Home-Based Activities to Try
First off, I want to wish you health and wellness! I hope everyone is doing okay and is feeling well.
We know it's hard enough to comprehend the uncertainty of this pandemic, let alone figure out what you're going to do with children home from school, mitigate possible changes in your own work situations, and practice social distancing at the same time.
To help, we've put together a few ideas to keep young ones active and engaged during this period of uncertainty.
1. Put on a puppet show. Make puppets out of paper bags or popsicle sticks. You can base the puppets on characters in a book, t.v. show, or movie and have your child reenact the story, or make up a sequel! Puppets are a fabulous way for children who are shy to feel safe when sharing new ideas, adding dramatic flair, or speaking a second language.
2. Get creative in the kitchen. We all have to do our part to stay home as much as possible. Avoid going to the grocery store more than necessary, or picking up take-out food. Instead, try out new recipes with your kids and stock your freezer with delicious soups and ready-to-go meals. Read the french version of the recipe, and listen to some French cooking music to add a little joie-de-vivre! Try this recipe for soupe à l'oignon gratinée (French onion soup).
3. Call a grandparent for a chat. Who doesn't love getting a phone from a loved one? Isolation and social distancing can be mentally hard. Encourage your child to reach out to a loved one who is in isolation or who is at risk. Even from a distance, we can still show we care.
4. Create a comic book. Graphic novels are all the rage with young ones and they're especially fun to make. Have your write and illustrate their own comic book (en français). Not sure what to write about? How about a super-hero who finds a vaccine to Covid-19?
5. Stimulate the senses. Avoid boredom and stimulate the mind and senses of your child! Make your own fluffy slime with materials that you have around the house. Try this recipe - all you need is some shaving cream, white glue, baking soda, food colouring, and water. Then, have your child describe it using their senses. Try these sentence starters:
Je vois (I see)...
Je touche (I touch)...
Je sens (I smell)...
J'entends (I hear...)
6. Get artsy. Art can be especially therapeutic for kids as it can help them process and communicate their emotions. Your child might be feeling the uncertainty and unease of today's environment but may not be able to communicate their thoughts (just like the rest of us!). Break out the paints and have fun with it. You can even liven things up with finger painting or toe painting!
7. Move your body. Stuck inside on a cold day? Feeling restless? Sign up for a free GoNoodle account. There are tons of videos for inspired movement that will get your little one(s) burning that energy up in no time! It's a tried and tested teacher favourite for daily physical activity.
8. Have a family movie night or game night. The blessing in disguise of social distancing is that we get to spend more time at home, with our families. Take advantage by doing the things you don't always have time for in your busy life.
9. Stay informed. 1jour1actu is a wonderful French website where world news is communicated in a youth-friendly manner. When your child asks you what's going on, search this website for an article or video to show them, like this video on what quarantine means. We recommend this website for ages eight and up.
10. Curl up with a good book. Have an adventure without leaving the house.
Stay well and stay positive. Let's be the light for each other when times are dark.