Kids seem to have endless amounts of energy. As a parent, keeping your little one safely occupied is easy when you can let them play outside. When the weather cools down, however, it can be tricky to find ways to keep them entertained indoors. The COVID-19 pandemic presents added challenges, requiring your family to spend even more time at home.
If you’re worried about keeping your kids happily occupied at home this winter, you aren’t alone. According to a survey by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the majority of parents are worried about how to maintain their child’s positivity amidst COVID restrictions like school closings. Many parents are also concerned about their children’s long-term mental health.
Luckily, there are resources available to help. Family Connections connects parents to child care options that can help keep kids stimulated and active (while also giving parents a break). Read on for additional tips, tricks, and tools to help keep your little one engaged inside when the temperature drops outside.
Create a stress-free space for the whole family.
Social distancing will likely remain the norm over the winter months — meaning, you’ll be spending lots of time at home. Create a stress-free atmosphere that you can all relax in. Clear away clutter, give the house a thorough cleaning, and open windows to let in fresh air. Clear out negative vibes with sage. Taking the time to do this now ensures you have a cozy space to enjoy during the winter months to come.
Get kids active with singing and dancing.
Exercise is important for children of all ages, supporting healthy growth of bones and muscles. Kids ages three to five should remain active throughout the day, while those ages six to eight should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Even babies need to get their exercise and develop motor skills and muscles with crawling. To keep little ones entertained and active, host a dance party at home. Music also teaches skills like rhythm.
Invest in safe indoor sports equipment for kids.
You probably don’t want your child kicking around a soccer ball or swinging around a baseball bat indoors. Luckily, there is indoor sports equipment that can help kids stay active without destroying your house. Check out a bop bag, which lets kids practice punching and kicking without putting your home decor in harm’s way. For infants, invest in an activity center to encourage mental stimulation and physical activity.
Discover a new crafting hobby together.
When your little ones are ready for a quieter activity, try engaging them with arts and crafts. Activities like beading help improve skills like color recognition and manual dexterity. While beading isn’t appropriate for infants (the small parts can be a choking hazard), there are baby-safe crafts you can try. Non-toxic finger painting is a fun way to create memories and spur on your baby’s early creative instincts.
Take movie night to the next level with forts and snacks.
After a day of physical activity and mental stimulation, your kids will be ready for rest — and so will you. Instead of slumping onto the couch, create a pillow fort for movie night. You can also take your film-viewing to the next level by creating healthy but tasty snacks for the occasion. Choose a movie that you and your kids alike will enjoy. Harper’s Bazaar offers a list of films that are suitable for all ages, from Pixar favorites to Disney classics.
COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for kids or adults. While this is a challenging time, it also offers a unique benefit: you will spend more time together as a family this winter. Make the most of it! The above guide offers ideas on how to make quality time more enjoyable and memorable for the entire family. Check out the classes offered by Family Connections and the blog for more inspiration.
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