Corona Virus has brought the world to a stand still. People are working from home, schools are closed and people are practicing “social distancing”. Now how do you survive it with kids at home?
We are going through some tough times, as a community, a country, world and in fact as human beings!
Where we live (SF, Bay Area), a “shelter in place” has been announced which basically means you stay in your homes at all times, no stopping on the street to have a polite chat with a stranger and definitely no hanging out outside of your home. And all of these changes just in a matter of couple days. These are some strange and scary times!
If you have kids of your own or have ever spent time with one, you must understand what a big challenge it can be to keep them strapped inside the house. So how do you practice something like “social distancing” with kids when even the concept of it is alien to them?
In this post you will find:
- Simple steps to Social Distancing with Kids
- Study resources for kids
- Entertainment resources
- Fitness resources
Simple Steps to Social Distancing With Kids:
As adults we are consuming so much news in order to stay abreast with the situation that we forget the kids are probably still clueless. So bring the whole family together and talk about the situation. Address all the questions and concerns and decide as a family how you will be tackling the situation. You will be amazed by the fun and innovative ideas the kids will come up with.
Checkout this comic strip that could help you with the conversation.
Make a Plan/Delegate Chores:
We are in this for a while, so make a plan. Open up a spread sheet or pull out the good old paper and pen and make a plan for the next few weeks. What are the things you NEED TO DO and the things you WANT TO DO. Basics like cooking (or eating), shower, cleaning up the house, school work (office work) must go into the “need to do” category and fun game nights, arts and craft, maybe a baking a cake or a pie can fall under the “want to do” category. Make that list and then delegate jobs to each member of the family. When everyone feels included, everyone has fun and the “job” isn’t just job anymore!
Create a Schedule:
One of the challenges of not having to live on a Time Table is not having a time table! Which means there’s no rush to finish a job and which means many times that the job doesn’t get done! It doesn’t have to be a strict time table but even a loose one give the kids some direction and also a challenge to finish the task. Because let’s be honest, if you do not tell the kid to brush their teeth before they get on the breakfast table, there’s a good chance they will not brush their teeth before breakfast.
Amanda Clark of Ever So Organized has a great planning template we can use.
Plan “Fun Things” involving the whole family:
Get those board games out or pull out those aprons that have not seen the day light for a while. Bring the whole family together for small fun. Bake a cake (or cookies), play a round on monopoly, sew a pillow case together or just sit down with the little ones for a round of play dough.
Distancing within “Social Distancing” aka, Just Take a Break!
If you lead a crazy busy life on a regular basis like then I imagine you must have dreamt of a day when you just do not have anything to do or anywhere to go. But now that you really cannot go anywhere, it doesn’t sound all that fun anymore, does it? And the fact that the whole family is trapped in the house together doesn’t help either. Kids will be kids and there will be spousal fights and quarrels so we came up with an idea. We designated a room in the house as the “me time room”. Whenever one of us feels overwhelmed we just take a break, shut the door and have some quiet time. Press the refresh button and move on.
Study Resources for Kids:
Schools are closed but the kids still need to study. Schools around the country that are closed are trying their best to move the instructions online. Some are already doing it successfully and some might still need a few days to figure it all out. Remember they are juggling a lot of things and trying to make the best of the circumstances just like you. Below is an awesome list of ideas put together by parents who homeschool.
BrainPop– BrainPOP is an essential engagement tool that allows both students and teachers to be involved in the learning process.” … And the variety of supporting material (concept map tool, activity sheets, quizzes, and even GameUp) provide students with additional ways to connect to the concept.”
Tynker– Easy to learn visual programming courses. Makes it fun to learn computer programming for kids 4th grade and above.
Beast Academy (Math)- A challenging curriculum for students ages 8‑13. Browse our books, or enroll your student in our new Online Learning Platform.
Khan Academy– This is a non-profit educational organization that provides free video tutorials and interactive exercises.
Creative Bug– Creativebug is your go-to resource for high-quality, on-trend arts and crafts instructional videos.
Crash Course Kids– Crash Course is all about grade school science. A great place for kids 13yrs. and under to learn all about the earth, habitat, space etc.
National Geographic Kids– Nat Geo Kids makes it fun to explore your world with weird, wild, and wacky videos! Videos featuring awesome animals, cool science, funny pets, and more
Free School– FreeSchool is a safe and friendly place to expose children to famous art, classical music, children’s literature, and natural science in an age-appropriate and kid-accessible way.
Geography Focus– The GEOfocus channel is all about geography! The videos include profiles of countries and regions, descriptions of important landmarks and geographical features (both natural and man-made), and discussion of international issues.
TheBrainScoop – Emily Graslie is an American science communicator and YouTube educator. Brain Scoop is Emily’s youtube page where she shares the work and research of the natural history museum with the work.
After all that studying and learning the kids will need some fun and games times as well. Get them away from the computer monitors ad ipad screens and get their hands and legs moving. Take them out in the backyard or the balcony or patio or whatever space you have with a natural source of light and breathe some fresh air in. Here’s what else you can do with them:
Get some exercise:
Try teaching them some Yoga moves or some other form of workout. Skipping, sprint running or just simple dancing could be some ideas. Several online fitness classes are giving away free online lessons to people.
This article by NY Times has some great resources
Cosmic Yoga For KIds– Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation for kids. Interactive adventures which build strength, balance and confidence – and get kids into yoga and mindfulness early!
Popsugar Fitness for kids– Have a blast along with kids in this family workout.
Planet home– Planet fitness, one of the countries largest fitness chains is pffering free online classes for all.
Yoga With Adriane– A great online resource for people who are interested in yoga. Adraine has online classes for all ages and fitness levels. Bring calmness to your daily routine with a few minutes of yoga everyday!
How to Toon – has a great cartooning class that airs Tuesdays -Thursday 1pm EST / 10am PST
Mo Willems Lunch Doodles – Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks.
Author Oliver Jeffers reads his books live on Instagram
Author Mac Barnett reads his books live on Instagram
At last do not forget, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will get out of this social distancing soon. If anything this could be a great lesson for us to take a step back and reflect on all the great gifts we have in life that we very easily ignore because we are just too busy. Something as simple as fresh air and the freedom to get out of the house whenever we want or the gift of food and shelter. It might sound easier than done but try to savor this “down time” and try to make the best of the moments you have with the people you love the most. Live in the moment and make memories!