Providing Activities for Children during a time of Crisis



A message from Drs. Unjali Malhotra and Nel Wieman, FNHA Office of the Chief Medical Officer; and Denise Lacerte, FNHA Senior Specialist, Healthy Children and Youth Wellness

Physical distancing and school closures have made this a challenging time for parents and kids alike!

We know that this is a difficult time for all individuals and communities. Remember to take it easy on yourself! It’s okay if you’re feeling stressed or if your kids get bored. Boredom can be healthy and a catalyst for creativity.  And it’s okay to not have all of the answers. No one does.  

This is a time to focus not on what we need to do or where we need to go, but on how we can slow down and remain calm. When it comes to kids’ activities, there is no right or wrong way to spend your time at home right now, so please be kind to yourself. 

Keep in mind that we are stronger when we work together, even if it is at least two metres apart!  Following are some ideas for both indoor and outdoor activities. Please help by adding your ideas in the comments section and/or letting everyone know what you’ve been doing to keep busy with your kids (post photos too if possible)!

Being inside for long periods of time can be challenging for kids. Here are some ideas for indoor activities: 

*Cooking and eating together
*Playing games
*Doing puzzles
*Making crafts 
*Telling stories (maybe even act them out!) 
*Listening and dancing to music
*Making drums or other instruments out of household items like cans, cookware
*Reading and talking about cultural and familial traditions and ceremonies 
*Self-care (maybe longer bath time, longer free play, home “spa”) 
*If you have access to the Internet at home, many things are free online at this time including: 

 Arts & Culture: Museum Tours 
 Educational: Scholastic Learn at Home​ 
 Science: NASA Kids’ Club
 Nature, People, Places: National Geographic for Kids
 Exercise: Cosmic Yoga for Kids 3+
 ​Animals: the Vancouver Aquarium has a webcam and ​YouTube has innumerable enjoyable animal videos
 Music: many artists are providing free home concerts right now 
 Reading: many libraries have online access to books 

Being out in nature can be soothing. Here are some ideas for outdoor activities (while keeping at least two metres from others):

*Walking and hiking 
*Gathering medicines – e.g., cedar, wild ginger, yarrow
*Biking, riding scooters
*Creating scavenger hunts 
*Playing games 

Finally, here is a resource about keeping kids active during the pandemic that you might find helpful during this time. Let’s all stay strong!
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