Due to the current social restrictions many parents and families are wondering how to help their children cope with the fact that they must stay at home for the foreseeable future and that their schoolwork must continue. For children with or without a diagnosis this can be a tough situation of being away from friends, loved ones, and other after-school activities so we hope that the following tips and activities help ease this unexpected transition. We are here to provide some applied behavior analytic (ABA) insight and tips from other parents as to how to easily navigate this tough change.
1. Make a visual or written schedule of daily tasks and activities (perhaps most important).
Make it fun and have your child create their own school mascot, school colors, and even a song if they like!
Take into account how long it takes for your child to get fussy and schedule breaks before that threshold.
We’ve attached a general frame for a schedule but make sure to make it unique to your child’s needs and personality. Have fun with it!
2. Have a morning routine.
Keep mornings typical; waking up, brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.
3. Set up a treasure hunt.
This activity can be done at any time of day and items can be placed all over the home.
4. Baking/Cooking as a family.
This is a great opportunity to teach independent living skills, math or science at the same time.
5. Set time to video chat with loved ones.
It’s important during these tough times to reach out to loved ones and maintain those important connections.
6. Have fashion show.
If desired integrate taking photos, going live on Instagram, or just have a home show for the family.
7. Have a themed day.
You can have a list of ideas, place them in a hat, and each day a different family member chooses.
8. Build a fort.
You can keep it simple with sheets and blankets.
9. Do yoga.
Yoga is not only a fun way to keep your family busy but also reduce stress.
10. Hold a dance contest.
You can video chat with other family members or peers from school and stay connected; even learn a dance routine from YouTube.
11. Backyard camping.
Make this day one to commune with nature by learning about the local plants, wildlife, and weather patterns.
12. DIY day
Amazon has great DIY sets to keep the kids occupied and creative.
13. Get out and have a sports day.
Find an available park and set some time to get in some physical activity while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
14. Make a giant bubble with a homemade wand.
This activity will keep your family active and have fun at the same time.
15. Have reading time as a family.
This activity can increase in fun by each member taking turns in reading, then dress up as the character, create a different version of the front cover, or reenact a favorite part of the story.
Thank you for taking the time to read today’s article on how to keep your children occupied during these tough times. We hope that your loved ones remain safe and healthy.
Brittany Reney Macias Registered Behavior Technician, B.A.