We tend to speak of the good old days of our childhood, and how much fun we had in the great outdoors. At the same time, we don’t miss an opportunity to remind our kids of how lives were without so many gadgets! But now, our kids are going through something that none of us, or even our parents, went through ever.
With the number of COVID-19 cases going up every day, it looks like we’re all going to be stuck indoors for a while. Yes, technology is a relief – we can continue working from home, stay connected with each other, and get entertained. But think about it; you’ve been forced to spend all day with your kids. Do you really want the end result of this to be more addiction to screens?
If you’re a parent, I’m sure you’ve already been through the coloring-crafts routine, and now you’re probably running out of supplies. But there are still ways to keep the kids occupied during this lockdown, while also bonding together as a family – and maybe teach them a life skill or two!
Here are 5 simple activities to bond with your kids in lockdown – without using screens!
Go through Old Photo Albums
Everyone’s talking about how this is going to be a memory we’ll never forget. While that’s true, why not spend this time reviving old memories too? Take out all the old photo albums and sit down with your kids. Go through each page and let them lead the conversation by asking questions. Who’s that? Where is this place? Why is your hair so funny?
A recent challenge on social media has got everyone digging out photos of their 20-year-old selves. Show your kids a photo and ask them to guess your age. Tell them the stories behind some of the photos – they’ll be thrilled to hear how you were as a young person. Kids also enjoy going through their own baby photographs and seeing how they’ve changed over the years. Bonus tip: choose a few special photos and make a beautiful scrapbook with whatever supplies you have.
You have to eat, which means you have to cook! So you might as well do it as a family and have fun while doing it. And because food is something everyone relates to, there are many ways to do this.
Let each member of the family get to choose one meal or one dish of the day. Let everyone get involved at every meal – one person peels the vegetables, another washes them, another chops them. If you’ve been anywhere near social media during this period, you’ll know that people are quite creative with their cooking, making the most out of whatever supplies are available and even baking their own bread!
You’re likely to have access to the basics – flour, sugar, and eggs. So, you can easily bake a few simple treats once in a while. This is also a great time to revisit some old classics from the days when our parents and grandparents improvised with whatever they had.
Do Chores Together
Is the thought of cooking with kids giving you the heebie-jeebies thinking about the clean up afterward? Well, that’s another opportunity to bond with the kids! Even young children can wipe up spills or dust, and they can take on more tasks as they grow.
Many of us don’t have access to our usual cleaning helpers because of the lockdown, due to which we have to clean by ourselves. This is an excellent time to teach the kids how to vacuum, sweep, or mop. You can try splitting up tasks – one person dusts, other sweeps and mops, and another one handles the bathrooms.
All work and no play make kids dull, so don’t forget to schedule a fun time. People across the world are re-realizing how much fun board games are, whether it’s Monopoly, Scrabble, or even Snakes and Ladders!
Make it more fun by using interesting pieces for the games, instead of the usual plastic counters. Kids can also learn how to play strategic games like chess. Even if you don’t have any board games with you, you can download simple games and print them. Else you can play games like Pictionary or the good ol’ ‘Name-place-animal-thing’ which doesn’t require anything more than a pencil and paper!
Create Art Together
Have you seen the video of the family who recorded a song while stuck at home? Even if you don’t have the equipment they had, you can still turn into amateur artists! Pick an object and hand everyone some crayons and give everyone 10 minutes to replicate it on a piece of paper. Or you can all create your own little cartoon versions of each other on paper.
Not being able to go to the stores brings out all our hidden creativity. After all, necessity is the mother of invention! Make use of bottle caps, toilet rolls, boxes, and tins to create your own special crafts – there are literally thousands of ideas online. If you have craft supplies or even decorations hoarded somewhere, this is the time to bring them all out!
Being in the middle of a pandemic is no joyride. Still, as the Dalai Lama says, “happiness is created from our own actions.” This is a time our kids learn valuable lessons about coping with adversity, improvising, being independent, and others, but most importantly, how to find joy in the smallest things.