Here are some ideas to help you with this challenging time of balancing working from home and having your children home with you. From Sarah Dennehy, Lead Teacher, Room 12, Sharon Cooperative School
I know that families from all classrooms may read this and have different aged children. You can decide if your child is able to do the following ideas in terms of ability (holding scissors properly, etc.). I hope these are fun activities you can share with your child together or separately while you both are “working”.
Quieter Activities during work calls or Skype meetings
- Many children love to use scissors. Give them a big tub/aluminum pan and newspapers, old magazines, wrapping paper, paper bags. No rules, just let them cut. Give them a task, tell them you need to have the paper cut to use for another project. They will surprise you. You can use all this paper for a quiet gluing activity, make a picture to bring in to school, mail to a neighbor or grandparent. If needed cut the paper into strips for the early cutters so they can just ‘snip’ the edges. Children also love to cut along lines that you draw, or simple shapes. 15-20 minutes
- Write their name in capital bubble letters on a piece of paper. Bring out colored pencils, markers or crayons. Have them color the letters in, slowly and completely. Remind them to take their time. Then draw a huge circle around it, and ask them to cut along the line. Turn it over, hand them masking tape and have them roll circles of tape to stick on the back so they can hang it up. If they can write their name or even the first letter add that, too. 15-20 minutes
- Children love tape! Give them tape, empty cups, ribbon, tissue paper, scraps of paper, paper towel tubes, tissue boxes ANYTHING and they will go to town creating! 15-20 minutes
- Tubby Time! Sit with your laptop on the floor and get the tub ready! Fill the tub with nice warm water and throw in a clean sponge, some cups, water bottle, funnel, turkey baster and watch them explore! Ask them to see how many cups of water it takes to fill the bottle, or can you squeeze the sponge and fill the cup? SO much learning going on! 30 minutes
Louder Activities to burn off some energy
- Bowling 6-10 empty plastic bottles for the pins. Rolled up socks for the ball! Expand this play by either filling the bottles with torn up pieces of paper, or tin foil, or streamers, or paper bags! Or decorate the bottles with markers. Or if you want to go crazy squirt some paint in the bottles and Shake, shake, shake! 15-20 minutes
- Freeze Dance – Crank the music and get the whole family dancing! Dancing is a great way to release some energy. Who cares what you look like when you are dancing just let loose! Get the pause button ready, STOP and then GOOOO!! Pharrell Williams Happy song is a great one to start with! Then check out different genres of music, country, classical, jazz, techno, multicultural and blues. 10-15 minutes
The idea behind these suggestions is the PROCESS of the activities not the final product. Remind your children to slow down not hurry through. We often use Preview and Review as a technique to start by explaining to children what we are thinking, what they are going to be doing and then how did it went.
If you can find some time, sit with them and just talk. They really are amazing little beings with so much to share! You’d be amazed at what they are thinking. They will love the one on one time with you. They are only young for a short time and if you can find the time to enjoy this age do it! Trust me, our son is turning 30 this year- we blinked.
Hope these ideas will help you get through this difficult time for all. ~ Sarah