Unlike summer holidays when children and youth can participate in fun summer activities, our current two-week self-isolation period provides a unique challenge to parents and guardians. Even beyond the limits of everyday life, the psychological and emotional impact is just as great for kids as it is for adults. So how do we help our children and youth keep active and engaged in this time?
Here are some things you can do with your children during this two-week period:
- Share Bible stories and invite kids to draw pictures of Bible characters or places.
- Even better, if you have a few children in your house, have them act out a Bible story. Even teenagers can get involved in writing skits to perform.
- Go through family pictures and share stories of grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts. Even tell children stories of when they were born. Ask them to share stories they remember.
- Instead of TV time, spend a few minutes each day with music and invite kids to try to be silent and to listen carefully. You will be amazed at how well kids often embrace this practice, even if it is for 3 or 5 minutes.
- Incorporate prayer time throughout the day. You can say a brief prayer together in the morning and before bed at night. You can also have kids come up with prayers to say before meal.
- Take time to give thanks; invite your children to take turns naming what they are grateful for.
- Learn some basic prayers. Memorization can be good for kids. Check-out some of these classic prayers.
- Play board games together. Many classic board games help children and youth learn. Plus, board games can be fun for the whole family!
- Invite your children and youth to help you cook and prepare meals or bake together. These can be valuable skills for your kids to learn. Sadly, fewer and fewer people know how to cook even the basics.
- Shut-off the TV and shut-down the internet and spend time in rest. Like adults, kids are involved in more activities than ever before. Enjoying time outside or reading stories and books can help your kids — and you — take a break and enjoy
- Finally, don’t be afraid to talk with your children about what is happening. Ask them what they think and what fears they might have. Acknowledge their thoughts and feelings as real and thank your children for sharing with you. Afterwards, offer words of comfort and remind kids that God is always with us, even more so when we are difficult times.
There are many excellent resources online for parents. Children’s Ministry is one website with all kinds of resources. Over the coming days we will share more ideas with you. And if you have a good idea or two to share, send us a note! We’d love to share your ideas with all.