Our Children and Covid-19


By Abria Cooper

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted most people’s daily lives in a major way. Adults are working from home, gyms had closed and have recently reopened, and no one can enter a business establishment or grocery store without masks covering their noses and mouths.  Everyone has had to adjust the usual way doing things including our children.

COVID-19 caused mass shutdowns of schools before Easter break this year and most if not all of them have no reopened their doors since, and some are unsure as to when they will again this year.

This abrupt departure from school was a welcome change among many children who would often rather be anywhere but in the classroom. However now that we are midway into the Summertime, beaches and parks fluctuate between being open and remaining closed and the only summer camp memories being had are the ones made from years before.

Parents and guardians of young children may be at a loss of how to keep their active offspring entertained and productive during one of the most unusual times in recent history.

With the help of modern technology and good old fashioned imagination, there is a variety of activities for children to do that will not only keep them busy but help their developing minds continue to expand.

One important aspect to focus on would be fitness activities.

Kidshealth.org stated that children from ages 6-12 “need physical activity to build strength, coordination, and confidence and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. They’re also gaining more control over how active they are.”

Some ways to keep your kids moving at home is to first make physical activity part of the daily routine. From household chores to an after-dinner walk, keep your family active every day.

Allow enough time for free play. Kids can burn more calories and have more fun when left to their own devices. Playing tag, riding bikes around the neighborhood, and building snowmen are fun and healthy.

Keep a variety of games and inexpensive sports equipment on hand including assortment of balls, hula-hoops, and jump ropes can keep kids busy for hours.

When the entire family can participate in different activities, it creates an even more engaging experience for children.

In order to keep children moving at home parents should be sure to limit time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching TV, using electronic devices, being online, and playing video games.

Another way to occupy children and maintain their overall health is to stay on an eating schedule. When stuck in the house for days on end it is easy to lose track of the days and fall into a routine of laziness while engaging in mindless snacking. It is important stay on track and set consistent times throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

When it comes to having fun while learning parents and even older siblings could create daily themes for younger children to engage in different topics they can do their own fun research projects on.

For example; Monday could be superhero day, where children pick their favorite superhero to dress up as, draw pictures of and more. Tuesday could be wacky day, where children can dress up in the craziest outfits they can create. Wednesday could be favorite color day, Thursday could be animal day where children pick their favorite four-legged creatures and learn all about them. Friday could be a cultural day where children choose different aspects of their Bahamian culture, whether it be food, music, dress, or folklore and make their own special presentations.

Adults can turn chore time at home into a fun and creative opportunity to organize craft supplies, school supplies, toys, books, and games. This can help children feel productive together while also having fun.

Science experiments are also a great constructive way to keep children entertained at home under adult supervision. Examples of some simple experiments include; a homemade lava lamp where kids will mix water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets to create their own (temporary) lava lamp. Oil and water don’t mix easily, and the antacid tablets will cause the oil to form little globules that are dyed by the food coloring. Just add the ingredients together and you’ll end up with a unique homemade lava lamp.

Another idea is the classic baking soda volcano. This experiment can also be as simple or in-depth as you like. For the eruption, all you need is baking soda and vinegar, dishwashing detergent adds some extra power to the eruption, but you can make the “volcano” as elaborate and lifelike as you wish.

The tornado in a jar experiment can help teach children about weather. It only takes about five minutes and a few materials to set up, but once you have it ready you and your kids can create your own miniature tornado whose vortex you can see and the strength of which you can change depending on how quickly you swirl the jar.

The final suggestion is not only fun but tasty. Making edible rock candy is somewhat time consuming as it takes about a week for the crystals of this rock candy experiment to form, but once they have you will be able to enjoy the treat. After creating a sugar solution, fill jars with it and dangle strings in them that’ll slowly become covered with the crystals. This experiment involves heating and pouring boiling water, so adult supervision is necessary, once that step is complete, even very young kids will be excited to watch crystals slowly form.

Movie night is another suggestion where the entire family can get involved and enjoy one another. All family members have to do is pick a night, pick and movie and make the popcorn.

Whether parents and or guardians try the aforementioned suggestions or create their own, keeping their children entertained, productive and safe can be a pleasant adventure during these uncertain and sometimes worrisome times.


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