It almost feels like Summer vacation. My kids are trying to finish out the school year strong online. You can help your kids set good routines and establish good patterns in their daily schedules. There are many things you can do to help your kids feel their best while being stuck at home. Here are some things that have helped us through this challenging time.
Healthy Eating. Food can go a long way to making you feel great or really sick. Being stuck at home can be a challenge when you are so close to the kitchen all day long. One thing that has helped us is to plan a menu for the week. Don’t forget to include healthy snacks on the menu. Meal prep helps a ton for getting my kids to eat healthier. I’ve started cutting up veggies and putting them in the fridge at eye level. My kids will snack on them if they hungry. I also have yogurts, string cheese, fruits (washed and ready to eat) all on the main shelf.
Exercise. Being stuck indoors all day can feel restricting. Get your kids outside and moving every day if possible. My oldest has started an outdoor morning exercise routine to start her day off right. We take a daily family walk. Family sporting games are a lot of fun as well…basketball, bike rides, jumping on the tramp, any of these can help get them moving. Try to give them exercise breaks (like recess) through out the day. We find that after a walk, our kids are much more focused and productive.
Sleep. Sleep is such an important part of a healthy kid’s life. It’s so much harder to stick to routines when everyone is home all of the time. Going to bed a little bit earlier and setting our alarms has really helped us. Getting adequate sleep at night will really help your kids be more productive during the day. It also helps them stay healthy and have more energy. Here’s my blog post on getting enough sleep.
School work. This is a challenging time for kids trying to figure out online school. Too much work or difficult online work can be frustrating for kids. Help them set up a list of assignments for each class. Younger kids may need you to sit with them for certain assignments. Here are some tips for helping your kids with virtual school work.
Electronics. Most school work is usually on some sort of electronic device. Many kids now have unlimited access to electronics. Make sure to teach your kids about the dangers that can be found online. Here’s my post about evil media influences. I would recommend setting time limits for non-homework activities on their computers, tablets, and phones. Monitor what they are doing online. Activities that get them moving are so beneficial!
Quality Family Time. Having quality activities together is a great way to keep your kids be happy and healthy. Maybe you are feeling like you’ve spent too much time together already. However, it makes such a difference when we do fun things together! Having a happy home environment can have such an impact on their mental state. We don’t allow any fighting, the kids have to speak kindly to each other, and are not allowed to say any rude things even in joking. Doing service for each other is another great way to spend quality time. Your family can do secret service for each other, play games together, or go out to eat together. Quality time together really does go a long way to the happiness of your family.
Non-school time. Allow time to play crafts, have play time, face time relatives, or have a creative afternoon. Let the kids have time to be kids. I remember when my girls were younger. So many kids were growing up way too fast. We loved having friends come over and play dress up with my kids. Creativity is so important. I loved to see them be kids! Here’s my post about fun craft ideas. Our family also loves to find ways to serve others. Check out JustServe.Org for ideas. Service together really helps your family be happier and closer!
When we think of healthy kids we usually think of eating healthy food and exercise. But there is so much more to helping your kids be healthy and happy. As you try to figure out this crazy time you have together, help them to be successful in all aspects of their lives. I like to encourage development in 4 areas; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Mentally. Help kids be successful in school, and learning. Get them reading good books. Have some pun wars together. You can visit online concerts, museums and zoos. I have loved all of the online options. We can’t wait until the libraries are opened again! Find things to really challenge your kids and push them…like STEM activities and science projects. Service also really helps them appreciate their blessings.
Emotionally. Being stuck at home affects everyone so differently. Be aware of your child’s mental state. Are they acting differently? Anxious? I know after some earthquakes we had, my girls really struggled with anxiety. It really helped them to Facetime friends and family to help calm them. My daughter started writing a neighbor friend. She’s had a lot of fun writing letters to her friend and leaving them on her doorstep. Spending quality time together has really helped our family feel emotionally strong. Another help for us is getting outside to do homework or read. The outdoors is so soothing for us!
Physically. Setting up a daily routine has really helped us physically. We are getting more sleep, going on walks, and eating better. The kids get up earlier and get homework done fast. Then we have all afternoon to have fun and get moving as a family. Help your kids learn how to take care of their bodies.
Spiritually. One of the most important things for kids is to understand who they really are as children of God. Our kids have benefited from daily scripture study, individual and family prayers, and family lessons. Nothing can bring more peace into your child’s life than the Savior, Jesus Christ can.
Each one will go along way to the health and well being of your kids. It’s just baby steps. Pick one thing to focus on at a time. You will start to see a difference. All of these aspects help your kids to feel greater peace. I know they have helped us tremendously!