The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s ongoing advice for guardians and parents is to have daily “connect time” with children.
“Schedule time for doing an activity of your child’s choosing. Be sure to follow through and complete the activity without any distractions. Try not to text, answer calls, scroll through social media or watch television,” NAEYC asserts.
Even though most American children are schooling at home to minimize the spread of COVID-19, fun, non-electronic-oriented activities can be incorporated to occupy non-schooling times. And while after-school sports may have dominated a child’s interests, engaging and entertaining options include both creative and age-old ideas, according to the Child Life team at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center in Worcester:
1. Play hide and seek.
2. Create a scavenger hunt to find items around the home.
3. Build a fort with pillows and blankets.
4. Go on a nature walk and create rubbings, or paint found items such as rocks.
5. Dress up and have a dance party.
6. Involve children in preparing meals (if age appropriate). Teach teens to cook.
Taking a cue from “Little Women,” children young and older can write and put on plays.
Children also may want to make up their own distinct board games, or play favorites such as Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Battleship and Candy Land. Age-old jacks, marbles and pickup sticks continue to entertain, as do games that require no pieces or props, such as Simon Says and Red Light/Green Light. Exercise and games such as Double Dutch are doable with a jump rope. And sidewalk chalk accomplishes hopscotch, Tic-tac-toe, messages and art.
Finally, spring outdoor-oriented kid-friendly projects that cost little to nothing are suggested by creativegreenliving.com in “20+ Beautiful Garden Crafts to Make with Recycled Materials.” For example:
‒ A painted or decorated pallet becomes a planter when hung on the side of a building.
‒ Small jars and egg cartons become seed planters.
‒ Painted and written-on, smooth-edged can lids are herb markers.
‒ Decorated, cut milk jugs are ideal bird feeders.