We know COVID-19, the Coronavirus, is impacting families and children in many ways. The lack of structure from school and activities may make it difficult in the coming weeks. We recommend creating your own structure. Routines help children and can lessen anxiety. Set up a schedule for the day on a white board or hang a piece of paper on your refrigerator with the schedule for the day. It’s going to take some creativity to get through this difficult time.
While everyone is at home, it’s a great way to take advantage of doing things with your children and family that you wouldn’t normally get to do.
Here are Five Fun, Easy Things you can do with your Family:
1. Go on a Nature Walk.
Make it more interesting by making it a Nature Scavenger Hunt. Use a checklist of things to look for when on the walk.
Other ideas are to pretend you’re walking on ice, or in mud, or on slippery rocks. How would you walk differently, or what would it look like? Kids love it when parents exaggerate things and make them silly looking.
One of my favorite things I liked to do when I was younger when outside was to look for unique looking rocks. Take them home and paint a picture on them with paints or markers.
2. Create a Tape Maze
Use colored tape, masking tape or duct tape and create a maze that your children can walk through. Make it more challenging each time by adding different elements. Doing a crab walk, a snake, a bear crawl or they have to hop on one foot or skip. You could also time them going through the maze doing the different elements and have a competition between siblings. The goal is to make it fun and to burn off some energy!
whatever toy item you want to use. This not only takes time but builds mastery, it takes planning, coordination and it works on fine motor skills.
3. Bubble Breathing
Everyone loves bubbles no matter what age you are. Some fun things to do with bubbles are to see who can blow the biggest bubble. This works on breathing and regulation because you have to take a really deep breath and blow really slowly to blow a big bubble. When you blow fast it usually produces lots of little bubbles. You can also blow bubbles and have your kids pop them with just their pinky, or with their head or foot. You can have everyone take turns blowing the bubbles stating how the bubbles can be popped This creates challenges and makes it more fun.
4. Tell a Story
Kids normally have lots of books that they have read over and over again and often have them memorized. Try taking a book with lots of pictures and instead of reading the words take turns telling a story from what you see on the page. Have the story build and make your own story. It’s even more fun if you use different voices or an accent for different characters or animals in the book.
5. Balloon Challenges
Take a blanket with everyone holding a corner and put the balloon on the blanket. Everyone needs to work together to keep the balloon on the blanket.
You can also take the balloon and bat it in the air with everyone taking turns to try and keep it in the air. Make it a challenge by taking turns hitting it and count how many hits you do to keep the balloon in the air. Every day you can try to make it a higher number.
Crossroads Family Counseling Center is a therapy center focused on play therapy and helping families and children strengthen their relationship through play.
Check out the Crossroads Family Counseling Center Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest page for more tips and activities to do during this time.
Written by: Sheri Mitschelen, LCSW, RPT/S who is the owner and Director of Crossroads Family Counseling Center, LLC, in Fairfax, Va. She has over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech’s Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s program and the President of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy. She can be contacted at Sheri@crossroadsfamilycc.com.