7 tips to engage your kids during Covid-19

It is a tough time. The world has never faced such a situation earlier and hope it would never too. The Covid-19 situation is keeping us all anxious and nervous.

With this current situation of Covid-19, our schedules are completely changed. Most of the organizations have moved to work from home, the public being advised to stay at home, the states being locked down so on and so forth.

All through out my career, I have never worked from home, baring few instances and this is a new experience for me. They say experience is the best teacher and undoubtedly it seems so.

Meanwhile, as you all know, the schools have been shut down and children have been advised to stay home. This is not an easy situation to handle, as kids are habitual to their regular school schedules and this is a sudden change with no outdoor activities. Dheer ( my 8 year old) definitely does not seem comfortable and is always looking forward for some engaging activities.

It had been a mentally draining exercise for me personally, because he is glued to me all throughout this weekend. Somehow, I see a sudden change in his behavior and he wants to spend more time with me. I am assuming this is the repercussion of me staying at home and not spending time with him. I need to analyse how this changes in the weeks to come.

Here are some simple games we played during this weekend and it might help some of you during this isolation times at home:

  1. Hangman – This is a very famous game with kids. Each participant gets a chance to think of a word and the opponent needs to guess the word before the man is hung. More from google is here. This helps them to improve their spellings and it might be a wonderful thought to play it in different languages too. We can also select genres here like authors, nouns, states, cities etc to keep it more interesting.

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2.UNO cards No one can ever deny that probably this is the most popular family game. Only problem with this game is Dheer always want to win and whenever we win, we are called “Cheaters”. His grand parents are his favorite opponents as he always finds a way to win with them.

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3. Mikado – This is an interesting game. More details about the game here. This game improves the concentration. It also improves the mathematical calculations as each stick has a different denomination and I always ensure Dheer sums it up.

4. Jenga – This has been a popular game in our family and we very often play this. ( As long as we are able to figure out where the jenga blocks are) and this time is no exception. More about the game here.

5. Dictionary Game – This is a game we have invented ourselves. I call out for a word, Dheer has to look out for the word in the dictionary and read out the meaning. This game is timed and alternated between Dheer and me. This way, he gets to learn two new words every time and we try to use the same words in our conversations during the day.

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6. Story cubes – This was a game that I bought when he was a five year old kid. At that moment,we used these cubes to illustrate the stories. Now, a step forward, he needs to imagine a story with the cubes and write it. I know he loves writing but only lazy to do it during these holidays, so I just push him to do this. I trade this with his youtube time. And I always think, it is not a bad thought, to spend one hour in a day reading or writing.

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7. Pictionary – Draw a word and let the participants guess. Simple!!!!. I don’t have reference picture here, as I saved this game for the upcoming week.

Apart from these, our regular activities include watching youtube / Netflix, reading books, tic-tac-toe, odd or eve etc. Sometimes, he is also trying to learn some new guitar songs from youtube.

I know many of you might be doing much more than these, I just made an attempt to draft a few activities. I might want to do a part two to this too, including some traditional games.

Thanks for reading thus far and do not assume it is a cozy home environment, I have my own difficulties.

Dheer never wants to stop playing the games that he loves, like UNO.

He never wants to start playing games he does not like like story cubes.

He always wants to win.

He does not want his screen time to be monitored etc etc.

Most often, I trade his interests with his disinterests and try to keep it exciting for him. Keeping everything at bay, he had been a great supportive kid, always understands a working mom’s priorities and is very accomodative. I am blessed to have him in my life.

As a conclusion, let me just mention, we as parents are so busy analysing the Covid19 situation, planning our office schedules, reading the latest news, laughing on the memes that we probably are not spending enough time with our kids. Introspect and try spending some quality time with your kids. Trust me, they are too bored seeing the Covid thing all around.

Stay healthy, stay positive, stay indoors and let’s hope to come out of this situation at the earliest.

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