What can we do for our children while in quarantine (that will be long for them)?

By April 13, 2020 No Comments

Tips and tricks from who seeking to deal with quarantine discomforts from a positive perspective and with a positive attitude to life.

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From the evening to the morning, we have been forced to a completely unknown space-time dimension. Without being able to leave, we have begun to deal with the forced quarantine following the pandemic Covid19, an even stronger experience if at home there are children who are experiencing an unprecedented situation, looking at classmates and teachers from the screen of a pc, tablet or smartphone.

Apart from the online lessons (which are finally being delivered in a more structured way) and the assigned homework, how can we handle them at home all day?

The school year will end “at home”; there is still a lot of uncertainty about the recovery (the next school year could start in high school with a shift system, in the classroom and online, while nothing has yet been decided for primary school), and it is still a revolution and an upheaval of the lifestyle we are used to. Here are some tips and suggestions from those who are facing this situation with optimism and are trying to minimize the inconvenience for children with a smile and a thousand activities.

Domestic rules

Preparing the best both in the management of spaces at home, where possible, and in the preparation of technological tools for online lessons (always where possible) are essential to create spaces of mutual autonomy and allow all the activities (work, lessons, fun, entertainment, etc.). If the parents are lucky enough to be both at home, it is always ideal to discuss at the end of each day in order to decide how to manage the next one. In fact, most children spend most their time away from home (school, sports, music, catechism, etc.) and are used to a regular routine. Consequently, it is essential to avoid improvisation, but to rely on a pre-set daily schedule of activities, that will greatly help children get used to this “new normal”. Finally, even if the temptation to get up late in the morning or go to bed late is strong, do not stray too normal rhythms: our body is based on fixed sleep-wake cycles.

Educational activities

Both for the little ones and for the first years of primary schools, together with the school routine online, you can make drawings of what is done during the day or the week, while older children can write stories describing the activities of the day. It is important that some of the activities are learning-based. With this regard, there are fantastic websites: from Rai Cultura to Amazing Educational Resources, a list of training contents offered by companies that offer temporarily free enrolments, up to National Geographic Education for educational activities; National Geographic Kids for quizzes, videos and animal cards.

Entertainment activities

Let us organize games, fun and entertainment activities for our children. Quarantine must not be a “school and homework” mood, that’s all! If we do not have an outdoor area where we can let our children run or ride a bike, we should dedicate two or three times a week to healthy exercise. If you don’t have knowledge about workouts, social networks are full of workout pills suitable for children of all ages. It is essential to ensure their physical exercise couple hours a week. We should work on games creativity-based: role-playing games, talent shows, cross stitch, painting with tempera and watercolours, chores with paper rolls, plastic bottles and much more that involves manual skills. Plus, obstacle paths (if the spaces at home are enough), with passages under tables or chairs, gymkhana among obstacles, treasure hunts. Finally, we should involve our children to make a cake or pizza together, a scientific test, discover a musical instrument, or to play a board game with the whole family.

Technological activities

The help of technology will be essential: we must forget the limitations that we have always applied to our children regarding the use of tablets and TV! That does not of course mean anarchy but being proactive for children. Disney +, for example, is an amazing, huge sources of contents. In any case, we should always carefully monitor the contents and the time spent with a device in order to avoid negotiations! In addition, we should also use technology for learning games: for example, there are many publishers offering books at very low prices or museums providing free virtual tours, up to Monkey Puzzles, a free app for all devices that helps to practice both reading and listening to the language .

The important thing is to always alternate study activities with entertainment activities and relax moments, such as watching TV or reading.

These rules should also be addressed to moms and dads: we should always try to take our space for sports (with 20-30 minutes of concentrated workout), work, reading. We should firstly be and feel good in order to make our children feeling good!

This is an extraordinary situation which is however entering our ordinary daily life. That is why we have always to exploit the positive aspects!

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