Life is still not looking the same, and it’s just as hard on our kids as it is on us. Nobody likes being forced to stay at home; sure, people used to always crave the time to just hang out at home, but being forced to do so is a different story altogether. If you’re worried about how the kids handle being stuck inside, then check out these ways to keep children happy in self-isolation. Help them get out of the slump with these fun ideas—read on!
Make Room for Daily Outdoor Time
Outdoor time is incredibly important for kids. There are tons of reasons behind this, but the way it spurs the imagination is a big one. When your kids are consistently stuck inside, away from their friends and their routines, then they’re bound to get a bit unhappy. Jump-starting creativity helps with that, as it gives their brain a boost. Not to mention, outdoor time means sun time, which increases their vitamin D intake and serotonin (a mood booster that works just as well for kids as it does for adults).
Try your best to make time for some sort of outdoor play at least once a day.
Once they’ve gotten outside, they’ll need somewhere to put that creativity. Luckily, there are various options, even when stuck at home. They could paint or draw, they could help you in the garden, they could explore some of the virtual museums, or they could write their own story. If your child tends to struggle with creativity, provide a few options and watch their mood and confidence grow!
Dive into Interests
Similarly, children might have trouble figuring out what to do with their creativity and boredom because they’re not sure of their interests. Sports and other activities are canceled, but that doesn’t mean your child can’t partake in those activities at home or find some new ones. For example, maybe your child likes to read—give them some different books and genres to choose from and have them give short book reports at dinner. If your child likes to knit, give them a challenging project.
Now is the perfect time to delve into interests and see what really sparks your child’s creativity. Focusing on these interests will also help distract from the harder situations and ease anxiety.
Don’t Ignore Emotions
Probably one of the most important ways to keep children happy in self-isolation has to do with not ignoring emotions. Children struggle to maintain happiness if their “harder” emotions aren’t being addressed. Though some families may try to not talk about the pandemic at the dinner table, people still need help processing their feelings about the current climate—this is especially true for kids. That said, try to help your children process what emotions they’re feeling.
This is the time to focus on growing and improving emotional intelligence. Help your kids try to explain their emotions—use facial expression cards to begin. From there, you can talk about why they’re feeling that way and some of the ways they can process these emotions.
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