If you came here looking for ideas to help your child learn new things at home, you’re not alone. The COVID-19 school closures have caused millions of parents around the world to wonder what their children will do all day! Since the coronavirus and social distancing don’t appear to be subsiding any time soon, educational experts suggest parents look for long-term at-home learning activities for their little ones.
Here are five engaging alternative options to make up for the learning gap and keep your children’s minds at work while social distancing.
1. Teach Kids to Cook
With most families avoiding dining outside the home due to the social distancing restrictions, cooking has never been so important. Many experts recommend parents teach kids to cook at an early age, because creating delicious food will improve their life skills and give them a satisfying experience. Kids’ cooking subscription boxes can make the learning process seamless if arranging all the ingredients, recipes, and tools seems daunting to you amidst juggling work- and learn-from-home arrangements. There are many types of cooking kits for kids designed to make cooking a fun and safe experience.
Parents who are less experienced with cooking can even learn together with their children— just head over to YouTube and you’ll come across tens of thousands of fabulous recipes, cooking guides, and lessons. Plus, most of the videos are free.
Start with simple recipes while asking your kids to help you measure the ingredients. You can even let the children decide what they want to cook or bake. Allowing them to use the tools that come with a kids’ monthly cooking box will improve their motor skills as well. As your little chefs gain cooking skills, you can gradually experiment with more sophisticated recipes.
2. Work on Their Communication Skills
While kids have a natural tendency to want to communicate with others, there’s always room for improvement in this area. Since they’re spending most of their time indoors during this pandemic, you can use this as an opportunity to hone their communication skills.
For example, you can help them understand the meaning and effectiveness of non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions, tone, voice, and more. By doing so, you’re actually helping them to become an effective and confident communicator when they grow up.
In addition, talking with and carefully listening to your children is sure to instill excellent communication skills. Kids are curious beings and want to explore the world around them, which is why they ask many questions. And, they crave interactions with adults. Giving them attention and answering their questions will set them up for success, both now and into the future.
3. Teach Gardening to Kids
Most children have a natural liking for gardens and outdoors. Involving them in gardening is beneficial for their physical and mental health. And, working with the mud, seeding plants, and watching them grow can be an exciting learning activity for kids. Besides learning to grow their own food and flowers, gardening is an excellent method for teaching your children about the environment.
The best way to teach kids gardening is to keep it small, manageable, and uncomplicated. For example, you can begin by helping them grow plants inside the house in jars or small containers. When you see that the little gardeners have learned the basics, it’s time to take them to the backyard to create their own small garden.
Let them decide which plants, vegetables, or flowers they want to grow, and allow them to work with the tools while providing guidance along the way. You can also help them establish a routine for watering their garden.
4. Involve Them in Household Chores
Even though many kids dislike doing household chores, these tasks are an indispensable aspect of life. When children are taught to do things like dishwashing, vacuuming, washing clothes, and cleaning up their toys, they may even eventually start to enjoy them. By having your children do these tasks, you’re preparing them to take on more responsibilities in the future. It also teaches them that doing household chores helps them become more independent. Of course, be sure not to assign too many household tasks to your little ones, as they could become overwhelmed and frustrated.
5. Teach Them Budgeting and Financial Management
While it may seem tedious, teaching your children budgeting and financial management can help them understand the importance of money in life. There’s no better time than now to help your little ones learn money management basics. For a simple approach, start by having them add up their pocket money. For example, you can give them a few dollars and encourage them to save it to purchase bigger and better items. Explain how they can do chores and save up birthday and holiday money to work towards their goals, and set up a timeline to help them establish smaller milestones they can accomplish.