10 Ways to Keep Kids Happy and Healthy at Home during COVID-19

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With the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic gripping the globe, more and more people are being put under quarantine. Most schools have been shut down and the majority of jobs are being attended remotely to keep the infection rate down. Now parents everywhere are faced with a dilemma on how to occupy their high-energy children without just sitting them in front of the TV all day. If the thought of having to keep your children entertained without the aid of school or being able to leave your house sends you into a panic, do not worry, here is Health Fitness Revolution’s list of 10 ways to keep your kids happy and healthy at home:

  • Stay Active: When children are unable to stay physically active, frustration and boredom soon follow. There are endless ways to help children stay active when unable to travel. You can help set up an obstacle course in the house or in the backyard. You can also break-up the day with small bouts of exercises such as jumping jacks, yoga, running up stairs, or even playing a game of catch.
  • Maintain a Schedule: Daily life has changed for all of you, and the best way to adjust to sudden change is by keeping a schedule. Helping children stay regulated with their usual schedule will keep energy levels maintained and frustration at a minimum. 
    1. Sleep: Maintaining a normal sleep schedule helps children to sleep better. Consistency also helps to prep their minds and bodies for bed which leads them to fall asleep quicker.
    2. Meals: Keep the same meal times that your children are used to. If they get hungry between meals, offer them a healthy snack, such as fruits or vegetables, to tide them over. Having a set meal plan helps children get all the nutrients that they need and prevents over-eating, decreasing their risk of obesity.
Make a daily plan with your kids
  • Daily Plan: Involve your children in creating a daily plan each morning. Asking them how they want to spend their day will help them feel cared for and listened to. It also prevents monotony, which prevents future boredom and frustration. Keeping your children involved each day will help keep minds clear and lower stress levels.
  • Earn Screen Time: It can be easy to rationalize letting children watch TV all day since they are stuck at home. Instead of just letting them sit there for hours on end, have them earn their screen time. Ask your child to do some housework, adjust what you ask them to do based on their ability level. Have teenagers vacuum or young ones to put away the dishes or pick up their toys. This will help your children contribute around the house and develop their levels of independence.
  • Give Space: Children need alone time just as much as adults do. Section of spaces in the house that can be dedicated to reading, listening to music, or to just relax. It is important to respect alone time just as much as family time. It is difficult for children and adults alike to go from days filled with independent activities to being forced to infinite family time. Time alone will reduce stress and reduce friction between family members.
  • Stay in Touch: It is important for children to feel connected to others outside the home. Setting up times for children to call their friends or use social media to stay connected to their social circle can ease mental stress. Children are used to high social environments and need the accompanying mental stimulation. 
Teach gives active games
  • Keep Learning: Though some schools are switching to online learning systems, there are some that aren’t. Even with online learning, it is important to supplement children’s education with other activities. Help your child keep their mind sharp with fun science kits, sentence making puzzles, or math workbooks. If you are looking where to purchase items like these, or make some at home, Lakeshore Learning is a great place to start.
  • Family Council: It is important to make sure you and your children are on the same page. Holding a regular family council will help promote discussion between family members. This is a time to let everyone express their concerns, what challenges they are struggling with, what everyone’s strengths are, and how each person can help one another. Discussing everyone’s concerns and expectations will lower stress levels and help plan each day to support individual needs.
  • Virtual Travel: Just because you are unable to leave your home doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Many museums are offering self-guided online tours of their exhibits. Take time to teach your children about art culture and history. Start with The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum. If your children want to learn about culture oversees, Google Arts & Culture hosts virtual walk-throughs for numerous international museums.
  • Have Fun: Most importantly, don’t stress and have fun. It is a wonderful experience to have more family time. Spend time together playing board games, showing each other your competitive sides. Complete a giant puzzle together to improve team skills. Make art and have a home-made art exhibit, showing off everyone’s talent. Weeks may look different for a while, the best way to get through them is together as a family. 

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