Hone your kids’ artistic skills during Covid-19 lockdownUpdated: Mar 25, 2020 18:55 IST
As Wednesday was the first day of the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curtail the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus), many families are finding it difficult to adjust to the idea of isolation in their houses. Some couples who are working from homes are finding different ways to keep their children busy while they fulfil their office duties.
Kalyani Phadnis, a German teacher and Vardhan, an entrepreneur, are both a working from home and have two sons, aged seven and three years.
“We plan our daily schedule and engage our children in activities they like to do. Our elder son Hrishikesh likes to make masks and play bricks and blocks, while the other likes to play popsicle and puzzles,” said Kalyani.
“Yesterday (on Tuesday) we planned to clean up the old puzzles and ended up making DIY puzzle frames. Other things planned are DIY fidget spinners, origami crafts, penned down mazes, board games like monopoly and chess. We even play games like hide and seek or blind man’s buff inside the house,” said Kalyani.
Work from home is taken care by both of us taking turns in keeping the children busy in some activity thus giving space to each other, added Kalyani.
“We juggle each other’s work calls and meetings while the other keeps an eye on the kids. We urge the kids to do certain things on their own: write stories, play blocks among others. We still try to keep their routines as normal as possible, so we get time when they are busy with their routine or sleeping,” says Kalyani.
Sanasi Kelkar, editor and manager, Iconiq India and Simple Interest Quiz League, popular online games for families, said, “If the devices are off, the kids aren’t bugging you, and you cannot hear a “I’m bored” out of them, that’s mission accomplished.”
“I have some ideas like, have a “game inventor” contest. Let them come up with new games, write the rules, make up the board / props (or use existing ones). The deal: you play the game with them when the day is done,” said Kelkar.
“You can also have a daily “evening show” where they have to entertain you for 20 minutes. They can come up with a puppet show / news show / monologue / story-reading or other ideas. Let them name their show and sell tickets to you for money. The downside is you might have to sit through it every evening. Upside is you might just end up having fun,” said Kelkar.
Patrick Kuhn, who works from home, said, “I have set up my laptop in a separate room to work from home. My wife Nilima and I, take turns to engage our two children to read books, play indoor games, engage in art and craft and science experiments among others.”
“One really needs to be creative with the children. We also encourage our children to bake cakes,” said Khun.
Dr Bhooshan Shukla, child and adolescent psychiatrist, suggests that families should look at the isolation as an opportunity to catch up with each other and strengthen their bond.
“Most of us are not used to spending the entire day with family, except during vacations. When people are confined to a small space at homes they can get involved in arguments and disagreements very often, so it is important to not get distracted by negative thoughts,” said Dr Shukla.
“Involve children in creative hobbies like arts, drawing, gardening, writing, cooking to keep them engaged,” said Dr Shukla.
“Teach your children to cook, clean, iron clothes, filing your tax returns, organising books, among others,” he added.
Fun activities to keep children busy
Game inventor: They have to come up with a new game, write the rules, make up the board / props (or use existing ones). The deal: you play the game with them when the day is done.
Evening show: The children have to plan and practice and perform for twenty minutes with the help of puppets, read the news, do a monologue, story-reading, among others. They name their show, create ad posters and sell you tickets for money.
DIY audio books: The children can record their favourite books on audio and send it to their friends. Over time, it can be your own audio library.
Time Capsule: Send them on a mission to find things to go into a box that will be locked for 50 years. Let them write a letter about the current time during the lockdown.
Family quiz book: Ask them to pick 50 things around your house and come up with one quiz question whose answer is that object. Play the quiz with points and prizes.
Toy’s Day Out: A Silent Movie: They write a script and use any toy around the house as the star of a movie they direct using the mobile.
Phone interviews: Use the landline to have them talk to cousins, grandparents, extended family with a set of five questions, the same for all. Compile it. For example: “your favourite snack” or first thing you do in the morning.”
(Ideas shared by Sanasi Kelkar, editor and manager of Iconiq India and Simple Interest Quiz League, popular online family games)