Vietnam has been experiencing a dramatic time related to the coronavirus spreading out of Wuhan, China. As stories about the novel coronavirus flood the news, parents worry about whether their children could be at risk. Many public and international schools remain closed to alleviate further spread of the virus.
When the coronavirus keeps your child inside, she’ll likely need an activity that’ll keep them busy over a longer period of time. Having to play inside for the day doesn’t mean your kids can’t have fun. We have gathered a few recommendations of indoor activities that will keep kids busy, happy, and playing independently while parents attend to other things. Depending on their age and energy levels, you can easily adjust the activities to suit your child’s needs.
#1. Read a new book
Reading books with children is a great way to spend family time. Findings published in the journal of Social Science Research show that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts her future academic growth and job attainment. Children who enjoy reading and spend more time reading for pleasure have better reading and writing skills, a broader vocabulary, and an increased general knowledge and understanding of other cultures. Although there are so many other activities competing for children’s time as they get older, parents can still continue to encourage their child to read for pleasure.
Perhaps making up a reading challenge can get your kids to hit the books. Set a challenge to see how many books, or chapters can be read during the day. Think about topics your child enjoys or may even be obsessed with. It could be anything from astronomy to zoo animals. Chances are, you can find a book about it. And if you need some inspiration for books to read, we’ve got plenty! From simple bilingual books, books having math concepts, or touching stories about kindness, you can find a book that your child will love.
#2. Watch a great documentary
These days, documentaries can be just as exciting and entertaining as narrative films, so why not watch some with your kids? They can be both educational and emotionally powerful. Pop some popcorn and curl up on the couch together with a fascinating, kid-friendly documentary like Disneynature: EARTH. Or hit Netflix or your other streaming accounts and look for classics like March of the Penguins, Winged Migration, or Spellbound, which had our kids absolutely riveted at this look at the National Spelling Bee. These documentaries are entertaining, educational, and enlightening films that can set excellent standards for a life filled with meaningful movie watching. Another suggestion if you have a little girl in your house is He Named Me Malala, a story about Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was attacked by the Taliban in Pakistan simply for saying that girls should go to school. This inspirational movie will open your child’s eyes to the difficult experiences some kids go through and hopefully help them appreciate their own lives even more.
#3. Dust off the educational board games
The word “games” has become synonymous with electronic, online, and video games in many kids’ minds. But, parents, don’t forget about old-fashioned board games and cards as a means to keep kids busy while you work. When choosing a good educational board game, you will want to find something that involves strategy, rather than just luck. You want to encourage your child to think through their options and weigh their decision before they make a move. Different games can teach different skills. Monopoly, for example, teaches financial skills, while Chutes and Ladders can help teach about the number line.
There are various educational board games for kids that focus on math, geography, spelling, reading, talking and much more, all the while having to use skills such as communication, memory, strategy and critical thinking, the list goes on! One drawback, however, is that typically you’ll need to have more than one kid in the house to play. If you are interested in educational board games for kids, check our top picks for the best children’s word games that can be played anytime, anywhere.
#4. Have a Jigsaw Afternoon
Jigsaw puzzles are considered useful for improving a child’s memory. This is also a flexible activity where your child can play alone or work well with her siblings. The satisfaction of putting the final piece of a puzzle into place is timeless. Jigsaw puzzles of maps, animals, numbers, etc., are a great way of arousing children’s interest in different subjects. They are also a great way of developing cognitive, visual-spatial, collaborative and social skills.
Solving a jigsaw puzzle is not easy for children. Most of the time they need to stop and think about how and where to fit the different pieces. Figuring this out requires children to apply critical thinking. And, every time they solve a puzzle, children also develop strategies to solve it faster the next time. Solving jigsaw puzzles will also help to develop and hone critical problem-solving skills, strategic thinking and logical reasoning ability.
So, now that you know about the several benefits of jigsaw puzzles for children, why wait? Let’s head out the nearest store and give your child a challenge that she will love to overcome.
#5. Make fun science experiments
Give kids a science textbook and you’ll get a groan; tell them you’ll be doing an experiment and you’ll hear a cheer. Most of these science experiments are going to take some adult supervision unless your kids are teens, so consider carving a little time out of your workday for some science fun. Depending on the activity and the age of your kids, you may be able to bring your laptop in the kitchen and just watch over the experiments.
Whether your kids are little scientists at heart or think they don’t like science at all, there are so many fun science experiments that don’t take a lot of time to pull together, but pay off with very cool results. The big book of science experiments gives us a good jumping off point with over 100 experiments that introduce basic concepts in chemistry, the human body, electricity and magnetism, biology, light and darkness, and pushing and pulling. We also love Groovy Lab in a Box which sends us a complete box of experiments that we your child do at home.
#6. Spend screen time smarter
Too much screen time for kids can have a negative effect on learning. But the right amount of screen time can also help kids learn curriculum at different paces and give them vital tech literacy necessary for success in today’s media-saturated world. A child’s brain is actively being engaged and stimulated when he’s having smart screen time. There are some games, apps and TV shows that are inherently “smart” choices — if you don’t know where to start, let’s check out some useful Math and English learning websites below, all are recommended by Everest Education teachers.
#7. Explore online classrooms
Online learning is being the rescue for many families now, since many schools and learning centers have to close over the coronavirus situation. In a swift response to the threat from the Wuhan coronavirus, Everest Education has successfully moved all English, Math, and private tutoring classes to the company’s online learning system. Our teachers have gone beyond sending out worksheets and use a range of online tools to keep students learning.
So far, so good! Our students, including little ones, have been thrilled with how our teachers and the platform provide an interactive, fun, and convenient learning experience. Some have even pulled in siblings to join classes!