child playing with playdough

Keep Your Kids Busy and Learning During COVID-19

As parts of the state begin to reopen, it’s important to remember the facts. COVID-19 is still a reality. Your kids are probably itching to go outside and be with their friends, but they are at the same risk as they have been since the pandemic began.

This is a complicated and confusing time for any kid, and as a parent you might be wondering how to keep your kids busy in healthy, productive ways. Here we’ve provided a few ideas to keep your kids learning about the world around them — and to learn more about themselves along the way.

Get Hands-On

No matter how old your kids are, they’ll appreciate any activity that keeps their hands and their brains busy. Hands-on learning helps skills really stick — and we’ve got the perfect sticky activity for your little kids! Here’s a simple recipe for homemade play-dough:

  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp veggie oil
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Food coloring

If your kids are a bit older, get them involved and engaged in household activities. Find opportunities for them to pitch in with cooking, cleaning and other necessities that make them feel like they’re doing their part to keep your family safe and healthy.

Especially in these times when the days can blur together, giving your kid a sense of growth and the passing of time can be very helpful. Plan a baking night — a couple of hours of fun in the kitchen yields treats to look forward to for the rest of the week. Or, plant some seeds and watch a plant grow over time.

Learn About Yourself

Your older kids are probably more aware of what’s going on in the world around them than you know. They might see stories online about COVID-19 or hear information from their peers — and they probably aren’t always getting factual answers.

Check in with your kid and ask if they have any questions about what’s going on. They probably have a lot of things to ask you — and a lot of feelings to process. A great way for them to get in touch with their thoughts and emotions is to start a journal. You can offer them some writing prompts to get started:

  • What has changed in your daily life?
    • Which one of those changes has been the hardest to deal with?
    • Have any of the changes been a relief?
  • What things that you’re doing right now make you happy?
    • What about those things makes you happy?
    • What can you do to keep doing the things that make you happy?
  • Have you learned anything about yourself since this began?
    • How did you learn those things?
    • Will you do anything differently now that you know this about yourself?

These are unprecedented times, and a journal can be a powerful coping tool for dealing with the unknown. We’re living through history in the making — someday you and your kids can look back on the journal and see how you grew through the experience.

Make the Most of Screen Time

Stay-at-home order or not, your teens or preteens are probably spending a good amount of their free time in front of a screen. And it’s not all memes and social media, either! Sites like YouTube have tons of great educational content for older kids depending on their areas of interest. You might be pleasantly surprised by some of it!

If your kid is the creative type, they might be watching their favorite artist walk through their process for a digital painting. Your avid reader could be exploring fan theories about a beloved book series. And your future fashionista may be learning self-care tips from peers online.

All of this is to say that your kids are probably learning a great deal on the internet — and it’s a great opportunity for you as a parent. Take an interest in their passion, and ask if they can teach you some of what they’ve learned on YouTube. Your relationship is bound to grow stronger — and you might even learn a thing or two!

If your kid has any questions about COVID-19, we’ve got your back. You can walk through our COVID-19 FAQ together and put their mind at ease with answers from healthcare professionals.