As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, it gets more and more difficult to keep ourselves entertained while being restricted to our homes. It’s important to keep ourselves happy and motivated. But having fun isn’t just about boosting your mood. Sometimes, having fun can also engage your child’s skills and help them to develop new ones. Here’s a list of family activities your child can benefit from.
School gardening programs are proven to be an effective teaching tool when integrated into classroom lessons. Such programs require kids to develop skills in problem-solving. Children who learn with gardening programs are more likely to perform better academically.
Gardening at home is a great way to be productive with your family. In interacting with plants and gardens, children develop a sense of care for the environment and other living creatures. Gardening also reduces the risk of childhood obesity because children are educated about nutrition. Kids who engage in gardening activities are more likely to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets.
As an outdoor social activity, gardening can benefit the whole family. It’s a great way to bond and collaborate. It also serves as a form of exercise, and the outdoor component exposes us to much-needed fresh air and vitamin D.
Other garden activities you can do as a family include composting and recycling. Teaching your children to recycle makes them more sensitive and responsive to environmental and social issues. It also benefits your household on the whole as composting and recycling are more cost-effective ways to deal with waste and unused resources. Composting is the use of organic material known as compost to fertilize the soil. The materials you can compost are all abundant in your home – dead leaves, twigs, grass trimmings, food scraps, pet manure, and even old wine. If you have tree stumps in your yard that you’d like to clear to make more space for your garden, you can also add the dust from stump grinding to your compost bin.
Cultural excursions, such as museum visits often provide learning opportunities beyond what your kids learn in the classroom. This is why many schools will often include museums as part of their field trip itineraries. Museum visits teach children about art, science, history, and culture. Museums and exhibits made for children also make these topics more engaging and relevant to youngsters.
Many people have turned to culinary activities as coping mechanisms for the ongoing lockdown. And who could blame them? Cooking and baking are engaging exercises and make fun activities for the whole family. Best of all, you get to eat what you make! You can even turn this newfound skill into a small business venture.
In young children, cooking helps them to develop their cognitive skills further. It requires them to think creatively and critically and engages their skills in problem-solving.
Picnics and barbecues
These are a great way to enjoy your home-cooked meals with an added outdoor element to them. You and your loved ones get to spend time outside, taking in the surroundings, breathing in the fresh air, and getting sunshine and vitamin D – all these things are scientifically proven to boost mood and well-being. Because you’ll be outdoors, you’ll also have the opportunity to play games and be active. Picnics and barbecues are also inexpensive to have since the meals are all home-cooked.
Arts and crafts
This is a classic family activity, and it’s not hard to see why. Arts and crafts are a great way for anyone to express themselves and get in touch with their creative side. It helps young children develop fine motor skills and improve their hand-eye coordination. Most importantly, it makes them happy. Creating something that they feel proud of encourages them to take more risks and boosts their confidence.
Before we all became so absorbed with our smartphones and social media, board games were the ultimate family activity. Some families even had a night of the week set aside for just that. Now that we’re in isolation, it’s a good idea to bring back board games. They’re fun activities that don’t involve looking at screens, which can be very tiring. Playing board games is a good way to enrich your child’s skills in decision-making and problem-solving. They learn how to strategize and think critically.
There are many productive ways to have fun that can benefit our entire family. We picked the examples above because they’re enjoyable activities, but they also engage many of our cognitive and social skills all at once. Not only that, but they make great group activities, so everyone in the family can join in.