In the midst of a lockdown due to Covid-19, social distancing, self-isolating and even grocery shopping have been big challenges. However, a greater challenge for parents has been to keep their kids entertained.

With schools shut down and kids cooped at home for weeks together, you probably are running out of ideas for their playtime. Playgrounds are off-limits, and it could be hard on them when they cannot play with a friend who is just a floor or an apartment away! Now, almost a week into quarantine life, you have probably realised that having a few fun ideas up your sleeve is not a bad idea! Here are a few activities to keep your kids engaged during the Covid-19 lockdown –

  1. Bake/Cook Together – You have done this a dozen times already, and know how much kids love doing these activities. Involve kids in age-appropriate chores making sure you are always around when they are doing these activities. Shelling peas, whipping up an egg, peeling boiled potatoes, sieving the floor and glazing the baking tray are a few activities that you can indulge your kids in. Also, let them help you set the dinner table with casseroles, food jars, water and cutlery.
  2. Story Reading Sessions/ Audio Books – There are many groups on Facebook that have live read-out-loud sessions by kid’s authors. You can join live, or listen to the recording with kids. As a follow up activity, you can encourage your kids to read aloud a story in front of your family.
  3. Art and Crafts – This is one activity that can keep your kids engaged for hours together. The challenge is to do a new version of the activity every day. Pista skin painting, pasta painting, vegetable painting, cut and stick activities, there are just so many that your kids can do with limited adult supervision!
  4. Play Doh Fun – Slime and play doh have the ability to keep kids glued on to them for hours if need be. With a little help from the Internet, you can take imaginative play to a whole new level, with different colors of play doh.
  5. Sort and Organize –Get the kids initiated on sorting, start with small projects like their toy cabinet slowly scaling up to their wardrobe. This will keep them engaged, and also gently nudge them to be responsible towards the things they own. You can also involve them in simple household chores like clearing up the dining table after a meal, putting back cleaned casseroles and cutlery in place and so on.
  6. Playing Cards –Uno, Rummy and Snap, there are several card games that can keep you as a family occupied. You need these fun activities to keep you and kids both entertained.
  7. Get on board with fun board games –You definitely have fond memories of playing board games with your friends and parents, don’t you? Chess, Ludo and Snake & ladder, what better time than this to introduce your kids to the world of board games? Also, it’s a great time to reminisce about the summers you spent with your cousins and friends playing board games.
  8. School worksheets –Make this a regular activity, at least for a few hours in a day. You can download the worksheets online too, choosing the curriculum your child is comfortable to work with!
  9. DIY activities – These are interesting, not just for kids, but great for the parents to do with their kids. Small DIY projects like making your own play dough, chalk paint or soap bubbles will keep kids engrossed. A quick search and you will be surprised at how many dedicated YouTube channels have illustrations on these DIY activities.
  10. Bubbles – This could get a little messier. But kids need their dose of messy play too. Choose an open space, terrace or balcony works best! This is one best way for them to get their dose of vitamin D too! Make sure you involve them in cleaning up after their game!

While you practice social distancing, it is important that you don’t emotionally distance kids from doing things that are important to them. Keep aside an hour a day for your child to use a smartphone or laptop to talk to their friends, grandparents, neighbours and cousins! It is also the best time to get them acquainted with the smart gadgets you have at home. Under your supervision, you can let them get the hang of Google’s View in 3D feature, and meet a life-sized penguin or lion! Play short games of treasure hunt with a smart Bluetooth tracker, so they can learn about a wireless technology while they are at play! Keep kids engaged, with activities that will keep their curiosity alive!