These are unprecedented times. Never have we had to close schools because of a pandemic. It is important to realise that we are not on holiday. Rather, staying at home is a precaution to help keep everyone safe. The biggest challenge with COVID-19 is the rate of infection. If a lot of people get seriously ill at the same time, hospitals may not be able to cope, so better be safe than sorry. Stay inside and keep children inside.
Here are some activities that children can do while stuck at home.
Note – If you know someone who does not have access to internet, give them a telephone call and let them know what they can do. Help out in any way you can.
Nota – Jekk tafu b’xi ħadd li m’għandux aċċess għall-internet, ċemplulhom u għidulhom x’jistgħu jagħmlu minn dan ix-xogħol. Ejjew ngħinu lil xulxin kemm nistgħu.
- Encourage children to keep a diary about these days. Hopefully we will never see anything like this, and they will have something to show to their grandchildren when they are older.
- Encourage children to revise work that they have already covered in class this year.
- Read, read, read. Help children discover the joys of reading a good book. Spend time reading to them.
- Let children get bored. We underestimate the power of boredom. Our children are so used to being stimulated all the time that being bored will help them appreciate all that they have.
- Remember the fun playing with cardboard boxes, creating forts using sofa cushions and blankets? Most of our children have no idea how much fun this can be. Maybe this is a good time for them to find out.
- Talk! Children may not necessarily understand what is going on. Spend time to reassure them. Explain what is happening and try to answer any questions they may have. If you do not know the answer, just say so and look for the answer together online but…
- Beware fake news. Talk to the children about fake news and the damage that fake news does. Encourage children to critically reflect on what they see online. Not everything is true. Opinions are not facts. Check this website to realise the extent of fake news.
- Create. Encourage children to engage with art and craft ideas. There are plenty of things you can do using items readily available in the house.
- Chores. Get the children to help out. It will keep them busy and you will be helping them to grow into responsible adults. Don’t know where to start? Look here for age appropriate chores.
- Restrict. Restrict screen time.
- Play. It’s fun and free. Spend time playing together. Learn how to play new games. Rediscover old favourites. Teach children the games you used to play when we were their age.
- Think human. This virus knows no country, race, colour, gender. We are all human in this. At times like this it is easy to point fingers and try to blame someone else.
- Communicate. We are lucky to have technology at our fingertips. Use technology to reach out to family members, friends, but use technology responsibly.
- Be responsible. Stay indoors and keep children indoors.
- Reflect. Reflect on what truly matters and use this time to help children figure out their priorities.
- Be kind. Lead by example. Help whoever you can. Every small act of kindness goes a long way.
- Keep calm. This will pass. And next time you think bad of a teacher, think back on this experience. Teachers keep 20+ children busy and out of mischief for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, while getting them to learn stuff!
Some useful websites –
- Digital Resources for Students from the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes
- Maths is Fun
- National Geographic Kids
- TED Talks to Watch with Kids
- Funology – The Science of Having Fun
- Fun Brain
Some great conversation starters –
There are tons of other websites and resources you can consult.
Stay safe. Stay inside!