As President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the closure of all schools until after the Easter Weekend, parents are concerned about how they will manage to keep their kids entertained (other than Netflix or browsing the Internet!) without having to physically leave the house.
Fear not! We have compiled a list of things you may find helpful to ease the boredom and keep the children (and even yourself) busy until the Coronavirus panic dies down.
Visit the Museum (from the couch!)
Google Arts and Culture has teamed up with 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world! This means that you can visit a museum from the comfort of your own home – how cool!
Google Arts & Culture collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history and science. This collection is especially good for students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies while schools are closed.
Visit Google Arts & Culture for more:
If you like writing, try searching for writing competitions online for adults or kids. Some are free, some are paid for. Some you even win money if you win! Some give you interesting topics and then you submit your work.
Here’s a few you can try:
Education is STILL key
Kids can now learn and obtain education from home with these Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closing. Each of these websites will allow you to sign up for FREE and help your child along with their education. It is perfect for homeschooling which is something we all need right now.
All you need to do is click the links below and follow the instructions on that website to sign up.
Learn a new language
This can be a fun activity for the whole family. Try any one of these language apps below and get learning!
Do word puzzles
See those old magazines lying around gathering dust? Page through them to find cool brain teasers or word puzzles – tear those pages out, pile them together and try doing one every few days.
Alternatively, you can click on the link below to find a variety of different printable word puzzles to keep the kids entertained for hours!
Do a family chore together
It may not sound like the most fun thing to do, but cleaning the house together as a family helps to keep everyone moving. It’s proactive and it helps to be in a clean environment.
If you can afford to pay someone to clean your house already, now is the time to offer them paid leave, to avoid exposure and cross-contamination on public transport.
Tip: Make a list of chores to divide between the kids and add some rewards. That should spice things up!
Plant a mini vegetable garden
This is a great activity to do with or without the kids. There are hundreds of videos available on YouTube which will guide you through the process of regrowing food using kitchen scraps. Try things like tomatoes, chillies, herbs, spring onions, carrots or potatoes to start with. This is a great money saver as you won’t need to get these items from the shops.
With a few extra hours at home each day, your garden could look better than ever! And you’ll benefit from a little extra Vitamin-D.
Have a Spa Day
This provides the perfect opportunity to teach the kids the importance of washing hands, the correct ways to wash and sanitize hands, to do hand massages and you could even paint each other’s nails to make it extra fun.
Tip: keep a bucket or large tub in your sink to collect all that extra hand-washing water for toilet flushing. The worst of the drought may be behind us, but water-saving practices should still remain part of your routine! Or if you’re using biodegradable soaps, use the water for thirsty plants.
Try an indoor treasure hunt
You may use a combination of toys and treats as the “treasure” to place all around the house.
Design little clues (either words or pictures) – rhyming ones have much more appeal – in order to lead them to the treasures.
You may also want to set out rules – such as ‘no running’ – if you have more than two children present just to keep things from getting chaotic.
Storytime on 5Fm
@RobForbesDJ will now be doing kids’ story time on the show for a few weeks. This is perfect if you’ve got little-ones around while you’re working from home. Tune in and enjoy!
Audiobooks, podcasts or read a story
Audiobooks are great for the whole family to enjoy together. There are many apps these days, with Audible offering a free book for new users, and even a few for free on YouTube. Podcasts are also great for talk shows and interviews. Or go old school and read your kids your favourite novel!
Now’s the time to stave off cabin fever by ensuring you get enough exercise! While gyms are off-bounds, you can still safely take a family walk in the forest or by the sea. Or try some home exercise with various apps and YouTube giving guided sessions of yoga, Pilates, aerobics and more.
We urge all citizens to stay safe during this time – minimize contact with people in large groups, wash and sanitize hands frequently and call the Corona helpline immediately if you are displaying any symptoms of flu. (Don’t sit in your doctor’s waiting room and risk exposure to other patients!) Read more tips in our monthly newsletter.
Importantly, use this time of forced “slow down” to connect with your family, video call friends and remote family, avoid panicking, stay informed and keep healthy.