The sudden disruption of the family routine, lack of social and physical activity and fears related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak can be especially stressful and anxiety-producing for children. The situation can be more difficult if parents are facing fears and anxiety of their own.
To help your children manage their anxiety during quarantine, try the following:
Stay connected with others - Face time or call friends and family, play games or watch a TV show, make cards for the elderly or those who are isolated.
Do some physical activity – If there’s nice weather try to get outside and walk or play. When inside, explore online videos to dance, do yoga or workout.
Keep up on a routine - Try and keep up their normal day to the best of your abilities, waking up at the same time, getting dressed, eating breakfast, doing schoolwork, going outside for a break or a recess.
Practice mindfulness with them - Do breathing exercises, draw, paint, sing, cook, meditate, make slime, read a story.
Stay calm and give them reassurance - Talk about how they may be feeling, let them know adults in their lives are there to keep them safe and healthy. Make sure your explanations are age appropriate.
Stay positive! - Go over what you are grateful for as a family or things that are going well, help them choose activities which are pleasant and improve their mood.
Acknowledge that there is, for now, a new normal - Talk about being flexible as a family to cope with each day’s new challenges.
Keeping kids entertained while isolated to your homes is definitely a struggle. It’s one thing to entertain them all day on the weekends. It’s another when you have seven days a week to fill for an indefinite period of time.
Easy indoor activities can be a lifeline, a great way to practice school skills and a way to quietly entertain kids. These activities do not need to be complicated or take hours to set up.
Here are four easy indoor activities perfect for breaking up a day:
Box Road – Flatten out a box and draw a road in marker. Add blocks, trucks and other toys for kids to build a city.
Toy-Washing Bin – Let your kids wash their plastic toys. Add tear-free bubbles, sponges, towels and other supplies.
Trash Art – Find some recycled materials and let your kids paint them. Kids love painting random objects and making beautiful creations from them.
Sticky Match-Up – Draw shapes, letters, numbers, words or math problems on sticky notes and hide them around the house for your child to find. Then have the child match them up on a “key” that hangs on the wall.
Of course even with the most perfectly planned schedule, you will still have days when you just can’t muster the energy to come up with even the simplest activity and instead let them watch another episode of their favorite show. That’s O.K too. Do what you need to do to get through that day!
Posts written by the Team ELM family!