As lockdown restrictions ease and families around the world start to reestablish old routines, there is no doubt the kids will be eager to get back to playing with their friends. However, the world has changed rather dramatically since we first went into lockdown so many months ago. Even though restrictions are being lifted, it’s clear that the virus is here to stay. Although, it’s not something we want our children to fear we do want to keep them safe and help them navigate the new normal.
Understanding social distancing isn’t always easy for adults, so you can only imagine how kids might struggle to get their head around it. That said, it is something we will have to introduce them to so here are a few fun ways to encourage social distancing amongst the little ones :
Greetings are an important part of basic communication and in an age of social distancing, you’ll need to help the little ones find news ways of interacting with their friends and other people around them.
Hugs, handshakes, fist pumps and even high-fives are no-nos, so it’s time to think outside the box. How about teaching them to greet each other in different languages? Bowing or showing the ‘peace’ sign are other non-verbal greetings that could catch on.
Getting your little ones away from the computer and encouraging them to stay active is easier said than done. Why not make it fun and dynamic by setting up a socially distanced exercise circuit?
Set up stations, two metres apart from each other and have each child do a different activity at each station for around about 2 minutes before moving onto the next station. Keep it simple with body-weight exercises which involve no equipment. Jumping jacks, squats, jogging on the spot and balancing on foot are a few good examples.
Children love music so why not get them dancing, but at the adequate social distance mind you. Turn on the favourite song and let them get moving on the dancefloor. You can even dim the lights and use a torchlight to draw attention to each child in turn.
Here is a game we probably all remember. Let the kids get crafty and make their own paper telephones. Make sure you measure out a 2-metre long piece of string out to use as the telephone cord. Then let them have socially distanced chats on their homemade devices.
Remember doing any activity outdoors is said to be better in terms of the virus’ spread. And what better excuse to let the little ones explore nature a little? Scavenger hunts are great fun for children of all ages. Keep it simple for the little ones by making a list of easy-to-find outdoor items such as leaves, acorns, rock and pinecones and having them tick off the items as they go.
Adjusting to the new situations is never easy but we should remember that children are often more resilient and pragmatic than adults. By finding fun ways to help them understand an essentially foreign concept like social distancing will simply make it easier for them to incorporate into their everyday lives.
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