The COVID-19 pandemic came upon us fast. In a matter of days, we went from strict hygiene practices to total lockdown. With the majority of companies, businesses, and schools being closed, many parents have had to swiftly adapt to a very different routine. Moms and Dads everywhere are trying to balance their new work schedule with minding their kids, as well as becoming make-shift teachers.
Dealing with new responsibilities while confined to your home can be stressful. It’s normal to feel underqualified when taking the responsibility of educating your child academically.
While many have coped well with the organization and scheduling of home-based classes so far, the summer holidays might prove to be more difficult. Where a school day could be aligned with your work-day, a free-for-all approach to summer could descend into chaos.
While restrictions are easing worldwide, we are still recommended to abide by some sort of social distancing protocol. Therefore, kids will be spending a lot of time at home this summer. Perhaps a structured approach, inspired by the school routine, could be a beneficial way to manage the summer holidays for young children.
Taking a step back from the workbooks and intensive math lessons, why not use this summer to plan some fun educational activities at home? Here are ten ways to keep your kids entertained at home while also learning some valuable lessons.
Play learning games
The internet is an excellent source of educational learning games. They come in a variety of subjects, giving scope to the learning.
There are also downloadable apps and games available for tablets, phones, and game consoles.
Alternatively, there are some traditional options like Scrabble, Connect 4, Bingo, or Guess Who.
Play or learn music
If you are a musician, you could teach your child how to play your instrument. Or, involve them when you are playing. This doubles up as valuable bonding time.
If you’re not a musician, organize a living room dance-off, have a sing-along, do some karaoke, or play some homemade drums.
Printing or downloading lyrics to your kid’s favorite song is a great way to pique their interest. Reading and learning the words while they listen improves cognitive function.
Home science projects
Home science projects are fun for everyone, but they require some preparation. Unless you have a scientific background, you should probably stick to something relatively straightforward. For example, creating a homemade lava lamp is easy, fun, and your kids will love how cool it looks.
Research simple homemade science experiments and plan one every week with your kids. This gives you time to source whatever materials you need.
Learn about nature in the garden
“Playing in the dirt” is an aspect of childhood that is fast becoming outdated. However, there is a lot to learn while exploring the garden. Encourage your child to investigate the grass, trees, flowers, and dirt in your back yard. Assist them in taking photos of their findings.
Once the exploration is done, they can research or draw pictures of the various plants, bugs, and insects that they came across.
A project for slightly older children is to plant their own garden. Planting and growing a plant or crop teaches children about working, nurturing, and yielding results. It can be a valuable life lesson that boosts morale and self-esteem.
If you’re wondering what to plant, take your pick from sunflowers, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, or pumpkins.
Write a book
If your child is creative and loves telling stories, why not encourage them to write a book? There are services available that specialize in publishing children’s work. They provide the child with all the tools and ideas that they need to write their own book. Once the pages are filled, it can be sent back to the company for publishing.
Having a book published as a kid provides valuable childhood memories for later in life. For children in the second grade, this is an ideal project.
Build a website
If your child has an interest in computing and information technology, building their own webpage could be a highly educational and satisfactory pursuit.
There are plenty of web builders that are child friendly. If they run into trouble, you should be able to navigate your way around any issues.
Help them to pick a subject, research the topic, and plan out their site. This should get them off to a good start.
While you may want to get your kids away from the TV for a few hours during the day, find a compromise by watching something educational.
Animal, dinosaur, and nature-based documentaries are often the most popular themes among children. Alternatively, there are many fascinating historical and cultural documentaries that are suitable for kids.
Netflix is always a convenient source for documentaries.
Teach them about your job
Give your child some real-life lessons by teaching them about your job. If you are working from home, let them join you for an hour, a day, or the whole week, to give them a taste of what you do.
Although it will be many years before they have to think about a career, this will give your child an insight into your daily life that they may not have had previously.
Cooking or baking with your kids can be one of the most wholesome, fun, and useful activities that you ever do.
From an educational perspective, it teaches kids about all different types of foods, including healthy ones. They also learn about recipes and where food comes from. Cooking is an essential life skill that can lay the foundations for a healthy lifestyle.
Cooking from scratch, using fresh ingredients helps develop an appreciation for food and nutrition. It’s important that children don’t take food for granted, and that they understand how important it is for their health.
Baking and cooking with your children is a fantastic bonding experience. Through teaching and learning, you can grow closer as you work together.
Building based activities are hugely beneficial for children. They improve many of their physical and mental functions, such as motor skills, problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity.
The building project you choose depends significantly on your building abilities and experience. Even working on a LEGO house, or a DIY bird feeder can be fun and educational.
If crafting is your thing, a treehouse project might be the summer activity for you and your children.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.