Exercising the body and mind: Keeping kids engaged during COVID-19
By Kiley Morrow
The world feels like it’s gotten a lot smaller this year. Most people only leave their homes for necessities, no longer getting to enjoy the fun and exhilaration that comes with spending the day at the beach or an amusement park. Kids have been hit the hardest with this, having to give up a summer of playing in organized sports programs with their friends and teammates.
With many kids now learning from home instead of in school with their friends, many are struggling with increased levels of depression, anxiety and isolation.
One of the best ways to combat these struggles is spending quality time with the entire family. Here are some ways to keep your kids (and you!) active and engaged during these challenging times:
Bring some sunshine to your day by spending at least an hour outside with your family. Explore new parks, go for a bike ride, or play a game to break up the monotonous work day and entertain your kids. Families with kids of all ages can enjoy a game of pick up soccer this fall. Or maybe try learning a new skill, like rollerblading, with your older kids.
Have a Family Dance Party
Get the whole family moving with a living room dance party! Get creative and choreograph a short dance to tunes from your kid’s favorite musical movie or television show. Or, opt for a pre-choreographed dance routine from one of the internet’s many personal trainers who have been putting out free content targeted at kids during the pandemic. Even just a 15-minute dance session is guaranteed to get the whole family energized and laughing.
Take Time for Family Mindfulness
Take a few minutes out of your day for family yoga or meditation. Relax your mind and body while creating new healthy family habits with free, kid-friendly yoga and meditation videos available online.
Have Virtual Dinner Dates With Loved Ones
Everyone has someone that they're missing right now. Whether you're staying away from family because of social distancing or you're trying to protect someone at-risk, you should focus on keeping in contact. Plan a virtual dinner party with your friends and family. Make your favorite meal and log onto Skype or Zoom to share it virtually. Have your kids help plan the call so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Create With Them
Help foster your kids’ creativity by exploring new skills together. Learn how to sew, create at-home “science experiments” with salt crystals, or pick up a paint brush. Exploring new things together brings you closer and teaches you and your child valuable skills to use during and after COVID.
Make Education Fun
With at-home schooling widely adopted, your kids may feel like school is taking over their home lives. Help them regain a joy for learning with educational games, like Words with Friends. Try this tool to teach them new words if you get stuck during your game. Motivating kids to learn can have negative effects as it may come across as pushy, so make sure to listen to your kids’ concerns.
Be Patient With Them
Be patient with your kids and yourself, as we all try to learn how to cope with COVID-19. This is not something we can be trained to deal with, and we're going to have to take steps to be thoughtful with ourselves and each other.
With a passion for writing, Kiley Morrow quit her 9-to-5 to pursue a freelance career and never looked back. She now writes informative articles on family, lifestyle, and travel to help people all over the internet.
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