Our kids have become our colleagues this spring. As parents adjust to remote-work situations, children are also having to learn how to study online full-time. The disruptive routines, close physical proximity at all-times, limited social interactions with the outside world, and virtually no way to blow off steam, things can become pretty heated around the house.
To prevent the tantrums from escalating and before boredom can force kids to try for desperate measures (and before you lose your mind), here are some of the most productive, engaging, and fun learning activities during COVID-19 to indulge in with your kids and keep themselves busy (and yourself sane) as the lockdown continues.
These activities include some productivity tips and tools for graphic designers to try, revisit some of the games from your own childhood, some run-of-the-mill but still popular arts and crafts tricks, and many others. As you try these activities, remember to alternate between busy and quiet ones so the kids can have a sort of schedule to look forward to.
1. Graphic Design
Kids love graphic design. Give them things to draw, sketch, color, and create and they’ll be quietly busy for hours. For this reason, we have collected these cool graphic design apps that kids, who are especially interested in graphic design, can easily master. Even those that are not, they can still enjoy painting pictures, editing photos, and making collages.
a) Pixlr: It is an AI-powered photo editing software and has tons of exciting features to work with. Using Pixlr is quite easy and can be aced without having any earlier graphic design training.
b) RawTherapee: The app has a super powerful engine and lets you transform your raw images into pictures that look professionally photographed.
c) SumoPaint: It’s an ideal app for kids to keep them busy painting hundreds of awesomely brilliant images using tons of high-quality paint brushes, gradient tools, and other effects.
d) DrawP: It is kid-friendly app and the whole family can have fun drawing, painting, and coloring on it. You can even create galleries of your children’s artwork here.
e) Flexbox Froggy: Want your kid to learn coding in a fun way? This is the game to do it with. By helping frogs get to their lilypads, the children can learn about CSS selectors, HTML markups and other cool coding stuff.
f) I Shot The Serif: Typography is an important part of graphic design and learning the difference between the two major type groups – Serif and Sans Serif – can be achieved in a fun way with this graphic design game.
2. Online Learning
While the kids may be learning virtually anyway, school work can become boring and tiresome. Many parents are juggling work from home with kids and helping them enjoy some online learning that’s fun and exciting. The Sci Show, for example, helps kids learn about the world of science in a highly engaging and entertaining way. With the Brain Scoop, your child can learn about the secrets, workings, and research of the natural history museums.
If your kid’s school hasn’t arranged for any online classes, use Udemy and Coursera to enroll your kid in some useful and educational courses.
a) Scishow Kids: Introduce your kids to the fun side of science. This YouTube channel is dedicating to sharing complex concepts of science in a fun way that helps retain the essential message.
b) The Brain Scoop: Through this YouTube channel, you can learn about the awesome world of Natural History with a host who seems like a lot of fun to hang around with, to be honest.
c) Udemy: The course site offers thousands of online courses that you can enroll for. The courses include classes in Design, Photography, and Music, too.
d) Coursera: It is another online courses site and offers classes in Arts & Humanities, Math, Language, Computers and IT, Social Sciences, and others.
e) Virtual Museum Tours: Travel and Leisure recently released a list of 12 museums from around the world that offer virtual tours. These world-famous museums include British Museum in London, the Guggenheim of NYC, and Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.
f) Cool Math 4 kids: It is site that is equally beneficial for kids, teachers, and parents. Here, you can learn math in a fun way through games, brain teasers, and quizzes.
3. Fun & Games
Too much learning, no matter how fun, can become exhausting. So take a break and enjoy these fun activities with your children. We have chosen a collection of board games, activity based games, physical games that can help children get some exercise, and some awesome podcasts to listen to when all this also becomes too much.
a) Board Games: This list has some of the best, most fun board game suggestions that the whole family can enjoy together. Pick one that you like the beset and order now. If you’re bored of playing the old board games such as scrabble and monopoly, these games will reignite the fun.
b) Activity & Exercise Games: Make sure the children are having some physically active time to remain physically and mentally healthy. Build them an obstacle course with the help of the living room furniture or send them on scavenger hunts around the house. Musical chair and classics like ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’ can also be immense fun with lots of laughter involved.
c) Just Dance 2020: Challenge each other with a dance-off with this awesome dance rhythm game available for Nintendo Switch, Play Station 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and Wii.
d) Card Games: Play fun card games with kids such as Crazy Eights, Slap Jack, and Memory.
e) Movie Nights with Popcorn: Fix a day of the week as a movie night and settle in with your little ones with large batches of pop corn and some amazing movies to watch together. This list contains 60 movie suggestions that the whole family can enjoy together. Or you can let the kids watch and enjoy some alone time.
f) Podcasts: The world of podcasts has some real gems for kids to enjoy. StoryNory brings to life the world of fables, both modern and classic, through professional voice actors. Stuff You Missed in History Class is about what it name leads you to believe. And with Story Time, your kids can enjoy listening to their bedtime stories virtually.
