With families in self-isolation worldwide, keeping your children busy – and learning –can be a challenge. Short of a holiday on the beach in Mauritius, here are some ideas for how to entertain your kids at home while also teaching them about the tropical lagoon.
Schools, parks and playgrounds are closed, playdates are off-limits, and instead of a tropical holiday in Mauritius, you and your family face the prospect of self-isolating at home for weeks. There’s no doubt that keeping your kids occupied indoors – while also managing your own workload – is far from easy. But don’t despair! It may not be a family vacation on the beach, but there are lots of ways to entertain your kids while also keeping them learning.
CREATE A ROUTINE
As Reana Thisbé, Kids Club Manager at Heritage Awali, explains, “it’s important to establish a daily routine to give your children some structure, security and peace of mind.” Involving them in meal prep and chores such as tidying the house will make them feel useful, while creating a schedule for homework, play and daily exercise, will help give them a sense of order / calm and lessen any irritability or stress.
COMBINE LEARNING AND DIY ACTIVITIES
If you can, start with a creative breakfast that your children can help prepare. Try simple, child-friendly recipes such as pancakes, a fruit salad or some fresh juice. Even children under three can help squeeze lemons and stir batter for instance, while older kids can help with weighing and preparing ingredients. Next, fit in some learning time. Create a kids’ corner in which your children can come up with DIY games and activities, and where they can enjoy a healthy mid-morning snack. As a fun and creative way to teach your kids about the ocean and its ecosystems, Reana suggests recycling cans, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and colourful labels into a DIY tropical aquarium. Or you could create your own coral reef board game to teach your children about the lagoon.
Reana notes, “remember, what works at school or in day-care doesn’t always work in the house. Your little ones aren’t accustomed to being stuck indoors without any social contact or school to break up the day. To keep your children motivated, build on their individual interests and on what they enjoy doing. And above all – keep it fun!”
FIT IN SOME EXERCISE AND SOME CHORES
After a family lunch, try child-friendly exercise such as Zumba, some dancing or stretching with children aged three and up, ideally before 6pm so they have time to settle down again afterwards. In the afternoon, try some simple baking, encourage your child to read an age-appropriate book or comic strip (Tikoulou in Bel Ombre is available online!), or sit down for a family painting or drawing session. Team each parent up with a child and have one team paint a healthy lagoon while the other draws a polluted one.
In the evening, have a pyjama party, do some karaoke, play memory games, or take time out to watch a projection about the tropical lagoon, mangrove forests or plastic pollution.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
And finally – don’t be too hard on yourself if your day doesn’t go to plan! Though it’s an opportunity to spend time with your family, confinement can also be difficult and stressful. If in doubt, go online to look for inspiration. From school work to baking and exercise, there are endless resources online. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to daydream about a family holiday in Mauritius!
DIY tropical aquarium:
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