With all of Utah’s schools dismissed until May 1, parents and caregivers will find themselves scrambling to keep children and teenagers not only entertained, but also continuing their learning and protecting them from COVID-19. Below are some tips to help parents and caregivers.
Set a schedule: Author Susie Allison, a former teacher and mom of three, says in an article on Time that implementing a routine will help keep kids occupied while allowing you to also get things done. Ideally, map that routine to the school day and even include the same recesses and lunch breaks.
Embrace spring: Even if it’s raining, get the kids outside each day for fresh air and to burn energy. Even if your city has closed its services, park are open and safe as long keep your “social distance” and practice good hygiene. And of course, if you’re feeling sick, stay home!
Embrace spring, part two: It’s time to plant those cool weather crops right no such as peas, lettuce and spinach. Let younger kids dig the trenches and spread the seeds, while teenagers can turn the dirt. Not only will it get everyone outside, you can slip in some learning, as well.
Put the kids in charge: Let younger kids plan some playtime that doesn’t involve a screen. Even a simple Amazon box (which most people probably have plenty of) can become a road, house, or fort in a kid’s imagination.
Open the big games and large puzzles: Many families probably have a copy of Settlers of Catan, Ticket To Ride, Axis & Allies or a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle just waiting to be reintroduced to the dining room table. Younger kids could learn the rules of Pokemon, or older kids tackle Magic The Gathering or Five Crowns. Feeling really ambitious? Start a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. If you don’t have any of these, this top 10 list is a good start (although #5 probably requires discretion at this moment).