Keeping Our Children Entertained During Lockdown
Make a connection with your children...
- Have a family movie night, turn the lights off, cuddle up under the duvet and watch it all together.
- Bake a cake and have a tea party. Lay the table and dress up, make it an occasion.
Games, games, games...
- Games are fun for everyone. If you have board games, go and explore your cupboard and pull out the games you haven’t tried for ages.
- If you don’t, there are multiplayer tablet versions of many favourite games, including Cluedo, Monopoly, Exploding Kittens, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and The Game of Life.
Explore the full potential of your screens...
Odds are that there are things your smartphones and tablets do which you have never tried.
- Young children will enjoy playing with the Calculator app, and it helps them understand numbers and maths.
- Take photos and edit them, try out filters and special effects.
- Take videos and make a movie using free video-editing software. Try making a stop motion film, again using free apps. There are many tutorials on YouTube.
- Make a podcast by recording yourself.
Virtual play dates...
- We're all in this together. Contact your children's friends and ask them if they'd like to hang out over Zoom, WhatsApp or Skype.
Read and listen...
Again, start here with what interests your children, not with what you think they should be learning.
- Find new books on the Kindle app if you’ve read your whole bookcase. Think about the books you loved as a child and try them out on your children.
- Audible has a library full of audio books for those who prefer to listen. If anyone hasn’t yet discovered Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter, now is the time. Hours and hours of listening joy.
- Even if you can’t get out, keep active. Try Cosmic Kids Yoga or Joe Wicks.
- Use exercise programmes on your games console if you have one.
- Download a circuit training app for your phone.
- Construct obstacle courses in your front room.
- Put on some music and dance to it. The neighbours will understand. Make time for activity every day.
Sing like no one is listening...
Singing makes us feel good. Sing songs with your children, even if you think you can’t sing.
- The Quarantine Choir has short videos to teach you to sing a song. The Sofa Singers meet weekly for people all over the world to sing together over the internet.
- Musicals are a good place to start if you want to learn some new songs. You can find many of the songs on Youtube or you can subscribe to Spotify. Songs from The Lion King (in French and English), Emilie Jolie (French), Le Soldat Rose (French), Mary Poppins, Annie and Aladdin are good for younger children.
- For older children try Hamilton, West Side Story, Les Miserables (in French and English) and Miss Saigon. The stories may lead to questions about the history, so be prepared to explore!
Parents, look after yourself...
This could be a long haul. What do you need to keep yourself healthy and sane?
- The BBC has some helpful ideas for looking after your mental health.
- Don’t check the news constantly, make sure you cook food you like, and instigate some time when you are not available to your children.
- Find an audio book for you, or dive into a novel which takes you far away from April 2020.
Our children will remember this for their whole lives.
How do you want them to think about it? Feeling in control is hard when the world is so unpredictable, but it’s important for our wellbeing.
For our children, helping them feel in control means starting with them and their interests. For adults, one of the only things we can control in this is our behaviour, and how we relate to our children. It is the challenge of a lifetime.
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