Pandemics cause the world to flip. It’s common for schools, playgrounds, gyms and outdoor entertainment facilities to close in many places to prevent outbreaks from worsening.With all these changes and new restrictions, you may be at a loss as to how to keep you and your child connected and contented. The following are some fun ways you both can bond and cope mentally, emotionally and physically.

 

Cook kid-friendly meals together.  

 

Everyone has to eat. Why don’t you invite your child to assist in cooking meals?  It’s a great opportunity to pass on an essential life skill and to bond with your child.  There are many simple meals and snacks that parents and children can make together. Below are a few examples.

 

– Sandwiches

 

– Mini pizzas

 

– Pancakes

 

– Flapjacks

 

– Cheesy quesadillas

 

– Fruit popsicles

 

– Macaroni and cheese

 

You can also get your child involved in baking cookies, cakes and cupcakes. They can show off their creativity while decorating these goodies with icing, sprinkles, nuts and candies. For more ideas on kid-friendly meals, browse for recipes on sites such as YouTube.

 

Create art and crafts.

 

Nurture your child’s artistic side by helping them create crafts using materials that are laying around the house. Below are some ideas of the fun things you can create.

 

– Musical instruments

 

– Bookmarks

 

– Key wind chimes

 

– Paper plate animals

 

– Paper dreamcatchers

 

– Pasta necklaces

 

– Painted rocks

 

Conduct science experiments.

 

While going outside to explore the world may not be possible, explorations can continue at home. Use home-made materials to conduct science experiments with your child. These types of experiments will pique their interest to learn and develop their critical thinking skills. Below are just a few of the numerous science experiments you can try.

 

– Create glass symphonies using glasses containing different levels of water.

 

– Make explosions with diet coke and mentos.

 

– Use lemon juice to create invisible ink that can be revealed by a source of heat.

 

– Turn milk into a plastic-like material using vinegar.

 

– Create a lava lamp using a plastic bottle of water, oil and food coloring.

 

– Make non-stick putty with cornstarch and dish soap.

 

4) Do parent-child workouts.

 

With gyms and playgrounds closed, you and your child’s daily movements may be reduced. However, exercise is imperative as it will improve your health, mood and self-esteem.

 

Take walks and bike rides around the neighborhood, while remembering the social distancing rule of staying six feet away from persons. If you can’t or don’t wish to leave the house, follow along to online fitness classes. There are also many other options for getting your daily exercise, as shown below.

 

– Dance

 

– Sports such as soccer, baseball and basketball

 

– Relay races

 

– Yoga

 

– Aerobics

 

– Zumba

 

5)Have a family game or movie night.

 

Bond with your kid by having movie and game nights. Browse through Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu for movies and shows that the entire family can enjoy. If you want to limit screen time, you can play any of the following games with your child:

 

– Classic board games such as Monopoly and Scrabble

 

– Puzzles

 

– Card games

 

– Musical chairs

 

– Pictionary

 

– Charades

 

– Karaoke

 

6) Start a garden.

 

Allow your child to learn an important life skill, play in the dirt under your supervision and connect with nature through gardening.

 

To start a garden, let your kid choose their seeds or seedlings at the local plant shop. Give them options that are fun and easy. The following are some hardy plants for beginner gardeners.

 

– Sunflowers

 

– Zinnias

 

– Pumpkins

 

– Corn

 

– Peas

 

– Radishes

 

– Carrots

 

– Beets

 

If you don’t have much space, use containers with holes that allow drainage. These containers can be plastic pots, window boxes and hanging baskets that children can decorate. You can even consider growing a bean in a clear cup so your child can observe the plant’s growth.

 

Using these tips, it’s possible for you and your family to stay connected and healthy during a pandemic. Remember, it’s also important that you put aside “you time” and take care of yourself. Consider limiting your time on social media to decrease anxiety and negative emotions. Additionally, follow only official and valid sources of information. As psychologists warn that prolonged isolation can cause loneliness, utilize video chat apps such as Zoom and Skype so you and your child can connect virtually with loved ones.

 

 

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