For so many people, life has never felt more uncertain. Closures, shut-downs, and cancellations have become the new normal for most of us. This leaves families scrambling to make the most of their days at home amidst all the fear and worry.
This is why we have created a resource designed to help kids and families fill their days productively during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus Resource Guide
Stress / Anxiety Management
With so much time spent at home, this is a great time to learn a new skill. Acquiring some new stress-management tools will be helpful both now and when life begins to return to normal. Some easy to learn tools you can learn at home, include:
- Tai chi
- Progressive relaxation
- Guided imagery
- Digital asceticism (no screen time for a set amount of time)
- If it’s possible, get outside every day
Just because we are stuck at home, doesn’t mean we can’t connect with others. In order to stay connected, you might even want to get a little creative.
- Video chat people who are isolated regularly
- Reach out to loved ones you haven’t talked to in a while
- Chat on the phone the old-fashioned way
- Write cards to people who are isolated
- Institute an online family game night
Come Together as a Community
Community connections are a great way to help your children (and yourself) feel connected to the world around them while staying home. There are some safe ways to connect if you get creative.
- Organize safe-distance neighborhood activities like painting fun chalk drawings on your walkways for kids to check out on walks.
- Ask neighbors to put something special, like a flag or heart, in their window so kids can look for them as they take their daily walk.
- Create a community scavenger hunt where each house has a certain feature that can be included.
- Sign up for community pages on Facebook and Instagram to see what other people are organizing.
Managing School Work
Depending on your children’s ages, you might find yourself managing several digital learning platforms. While it might seem like your kids have it all under control, technology-wise, they might be feeling stressed about all they have to manage. Some ways to help manage schoolwork:
- Print off calendar pages or give your child an unused agenda book to help them manage assignments.
- Ask their teachers for login information for their classwork
- Pay attention to important messages from ALL of their teachers and help kids tackle classwork
- Map out intervals in your workday (if you are working remotely) to check in on their progress
Most importantly – stay involved! Older kids are going to be more self-sufficient so it might seem like they have it all under control.
Develop A New Skill
Right now, many kids are feeling powerless against their situation. One great way to help them feel a sense of control over their life is to give them a sense of accomplishment. Learning a new skill can be a great way to accomplish this. Some ideas include:
- Letter writing – Write letters to family, friends, or residents at local retirement homes
- Learn to sew or knit
- Knot tying
- Brain puzzles: crosswords, word search, Sudoku
Exercise Every Day
Exercise is an important part of managing the way you feel physically and emotionally. In addition to helping your body stay fit it also helps how you stay mentally fit. Encouraging your children to engage in just 10-15 minutes of exercise a day can make a big difference.
- Take a walk
- Visit Youtube or Netflix for digital workouts
- Search the internet for workout routines
- Try something new like Zumba or Yoga
- Do some light stretching
Learn Something New
We all have significantly more time on our hands than ever before. What better way to pass all this extra time than by learning something new. The quarantine has given kids the unique opportunity to learn amazing things online.
- Learn some science by making volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar
- Crafts like building bridges or towers with craft sticks and glue
- Learn to cook or bake
- Growing seeds/container gardening
What parent doesn’t like to sound of a teenager who can do laundry or cook? One of the best ways to get through this time of being homebound is to divide up household responsibilities and share the load. In many families, the parents may do most of the heavy lifting. Now is an ideal time to encourage your kids to take on more. Recognize that practice makes perfect and they might not do things your way. That’s okay. Encourage them to do take on things like:
- Doing laundry
- Understanding the household budget
- Car maintenance (check fluid levels, tire pressure, how to change a tire)
- Meal prep, cooking, putting together grocery lists
- Basic first aid
- Yard work or home maintenance
Help Those In Need
Although going out and volunteering is not possible right now, there are still things you can do to help those in your community. Many are things you can start right away.
- Write letters to people who are isolated in retirement communities
- Donate money to a charity
- Call or text someone who might be lonely or isolated
- As supply chains are working to balance, work on minimizing waste
Times are extremely uncertain right now. Finding ways to support your children (and yourself) are very important to get through the coming weeks and even months.