In such a challenging situation, where children are away from school and friends, it is important to provide several avenues to help them cope with the situation and provide a stable routine for them as they adapt to a new way of living, at least for a moment.
Here are some ideas for activities that can help de-stress and provide a structure that encourages children to look beyond the home to a broader society.
Create a Daily Journal
Getting each child to write down their thoughts and memories from each day in their very own journal can be therapeutic and provide some insight into how the child is feeling. It can also involve art, based on the fact that drawing pictures of their cat or whatever activity they did helps them to focus on positive things. If you can, organize this with other parents, so that children can share their stories with friends and reduce the feeling of isolation that is perhaps the most difficult struggle at this time.
Using relaxing music and creating quiet time where the child is encouraged to lie down and just listen can be quite beneficial. It creates a calming influence every day that takes the child away from the uncertainty of the world around them. Using a favorite cuddly toy as a prop is a great idea that can turn it something children look forward to.
Reading transports your child to another world. Whether it is adventure or humor, the child lives out the story. Even if you are stuck at home, they can be sailing the open seas, searching for treasure or enjoying an adventure at school, or hundreds of other worlds. Just 20 minutes each day is great for their education and well-being, and it is another activity you can bring into group experiences by encouraging them to talk to their friends about the book in email or video chats. This is once again a way to connect daily activity at home with their friends that makes them seem a little closer.
Blending activities at home with sharing their experiences with friends in the digital world can make a huge difference to stress levels, and their sense of belonging with other groups. Encourage the sharing of experiences and conversations to help children maintain those connections and feel less isolated from their friends. Maintaining that connection to normality with friends is one of the most important tools to keep children happy and stress-free.