Guest blog, written by Leap Academy Teacher, Aurora Powers
Quarantine with children under five presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Working from home, keeping healthy, freezing temperatures and new siblings, and a pandemic are unique. You are not alone. We are all working with limited space, limited outside time, smaller villages and you’re doing great. So are your your kiddos. Providing focused fun between you and your child will set the tone for their future independent play. The more fun the better!
Activities can be easy, fun, and free.
Everything listed can be done in one room, with items around the home, and can be adjusted to your child’s age. If you have kiddos younger than 2-year-old, jump to the bottom!
Follow your child’s flow of play, and introduce new ways to play with different items. Ask about colors, textures, quantity, these open ended questions prolong play and let your child take the lead. These ages from 1-5 really are interested in what you are doing and what you find fun. Or maybe they want to help, you can decide together who they want to draw a picture for, or they can stir the meal you’re making. Turning every day routines into games or songs can help your child adjust to quarantine.
- Dance Party- it’s a classic! Turn on some tunes and bust some moves together, or you can be the hype person for your little one. Some of our favorite songs have been from the movie Encanto, Laurie Berkner Band, Going on a Bear Hunt, Raffi on Broadway or even a Cocomelon sing along. Whatever music you both enjoy and can dance to is key. Include some jump kicks or standing on one leg for an extra cool dance!
- Snow Ball Toss- outside or inside it can be made to work. Bundle up and test your aim! Or bunch up some old wrapping paper (or any paper will do) into balls and have an indoor toss! If your kiddo needs more transition reminders when you’re done tossing you can use a timer!
- Hot Lava- you know this one! Adjust to smaller spaces by picking out a rug or chair as a safe zone. Don’t touch the hot lava!
- Obstacle Course – If you have string you can get fancy and tape it to the walls for your kiddo to climb through!
You can use any object to use for your course. Put down a toy they need to step over or crawl under a table (as a tunnel!), create a jump zone and get creative!
If you need an activity where you can be sitting, whether you’re tired or have back issues or have a multi generational household there’s options for you. Here are some games you can play together!
- Hide and Seek- count to your heart’s desire and watch how creative your kiddo can be! You can “hide” under a blanket or close your eyes to reduce movement.
- Climb the Mountain- you can find a comfortable space to lay with your belly down and have your kiddo “climb the mountain” of your back. It’s a free massage and you can offer your kiddo different challenges, “watch out for the snow!” “Climb in super slow motion!”
- Catch- find a small ball and have fun! Your kiddo may have more fun running after the ball than actually catching it!
Switch It Up
We all need a little break from the usual scenery. Art is a great way to bring color and creative
control to your child. Colors, textures, and different experiences are craved especially in quarantine.
1.Painting- If you don’t have paints at home you can fingerprint with water! Put a towel down and watch what you create together!
2.Finger Painting- a little finger paint in the bathtub goes a long way and it’s even easier clean up!
3.Snow- Bundle up and head outside for some “snow cones” or bring the snow to you! Grab a large bowl or plastic bin and fill with snow. Lay a towel down (again bathtub is fun too!) and watch your kiddo experience the snow without the Wisconsin cold.
3.Super Special Snow- you can add some extra fun by adding in toys, food coloring, paints, or fruits to create an extra element of fun. Don’t forget a spoon!
Baths/showers- whichever option you have it can be an opportunity for a new world of fun! Add some animals toys for an under the sea adventure, or add some plastic plates and cups and watch your child become a chef! Get creative and have your kiddo pick out which toys they want to swim with!
:Ms. Aurora Special Tip:
Bubbles can be a great way to redirect, or capture their gaze for a few minutes. Use them if you got them!
Everyone loves to explore so
switch up their play areas or set up their high chair by a window to watch the snow or bring snow to their high chair table. Have fun!
Remember we are all into this together, and reach out to each other for support. A quick FaceTime call with your kiddos buddy can be a forever memory! Or set up “pen pals” even if your child cannot write, everyone loves to open a letter.
Stay healthy and see you all soon!