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Coronavirus: How to occupy your child during a lock-down period

Recommended read: 30 activities to take care of your children during COVID-19

In times of forced confinement and closed schools, parents brainstorm to occupy their offspring. Some also have to manage their work remotely. It is not easy to keep a cool head and find activities in these conditions.

Nurseries, schools, colleges, high schools and universities have closed in many countries and states  in an attempt to stem the coronavirus epidemic. Museums, restaurants, swimming pools, cinemas, and parks are also inaccessible. The choice of activities to offer to toddlers is therefore limited.

Organize the situation

Depending on the type of work you need to provide, you can work out a schedule with your partner for one of you to take care of the children, while the other takes care of the most urgent professional tasks. If you are the parent of a very young baby or child, it will be easier to work while sleeping: late at night, early in the morning, or at nap time. ” often solicit one parent more than the other, “says psychologist Patricia Mozdzan,” and if there are several children, it can quickly get complicated. ” It must, therefore, be taken into account.

Explain

Even the youngest can understand the new situation we are going through. Find the right words according to the age of the child to explain to him, without dramatizing, the principle of the virus and the transmission, without hesitating to name things and without distressing it. Once he has understood, he will be able to hear certain instructions such as: “Mom must work”, or then: “You are allowed to watch a cartoon this morning, but no more.”

Develop the imagination

The time has come to make all the equipment hidden in the cupboards available. “Magnetic blocks, Board games, painting, DIY, plasticine, salt dough, coloring, cutting, origami, and puzzle” will occupy your offspring for a more or less long time.

“The length of independent playtime varies according to several criteria, such as the age of the child. The fact that he is an only child, therefore used to playing alone, will also make the difference,” says the psychologist.

In exceptional circumstances, exceptional measures. “You can let the little ones dabble in a bath with foam and toys, by monitoring them. It can keep them busy for an hour.”

For older children, it’s time to dive into reading, listening to audiobooks, or even writing a story on a given theme. For the psychotherapist Pascaline Jouis, “a large table, or a roll of paper, and large pencils or chalks, will keep your children busy for a long time. Using suitable pencils, you can even let them draw on the window panes.”

To consult: the Parents Moms site and its many creative ideas to occupy its children.

Play sports

Adults and children must continue to move, despite confinement measures, to stay in shape. You can practice a few simple family gymnastics exercises, or even test new practices, such as parent/child yoga. For some children, it specifies Pascaline Jouis, it is even essential.

“There are three learning profiles, visual, auditory and kinesthetic. In the latter case, the child learns by movement and physical contact.”

Cooking and gardening

These days at home can give you the opportunity to include your children in daily household chores, and to initiate them into cooking and gardening. You can learn new recipes, prepare cakes with suitable equipment, or even entrust him with the preparation or planning of a complete meal depending on his age.

Educational programs

Worried that closing the school could cause learning loss? While some establishments offer remote working tools, there are also various interesting educational platforms. Lumni, on YouTube, provides content adapted to the age or educational level of each child.

Drawing for seniors

Since March 11, visits are prohibited in nursing homes to protect the most vulnerable. Some families fear that this forced isolation will be very difficult for our seniors. Drawings, paintings, stickers, origami, collages, postcards, herbaria, pasta necklaces … Anything that fits in a mailbox is allowed.

Feel guilty and profit

If the number of parents looking for activities is increasing on social media, this does not mean that children must be constantly stimulated. Boredom can cause them to develop their imaginations and find exciting occupations. “However, the occupation time of a child remains limited. At some point, you will have to take care of it,” nonetheless points out Patricia Mozdzan. Between two emails and a virtual meeting, do not hesitate to share your breaks with your family to boost your energy and create beautiful memories.

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