4. Arts And Crafts
Arts and crafts are one of those activities that kids never get bored of. Creativity and making something out of nothings is not just an activity that stimulates kids but adults love it too. Here, we share a few amazing arts and crafts suggestions that can keep you and the kids busy for a while.
a) DIY Logo Design: Instead of just regular drawing or painting or working with a design app that can be a bit of work, do some DIY logo designs as easy-peezy graphic design gigs. Log on to www.designmantic.com and have fun creating logos and taglines for your imaginary (and one day to become real) businesses.
b) Cooking/Baking with Kids: Need we say more? There’s something about mixing flour and eggs and decorating cakes and cookies that kids cannot get enough of. There are also some easy and safe cooking recipes that you can try with kids. Here, check them out.
c) Scrapbooking: Get together with children or let an older kid supervise the younger ones as they all sit together to create a fun scrapbook. This one is a tutorial about a holiday scrapbook, but really, you can make one for any occasion or event that you like. The children can even maintain one for their whole school year and record moments that feel important to them.
d) Photography: If your kids show an interest in photography or you want them to try out a new interest, this link has amazing tips to get the kids off the starting point. From photography tips to how it helps children learn and have other activities plan around the pictures they take, this one has it all. At the end of the week, you can even have an Art Show where takes display the photos they’ve taken over the week.
e) Recycled Art: crafting with kids doesn’t have to be expensive. Use the materials around the house, old shoelaces, discarded cereal boxes, and other items that seem to be of no use can be utilized in these fun crafting ideas. Do check it out.
f) Make Bird Feeders: With this brilliant tutorial, learn how to make a bird feeder that you can hang in your backyard. The children will not only love the crafting that’ll go into it but perhaps you and the kids can also do some Bird Watching while the flocks descend to eat.
5. Mental And Physical Health
If you are battling with anxiety, depression, stress or any other mental illness, the current situation may not be ideal for you. Remaining indoors for large amounts of time and being unable to take part in activities that you relied on for your mental equilibrium, such as going out to meet a friend, taking part in an activity, having an established routine, or just going to the grocery store to distract yourself, may add even further to your anxiety and stress.
To keep your mental health managed during these tiring times, it’s important to treat it as a priority. Things that’ll help you with it include having a somewhat similar routine that you had before, such as waking up at the same time, showering and putting on work clothes so you can be in the mood to work. Having daily goals to look forward to it is also important.
Below we are sharing some pointers that’ll help you take care of your mental and physical health during this pandemic.
a) Guidelines & Resources: Published by CDC, this list contains guidelines and resources that can help you take care of your mental health during these trying times. You’ll find a section of how to handle your kids’ mental health during this time, too. So do have a look at it and get all the information necessary. Also, keep your communication lines open. Phone your friends regularly and do not mentally isolate yourself.
b) Yoga & Meditation: This YouTube channel has the best videos on yoga and meditation – soothing, with positions that work, and with some of the best relaxation music going in the background. Put aside a time of the day when you can be alone in a room do a bit of yoga and meditate to relax yourself. Also, meditation doesn’t have to be you frozen in the same space reciting a word over and over again. It can be you lying down and listening to some rain noise on YouTube. It can be anything that relaxes you.
c) Exercises for Kids: Get your kids moving with these simple exercises that children can do on their own or the whole family with them. Maintaining physical health and activity levels are important for a healthy mind, too.
d) Maintain Work-Life Balance: To maintain your good mental health, it is extremely important to create a work-life balance. These science-backed tips on how to maintain this balance will help you a lot.
e) Laughter is the Best Medicine: Look, not saying that watching comedies on TV will cure anything, but distracting yourself from the current dreary outlook of the world won’t hurt. Check out the list’s comedic suggestions and see if you like any. Additionally, you can look for more such lists on the internet – the point is to just find a good series or a show and have a bit of laugh.
Also, don’t forget to breathe. Move your shoulders away from your ears. Unclench your jaw. Drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Let go of your arms. And breathe…
So let us know what you think of these ideas. If you have any more, please feel free to drop them in the comment box and we’ll update our list accordingly. Also, tell us the unique ways your family is handling this time.