5 DIY, craft and activity ideas to make social distancing fun for kids
Staying home will certainly reduce the risk of contamination and stem the coronavirus epidemic, but what if your child is giving you a hard time due to overwhelming boredom or fear of confinement? Ten years later, the children may not remember the virus or the numbers in the news, but they will certainly remember how their family handled this crisis. It is therefore very important to have a relaxed atmosphere at home and all parents should focus on the mental and emotional well-being of their child in addition to all the measures that are supposed to be followed in times of Covid-19.
Don’t try to stick to a certain schedule, but establish a daily rhythm. Have anchor points during the day. A rhythm helps children feel safe while reducing anxiety. Allow a flexible routine.
Here are some activities to overcome boredom.
Paper plate dream catcher
It would be extremely fun to make dream catchers and place them in children’s rooms. To make these easy paper dream catchers, you will need:
- paper plate
- sharp scissors
- hole punch
- pony beads
Have your child cut through the paper plate and cut along the inside of the rim. Both adults and children would be best to do this, as you will need sharp scissors to cut through the plate! Then, using the hole punch, make holes all around the inside rim. Next, measure out about 3 feet of yarn (you’ll want to use 3-4 strands per plate) and tie one end to a hole. Have your child weave the yarn through 2-4 holes. At the last hole, pull the yarn through and then thread some pony beads. Then attach a feather to the end of the threads. Push the pony beads down onto the feather end of the feather, then cut off the excess string. Keep doing this with the other yarn chains until you have as many long feather chains as you choose hanging from the bottom.
Paint and reuse your old glass bottles
It’s an inexpensive and quick way to turn those old bottles you’re lying around into something beautiful! Pick up an old glass bottle, clean it thoroughly, dip them in warm water and let them soak for at least an hour to remove dirt and tags, pat them dry and have your child start coloring them. Acrylic paints are generally the easiest to use for glass painting projects. Painting can be done in different theme colors – The flag of India – our tricolor and the national symbols – the tiger (national animal) and the lotus (national flower) and the peacock (national bird). You can take a planter and paint it. Search for prominent artists and reproduce their works. Choose and learn regional art forms online like Warli, Madhubani, Gond, etc. The possibilities are immense.
This can be emotionally taxing for children and they may be stressed due to the lack of access to other children to play with. It is important to recognize the need for relaxation and mindfulness activities for children. Practicing mindfulness meditation can give them a boost in accessing many long-term benefits and tend to develop positive traits such as better self-control, better attention, compassion and more. empathy and respect for others. Mindfulness meditation will make them feel mindful and not distracted during the lockdown period.
With full creative control, it’s time to create a beautiful “quarantine journal/diary” to record all experiences, emotions and desires.
What do you need
- Blank note card (or recycled cardboard from your kitchen – think cereal box etc!)
- Blank or lined paper for notebook pages
- Needle and embroidery thread/thick cotton thread
- paper piercing tool
- Cutting board, ruler and knife
- Scrap paper for binding
- Glue stick
- Ink and stamps, or other embellishments (optional)
According to your preferences, choose the size you want for your mini notebooks, they are really flexible!
My blank note cards were 8 x 6 inches (about 21 x 15 cm) and the computer paper was double that. Cut your stationery to be the same size as your recycled cardstock note card/cover. You can use as many sheets as you want for your child’s notebook. Fold the stationery in half, then using a ruler and a knife, simply trim the outer edge so that you get a clean edge on your stationery. Put your stationery inside your notecard cover. Now measure where you want your binding holes to be. I just wanted to make a very simple binding with just two holes, and measure them an inch above and below the center point.
If desired, make holes and make a more elaborate binding. There are no rules !
To pierce the paper, you don’t need fancy bookbinding or scrapbooking tools (but go ahead and use them if you have them). I strongly recommend parents to help children here. Pierce the papers with a sharp needle and a heavy object/small hammer. Just make sure you do this on a protected surface so you don’t end up with holes in your worktop! After the first few piercings, push your needle through the hole and wiggle it around a bit to enlarge the holes. To bind your notebook, thread embroidery thread or thick cotton thread on a needle. Working from the outside in, thread your yarn through one hole and out the other, and secure the ends together at the spine with a double knot. Cut the ends. Cut a piece of scrap paper the same height as your cover and a few inches wide. Use paper glue to cover the back of your decorative paper with glue.
Miracle grow garden/Hydroponics (Growing plants without soil)
It is something very creative and scientific for children. You and your child can build your own DIY indoor grow system. It’s just about growing plants in water. Here is a selection of the best homemade hydroponic plants that anyone can build. Plants don’t need soil as long as they have five things: food, water, light, air, and support. If you are a beginner, here is the configuration:
For beginners, it is known to be – “The Passive Bucket Kratky Method” – one of the easiest hydroponic plants that you and your child can get started on your own in a matter of hours.
What all you need
- A small houseplant with a single stem. Most common colorful houseplants will work well. Or try a vegetable plant.
- A clear glass jar or bottle
- A cork stopper with a large hole in the middle.
- Cotton wadding.
- Vegetable food (ingredients given below)
Take out or spread newspapers on your workspace. Gently remove the small houseplant from its pot. Place one hand on the surface of the soil, with the stem between two fingers, and turn the pot upside down. Tap the bottom of the pot while gently pushing the plant out.
Step 1: Gently brush all the soil from the roots.
Step 2: Carefully thread the stem of the plant through the cork and place the roots in the glass container filled with lukewarm tap water.
Step 3: Use cotton wool to fill the gaps between the plant stem and the cork. Be careful not to pinch the rod.
Step 4: Move your plant to a sunny spot and watch it grow!
After about a week, pour out the water and fill.
Your plants are hungry now! You can also make plant food at home
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon Epsom salts
- ½ teaspoon of ammonia
- 1 gallon of water
An old plastic milk jug serves as a good container for this recipe. Add all these ingredients to your container and let it sit for about half an hour. This gives your solid ingredients time to dissolve. Feed your plants and change the water and fertilizer solution about once a month.
It’s a fantastic boredom buster and will keep your child busy and quiet without the aid of smartphones or any other electronic device. Have your kids use their little fingerprints to create these cute poppy flowers, adorable love bugs, dandelion or bunny and chicks..
Step 1- Fill a cup with water. Dip the brush inside and mix it in the color of your choice in the paint box until you have plenty of paint on the brush. Then coat your index finger with paint.
Step 2 – Firmly press your paint coated index finger onto the sheet of paper to create a colored fingerprint.
Repeat this process as many times as you want, preferably with different colors. Turn the paper as you see fit. Your child can create beautiful flowers and animals with their little fingers.
(The writer is a parenting coach and founder of The K Junction)