Coronaviras Quarantine: Things To Do With My Children At Home.
There are so many amazing and fun things to do if you find yourself at home with your children. These times of uncertainty and change are providing perfect opportunities for us to do different things with our children while we are home together. We don’t have to focus on what is happening in the world every waking second, we can show our children other enjoyable and perhaps new ways to spend their time.
My book series for girls ‘Tessa’s Books Of Elegance’ are two fold –
Each book encourages time spent together whilst doing fun activities and
They also encourage conversation with each other and therefore provide opportunities to listen to your child and in turn building a solid relationship with your child.
In every book I have included a range of activities; from making invitations, decorations, sewing, cooking delicious food, napkin folding, bath bombs, lip balm, hair styles, making your own décor, thank you cards and designing dresses, tuts, hats and ballet shoes! The activities range from a 5 min activity to others that take more time. I have personally done all of the activities with children, so they are tried and tested, with beautiful results.
Yes, a lot of events, meetings etc. have been cancelled with new rules/regulations appearing it seems daily, however we can turn this time around into consciously creating a time of good memories amidst the bad ones. One idea to start the ball rolling would be to sit down with your children and ask what their creative ideas are, what projects would they like to do together, how can they help others at present (safely of course).
What about encouraging the elderly who may not be able to leave their home at present, with offering to pick essential items up for them and upon return pop in a beautiful card you have made together. My love heart napkin folding technique (in book 1.) can be easily applied to decorated paper or with your own designs on paper then add some words of hope on the front or on the inside.
Another would be to make the love heart paper chain with messages of hope written on the hearts and to put into peoples’ letterboxes that you know are doing it hard at present. This is certainly the time to pass on the love and kindness, to lessen feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
While you are together, these activities of making, designing, cooking etc. provide a wonderful vehicle to promote conversation and an opportunity for you to encourage and listen to your children.
Yes, it is so important as a parent to talk to your children but equally I would say, is to listen to them. Building relationships with our children involves us as the adult knowing that like any conversation with another adult, it requires both talking and listening. I remember as a child having these wonderfully long car trips to the beach with my grandmother – and we would just about talk the whole way there! Then when we arrived to the beach shack there were card/ board games, puzzles, activity books etc. which again always included more conversations! I used to look forward to those trips so much, as being heard gave me a sense of value, self- esteem and self- confidence.
Talking at children is not the same as engaging in meaningful conversation with them – which involves actively listening to what they have to say. Active listening requires us as adults to put down our phones, turn off the tv/radio, put down the magazine and give them your full attention and ask open ended questions rather than sitting there muttering “Mmm”, “Ohh” or “Uh huh” etc. Everyone knows when someone isn’t really listening to you, it’s not a nice feeling. Looking back now, how I perceived situations and my conversations that I based on that, was my reality then. So I appreciated someone listening, not wanting to hear that what I was saying was “silly” or “nonsense”.
Open ended questions help children to express their thoughts ideas, opinions, creativity and assists in developing their vocabulary. Some examples might be:
“Why do you think this happened?”
“Why did you choose to do that?”
“What would have been another way to handle the situation?”
“What would you do about it?”
“How do you know…?”
“How did you do that?”
Children need opportunities to talk and express how they are feeling – just like we do as adults. As we promote these times now, while they are children, we are building relationships with them for the future as they grow into well-equipped adults, having the ability to express how they feel, contribute to meaningful conversations in the workplace and with their future partners and friends.
After this is all over, our children will remember the wonderful times you spent together, as neighbours, family and friends will too remember how they received kindness, gifts and notes of hope, resulting in the strengthening of your local community. There are a multitude of things to do with your children at home, yes it takes a little effort, but well worth the outcome with far reaching benefits.