India is still in lockdown mode. We are unable to travel or visit our loved ones. Kids are stuck at home and having to sit through another year of online classes. Sometimes it feels like there’s all the time in the World but nothing much to do!
Now you can fuss and fret about it, get on each other’s nerves and pull one another’s hair out, which we absolutely do quite often, OR you can use this time to learn something new, make the best use of the time that we are blessed with and have oodles of fun along the way.
Here are 10 things we do as a family that we think you can try (in lockdown or not) and enjoy-
1. Have a Study routine
Please bear with me here…. I know you were not expecting to find this but I believe it is a good practice for kids to work on Math and another subject that you think they need help with, every single day (or as often as possible). Not the whole day, maybe Just for an hour. It will help to retain the concepts they learn at school and Daily practice is a good habit to inculcate at a young age.
2. Have circle time
You must have heard of circle time for babies and toddlers, but it works for older kids as well. This was something I was inspired by Jady A to do. The kids and I sit together, take turns and chant a few prayers, discuss current events, learn about a particular art form, memorize a poem etc. Everyday we recollect what we learnt the day before.
3. Reading time
Sleepy Afternoons and just before dozing off are times dedicated to quiet reading. We all pick our books/kindles and just read. We also read to one another. No matter how old your kids are, it is always good to read aloud to them. It helps to understand the story, the structure, the vocabulary better when kids are read to. My grandma would ask me to read scriptures to her. I wonder why she made me do it when she was perfectly capable of reading them herself, But I will never forget those stories or the life lessons we discussed after reading.
4. Learn a new language
Currently My kids are learning French basics. I found a great teacher and we are all enjoying the online classes so much that I wish to join the advanced course myself. I’m also looking for online Kannada or Sanskrit classes.
5. Go for long walks
We go for long walks with kids in the evenings. Sometimes they go with their grandparents too. It’s a good way to converse and catch up with them without the distraction of screens. We share our childhood anecdotes, narrate stories from scriptures, talk about values and, these days, take turns recollecting French lessons.
6. Exercise with YouTube
Oh my God, there are so many options to choose from on YouTube. When we could not go for a walk or attend basketball classes, we brought the workout home. Depending on our moods and the time we have at hand and the intensity we are capable of trying on a particular day, We either follow Roberta’s gym, Yoga with Adrienne or Dance with Deepti.
7. Art & Craft
We enjoy doing art on our own, But the best times have been when we’ve all sat together around an object (like a flower vase) and painted the same in our art journals. We scrapbook, bullet-journal or do origami whenever possible. Such a great way to spend time together.
8. Join classes
There are so many classes to pick from based on your child’s interest, some paid and some free. Currently my kids are loving the wide variety of classes on Calligraphy and Magic tricks offered by yellowclass, all for FREE.
9. Cleaning /organizing
This is something I don’t enjoy doing with the kids! I am always in a rush to finish and move onto my next chore, and they also run out of steam midway through the organizing, which means I’ll end up with a whole lot of mess to clean up. But…. Cleaning and organizing the shelves and cupboards is exciting for them. We put on some music and have fun going through the treasure (clutter) we have accumulated and sorting them into different bins.
10. Writing stories
This activity requires a bit of work from my side. I come up with a few characters (girl, dragon, giant etc.), some settings (lake, castle, jungle etc. ) and a bunch of scenarios (loses a tooth, meets a beautiful princess, finds a magical pen, fails a test….. and so on) and we all sit together, randomly pick one thing from each of the 3 categories and write our own stories. It brings so many giggles and some surprises as kids get to show off their creativity!
These are some of the MANY things we do around here. How about you? What do YOU do with your kids when it is difficult to get out of the house?