Saturday, March 21, 2020

What to Do With the Kids? Part Two

                               What to Do With the Kids?

                                                   Part Two

I am sharing some ideas from my niece who has two sixth grade girls and a preschooler.  I am adding a few ideas of mine.  I hope these thoughts will help with what looks like a long, "Yea! No School" time.  
During the week try to keep the kids on a schedule.  
Wake up at the same time, wash, get dressed,  and eat breakfast.
 (9:30-10:00)Weather permitting take a family walk or bike ride. Weather not permitting do some exercise in the house.  Make a game of it if possible.  How many times, taking giant steps, can you walk up and down the hallway in three minutes (or five minutes or one minute).  Take everyone's number and find the average.  (Math skill.  Reminder on how to find the average.  Take the numbers. add them, then divide by the number of people participating.). Can also do this by going up and downstairs.  But be careful. No one should go so fast they might skip steps and fall.  Children get excited and may forget safety.
After exercise,  ( 10-11 o'clock) it is Academic Time.  Perhaps things from school, or there are free sites on the internet for math, reading, science, etc. Perhaps a virtual field trip.  There is a good virtual field trip for recycling at Eureka Recycling in Roseville.  
 (11to noon) Creative Play such as Legos, art, dolls, crafts, working on making a play, deciding on costumes, characters, settings, etc, Making stationery and cards to send letters and Thinking of You cards to family and friends, etc. 
Noon to One  Lunchtime. Older kids could help. Clean up, and free time
1 to 1:30  Quiet time, free time,  One person reads to the others.
1:30 to 2:00 Music time- practice instruments, If children do not have instruments could they make some?  An empty container with something to put in it to rattle, a makeshift drum,  makeshift drum sticks, a paper and comb whistle.  You might find other ideas on the internet.
2:00-3:00 Family fun (Game, puzzle, baking, etc- kids take turns picking the activity)
3:00-3:30  Dance practice   Turn on some music and create dances.  Another good exercise.
3:30-:4:00 Chores
4:00-5:00 Fresh air time (Play outside if the weather is nice enough).
5:00-5:30 send emails, make phone calls to family and friends.  Kid friends and adult family and friends like to get US mail so kids could send a letter or Thinking of You card they created in the creative playtime from 11:00 to noon.   The letters and cards can be mailed once a week as a family time by getting in the car and driving up to an outdoor mailbox.  
5:30 to 6:30  Free time  Older kids could help make the dinner.
6:30 to bedtime is dinner and Family time and TV time.

Another craft idea:  If the family has a lot of sewing buttons teach the older children, boys, and girls how to sew on buttons, we all need that skill.  Also, buttons can be sewed on to scrap material to make a design.

Teens often find not being with friends difficult.  Emailing and Texting is normal for them but now it may be too much too often.  If you can sit down with them and talk with them on the necessity of their not being with their friends, as they can get the virus and they can spread it to their family and friends.  Tell them as parents you feel stressed.  You know they feel stressed.  You may have financial concerns.  Be honest.  BUT reassure them the family will stay intact and this time, even if long, will end.  And ASK for their help.  Children of all ages typically want to be a part of the solution.  They want to be challenged.  You could use their help with the chores around the apartment, the house, the yard. They could play games or read with or to younger children.
If the teen was doing a part-time job and can not go to work to earn money, work out a payment with the teen.  This chore will earn you this amount of money.  If you feel you do not want to pay at this time tell your teenager you will give him/her an IOU.  At the end of this Drawing Closer As A Family Season Virus Time,  and things are back to work and paychecks, you will redeem one or two IOUS at a time. As young people can not go out and spend money now anyway, this would be like saving for the future.
I hope your find some help in this.  If you have ideas please share with others.   God Bless