Teaching and Entertaining Your Kids During Social Distancing

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Social Distancing is hard for everyone and those with kids at home really know how long it can take for an hour to go by.  Since the COVID-19 crisis, many great resources for entertaining children at home have popped up.  From virtual field trips to homeschool programs, and tons of ideas on Pinterest, the online world has exploded with ideas. Some of the best ideas though are the simplest ones.  Here’s a list of some basic things you can do with your children that will teach them valuable life skills and help you get through the day.

Budgeting: If your personal finances have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, chances are your children are picking up on your stress.  Instead of letting them worry in the dark, help them understand the situation to the appropriate level for their age.  For example, a five-year old cannot understand the stock market dropping but they can understand how trips to the store might be a little different than before. This is a good to time to help them learn the relationship between parents going to work and the food that ends up on their dinner table.  For children over ten, this is an opportunity to show them how the family budget works. This gives them a chance to practice basic math skills and learn a truly valuable life lesson.

Cooking:  Now that getting out to the grocery store and what’s available there is limited, you might be looking online for recipes to feed your family with items you already have in the pantry. Getting children involved in the cooking process as much as possible provides tremendous benefits including, math skills, homemaking skills and patience.  Look for recipes that are basic and can provide food for multiple meals.  Some great ideas for cooking with kids during a time when ingredients are sparse is bread, cookies, and casseroles.  Let your children do as much of the measuring and mixing as possible and older kids can learn how to use the appliances such as a stand mixer or oven.  The kitchen might be a mess at the end but the long-term benefits of cooking with your kids are well worth it.

Board Games: With all the technology this generation has been bombarded with, it’s easy to forget the simple games we used to play.  Playing board games with your children, or setting older children up to play with each other, can be rewarding for the whole family.  You get a break from all the obnoxious noise of video games, kids get a break from screen time, and you all make some pretty good family memories. Your choice of games can also exercise some skills like critical thinking, sportsmanship, and memorization.

Our homes can be very stressful places right now and most of our children are just as confused and overwhelmed as we are.  Take time to think about what you can do each day to bring some calm, fun and learning to your family.

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