6 Ways to Entertain (and Educate) Your Kids During Winter Quarantine
With the weather turning colder and the days getting shorter, families are spending more and more time indoors. And with COVID-19 resurging across the nation, it looks as if quarantine will continue throughout the holiday season. Now, more than ever, parents and kids need coping skills to get through all the challenging aspects of the pandemic, from virtual learning to cabin fever.
Are you looking for ways to make sure your home is a less stressful place during the pandemic and the coming winter? Here are six ideas to help educate and entertain your kids at home—and save your sanity in the process!
Keep energy positive.
Maintaining a positive outlook will help your whole household stay in a good mood, even when things are tense—which can happen. Give everyone some breathing room by creating cleaning rituals and decluttering rooms to remove bad energy. The blame game and criticism can clutter a space just as much as loose textbooks and laptops on the dining room table.
Make learning fun.
Let your kids keep up with learning through activities that are less screen-based and more practical. Science experiments in the kitchen, like erupting a lemon volcano or creating ocean currents, can be as entertaining as they are educational. Also, try to align these activities with their interests. For example, if they like sports, combine football and math into activities around statistics.
Choose educational shows.
Kids love watching TV, but there’s a need to enforce limitations. Thankfully, there are many kinds of exciting programs that kids can enjoy, while at the same time exploring subjects like biology, math, English, history, civics, and more. From Sesame Street for your toddlers to National Geographic for your adolescents, you can manage the indoor boredom with brief windows of educational TV shows.
Spending more time indoors can strain the mind as well as the body. Luckily, yoga can help with both. If you and your kids are beginners, you can start practicing yoga through free videos on YouTube—many of which offer kids’ yoga practices, too. Yoga is a moving meditation, so you may think that you are just putting your bodies through the paces, but you are also tricking your mind into staying focused on the present. Studies show that this can be a really effective way of managing stress, anxiety, and depression, especially in a pandemic.
Start an indoor gardening project.
Your kids will bloom over the winter months with an indoor gardening project. Whether you plant flowers or fruits and vegetables, gardening inside can be a simple biology project, a complex lesson in chemistry, and a lasting education in responsibility. For parents whose kids are in virtual classrooms, combining an indoor garden with science coursework can help illustrate how these abstract concepts impact our everyday world.
Build an obstacle course.
The cold winter months and quarantine could mean spending more time indoors, and if you have high-energy kids, these can be a cabin-fever nightmare. Keep your kids busy and active by building indoor obstacle courses. Even simple courses that utilize household objects require some aspects of STEM-related skills, like geometry and engineering. In addition, your kids can learn project planning and assessment, as well as percentages and statistics by timing their runs and tracking improvements.
While any and all of these suggestions could help your entire household, try to connect them to your kids’ own interests to make an even bigger impact. While stuck inside together, days can be more manageable for everyone if you make thoughtful, intentional steps toward combining activities that are both educational and entertaining.
Article written by Momsbeyond's guest writer, Amanda Henderson