It sounds like the name of the next reality television show – “Quarantined with kids.” We’ve been living it for the past three months, and most would say there is no better word to describe the experience than bittersweet. Each moment that we get to spend watching our children grow and learn is special and the family time is invaluable. Still, challenges and obstacles arise, making the days often seem long and tiring. So, what can we do to capitalize on those priceless moments while eliminating the distractions, frustrations, and unwanted stressors that come our way as our communities grapple the pandemic with social distancing and lockdown? Here are five family-friendly activities that require little to no supplies and are sure to promote fun, laughter, and bonding.
Host a cook-off!
Women versus men, kids versus parents, team mom versus team dad, whatever it may look like in your home, team up, and have a cook-off. This is a wonderful way to get kids involved in the kitchen while teaching them the valuable skills of cooking! Additionally, it is a fun way to integrate math skills such as measurement and even chemical reactions when mixing and baking. Simple recipes like build-your-own salads or mini pizzas using soft tortilla shells are fun, kid-friendly choices.
Divide into two teams for this exciting, adventurous bonding experience! Instruct each team to create a treasure hunt for the opposing team. Get creative by developing maps, riddles, and even obstacles. Make the final treasure an exciting surprise and encourage the two teams to race to the finish. This activity is sure to promote teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, and of course, lots of fun and laughter.
Living room camp out!
Bring sleeping bags down to your living room or family room and camp out together! For an enriched experience, share campfire stories, sing songs, and roast marshmallows to make smores using your microwave or on your gas stove. Additionally, you can build a tent-like fort using sheets or blankets. If the weather permits, move your camp experience to your back yard!
Go for a sensory or mindfulness walk
There are several ways to successfully complete this walk together as a family. You could start the walkout just listening. Listen to the sounds of nature, the sounds of your neighborhood, whatever your setting is just listening, and mentally noting all that you’re hearing. You can incorporate the sights and smells. Then, in the second half of your walk, discuss all that you were able to notice during your peaceful, quiet time. With younger children, the sensory walk may be more effective by pointing things out to your child and talking them through the walk. Get in tune with your surroundings and feel a natural relaxation and sense of peace that comes along with this activity
Acts of kindness
Work together to create a list of random acts of kindness that can be completed throughout the day within your home. Ideas such as sharing, cleaning a room, running the vacuum, giving a hug, helping cook dinner, or setting the table are all good suggestions. However, the best way to instill the value of kindness within your children is to have them come up with acts that they feel are kind-hearted. Then, challenge your family members to complete the list. You can make this a fun game by encouraging your family to race to completion, or you can offer a fun celebration (think ice cream sundae bar) once all members have completed the list. This activity not only instills the value of kindness but also cooperation, teamwork, community, and pride. Plus, it is a feel-good, fun way to get things done!
Finally, while family time is vital and playing together creates memories that will last a lifetime, families should encourage independent play! As referenced in this article, The Benefits of Free Play, children learn many valuable skills through free play, including but not limited to independence, decision-making, and social skills. They’re able to use their imagination and dive into their interests when engaging in free play while enhancing life-long skills.
Planning fun-filled activities for the whole family can add positivity and closeness during our present societal situation. However, after the excitement dies down, rest assured in the fact that your children are learning and growing during their free play as well. While our robot is designed to help children gain confidence with self-guided lessons and activities, we highly encourage parents to participate in their child’s playtime with Roybi Robot. Discussing the subjects thought by Roybi Robot can expand children’s knowledge further. Additionally, as one of the pioneering AI-powered educational tools for children, our robot and its technology can also be a great subject of discussion for children.