At Home With Your Grade-Schoolers

March 20, 2020

Grade School Play Even if you have the best kids in the world, that doesn’t mean they won’t get bored and become pests when stuck at home, isolated from their friends and kept from their favorite group activities. So, if you’ve been trying to think of ways to keep your cool . . .  and your sanity while you and your grade- school-age child or children are sheltering at home due to the Coronavirus situation, here are some activities you can both enjoy. Physical Activity is a Must All of us, no matter what our age need to be physically active throughout the day, every day. And this is even more important for children. While adults need at least 30 minutes of activity a day, youngsters need to be physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes each and every day. BONUS: a well exercised child is less likely to be cranky and restless. So, do you both a favor and get some exercise together. Outdoor Options If you have a basketball hoop, this is a good time for you both to practice making baskets. In addition, if you both have bikes, plan a riding path you can take together where you’ll both be safe and unlikely to be surrounded by lots of people. No bikes? Or if your child has one but you don’t, then take a walk together or load up your child’s bike and go to a place where he or she can ride around in full view of you while you walk, either in place or behind your child. Before heading out, make sure your child is aware of the rules that need to be in place while outside your home right now:
  • No getting close to other people, even if you know them. Wave and smile, call a cheery “Hello” but keep your distance.
  • No handling or touching anything, whether playground equipment, rides or someone else’s ball.
  • Take hand wipes or sanitizer with you, in case you unexpectedly come in contact with something or someone. But remember, hand sanitizer isn’t a free pass, it’s better not to touch something in the first place, but if you do, definitely sanitize.
  Indoor Exercise You and your child can also exercise together while indoors. This is a great way to bond and have fun together. Some, but certainly not all of your options include:
  • Patty cake push-ups – do push-ups facing each other, then pat each other’s hand while still pushing up. Work up to doing several before lowering yourselves down to the ground.
  • Jumping jacks – standing tall, bring your hands together above your head as you jump your feet apart, swing your arms down to shoulder height as you jump to bring your feet together.
  • Leap frog – crouch down in a squat, with your weight on your heels and your hands clasped under your chin, leap up as you bring your hands down, and squat once again.
  Creative Activities   Once you’ve both had a bit of a workout, exercise your children’s minds a little with some creative indoors activities, like:
  • Have them make up a story, then . . .
    • Write it up and illustrate it with their own pictures. If you have them do this for several days in a row they can have a collection of short stories that you can bind for them in a three-ring binder or in some other manner to keep and show to their friends at a later date.
    • Create puppets out of socks or paper bags to play the characters in the story and have them put on a puppet show for you and anyone else in the house.
    • Act out the story themselves as a play for you and others in the house. You can also video the play and share it with other family members and friends that you can’t see right now. It’s great if the kids can create costumes for themselves from your old clothes or other items around the house.
Other Options Naturally there are any number of other activities you and your grade-school-age child or children can enjoy together. Check some of them out at 35 Indoor Activities for While You’re Stuck Inside. There’s even more at Activities for Elementary School Kids. And don’t forget those old tried and true activities like board games for the whole family or reading together. If you’re out of books, don’t forget that even though the buildings that house the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library branches are currently closed, you can still download and stream their digital books and videos online.    
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