoos use webcams to monitor the activities of the animals. Some are now live streaming those video feeds over the internet so families and kids can watch from home.

Check out your child’s favorite zoo to see if a live stream is available. Similar video streaming may be available for museums and other child-friendly places.

Facilitate some fun indoor activities

While it’s important that kids are given time to enjoy unstructured play, it will excite some kids more if parents or other adults facilitate the indoor games for them.

Not only are these games excellent for keeping kids entertained during school closures. They also are a great way to continually develop and practice important skills while schools are closed. 

These activities and games do not have to be complicated. You can play a simple scavenger hunt or a race of some sort.

Do it every now and then to add variety to your child’s daily routine.

Get busy with arts and crafts

This time of extended school closures offers a perfect opportunity for kids to channel their creativity and imagination. Gather recycled materials and let them transform those into beautiful masterpieces. Give them paint, crayons or watercolor and then turn them loose to create.

Establish screen time routine and rules

Because school is out, children now have more time for watching television and playing with their electronic devices. However, it shouldn’t mean that they get to spend all day glued to their screens.

Screen time can be made productive if it’s used as a parenting and learning tool. Be sure to set your child’s expectations on screen time use. Make them aware of the number of hours they’re allowed to use gadgets and during what time(s) of day they’re allowed to do it. Beyond the screen time schedule, you should only allow extended time on the screen if you need it and if they’re using it for learning. 

Encourage reading

It’s true what they say, that a child who reads grows into an adult who thinks.

Developing the habit of reading during a child’s early years can benefit them in several different ways. It helps develop their brain, enhances its function, boosts their chances of academic success and fosters their creativity and imagination.

Now that children have more time at home, it’s the best time to develop and increase the habit of reading. Set a specific time each day for reading. Start with 30 minutes and slowly increase the total number of minutes until they develop a love for it.

You can read aloud to them or have them read out loud to you. You can also let them read in silence if that’s what they prefer. If they become engrossed and want to extend their reading period, let them. There’s no such thing as too much reading!

Cook together

Cooking is another exciting activity for kids to do at home and it’s even more fun when they get to do it with you. Not only will it teach them some useful skills in the kitchen. It’s also an excellent way for you to bond and connect!

Children might find extended school closures boring and dragging. But with the help of these tips, you can make these days and weeks at home more fun, productive, and worthwhile. 

For more parenting tips or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your child, please visit Everley Rose Center.

 

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