With being stuck at home for extensive periods of time, many kids, teens, and adults have begun exhausting the pleasures of cycling through Netflix films, playing video games, and mindlessly scrolling through social media and news sites. Here are some ideas of a few activities for the whole family to step away from the screens and beat the social distancing blues.
Working on a jigsaw puzzle is very relaxing and meditative. In addition to being a good activity for improving visual perceptual skills, attention, and problem solving, it’s a great stress buster for the whole family.
Many crafts help increase a child’s skill of using both hands together, as well as his or her fine motor skills. Some fun crafts to try are jewelry making (You can use beads, dry pasta, cheerios- whatever you have handy! A string is good for older kids, but a pipe cleaner will be easier for younger children, as it holds its shape better.), origami, and cardmaking (You can use the finished cards to send to friends and family!).
Cooking together is a great way for picky eaters to take ownership of what they’re eating and be more interested in trying new foods. Kids of all ages can have a part in the process. For example youngsters can help with mixing ingredients, mashing bananas for banana bread, etc, while older kids can follow recipes, measure ingredients, and chop and peel fruits, with supervision.
Reading together as a family is a great way to strengthen a child’s language skills and emotional and problem solving skills. For older kids, you can take turns reading, or the kids can act exciting scenes in the story.
Yoga is good for calming the mind and increasing body and breath awareness. There are tutorials online aimed for kids, teens, and older adults, so you can tailor your session to your family’s needs.
Written by: Elizabeth Horsch, COTAL