5 Tips To Stay Engaged While Social Distancing
For most of us, social distancing is a new concept and making sense of the right way can be confusing. For families with kids, that also means the absence of many outside outlets of fun, such as museums, parks and play spaces. Fortunately, while social distancing you can still make it fun for you and your children!
No matter what our circumstances are, we’re hopeful that these 5 tips can be a helpful starting point for anyone who finds themselves looking at the coming weeks with kids at home plus the additional recommended restrictions to avoid many public places.
- Stay Stimulated!
Take the time to teach yourself and your children something new! With thousands of video courses available online along with fun DIY craft videos, there are plenty of creative ways for you to spend your time! If you feel burned out with the thought of absorbing and learning new information, it’s okay to take a break and go outside for a walk! Walking not only counts as a physical activity, but also provides some great mental health benefits. You can still practise social distancing while getting fresh air by staying at least six feet away from other people. Another way to stay stimulated is to participate in a virtual tour! A Toronto-centric mobile museum is hosting free online walking tours, which will be available via an external link that allows participants to have a virtual tour of the Museum! This would be a very fun and interactive experience that you and your children would enjoy!
- Form a Daily Schedule/Routine
A daily schedule communicates the family’s shared goals and allows children to contribute to the success of those goals while adding a sense of security and comfort. Start each day with a structured routine! This will allow time to go over goals, expectations, work, and fun for the day! If you have older children let them help plan most of the day. You can talk about it together and form a plan. This will help them take ownership of the schedule and hopefully maintain a cooperative attitude while also letting them handle some responsibility. Remember to plan group and individual time periods throughout the day for activities. Some of the time should be free choice for the children to choose their own activity. Always remember to have a backup plan for those times when everyone is tired of being together and they need some alone time. A backup plan may be as simple as everyone finding a different room in the house to spend 30 minutes alone doing whatever will help them unwind and relax.
- Education Time!
Did you know that there are many great online education classes for kids available offered by both accredited institutions and long-run and beloved learning companies such as Khan Academy, Scholastic, Epic, Fun Brain, National Geographic Kids, and PBS? Some of them offer full curriculums while others provide simple activities and entertainment for your children to follow. All of these are incredibly useful for children of all ages to learn, stay active, and stay occupied at a time when all are so very necessary!
Check online if your child’s school district has that in place and set aside time each day for school work. Have your children continue practicing musical instruments if they play any or normally have lessons. Another great tip is to practice and retain your child’s swimming skills by kicking in the tub! Especially for your little ones, did you know that warm water relaxes babies? Babies feel at home in the water, and by doing weekly practices in the tub, it can help add structure to your child’s schedule and provide a fun activity! If your child is in our Little Waves program, here is a fun activity to help them to familiarize themselves with the feeling of having their face and ears covered in the water: All you need is a small bucket/ watering can/ sponge/ loofah, anything that you have laying around at home, dip it in the water and pour it over your child’s head and body. Check out our “Dunk Dunk” song that you could sing along while having your at home swim session!
- Take Time to Connect
With the advancement of and more access to technology, it has become easier than ever before to keep in touch with your friends and loved ones. It’s definitely worth making some time to connect with someone every day. By communicating and connecting with not only your loved ones but also with your community, you can lessen the feeling of helplessness we may feel because we are stuck inside our homes. There are always some things we can do such as reading to children via a videoconference, donating your time and dollars to charities online, and running errands for elderly neighbors! By staying connected and working together we have the ability to overcome some of the toughest challenges imaginable by just doing your part!
- STEAM Up Your Home!
STEAM is an excellent process to follow for your children! It stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math, all of which can be done at home! STEAM projects for children are great not only because it is the latest educational trend, but because it offers cross-disciplinary learning.
STEAM is a structural framework that allows your child to be occupied and have fun at the same time! Some of the fun projects you can do are:
- Trace the sun’s movement by drawing your shadow every hour;
- Add food colouring to a jar of water with a piece of celery in it and watch how the water moves up the plant’s capillaries over the next few days;
- Create some non-Newtonian fluid recipes, otherwise known as Silly Putty, Gak or slime.
As children grow, play becomes a bigger part of their lives. Each of STEAM’s subjects share a common approach and focus. They require gathering and using evidence to create knowledge or solve problems. STEAM learning happens naturally everyday as children explore, play, and try new things. When young children have the opportunity to investigate the world around them, they learn and experiment with new STEAM skills and theories. Adults can play an important role in arranging fun projects for your children to play with!
At Making Waves, we understand that it’s not business as usual, but children and young people need as much stability as possible, especially during such uncertain times. As adults, our children look to us to model how they should respond in the current pandemic. Therefore, our words and actions are powerful ways to provide this reassurance. Above all, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle so don’t forget to get proper sleep, exercise, follow a good diet and socialize! When it comes to building a healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to concentrate on the physical aspects of health and ignore the mental upkeep. Remember that your mental health is a foundation of your overall health. It’s important to manage and assess your feelings on a day-to-day basis. Lastly, we are all in this together and look forward to seeing you at the pool soon!