Parenting In A Pandemic: Tips To Keep The Child Occupied
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on May 25, 2021
Dealing with COVID has been difficult for everyone, children included. Having to maintain social distancing, deal with homeschooling, and living through a worldwide pandemic can prove to be quite stressful to the children, and may challenge their mental health.
It is therefore understandable why this is a concern to many parents. If you share the same concerns for your child's well-being, you are not alone. Many parents are worried about how to be able to keep their child engaged and properly stimulated, all the while keeping them safe. Here we shall take a look at how to keep your child occupied and healthy in these trying times.
Ways To Keep Your Child Occupied During The Pandemic
While it is important to keep your children engaged and mentally healthy, it is also of paramount importance to ensure proper safety and maintain caution.
There are a plethora of engaging activities for your child to partake in while indoors. While it can feel quite claustrophobic if one is indoors for too long, it can prove to be a lot less stressful and even quite pleasing to engage in certain activities, like:
Board games: They are a fun way to get the whole family together and keep everyone engaged.
Storytime: It is almost impossible to find a child who doesn't appreciate a good storytime. With a piqued sense of curiosity and imagination, a good story is sure to do wonders for your child.
Video games: Yes, even video games can be incredibly useful in properly engaging your child. While it is advisable to moderate screen time in general, many studies have shown how certain video games properly engage a child's brain and improve critical thinking and coordination.
Exploring the outdoors while social distancing
Nothing can occupy and relax the kids as outdoor games. Outdoor activities carry less risk than you think. It is beneficial in some aspects as well. With moving air the child is at lower risk of contracting the virus.
So it is better to plan an outdoor playdate in a park or play area on your premises than encouraging the child to play with their friends in less ventilated indoors.
Exploring outside with appropriate social distancing can be planned in your yard, play area of gated colonies, nearby park, walkways, etc. You can take the child for a bike ride, drive, or walking.
You can even take the child to parks. In that case, you can take a blanket with you and sit comfortably somewhere and tell your little one a story from their favorite book. You can even take their favorite toys and let them play as they want.
Benefits of playing outdoor
Since staying at home for too long is sure to take a toll on anyone’s mental health, it may prove necessary to go outdoors once in a while. Although, in such a situation, it is critical that you take proper precautions and not take unwanted risks. It is also advised that you do not stray too far away from your home and keep outdoor activities limited to your front yard, or apartments.
Children who spend more time outdoors and enjoy nature generally boast certain advantages like:
Being physically healthier: Playing outside is sure to have no small number of physical benefits for your child, including better physical abilities, vitamin D from sunlight, improved lung capacity and stamina, healthier growth, and so on.
Being more focused in learning: Outdoor activity can boost a child’s creativity and curiosity, and also improve their mind’s clarity to be primed for better focus and concentration.
A healthier mentality: Proper outdoor activity can be useful in improving a child’s mental health and reducing stress.
Having a positive attitude: Children who spend healthy amounts of time outdoors have a better grasp of reducing their anger and aggression and have better control over their impulses. This enables them to adopt a generally positive attitude and behavior.
Things To Keep In Mind While Outdoors
While it may be necessary to venture outdoors to keep a healthy mental/physical state, it is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and take proper steps to ensure both your and your child’s safety. If you feel it is absolutely necessary to go outdoors, here are some things to keep in mind while doing so:
Be wary of what you touch – this may not be quite so big a concern if you're a single-family in a small, isolated home, but for those living in crowded environments or apartments, be sure not to touch handrails, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and so on. It is also wise to wear gloves and always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on hand when you go out.
Choose the outdoor space wisely – ideally, this should be your front yard and nothing farther from your home. However, if this is not an option for you, make sure the space you choose is well isolated and not too far away from your home. If such a spot is difficult to find, it is safest to remain indoors until a better opportunity presents itself.
Maintain social distancing – something as simple as social distancing goes a long way in preventing COVID. You and your child must understand the importance of maintaining it at all costs. At any cost avoid even moderately crowded area when you take your little one to explore the outdoors
Only go with those you live with – while it can be tempting to head outdoors and reunite with friends or neighbors after a long time, doing so can be really dangerous for both your family and theirs. Heading out with only those you live with minimizes the risk of spreading or catching the virus.
Wear a mask- Along with a water bottle and snacks, it is important to keep a pair of fresh masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer in the backpack. If the child does not wear the mask while running or playing alone in the park, it is not that big a threat. But if there are more children and keeping the social distancing is difficult at any point, make the child wear a mask.