COVID-19: 5 things to do at home with your children
As circuit breaker measures have made home-based learning and social distancing the new norm, it can be a struggle for parents to find new and innovative ways to engage children at home!
If you are a parent facing the same struggles, try these education-based activities with your children to spend meaningful time with them, while broadening their horizon to become more informed, caring global citizens.
1. Imaginative Storyteller: Combine a journal of your daily life and write an e-letter to your sponsored child!
What better way to connect with your sponsored child than asking your own children to share a glimpse of their daily life through an e-letter and photos! Letter writing is a great way to develop expression and communication skills for a child. Additionally, taking photos explores a child’s creative expression. One way to start could be getting your own children to describe their daily routine, likes and dislikes, and expanding to broader topics like describing the country they live in, or even their dreams and wishes! To enrich the letter writing experience, encourage your child to add a photo of things they love, be it a photo of themselves, family members, pets, their home, or even the food they love to eat! The resulting e-letter sent to your sponsored child will widen their imagination, and will act as a precious link to the world outside.
2. Globetrotting Explorer: Take your child on a global tour to understand the realities of children in different parts of the world
Use these 5 child photo essays (with supporting photos, teacher notes and children worksheets) to describe the lives of children living in different parts of the world. Evoke empathy in your own children by encouraging them to compare their own lives to the lives of these children, helping them to understand the blessings they have. The countries where these children are from, namely Mongolia, Gaza, Philippines, Zambia and Honduras all have confirmed cases of COVID-19, which can spark further conversations with your children on hygiene, health and education in different parts of the world.
3. Creative space for hidden artists: Complete the same worksheets your sponsored child did!
Each year, sponsored children complete activity sheets for sponsors like you! The worksheets not only support their learning and development, but also give sponsors an insight into how they view the world around them and their growth over the years! It is a great activity for children of all ages to complete, and you can even send it to your sponsored child so they can learn more about your child and your family. Allow your child to freely express their ideas on worksheets suitable for preschool, primary and older children. Download them here!
4. Experiment for young scientists: Explore the power of handwashing with soap!
Turn your handwashing session into a science class for primary school aged children! Follow the steps below, or refer to the video made famous by actress Kristen Bell here :
1. Fill a shallow bowl with water and sprinkle lots of pepper into the water.
2. Explain to your child that the pepper represents a virus like COVID-19.
3. Ask your child to dip a finger in the water to see how the pepper sticks to it (like viruses do after we touch contaminated surfaces).
4. Now ask your child to coat their finger with liquid soap, then dip their finger into the bowl again.
5. The pepper will be repelled by the soap – how cool is that!
6. Explain to your child how important handwashing is to stop viruses from making us sick, and that it is something we teach to sponsored children in different parts of the world too!
7. Bonus activity: Get your child to come up with their own handwashing guide! An example could be singing the happy birthday song twice while washing their hands to ensure they wash for at least 20 seconds.
5. Hands-on project for budding engineers: Make a tippy-tap!
This is a super easy, fun and cooperative learning activity for children of all primary school ages! This can be made in your backyard or balcony, or improvised to make it in your own home! Tippy-taps are what we teach communities to make to wash their hands safely when they don’t have a tap at home or nearby. Adult supervision is required and allow at least an hour. You’ll need poles or sticks, string, soap, a large water bottle and scissors. Discuss safe water, hygiene, construction and the effects of gravity as you go! Read the written instructions or watch this video from our friends in Australia.