How to engage your child at home...tips from us
Families across the world have been unceremoniously plunged into a new way of life, and everyone is still trying to carve out a groove. But what does this mean for your kiddos who don’t fully understand this complete upheaval to their daily routine? “I want a snack, I want to play with the iPad,” they hound you as you try to lead a conference call. They don’t understand that you’re trying to figure out how to work from home. All they know is that at school, after they do x, they move on to y, but they don’t have x or y anymore to mark the passage of time. Kids thrive on routines and predictability, and when all of that is unexpectedly gone--that’s a whole new challenge parents have to tackle.
Now, we’re not saying parents need to completely recreate the school setting at home; frankly, that’s not feasible or enjoyable for the majority of families. But we are saying that the first thing to do is to try to establish a new, *loose*, routine to help keep things moving and engaging at home!
For your preschool/early elementary-age children, create a general plan for each day or week! Pick out a special planning time together, and grab a white board, some blank paper, or an easel, and write and draw out the plan for the day/week! Write the words out and then let your child draw something to represent the activity so that they know what it is, too! Be sure to also include things like breakfast, snack(s), lunch, dinner, nap time/quiet time, outside play time (if you can do so safely!), screen time (if your family chooses!), clean up time, etc. These routines should *not* be scheduled down to the minute--but you want to keep things moving along, just as in the classroom setting.
But what else should go in this routine chart? Here are some ideas to get you started!
* Question/Poll of the Day!
* Write/Draw Stories/Books
* Indoor Scavenger Hunts
* Science Experiments
* Build with Blocks/Miscellaneous Objects
* Simon Says
* Cook/Bake Together
* Create and Act Out a Play
* Lunchtime Drawing with Mo Willems
* Story Time with Authors Online
Once you have a stockpile of ideas, you don't want to present them all at once to your child, though. When you are making the routine charts together, mention only a few activities to let them pick from each day if you want to give them options! This way, you can keep "thinking up" exciting activities for your child.
What are some fun activities your child loves to do? Drop a comment below to help out another parent!