Don't let your children fall behind while they’re in quarantine

By Erika Rivera 27 March 2020

Here are five activities that will strengthen their developmental skills while at home.

Having to quarantine to avoid the spread of COVID-19 is a worldwide recommendation we’re all having to follow. But isolation can be difficult and boring, especially to children who are used to going to school and having a regular educational routine to follow.

Below are a few fun activities that will not only keep them entertained, but will also help strengthen their developmental milestones as they quarantine so that they continue growing and learning.

Matching Cards for Cognitive Development

Any amount of learning is enough for a child to build his or her cognitive development skills. Whether your child is exploring the world he or she lives in, counting, or calling out numbers; these opportunities help shape cognitive learning. There are so many fun activities you can implement at home to strengthen this milestone. For example, playing the matching card game. This game involves turning cards facedown and allowing a child to find matching pairs. As they flip two cards over each turn and realize that the cards don’t match, they learn that there are differences between the two. Then, when they’ve found two pairs, they’ve understood that the cards are similar to one another and can be paired together. Children will have so much fun pairing cards while they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Paper Plates Emotion Masks for Social and Emotional Development

Social and emotional skills are crucial in the development of your child because they introduce children to their emotions and the emotions of others. When children acquire this skill, they have a better understanding of what they’re feeling and know how to talk about these emotions so that it’s easier for them to express themselves. For this activity, cut a stack of paper plates in half, have large craft sticks, markers, and tape. Give each child four craft sticks and four half plates. Let the children tape a stick on the back of each plate. Then, make a face, and have them identify it. When they’ve identified it, have them draw it on their paper plate halves. The activity will focus on four emotions: happy, mad, sad, and silly. Move forward to the next emotion as you see them concluding the drawing. This fun activity will not only help kids identify their feelings but also recognize the feelings of others while raising the opportunity for them to be kind and empathetic.

Hunting for words in a Book, Magazine, or Newspaper for Speech and Language Development.

Any activity that invites children to learn new words or to have conversations among one another is great for speech and language development. This activity, although simple, can be enjoyable to children. All you need is some old books, magazines, or newspapers and a highlighter. Give the kids a word to look for and have them highlight as many of the same words as they could find. The activity will encourage concentration and patience as they browse through each page to find the specific word. You can then have the kids say the word and spell it out so that they could understand that letters make up words. To promote a conversation, you can also have the children use the word to create interrogative sentences that will foster a response, and children can engage with one another.

Drawing a Picture for Fine Motor Development

Have the children close their eyes and create a mental picture of a place that makes them feel happy and then have them draw what they see. As they open their eyes to begin drawing, notice the way they pick up their markers and crayons and correct any errors if you see them handling the supplies the wrong way. The children will then have learned a skill that is useful for many tasks that will be presented to them later in life. Drawing could also serve as a therapeutic activity if any of your kids are currently feeling scared over the COVID-19 circumstances. The mental picture will be relaxing and could potentially change your child’s mood.

Child Journal Compatible Devices

Nature Hunting for Gross Motor Development

Gross motor skills are usually acquired when children perform big body movements. Outdoor play, for example, is an excellent way for kids to develop their gross motor skills properly. For this activity, you can call out several nature items and have the children race to find them—the child who does this fastest wins. The activity will not only aid their gross motor development, but it will also help children release all of the buildup energy they’ve stored from being indoors.