As the pandemic continues and children remain stuck inside, do you find yourself running out of ways to provide healthy and fun things to do?
In this information age, it is just too easy to let kids zone out with video games and spend too long in front of computer screens or television without much activity. Sometimes it is more comfortable as a parent to relent and zone out behind your own screens too. However, it is important to remain active and engaged.
Developmental Milestones Must Be Met
Depending on the age of your child, the long-term negative consequences of this will vary. The developmental stages of children are critical to their growth, especially during the early period of life. Children must meet many learning and social milestones for proper development. Preschoolers are at an exceptionally rapid learning pace covering many milestones in a brief period of time. As children enter the structured school system, having met these typical milestones is very important to successfully navigate their way through structured environments provided throughout their education.
Gaps in social interaction and one-on-one learning for ages 6-10 during elementary school profoundly impact children as they move through the system. Without some mastery of essential core knowledge, kids are set-up for future struggle and potential failure.
“In early adolescence, the transition from elementary school to middle school can be difficult for many students, both academically and socially. Crosnoe and Benner (2015) found that some students became disengaged and alienated during this transition which resulted in negative long-term consequences in academic performance and mental health.”
The Philosopher John Locke proposed that the knowledge parents impart to their children is invaluable, and they learn socialization through education primarily shaped by their social environments.
Worthwhile Home Activities for Kids with Cancer
So what can parents do to keep kids engaged and learning indoors during the winter and the pandemic restrictions of Covid-19? Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Collaborate on a silly creative play together, create simple costumes with what is around the house, and do a live Zoom video of it to share.
- Read a few chapters a day of a fun and exciting story to the kids with dramatic emphasis while they munch on popcorn and let them “see” the images of the story in their head. Talk about what each child “sees” and how different it may be for each child; make it even more social by inviting a few friends to join in for a daily reading hour through a video platform such as a Zoom meeting.
- Make music, sing songs, play instruments you may have, or make some simple ones from around the house. Decorate a metal can, stretch a balloon over it, and secure it with a rubber band. Use a wooden spoon for the drumstick. How about some maracas? Partially fill containers with beans or rice.
- Cook Help your kids learn cooking skills. Look up the nutrition facts and value of phytonutrients in a colorful blend of fruits and vegetables! Create a yummy recipe together, complete with protein and whole grains.
- Garden Plant a few flower bulbs outside together so you can watch them sprout up in the spring!
- Discover more about a country with a scavenger hunt for fun facts about the country. Find images online or in magazines to cut out and create a poster board about the culture and customs of the country. Try your hand at cooking a popular food dish from the region!
- Create a “vision board” together as a family. Cut out pictures of places you can travel to and things you can enjoy doing together. Come up with a common goal such as the types of homes or locations you would want to see yourselves living in or career ideas.
These are just a few ideas to get you started.
Create an Impact Now!
At Here to Serve, we hope this jump starts some opportunities for memorable and fun family moments to cherish. Please share them with others and let us know of some of your favorites. As always, Here to Serve is here to help families and their children through their cancer journey. Be sure to follow our cancer blogs. If you know of a family whose child was recently diagnosed with cancer, please reach out to us. We provide patient and family-centered care. If you would like to help a family we currently serve, please donate. If you would like to volunteer your skills and time, please click this link.
By Amanda Enciso